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View Full Version : Flash pasteurizing instead of campden?



SaltDuck
01-22-2010, 03:00 AM
Hi everyone. I've been reading the posts on this site for a while, but I finally have a question (hopefully) worth posting.

I'm kind of a mead newbie. I've made about 8 five gallon batches so far. A peach melomel, a pear melomel and a bunch of batches of honey mead (same water and honey but 6 diifferent kinds of yeast so I could tell how each one changes the honey).

So far I haven't had any bad experiences. I've been making wine for a couple of years and brewing beer for a couple of decades.

I was wondering, if instead of using campden to create a hostile yeast environment before bottling - what would be the effects of boiling or flash pasteurizing instead? Are there any filtering options that would get the yeast out of the mead?

I ask because my wife often has a (sulfite?) headache after drinking my mead. No she doesn't overdo it :D - But I'm wondering if there is a non-chemical way of neutralizing the yeast?

Thanks!

Smarrikåka
01-22-2010, 07:19 AM
It works. You don't need to boil, bringing it to around 120 F, should do the job. The effects are that the mead will taste slightly different (a kind of cooked flavour). I'm not sure if flash pasteurizing would affect the taste less than regular heating, but I guess flash pasteurizing to a not a not that high degree would be most effective in perserving flavour.

It is possible to stabilize by filtration as well, but I'm not sure what the exact size of the filter needs to be.

Medsen Fey
01-22-2010, 11:14 AM
I would love to find a way to try flash pasteurization, but I've haven't seen a practical way to do it at home. You can heat quickly with a microwave, and I suppose you run it through a coil in as ice batch to rapidly cool it, but designing a system to do this without excessive oxygen exposure probably requires more technical and engineering expertise than I possess.

On the other hand, sterile filtration is quite workable. It is best to clear the mead as much as possible first (through refrigeration), and then you need an absolute filter (not a nominal filter) with a pore size of about 0.65 microns or less to get rid of the yeast. You need a 0.45 micron if you want to make sure no bacteria make it in. These filter are typically membrane filters and will cost something in the range of $80-$100 but usually are reusable. In my case, I will attach the filter between two kegs and and use inert gas to push it through so that oxidation is not an issue. Other folks may use pumps or devices like an Enolmatic bottle filler to accomplish it.

I have not yet mastered the art of testing the integrity of a filter using bubble point testing. Without doing so, you can't be sure you filter is not letting thing through. If anyone can point me to some good information on how to do it, I would appreciate it.

There are some threads in the Patron's section which discuss this topic more if you are interested in further reading.

and let me not forget,

Welcome to GotMead!

Medsen

Arcanum
01-22-2010, 11:56 AM
I would love to find a way to try flash pasteurization, but I've haven't seen a practical way to do it at home. You can heat quickly with a microwave, and I suppose you run it through a coil in as ice batch to rapidly cool it, but designing a system to do this without excessive oxygen exposure probably requires more technical and engineering expertise than I possess.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_pasteurization

I think you're actually half-way there.

Instead of one coil, you have two coils of copper tubing linked in sequence. One of them is immersed in a hot water bath held at 165F, the other is immersed in an ice bath. To limit heat transfer between the two baths the coils are linked using a length of regular plastic or rubber tubing. Now you just pump the mead through the two coils starting at the hot end.

It shouldn't be particularly difficult to build. The main difficulties are:

1) Location. It needs a way to heat the hot water bath as well as easy access to ice and water, and space to work. A kitchen works, but it monopolizes the room as long as it's set up.

2) Maintaining the temperatures in the water baths. The ice bath shouldn't be too difficult since you can just add more ice. The hot bath is harder since it actually can get too hot. Automated temperature regulation would be preferred, but that requires building a special heating system.

3) Flow control. You either need to be able to control the speed of your mead pump so it takes 15-30 seconds for the mead to get through the hot bath coil, or you need to make the coil long enough that you get the same result.

If you know how fast your pump pumps in volume/minute, and you know the diameter your tubing is, you can calculate how long your hot bath tubing needs to be.

It's definitely doable, though it probably requires more space and work than is really worthwhile for most people.