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How long to wait before bottling after adding potassium sorbate and campden tablets?

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InvisibleMonkey

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Registered Member
Feb 27, 2023
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Sweden
Hi! I have never made a mead before and I haven't even started with my first mead, I have just ordered equipment. I have heard that you can kill the yeast (or atleast make it non active) before bottling by adding potassium sorbate and campden. Should I wait until the sulfites have disappeared before bottling? Or should I just add the chemicals and bottle right away. I have heard that it will have som off-tastes. Sorry for my rambling.
 
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Rusty1989

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 24, 2023
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Rhode Island
Hi! I have never made a mead before and I haven't even started with my first mead, I have just ordered equipment. I have heard that you can kill the yeast (or atleast make it non active) before bottling by adding potassium sorbate and campden. Should I wait until the sulfites have disappeared before bottling? Or should I just add the chemicals and bottle right away. I have heard that it will have som off-tastes. Sorry for my rambling.
Good luck with Someone actually acknowledging your post and replying man. I’ve heard after adding the PS wait a few days before bottling . Good luck brother !
 

darigoni

Got Mead? Patron
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Jun 4, 2016
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Good luck with Someone actually acknowledging your post and replying man. I’ve heard after adding the PS wait a few days before bottling . Good luck brother !

Yeah, for the past 2-3 years, this forum has kind of died off and, at its best, is sporadic.

I think it was due to a lot of things. For a long time, the server that the website was on, was VERY SLOW. Then, when the site was moved to a new host, the decision was made to give the site a whole new look and, during the site upgrade, there were several times when it would be down for 2-3 days. The new look and down times may have alienated a few of the regulars. And, of course, there is the normal up and down cycle of members coming and going. Not many of the old (aka knowledgeable) members left.

While I’m not a fan of Facebook, you may want to check out “Modern Mead Makers”. It seems to be very active and the owner of Gotmead posts frequently.
 
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Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
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Nov 3, 2014
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Denver
When you add the two chemicals, you are speaking about. That is called "stabilizing." You want to do that when your fermentation is completely finished and you have racked off your rough lees. Add the sulfites first and wait 24 hours for the sorbate. You will never need any more sorbate. You can use a second dose, before you bottle, of the sulfites.
 

Rusty1989

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 24, 2023
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Rhode Island
When you add the two chemicals, you are speaking about. That is called "stabilizing." You want to do that when your fermentation is completely finished and you have racked off your rough lees. Add the sulfites first and wait 24 hours for the sorbate. You will never need any more sorbate. You can use a second dose, before you bottle, of the sulfites.
So if my FG is perfect then I don’t have to sit in secondary ? I can “stabilize “ right away and bottle ? Instead of sitting in secondary for weeks .
 

Squatchy

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Nov 3, 2014
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What is a perfect SG? Why are you in such a hurry to bottle? Usually, I let it age for at least 6-10 months before I even start to do my final adjustments. Wouldn't you want to stabilize it and then wait a little while and then rack it? And then wait a long while for it to drop out to clear before you bottle it?
 
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Rusty1989

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 24, 2023
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Rhode Island
What is a perfect SG? Why are you in such a hurry to bottle? Usually, I let it age for at least 6-10 months before I even start to do my final adjustments. Wouldn't you want to stabilize it and then wait a little while and then rack it? And then wait a long while for it to drop out to clear before you bottle it?
Thanks again for your knowledge. I guess my perfect FG “Final Gravity”would be around .994? Which I’ve been at for a week now. I’ll be bottling and storing for over a year and I’d like to just get into bottles I guess …… but does clarity really matter much or can it be cloudy and not effect taste and storage ? Will being cloudy hurt me ? Would you recommend putting it through a 400 micron strainer ? I guess I could do what you say to because you’ve had experience . I’m impatient, it’s my first time LOL.I’m learning the mead game and I see it takes a long time to age. Which I’m ok with . Thanks again , Russ
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,542
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Denver
Thanks again for your knowledge. I guess my perfect FG “Final Gravity”would be around .994? Which I’ve been at for a week now. I’ll be bottling and storing for over a year and I’d like to just get into bottles I guess …… but does clarity really matter much or can it be cloudy and not effect taste and storage ? Will being cloudy hurt me ? Would you recommend putting it through a 400 micron strainer ? I guess I could do what you say to because you’ve had experience . I’m impatient, it’s my first time LOL.I’m learning the mead game and I see it takes a long time to age. Which I’m ok with . Thanks again , Russ

So if you had a bunch of small vegetail or fruit particles sitting in a gob on the countertop, do you think as it degrades, would that be something you would like to eat? I guess maybe some stuff might be ok. But in my mind, I don't allow anything that makes my meads cloudy to stay in it for very long unless I'm specifically lees aging. If you were planning to keep and drink something shortly after fermentation, that would be one thing. But I don't want dust in the bottle of my meads. I never let a cloudy mead out of my house.

