Author Topic: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles  (Read 391 times)

Offline Drewch

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Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« on: January 31, 2021, 09:01:00 PM »
I have a small batch of spiced mead that is approaching the end of primary.  I want to put some of this batch away for a while. Is it better to age in a glass jug and bottle closer to serving or age directly in bottles?
Drew

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2021, 09:25:26 PM »
Personally, once it had dropped clear, I move my meads to bottles. There's less worry about O2 exposure, airlocks running dry, etc. If you have a container where you can fill the headspace, then it's probably fine for extended storage, but for me I'd rather have them capped in bottles for my own peace of mind.
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Offline Drewch

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2021, 09:35:37 PM »
Thanks. That's what I did with my first batch. I'll stick with that for this batch, too.
Drew

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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2021, 10:32:36 PM »
I do the reverse.  I don't bottle until it's drinking time.  Even when a mead appears to be clear, there can still be very small particles of sediment that are dropping out.  I age in kegs now, but when I was using carboys I would put a solid stopper in the top and wrap it up with electrical tape.  No airlock to watch.  Although don't do this until you're certain that fermentation is complete.

Aging in the bottle works too.  It's whatever your preference is.

Offline Drewch

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 07:06:12 PM »
Hmm.  Makes me wish I'd done a bigger batch so I could split it and try both ways. 
Drew

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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2021, 08:35:06 PM »
Both methods work well.  It's just personal preference on how you want to do it.  If you get several batches going at a time, you might want to use one method or another based on how you're able to store the vessels.

Offline pete b

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2021, 12:20:06 AM »
You mentioned it’s still in primary. I would rack to a single carboy at this point, give it a couple to few weeks at room temp with airlock to confirm lack of fermentation and drop more sediment then store cold, either cellar temps for a couple months or fridge temps for a couple weeks before bottling. As Joe said solid bungs can be used here.
I find that with mead, as opposed to beer, a “secondary”, even if not a true secondary fermentation, is important to confirm that refermentation will not occur in a bottle, which can be a disaster, and help make a crystal clear mead. If you are using clarifying agents and chemicals I suspect this step can be skipped but I am happy with the results of the method I described.
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Offline JEFFSTEELE

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2021, 06:34:25 PM »
I normally bulk age my mead for about a year and then bottle and age another year before sampling.  If you're not aging your mead you are missing out.  It makes a huge difference.  Although, my mead batches are normally 15 gallon batches.  I use 15 gallon glass globe carboys to bulk age.

Offline Drewch

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2021, 02:01:57 AM »
Ask six brewers a question, and you'll get at least 12 answers... 😅

No clarifying agents or chemicals -- just pure unadulterated time.

My first batch spent 1 month in primary, then I bottled it. I didn't know enough to do any nutrient additions. It was bad at 1 month, iffy at 6 months, and really good at 12 months. I have two bombers left and plan to keep at least one of them for another year.

I split the nutrients over 4 additions this time. It's been in primary for 26 days so far. But so far doesn't have any of the fusel-y overtones the first batch had at this point. I'm thinking I'll go ahead and transfer it to secondary and then just forget about it for another month or so before I bottle it.
Drew

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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2021, 03:44:28 AM »
No clarifying agents or chemicals -- just pure unadulterated time.

Same here.  If you are able to add refrigeration, things clear up much faster and also more thoroughly.

Offline pete b

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2021, 12:27:13 PM »
No clarifying agents or chemicals -- just pure unadulterated time.

Same here.  If you are able to add refrigeration, things clear up much faster and also more thoroughly.
My cellar is plenty cold enough but Drewch lives in Alabama so this is good advice.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 03:39:52 PM by pete b »
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Offline Drewch

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 01:29:59 PM »
My cellar is plenty cold enough but Drewch lives in Alabama so this is good advice.

We have a shed that we keep air conditioned in the summer.  That's the best we do right now as renters.  Someday when we settle down and buy/build a house, I'm going to build a proper cold room.
Drew

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Offline Drewch

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Re: Aging Mead in carboy/jug vs. bottles
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2021, 02:24:35 PM »
Here's my compromise: I transferred into two large glass jars vented into balloons. If there's no sign further fermentation after a week or two, I'll go ahead and bottle.
Drew

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