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Just moved off the lees, when to bottle?

jalexan4

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 12, 2019
2
0
0
We made 6 one gallon batches a little over 2 weeks ago. The batch I used 2 lbs of clover honey in stopped bubbling last Thurs/Fri. Nov. 7th/8th. I moved it off the lees on Sunday into a new carboy.

There are no signs of bubbling in the lock, water is level on both sides. My initial gravity was 1.07 on 10/26/2019. On Sunday when I moved it over it was 0.994.

How long should we let it sit before we bottle? Do we absolutely have to stabilize it with sulfite? My wife gets headaches from it she says. Can I just cold crash before bottling?

Not rushing, just not sure what the next step is and don't want to screw it up. I have a 2.5 lbs bottle that is slowing down significantly.
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,201
25
38
Denver
I doubt she has problems with sulfites. But rather other fractions in wine. Does dried fruit bother her when she eats it?
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
Hi - I thought sulfites gave me a headache until I started studying mead. I still haven't fully figured it out yet, but I think red wines with very high tannins could be the culprit for me. I did a few searches on sulfite allergies, and they do exist, but they are not common.
If I really needed to not use K-Meta for stabilization, then I'd likely never bottle. I'd just fine and filter to a 1 gallon jug (or smaller) with an airlock, and in the fridge. When I wanted some mead, I'd have party and just pour from the jug. :cheers:
 

jalexan4

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 12, 2019
2
0
0
I'll add the sulfites if I need to. Not sure about the dried fruit and the wines that do it seem random. I do know that the local liquor store only sells a one mead here in town and it gives her a headache. I think they back sweeten it a lot, it's super sweet. I'm more concerned with how long do I let it sit here before I bottle it. Someone on reddit mentioned filling with sanitized marbles to reduce the head. There is a good bit of head room, I racked off of a gallon carboy into another gallon carboy.
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
Understand that white wines have a lot of sulfites, so if those don't bother your wife, sulfites likely aren't the issue.

My understanding is mead will continue to change a bit as it ages, and most of that happens within 6 months, but more change still occurs with aging longer (especially with high ABV meads). I'm a bigger fan of bulk aging longer before bottling.

You can use sanitized glass marbles to top up the jug so that head space is less of a concern. K-Meta is also important in protecting your mead.

Without stabilizing it, you have a much greater risk of a bottle bomb situation when you do bottle.

If you haven't already, there's a lot of good info on these forums regarding managing SO2 for protecting and stabilizing mead/wine.