View Full Version : Clarifying Mead and Hydromels

07-22-2009, 01:03 PM
How do I clarify my mead or hydromel?
I have heard of bentonite. If I use this in the secondary fermenter will it stop fermentation?
Is there something better to use?
I would also like that my hydromel carbonates in the bottles.

07-22-2009, 01:18 PM
Hi, Johanneskai! Welcome to "GotMead!"

Generally bentonite does act as a clarifier in meads by electrostatically attracting spent yeast cells and their associated proteins, and then dropping out of solution. So I suppose if you added enough bentonite to a mead must in secondary and then racked off the clear liquid from the lees, you could stop a fermentation. But in my experience, especially with relatively light ethanol concentrations such as exists in hydromels, and using the amount of bentonite generally recommended as a clarifier, you won't get all the active yeast cells out so subsequent bottle carbonation is still possible. That's generally true of all the clarifying agents. If you'd like to learn more about clarifying, I'd suggest that you search for the term using the search tool here in the forum. You'll find lots of posts that deal with the subject in more detail.

Still, especially if you want to achieve bottle-carbonation, the best approach to clarifying mead is to simply wait long enough until it has cleared on its own. Even bentonite-clarified must that bottle-conditions will produce a secondary yeast bloom in the bottle, and you'll have to wait until that settles out before you have a clear carbonated drink. So, don't be in too much of a hurry!

And let me recommend that you check out the Newbee Guide (linked to over on the left side of this page). You'll find a lot of other information about meadmaking contained there that you will probably find useful.

Medsen Fey
07-22-2009, 01:36 PM
Welcome to the GotMead forums Johanneskai!!!

Wayneb is right. With the normally recommended dosages of Bentonite, it will not stop fermentation. Bentonite is actually used during primary fermentation in some cases to increase the activity of the yeast.

Time is the single best clarifying agent.


07-22-2009, 05:46 PM
Just some added hints for your searching pleasure: "Clarifying" is also known as "fining", with the associated verb "to fine". When you are looking for compounds to clear your mead, they will often be listed as fining agents.