As far as you 400 micron. That's like catching flys with a chain link fence. I filter down to .5 microns. If you learn about finning agents (in the podcast), you could get away with just that. one of the main reasons I wouldn't bottle so soon is what you want to bottle doesn't even taste that close to what you will have months later as a new mead maker even after you get the process down and are no longer making fermentation mistakes. It will still go through a process of change as it gets older. And you very well could want to make adjustments in 8 months that you wouldn't even be able to taste what needs help at such a young age.

There are things you could make to drink earlier. I do that all the time. And I won my first Mazer cup with a 3-month-old mead. But that doesn't happen by accident. However, once you learn the ropes you can make things with fruit in it that can be consumed young.

My biggest suggestion is for you to go learn from the podcast. In 3-4 weeks you can learn more than you could in several years on your own. That will then have you making much better meads, along with knowing how to make things that can be consumed in much shorter time periods.

This craft will teach you just how impatient you really are. It does that to all of us.
 
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4give

Honey Master
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
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Montrose, CO
I can't add much to what Squatchy says - only my experiences...
I'm probably a bit over-sensitive when it comes to any perishable adjuncts I put in my meads (fruit being an obvious one). I won't leave it in my must longer than maybe 17 days, and prefer 14 days.
I DO think having a lot of fine lees in suspension can effect taste. I try to get my meads off the vast majority of lees, age, tweak, fine, then filter. Now, I haven't tested a few different ways to do this, but I really try to fine only once. Doing it twice doesn't hurt anything as far as I've noticed. So, I get my meads to clear (mostly) by cold crashing, racking off, and then aging. Depending on what I'm doing, and what I think the mead may need, I may fine twice. You can get a good idea where a mead is going at about 6 months, but if you fine at say one month, then back-sweeten with honey, you're mead will need to be fined again.
In my experience, nearly anything you put/leave in the mead can/will impact flavor if not handled right. The exception should be fining agents - they should not impact the flavor. Others may have tested pectin (when you end up with pectin haze) in some bench trials, but my only experience with pectin haze was that it did not seem to impact flavor. It's a pain to get rid of, but doable.
SG readings are necessary, and can tell us a lot, but final SG of any mead is not really what's important. What's important is how it tastes.
 

Rusty1989

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 24, 2023
9
1
3
35
Rhode Island
So if you had a bunch of small vegetail or fruit particles sitting in a gob on the countertop, do you think as it degrades, would that be something you would like to eat? I guess maybe some stuff might be ok. But in my mind, I don't allow anything that makes my meads cloudy to stay in it for very long unless I'm specifically lees aging. If you were planning to keep and drink something shortly after fermentation, that would be one thing. But I don't want dust in the bottle of my meads. I never let a cloudy mead out of my house.

As far as you 400 micron. That's like catching flys with a chain link fence. I filter down to .5 microns. If you learn about finning agents (in the podcast), you could get away with just that. one of the main reasons I wouldn't bottle so soon is what you want to bottle doesn't even taste that close to what you will have months later as a new mead maker even after you get the process down and are no longer making fermentation mistakes. It will still go through a process of change as it gets older. And you very well could want to make adjustments in 8 months that you wouldn't even be able to taste what needs help at such a young age.

There are things you could make to drink earlier. I do that all the time. And I won my first Mazer cup with a 3-month-old mead. But that doesn't happen by accident. However, once you learn the ropes you can make things with fruit in it that can be consumed young.

My biggest suggestion is for you to go learn from the podcast. In 3-4 weeks you can learn more than you could in several years on your own. That will then have you making much better meads, along with knowing how to make things that can be consumed in much shorter time periods.

This craft will teach you just how impatient you really are. It does that to all of us.
Thank you for your professional in put! Congrats on winning a Mazer cup . I’ll have to just keep trying batches and asking questions . Rome wasn’t built in a day right . I’ll definitely have to check out the pod casts as well, anything to help me get better . Thanks for the heads up !
Russ
 
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papabearRN

NewBee
Registered Member
Dec 24, 2021
3
1
3
04955
Hi! I have never made a mead before and I haven't even started with my first mead, I have just ordered equipment. I have heard that you can kill the yeast (or atleast make it non active) before bottling by adding potassium sorbate and campden. Should I wait until the sulfites have disappeared before bottling? Or should I just add the chemicals and bottle right away. I have heard that it will have som off-tastes. Sorry for my rambling.
I usually add K-sorb and K-meta after my second rack. put in an airlock and if no bubbling for 10 min at a time, it's probably safe to bottle. I did have a batck of cherry with a sulfur smell, Splshh racking worked well to get rid of the excess gas. Good luck.
 
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Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
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Apr 27, 2010
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I usually wait a day or two between stabilizing and bottling, gives it time for anything that's decided it wants to settle out a chance to do so (I had one mead sit six months, looked clear, no lees collecting, nothing, so I racked it onto campden tablet and potassium sorbate then immediately bottled it, and every single bottle had sediment in it the next day), and the less suspended matter in your mead, the better a chance you have at long term aging.
 
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