12 June 2010
Yay, I bottled my first batch of honey wine! Out of the starting 5 gallons I was able to bottle just a little under 4.5 gallons. The other half gallon was lost to lees left in the bottom of the pail or carboy after each racking and samples taken for hydrometer readings.
The bottling process wasn't too bad. I did buy a bottle filling wand which made the process very easy. A bottle filling wand is a tube with a spring loaded valve on the end. When you press the wand on the bottom of the bottle the valve opens letting liquid flow. When you lift the wand the valve closes and you can transfer the wand to the next bottle without spraying liquid everywhere. Once the bottles were full I used a manual corking machine to cork the bottles. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the bottling process but it takes two hands and diligence to get the job done and the kids were out of the house so I couldn't commandeer one to take photos. I did get some pictures of the finished product, though, and here they are;
From the original Wildflower Mead batch I bottled the 3 one gallon jugs and 5 750 ml bottles to the left. There was also one 750 ml bottle that was not quite full which I corked and put in the fridge. On the right are 3 750 ml bottles bottled from the first Orange Easy Mead gallon. Again, there was a partial bottle that I corked and put in the fridge.
You can see the Wildflower Mead is just a touch darker than the Orange Easy Mead.
A closer look shows the Easy Mead on the left and very slightly darker Wildflower Mead on the right. Remember, I didn't use any clarifying agent on the Easy Mead but I did use Bentonite on the Wildflower Mead. Both bottles are crystal clear.
Another couple shots. No lees present in either bottle. I should have wiped the water spots off before taking the picture, though.