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Yeast in Bottled Mead!

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KrisB

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 25, 2020
67
0
6
Hi, all,
I bottled my first ever batch of mead back in June 2020. I thought fermentation had ended at the time and had added 1/2 tsp potassium sorbate to help stop it. I didn't know at the time that sulfites also need to be added to stop fermentation. Now I have noticed recently within the past month or so a layer of spent yeast has formed on the bottom of the bottle, which is still maturing since I used the methods described in The Compleat Meadmaker by Kenn Schramm instead of the TOSNA protocols (so I'm waiting a year from June 2020 to open the bottle). Is there anything I can do or should do? I'm just concerned: Is this now a bottle bomb waiting to explode since fermentation had apparently not stopped back in June?

Here is the original recipe I used and my original thread about it:

Type: Semi-Sweet Traditional
Batch Size: 1 gallon
Honey: 3 lbs total Clary Sage (2.5 lbs in must; 1.5 lbs held back for back-sweetening)
Yeast: K1-V1116
Target ABV: 11-12%
Actual ABV: There were some issues with getting this, so it is unknown.
Nutrients Total: 3 tsp Fermaid K
Methods: The Compleat Meadmaker & Fermaid K instructions for adding nutrients (1.5 tsp Fermaid K in must at beginning and 1.5 tsp Fermaid K added at 1/3 sugar break) . NO TOSNA used for this batch.
 

stmcw

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Feb 25, 2018
6
1
3
Dunmore, PA
Greetings - with out FG reading it is hard to help. How long was it from start to bottling? You could simply pop one of the bottles open to see if pressure building and recap.
If you did not use clarifiers or filter, then this could be simply the mead continuing to settle out.
 

KevinMeintsma

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 7, 2020
4
1
1
Minneapolis, MN
What makes you think it continued fermenting? The layer of yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle? If that's the case, it probably DIDN'T re-ferment - it's just spent yeast that has dropped out of solution now that they have died.

Sorbate stops yeast from budding, so without reproduction eventually most/all of the live yeast in your mead will die or at minimum go dormant.

Open a bottle and sample - that should tell you immediately if it's carbonated and might be a potential problem.
 
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KrisB

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 25, 2020
67
0
6
stmcw,

Started June 15, 2020. Looks like the FG was 7 Brix/1.0277, according to my notes in my original thread. Bottled it about a month later in July (I cannot locate my notes that I took in a notebook right now). I'm thinking you are right that it's just spent lees. I also asked a very experienced mead maker in Australia before I checked this thread again and he said the same. He said since I only racked it and didn't filter it, a little spent lees at the bottom is normal. But I will check it. Thank you for your reply! It was very helpful!
 

KrisB

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 25, 2020
67
0
6
What makes you think it continued fermenting? The layer of yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle? If that's the case, it probably DIDN'T re-ferment - it's just spent yeast that has dropped out of solution now that they have died.

Sorbate stops yeast from budding, so without reproduction eventually most/all of the live yeast in your mead will die or at minimum go dormant.

Open a bottle and sample - that should tell you immediately if it's carbonated and might be a potential problem.
KevinMeintsma,

I'm very new to meadmaking and this is my first batch after a failed first batch attempt. I assumed that since I saw lees in the bottom that it must have meant it kept fermenting. Looks like I was probably wrong, but I will check it. Thank you!
 
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