Well, it would appear that I was hasty in souring my assessment! The mead is smoothing out quite nicely; the tart acidic taste must have been either the result of a second fermentation or it could have been from sediment / the lees getting mixed up with the mead during racking. Either way, it’s been quite drinkable over the holidays!
I primed two bottles with some honey and am leaving them to undergo another fermentation in the bottle, hoping for something along the lines of a Champagne mead, though I’m somewhat worried about sediment staying in the bottle, and after reading up on how this is removed from champagne, I don’t think I’m going to other removing it.
I bottled 8 Liters of mead and nearly all of that is gone, leaving me with another 20 litters ( I had a 20L carboy, so this worked out). When racking for this ‘sample’ batch, I initially filled the 20L carboy so that no sediment would get passed on to it, then I bottled what remained (a fair bit of sediment ended up in the bottled, causing me to later re-pour them into other bottled using a funnel and a turkey baster to minimize oxidation). Still working out some best practices in racking, as it seems that I’m consistently mixing in some sediment towards the end of the process. I used a special attachment for bottling which was supposed to make life easier by preventing overfilling etc, though I found that it kept losing pressure, causing me to get high on booze fumes from constantly having to restart the siphon, and causing a lot of extra sediment to get mixed into the remaining mead. The bottled I used were mostly empty liquor bottled with screw caps, though I had a few 500ml beer bottles and a ceramic bottle with an old school built-in stopper.. I quickly learned that not all beer bottled can be crowned using a conventional manual crowning device.. Had the neck of a bottle shatter while attempting to force it! Only bottles with an extra-thick fluted (bell-shaped) inch of glass at the top of the neck will do! Â I decided to forego corks, as they seemed over complicated and I already had the crowning gear.
The mead is still sitting in the laundry room, which is cooler than the rest of the house during winter (hopefully this will slow the fermentation of the Champagne mead, giving it nicer bubbling, and help any remaining sediment settle in the remaining 20L). All things considered, this whole process seems to have been a success, though I fear that 20 liters of mead won’t last as I previously anticipated.
Sorry for such a quick, semi-disjointed update on this! I hope to add some photos later and further detail, though with a recent addition to our family (my darling daughter Gabriella), I’m somewhat strapped for time! Also working on an addition to the mini-series of blogs that I was working on discussing Life, Nature and the universe. We’ll see when that gets finished!