Bottling day for the mead is (finally) here! I’ve been through quite a lot with this wine. I think I ended up racking it at least 3 times to not much avail, then finally figured out that I might be dealing with a stuck fermentation and added the appropriate ingredients to get that going again (yeast nutrient and yeast energizer). That seemed to do the trick to clear things up, even though the specific gravity barely changed (if at all).
I made the executive decision to move forward and filtered the wine for my first time ever. As luck would have it, I ran into some troubles there as well, which were 100% human error (how about reading the instructions out loud….that might help).
We’re finally at bottling day! We’re down to the wire—about to get married, go on a honeymoon, then possibly move into a new house somewhere (who knows where at this point). The time to bottle the wine is now, and there is no other way about it!
So, I rinsed all the bottles I’d been saving in very hot water (I had been sure to rinse them out immediately after emptying them so there wouldn’t be any foreign bodies growing in there), then added a couple turkey baster sized squirts of sanitation liquid to kill anything that might be still living in there. All went well—no problems there (that I am aware of).
I ended up with exactly 24 bottles of wine, with the last few being dubbed “the dregs”. I think this entire batch will be consumed by both my fiancé and I, as I’m not proud of it enough to give it to anyone else.
After bottling, I noticed that the wine was still a little hazy. I’m not surprised, since I only really partially filtered the wine during my first attempt. I did have enough filter pads to do it again, but I figured I would just learn from my mistake, move on, and save the pads for my next batch of wine that I hopefully won’t mess up so much!
I’m happy that the mead is done. It’ll probably be a nice “second bottle of the night”. Perhaps I’ll pair it with some cheese if it’s too awful to have by itself. Ha! All I have to say now is I am glad that space the carboy was taking up is now clear—any table space is prime real estate these days.
My name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.