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I currently have a batch of mead fermenting and I'm a bit confused about the bottling process for a still mead. I would like to know the steps/process for treating the mead before bottling.

  • Should I add the sodium metabisulfite immediately after fermentation or cold crash first?
  • When should I add the fining gelatin? Should I rack it a number of times before adding the fining?
  • Does the mead have to be degassed before bottling? Would I degas in the carboy? (I have a vacuum pump to do this)
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When I make meads we don't add metabisulfite or gelatin. Cold crashing and racking once post the crash is usually enough to create clear mead.

The mead should be degassed along the way of fermentation, which tends to help fermentation along. In this case, though yes you want to degas before bottling. I'd recommend degassing in the primary unless you are sure your fermentation is done (gravity check). If there still are some sugars to ferment you'll want to be on the yeast when that happens. Racking away from the yeast and degassing will make it hard to finish it out.
If you are in a glass carboy I wouldn't use a vacuum to degas. Just like I wouldn't put a glass carboy under much pressure in a beer situation. I use a wine whip on a drip to degas. It stirs the mead up vigorously and the gas come out that way. It also stirs up sediment which is why you don't normally want to have to do this when you are trying to clear the mead in a second or third racked carboy.

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  • So just to confirm, I would wait until the fermentation is almost finished and then use the wine whip to degas in the primary. Then I'd cold crash to drop the yeast out and then rack it a few times to get all the sediment out? – Luc Oct 20 '16 at 23:27
  • Well if its done fermenting then yes that's what I was implying. Normally I degass every other day during the first week of mead fermentation. When fermentation slows or comes to an end the need to degas slows to. You can degas anytime, but if there is sediment around you'll need to allow time for it to settle back out. Just something to consider. – brewchez Oct 21 '16 at 10:50
  • Ahh, I understand. I appreciate the clarification. – Luc Oct 23 '16 at 14:45

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