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Nopants 

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Made some mead back in September. Having seen it go of like a rocket fermentation wise it then stopped and cleared its self. I then noticed some tiny bubbles forming this week and once again its started to ferment again. How long should this drink normally take before I can bottle it? I think it was Frisbees Recipe that I used.
 
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I would suggest not less than 2 years but once it is clear you can bottle it and give it a taste. I have no idea why yours has started again. This does not sound good. Is it still clear?
 

Nopants 

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I would suggest not less than 2 years but once it is clear you can bottle it and give it a taste. I have no idea why yours has started again. This does not sound good. Is it still clear?

Its no longer clear as I have given it another stir. I have read that these things can start restart if fermentation over heats etc. I suppose it can only improve the alcohol levels at the expense of it being dry rather than sweet.
 
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Mead is particularly difficult to ferment because of the high sugar content from the start. Yeast needs certain things to work and some things can cause it to stop working. So in breadmaking salt and fat will cause the yeast to slow down, dough which is enriched with fat and egg - bun types need more yeast from the start to counteract this. In a fermented drink, excess sugar or lack of nutrients will cause the yeast to slow to a stop sometimes. A country type wine made from say elderberries usually has about 3lbs of sugar per gallon, and it is better added in 2 stages. Mead already starts out with more than 3lbs of sugar and honey has a distinct lack of nutrients suitable for yeast which is why yeast nutrient is added, tannin is also a necessary added ingredient in mead. Grapes which are the perfect wine making fruit have their own built in tannin in the skins and pips, cider apples and perry pears also contain tannins. Tannin adds "body" to the drink and wines/ciders with no tannin can taste weak and insipid.

Nopants your mead will have fermented a certain amount, but despite the fact that it has cleared it has not fermented to a finish. Mead will clear easily because there is nothing in it like fruit pectins to make it cloudy, the clearness of the mead does not denote it has finished fermenting. The way to test for that would be to check its alcohol content. Modern yeasts will take a wine to a maximum of 17% before the alcohol content kills the -yeast. Home made wines will start to re-ferment for all sorts of reasons. Often in a country type wine the re-ferment started again to coincide with the fruit blossoming, this of course also coincides with warmer weather. Mead will stick at a certain point only to restart later. It will take at least 3 months to finish. Put it somewhere warm and forget about it for the time being.

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I suppose it can only improve the alcohol levels at the expense of it being dry rather than sweet.
To achieve a sweet finish it needs to ferment out and the alcohol content high enough to prevent any more fermentation. Things like campden tablets can be added to "kill off" any remaining yeast but the safest way it to ensure the alcohol content is high and then sweeten with more honey. Sherry, Port and Maderia type wines have alcohol added to prevent any more fermentation and then sweetened. Or you can sweeten by adding an artificial sweetener (yeuk) like saccharine which will not ferment.

It's better to not stir and disturb the sediment.

Put it somewhere warm and leave it...........3 months at least.

Frisbee
 

Nopants 

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To achieve a sweet finish it needs to ferment out and the alcohol content high enough to prevent any more fermentation. Things like campden tablets can be added to "kill off" any remaining yeast but the safest way it to ensure the alcohol content is high and then sweeten with more honey. Sherry, Port and Maderia type wines have alcohol added to prevent any more fermentation and then sweetened. Or you can sweeten by adding an artificial sweetener (yeuk) like saccharine which will not ferment.

It's better to not stir and disturb the sediment.

Put it somewhere warm and leave it...........3 months at least.

Frisbee
HMMM I wont be getting drunk just yet the?
 
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The quotes don't seem to be working, but no not ready for drinking yet. Have you also read the post I put before it? Also useful information.

Frisbee
 

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Even when its finished fermenting it will be harsh to drink because the alcohol has to mellow first.

It takes time to finish mead,something Monks had plenty of..
 

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Made some mead back in September. Having seen it go of like a rocket fermentation wise it then stopped and cleared its self. I then noticed some tiny bubbles forming this week and once again its started to ferment again. How long should this drink normally take before I can bottle it? I think it was Frisbees Recipe that I used.
Testing

I found a bit of dirty code in the software,now fixed..
 

Poly Hive 

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FWIW.

Standing in Buckfast Abbey apiary I had this discussion with an ex commercial mead maker.

Says I, I can batch 10 gallons and one lot of five will take off like its going out of fashion and the other lot will sit and although on positive pressure in the airlock will just sit for months. Very odd.

Saye he, Aye I did five hundred gallon batches and it's a "right bu***r"

Hmm thought I it could be worse.

However I can tell you that none of my batches ever failed, some just took longer than otherss and I had some lovely dry mead, going by the SG which at times went as low as 990. And an alcohol of 17%

PH
 

Arfermo 

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As a winemaker for some 28 years, I reckon Nopants did not kill the yeast when the first fermentation was supposedly finished and maybe did not even check the specific gravity was less than 1000 either. When I first started making wine I made the mistake of bottling it prematurely on one occasion and as I was sweeping out my garage a bottle exploded and the cork shot some 30 feet or so down the driveway. I was luckly the galss renained intact!! Never again. The yeast must be killed and the method I have always used is to Bentonite during fermentation to aid clearing of the wine and, when fermentation has ceased, use Sorbistat and Campden tablets to stun and kill the yeast. Fermentation within the bottle is then impossible. After the fermentation has really finished and it needs sweeting to your taste before bottling it add sugar to taste and use a hydrometer to check the specific gravity as you go.
Arfermo
 
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