View Full Version : Is my mead ready for clarifiers and other stuff?

03-05-2007, 10:37 AM
Hi - My first batch seems to be coming along, but I'm getting worried about screwing up at this point....here's some info on this batch:

I'm using upside down demijohns so I'm not racking, just opening the spout and pouring off the junk on the bottom.

27 Jan 07
9.36 L (12 kg) Wildflower Honey
36 L Spring Water
12 g Fermaid
10 Campden Tablets
11 g K1-V1116 - rehydrated in 110 g water for 20 minutes at 35-40 degrees C
OG 1.090
Room Temp is about 22 deg C
initial pH 5.24

21 Feb 07
Vacuum degassed
SG 1.002
pH 3.32
It started bubbling again a while after the degassing.

3 Mar 07
Vacuum degassed
SG 1.000
pH 3.36

5 Mar 07
So far no bubbling noticed. It's starting to look a bit clearer, but is still opaque. I don't want to wait for it to clarify on its own (not at this rate, anyway).

I'd like to add oak and a vanilla bean before this is all over. I don't think it's going to drop a full 0.100 since in the last 10 days, it's gone down only 0.002.

-Should I sorbate just in case so it doesn't get too dry?
-Should I sorbate and then add the Sparkolloid?
-Can I add the vanilla and oak before it's clear?
-If I sorbate, do I absolutely have to sulfite (yuck)?

I'm really just not sure what to do next to get it where I want it or what order to do it in. I'm going for dry mead, and I would think 1.000 is quite dry. Any comments from mead gurus or anyone with experience is appreciated very much.

03-05-2007, 11:07 AM
Dry meads generally take a long time to age, 8 months to a year would be a good start, so I'd let it clear naturally, you've got a while before this mead truly comes into its own, why rush the natural clearing process when you're most likely going to need to let it age several more months?


03-05-2007, 12:20 PM
Hello scbeec,
You have already added in 10 Campden tablets so I am confused at your comment about "-If I sorbate, do I absolutely have to sulfite (yuck)?"

I agree with Wrathwilde that since its dry it will need some aging so can let it be done naturally.
Normally I add in 1/8th tsp sulfite or 1 campden per gallon in the secondary along with 1/4tsp sorbate per gallon. In your case since you already have a good (possibly too much) level of sulfite you should only need the sorbate. But imo at 1.000 you are already dry and it should only drop a few more points if at all.

I have no experiance in the bazillion different clearifying agents out there and now that I think about it I havent heard of anyone here using em.

03-05-2007, 02:05 PM
About my sulfite comment - I wasn't going to use any in this batch, but chickened out at the last minute...afraid that I would get an infection or something horrible, I just went ahead and did it at just less than 1 per gallon. I've put on more batches since and didn't sulfite - I really don't want to use it if I don't have to.

The reason I seem like I want to get things moving is...I do. I'd like to start a meadery and sell the stuff, and so I want to develop methods that can help free up my demijohns for a new batch. I can see it progressing, I'd just like to help it along in places where it's possible.

What about adding a vanilla bean and oak? Is that best done during aging, after it's clear or now? Since I didn't rack it, what stage should be considered secondary? Is it after the fermentation slows to a certain number of bpm? Or after the SG drops a certain amount?

I tried the search box for some answers but only came up with bits and pieces. There are many places for info on getting your must made, but not a lot of details (that I can find) on what to do about degassing, clarifying, sorbating etc. I've combed Ken Schramm's book for some of these answers, but can't seem to find out when to do these things.

Thanks for your help.

03-05-2007, 05:28 PM
secondary fermentation is just whenever you rack it into anotehr carboy(or whatever you using). most people do it when the fermentation slows way down to get the mead off of the lees that has usually dropped at this point. if you never racked it then your kind of doing gorss lees exposure whis is something i know very little about. you can add oak or spices(vanilla) whenever you want. the flavors will be changed to a greater or lesser degree depending on when its added.