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View Full Version : JAO finished, racked in prep to bottle, now it is cloudy...



bjswift
10-19-2007, 08:53 AM
Okay, so I did a 1gallon batch of JAO following the recipe exactly. Waited my two month and a few days, in which by then it was very clear. I could read lettering behind it. I decided to rack into another 1gallon jug, then bottle it, so that I do not get any sludge or particles (I have not perfected bottling or even racking avoiding 100% of the sludge).

Okay, so I carefully racked into a clean jug, using clean equipment, airlocked, and set back in my closet, to bottle last night. Only problem was that I did not bottle it, because it was cloudy. I could not see through it any longer, but one weird thing was aparent... The top inch or so of the JAO was clear. It was like it was starting to settle, but only the top inch.

I checked it again today, and it is a little mroe than an inch now, which I can see through, but the rest is cloudy. Should I wait until it is 100% clear before I bottle? I hesitate to wait because there is a gap now (due to oranges and sludge) where there is more air than before, so I hope oxidation doesn't happen...

Any ideas?

shunoshi
10-19-2007, 09:47 AM
I'm nowhere near a pro when it comes to mead, but in this case, this seems just like beer. Racking it to a secondary carboy/jug allowed a bit of the yeast to be resuspended. It will probably clear withing a couple days and you can bottle when it clears. I don't think you have to worry about oxidation headspace since it'll only be a couple days (as long as you didn't have a lot of splashing when transferring to the secondary).

Your mead should be crystal clear with this extra step I would think. :D

bjswift
10-19-2007, 10:25 AM
Thanks for your reply. I bottled a strawberry mead from secondary (with strawberries floating on top) carefully, and was able to get three bottles with no sediment, but the fouth bottle was hard to get just the clear liquid. Also, the first three bottles were red colored, while the fourth one was not (maybe the color was floating a bit?). Anyhow, with this JAO batch, I wanted to avoid any sludge at all in the bottles, so thats why I racked it, but got freaked out when it didn't rack clear.

I just took another look at it again, and it is definately starting to 're-clear'. I can lay my hand behind the jug, and slide it up until I clearly see my fingers. It is so weird, there is a definate clear and cloudy line, no de-clairify zone of inbetween. I will give it until Sunday, then maybe I will just bottle it depending on how anxious I get on drinking it.

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-19-2007, 02:44 PM
Two comments:

First, racking may cause fermentation to restart, no matter how careful you are. Just racking the must aggitates it and exposes it to air and may put new life into the fermentation through no fault of your own. Even the clearest of meads has yeast in it unless it has been sterile filtered or hit with chemicals.

Second, after you rack the easily clear stuff for bottling, rack the remainder into a different vessel and set it aside to clear. Refrigeration will also help. The spillage will drop clear in a couple of days and be drinkable or bottleable and you waste less due to racking.

bjswift
10-19-2007, 03:03 PM
Well, I kind of hope it did not start fermenting up again. I was really getting my hopes up to drink it! I put a piece of paper with even markings on it behind the jug, to help me determine how fast it is clearing. I do not recall seeing any bubbles, so maybe it did not re-ferment.

I'll have to start trying to seperate the sludge to try and clear that to drink as spillage. Lately I have just been dumping it down the drain.

bjswift
10-20-2007, 10:14 AM
It is about 48 hours since I racked the JAO, and it became cloudy again. If I put the jug in my refridgerator, will that help settle it faster? I am loosing patience, and getting mead crazy! hehe

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-20-2007, 11:19 AM
Chilling the must should help it to clear. Not always, but most times...

As for spillage, I did not mean so much for you to rack the lees as spillage but that layer that usually gets sacrificed because you can't rack everything right down to the lees and avoid stirring the lees. Rack to within an inch or so of the lees, bottle that, than lack down to the lees and count that as spillage since you will get a lot of the lees as you rack it's surface. Hope that makes sense...

bjswift
10-20-2007, 12:50 PM
Okay, chilling the JAO now, hopefully by tomorrow night at the latest, it will be clear again so I can bottle it.

I shouldn't have racked at all, and followed the JAO instructions exactly, which were to bottle right when it is done. That way, at least four of my bottles would have been clear, the fifth one would have some sediment in it, but that wouldn't have bothered me. I was just trying to get it off the lees first, to get 5 full clear bottles (or 4.25 since there was an orange and lees, taking up space).

Well, I learned a nice life lesson with this one, isn't that what JAO is all about? :)

Thanks again for your input!

wildaho
10-20-2007, 01:42 PM
Well, I learned a nice life lesson with this one, isn't that what JAO is all about? :)



Yes Grasshopper! For many centuries there has been a misunderstanding about the TAO or DAO of life. The truth is now known: it is the JAO of life! After you drink a glass or two of JAO, you, too, will know the sound of one hand clapping :angel10:

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-22-2007, 09:50 AM
I shouldn't have racked at all, and followed the JAO instructions exactly, which were to bottle right when it is done. That way, at least four of my bottles would have been clear, the fifth one would have some sediment in it, but that wouldn't have bothered me. I was just trying to get it off the lees first, to get 5 full clear bottles (or 4.25 since there was an orange and lees, taking up space).


Ummm... racking wasn't the problem... bottling is just racking into bottles rather than another large container... you would likely have ended up with a bunch of cloudy bottles... which might have explded after a while if the cloudiness was due to the fermentation restarting...

Did you trap the batch after you racked? Did it produce any bubbling in the trap? Or was the cloudiness because you accidentally racked some of the lees?

bjswift
10-22-2007, 09:59 AM
I did airlock the racked JAO. I believe it was just due to the fact that I wanted to get as much as I could during racking, so I tipped the jug, and sucked out as much as I could (including lees).

I thought if I did that, it would settle fairly quick, and I would be okay. I believe if I just bottled fromt he top, or middle, it would have been okay.

No bubbles were present after I racked it.

Since I did refridgerate, it helped clear it, and now they are in bottles, waiting a little bit longer before I open them up, since I have read that the longer you wait, the better it will taste.. Okay, so don't ask why I decided to bottle it, if I am not going to drink it.. It was because I am impatient, and wanted to get it bottled (sneak a taste in as well).

Pewter_of_Deodar
10-22-2007, 03:18 PM
I recommend that people move the container they are racking from into position where they will be racking a while before they actually rack, at least any time they are trying to avoid getting lees in the mixture. I move mine a few days before a non-bottling racking and a few weeks before a bottling racking.

By tilting the original container you doomed yourself to getting a cloudi result. You need to accept that you will lose some volume in each racking then use the spillage racking to collect the rest.

As far as aging vs. drinking for small batches, I recommend that you use the 375 mL bottles. It gives you twice as many bottles and you can open a few along the way and still have some survive to be suitably aged. I personally believe that all mead needs to age no matter what your fermentation method in order to be at it's best. I cannot imagine a good red wine not improving with age despite perfect conditions and techniques during the fermentation. Red wine is green for a while no matter how it is fermented. My own impressions are that mead is the same way...

Good luck,
Pewter