Mead Conditioning

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I've had a JAO Beginner Mead brewing away, it's now day 55 and it's very clear. I'm going to bottle it shortly I just have a few questions first before I do:

1) I read normal meads (as opposed to sparkling) are flat and you don't add any sugars during bottling/conditioning, is this also the case for the JAO Beginner Mead?

2) If I do not need any sugars during conditioning/bottling, how long do you think until the mead is good to drink? I see many people wait 3-6 months, but I don't wish to wait quite that long, and if it has no conditioning sugars in it wouldn't need that long anyway, would it?

Thanks for your time.
Cant offer any advice, my first plain mead is around 12 days in the fermenter. Bubbling away furiously and smelling incredibly sweat at the airlock. Colour has changed from quite dark to very light.

Whatever you do end up doing could you post back here and let me know what worked and didnt?

Did you rack it at anypoint, or will you go from primary to bottling?
Hi Guys,

I have not made JAOM before, however I do suggest aging it for as long as you can possibly wait. I have done a few meads and melomels and the aging really makes a difference. I am by no means a mead expert, I just wanted to share what I have found on from the batches I have done.

I rack several times before bottling, whenever the trub gets to about 2cm. This works for me, tho I think JAOM says dont rack at all for that recipe, and I hear nothing but good things about this recipe, so I would not rack this one. As I age in batches for months before I bottle, I dont like the thought of so much yeast in the fermenter because of autolysis.

1. I am not sure about weather JAOM is supposed to be sparkling or not, you could always do half with bubbles and half without and let us know how they turn out.

2. The longer you leave it the better it will be, but if your like me, 4-5 weeks was about all I could stand on my 1st batch. I drank one every few weeks for a few months and they got much better with age, YMMV.

Check out Storm The Castle, a site dedicated to Mead that helped me a lot.

Here is a good article about adding fruit to mead (making melomel).

I usually make dry mead with champagne yeast, but next time I will be trying a sack mead with Wyeast 4184.

I hope this has helped,

G'day, thanks for the replies.

I did not rack the mead at any point, the recipe said not to. I'll be glad to post the results after I bottle for you.

Thanks for the interesting links, can never have to much info. I will try hold off drinkin' em for atleast 4 weeks.

I've been thinking it over and I'm probably going to bottle it with no added sugars, my reasoning for this is because the recipe is based on an ancient mead (it even uses bread yeast.) Back in ancient times they didn't know about carbonation, so I guess I'll try to stay true to the ancient drunkards and make it flat.
Think oof them as a really good wine or strong beer
The longer the better 12+ months and if they are good then years will be better
I know with my first batch though it was about the 6 week mark before i couldnt stand it any longer and had to crack it :p

I now Enjoy cider which has taken the pressure of wanting to crack the mead's whilst waiting for the beers to condition.. oh its a hard life LOL

Edit... And i hold this site 100% to blame :)
I made a JAO around 18 months ago, just because I could grab everything I needed in one feel swoop of the supermarket.

Fermented it out until clear, just like the instructions said, bottled it, and tasted it at bottling time. Was horrible, alcoholic, honey water.

Waited the recommended 3 months, popped one open, was horrible, alcoholic, honey water.

Wrote the whole mead experience off, and chucked the 6 remaining stubbies of JAO up the back of my beer cupboard, and promptly forgot about them.

Dragged one out just after New Years this year, on a whim, and cause I was getting low on beer supplies.

It had turned into Valhalla Liqueur(tm). Complexity, sweetness perfectly balanced by the alcohol warmth, spicyness. Reminded me of a very, very good tokay.

If you can take your finished mead, and stuff it somewhere you wont get to for the next 12 months, or somewhere really inconvenient, like under the house, you will be rewarded. Next year.
Alright just finished bottling it, did a taste, the alcohol is quite strong but there is a nice blend of fruit flavours and spices in the aftertaste, will be great after it sits for a while.
I think getting the oranges back out of the demijohn took longer then the actual bottling.

...and now I play the waiting game.
I have a 23 litre batch in the fermenter that is just past 2 years old. (see Fermenter 1 in my sig block)

I had a little cake for it and everything.

But I just stuck it in the fermenter and left it on a shelf in the garage. Not completely out of sight out of mind but fairly cool, stable temps year round (underground garage) and mostly dark.

Might have to get around to bottling it at some stage this year.

Mead really is a patient persons gig.

Just posting back my progress.

My brother and I tested one of the meads after 4-5 weeks.
Many delicious flavours in the after taste, nicely potent. Would still benefit from more maturity.

I think no carbonation was the way to go, I still have the other demijohn mellowing away because I've been to busy to bottle it. I'm planning not to carbonate that batch either anymore.
I was at a party on Saturday night and talking to one of my wife's friends about brewing, distilling etc. She asked if I would like to try some of her home made mead. I reluctantly agreed. She went to a shelf and pulled down a bottle. She read the sticker and said; "Oh, here's one I made in 2004." !!! It was nectar of the gods. I don't have enough time, or the voecarb, vokab, voekablery words, to describe it. You know the difference between blended supermarket honey and fresh cold-pressed honey from a friends hive. Like that, but to the power of eleventy gazillion. Suffice to say that the rest of the night became a little blurry.

Therefore, my advice is to wait for 8 years. Good luck.
Def let it mature for a while. Meads love a bit of age!
Ive got meads 4-5 yrs old still getting better
I do add dextrose at bottling if it carbs up its a sparkling if not it is a still
I dont mind either way

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