A few questions from Mead Magic users, with our replies. If you have a question not answered here, contact us.
Q: After about two weeks there is no more activity at the water lock. According to the directions I still have two more weeks to go before I bottle. Should I bottle now or still wait, or did I do something wrong?
A: It sounds like you’re doing just fine. We do recommend waiting the additional two weeks to bottle. It gives you two advantages: you’ll be sure that all fermentation is complete, and it allows the mead to clarify even more. If you have fermentation in the bottle, your mead could carbonate – not necessarily a bad thing, but not the results we are going for with your first mead brewing experience. Carbonating mead can be a tricky task.
Q: I’m using recycled wine bottles. Does it make a difference whether they’re clear or tinted?
A: I like to bottle my meads in clear bottles, so that I can see what it looks like, but if I don’t have any then tinted ones do just fine. There are a lot more interesting bottle colors available to mazers now, so you can choose colors that match your labels, or whimsy.
Tinted bottles are supposed to protect red wines from harmful effects of UV light exposure, and it’s also become a consumer expectation and tradition to have red wines in green bottles. I suspect this would be more of an issue for larger vintners, where their product ends up on light-exposed shelves for long periods of time.
For white wines and white meads, UV exposure shouldn’t be a problem, and assuming your age your mead in a cool, dark place even less of an issue.