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dandelionsallover
05-21-2006, 09:45 PM
I made my first batch of mead -dandelion mead- last spring. Bottled it awhile after it cleared, and the bottles have been laying on their sides in my basement for the last 8-9 months. Tried a bottle at Thanksgiving time and it tasted okay - but noticed a small bit of sediment in it and a few others, from the spices I used I am presuming.

Went down to taste a bottle today, and there's just a bit more sediment - still not much - except that now it "sticks" to the side of the bottles - leaving a brown almost gooey looking residue. I uprighted one, and the spice particles dropped to the bottom - but there is a translucent yet cloudy mass (almost ropelike, forming small round balls at the very bottom of each) left behind and floating where the sediment had been laying all this time. It's more pronounced in some bottles than others. I thought I had sanitized well... but keep in mind this is my first batch. I'm thinking I shouldn't drink this.... am I right?

JamesP
05-21-2006, 10:30 PM
If it tastes OK (which you said it did), then I would rack the bottles into new ones (after righting the bottles and letting the sediment settle back to the bottom over a couple of days).

It will probably be OK to drink in the next month, but if you are going to keep it for another year, then definitely re-sulphite.

I associate stringy/rope-like with infection, but it may just have been the way the sediment was stirred up as you righted the bottles.

My dandelion has dropped sediment (after clearing) over the last year (somewhere around a year from memory).

I guess that if you want to avoid this in the future, it may be worth investigating filtering your meads. I just put up with the sediment in the bottom, or decant (rack) from the bottle before drinking.

dandelionsallover
05-22-2006, 10:47 AM
Thanks for the advice! I let a couple of bottles sit upright overnight, and now there's no sign of anything cloudy. It looked so much like bacteria though... I don't understand how it could just "disappear". I'm lucky enough to have a microbiologist in my family, so I think out of curiousity I'll have my sediment looked at under the microscope. As for the sulfite... I didn't use it to begin with, so I'm not sure how to do that. Is it wise to use it now even though I didn't before?

Oskaar
05-22-2006, 11:03 AM
How long did you allow it to age before bottling, and what was your recipe and process?

That might give us a better idea of what may have caused the sediment. Generally it's from bottling too soon as the mead is still creeping along with some fermentation, so you'll throw some sediment from the dead yeasties as they finish off whatever sugar they can find.

How is the mead? Is it sweet, is it drier that when you bottled it, or is it the same? Check the gravity from before you bottled it to present and note any difference. That will tell you if you have had renewed fermentation in the bottle.

Cheers,

Oskaar