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1 Month - Ready to rack; Campden and Bentonite Question

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APynckel

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 12, 2016
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So I made a "first time try" batch a month ago with just honey yeast, and threw in some "pasteurized" raisins a week or two into it.

thread here:
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/26182-Total-Newb-about-to-start-a-mead-batch!

It's not a month later, and I'm wanting to rack my batch. Should I throw in 1/2 a campden tab before I rack, or after I rack? How long do I wait before adding Bentonite? Should I add the Bentonite with the campden before I rack? I also need to take a hydrometer measurement.

Just trying to iron out this process in my head before I screw something up.

Thanks!
 

darigoni

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Jun 4, 2016
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I would rack, add the bentonite, wait for it to clear, re-rack, add your stabilizers, then do whatever else you want to do with it (take an SG reading, back sweeten, add oak, add vanilla beans, etc).
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
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Nov 3, 2014
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Darogoni's suggestion would work just fine. In order to save some racking losses you could stabilize, then fine with your Bentonite, let that clear and rack.
 

APynckel

NewBee
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Nov 12, 2016
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Racked it and added the Bento, things are clearing up nicely. I took SG before I racked and it was below 1.010 already. Seems good to go.
 

APynckel

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 12, 2016
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I would rack, add the bentonite, wait for it to clear, re-rack, add your stabilizers, then do whatever else you want to do with it (take an SG reading, back sweeten, add oak, add vanilla beans, etc).
What kind of stabilizers would you recommend?
 

caduseus

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Aug 20, 2016
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If I'm not planning on backsweetening, are both really necessary? I'm getting conflicting information on this.
metabisulfite kills EXISTING yeast but in their death throes they can bud NEW yeast cells which may not necessarily be killed by the meta-bisulfite.
K-sorbate for all practical purposes is birth control for yeast.
There are 2 situations where you can POTENTIALLY avoid these steps:
1) if you ferment to dry (1.000 or less) and DONT plan on backsweetening- this is done often and has been corroborated by many
2) Multiple and consecutive cold crashes- I have not done this but I have heard a few who have tried and been successful; however I cannot say if this works.
3) You ferment to dry and backsweeten with a non-fermentable sugar: in addition to all the sugar substitutes, there is lactose (milk sugar) which yeast cannot ferment (but still has calories) . I have not found this done much with lactose but I am trying it myself with a batch as we speak
4) To carbonate: however in this situation you want minimal residual sugar (1.003 at the most) to avoid bottle bombs.

Other than the situations listed above, if you DONT do both and then you bottle for more than a few weeks before consumption, you run the risk of a bottle bomb. Sure some have taken the risk and been fine, but this is a real risk. Not only would you lose some of your painstaking work but it could be hazardous.
 
Last edited:

APynckel

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 12, 2016
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Gotcha. Thanks a ton. I'm sitting REALLY close to 1.000 right now (checked yesterday). but I will definitely use both to ensure the complete and utter stop of my fermentation.
 
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