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mjhughes
01-29-2010, 05:46 PM
Hello everyone,

I have been doing alot of reading online and was wondering about wine filters?

I have a few meads in carboys that are done fermenting (same gravity over a 2mo period). Could I use a filter to clear the mead and bottle it ? (the mead is only 4mo old). I ask because it would be easyer to store bottled Mead in my closet, than having 5-5gal carboys.


Is there a major difference between bulk and bottle aged? Is there something else happeneing in the bottles?

Thank you

fatbloke
01-30-2010, 05:09 AM
Hello everyone,

I have been doing alot of reading online and was wondering about wine filters?

I have a few meads in carboys that are done fermenting (same gravity over a 2mo period). Could I use a filter to clear the mead and bottle it ? (the mead is only 4mo old). I ask because it would be easyer to store bottled Mead in my closet, than having 5-5gal carboys.


Is there a major difference between bulk and bottle aged? Is there something else happeneing in the bottles?

Thank you
second question first......

Bulk ageing, is, as I understand it, better, because the content is less likely to be affected by issues like temperature. Hence it gives a more even ageing to the mead. It doesn't have to be in 5 gallon size, but it can, or you might break it down to 1 gallon batches, etc etc

So it depends on whether you've got the glassware or not. If bottles are the most convenient, then what the hell, get it bottled.......

First question second......

you'd be wasting time and money trying to filter instead of fining or just letting any sediments settle.

You'd just clog the filters over and over again. Of course, if you have the money to get a fine enough filter, that is washable and re-usable, then it's just time (apart that filters like that tend to be much more expensive).

Hence it seems that it's pretty much "par for the cause", that you only filter to give the product a "final polish". It then depends on what it is that you're filtering as to how fine the filter/element. If it's "red" then I probably wouldn't go smaller than 1 micron in size, anything smaller is likely to remove colour/pigment as well as other normal sediments - hence it's more likely to have an effect on flavour, as well as depth of colour.

If it's "white", then I probably wouldn't go lower than 0.5 micron size. Yes you can get 0.2 micron filter elements, they're often marketed as "sterile" as they'll remove just about everything, but IMO that's too fine and removes particles that add flavour, not just colour.

Of course, it's up to you, but as an example, the elements for the filter that goes with my vacuum bottler are generally about 40 to 50, that's down to 1 micron. If I want either 0.5 or 0.2 micron elements they're like 80 or 90 - so basically double the price.........

Hence just use time or "chemical" fining agents. Only filter to final polish......

BBBF
01-30-2010, 11:16 AM
Time has cleared meads enough for my personal use. I also have started using fining agents for meads I plan on giving as gifts or possible competition entries. I'd give those a try before investing in a filter.

Medsen Fey
01-30-2010, 11:38 AM
Actually fining is more likely to have an impact on flavor and aroma than filtering. The fining agents will bind charged particles and may just as easily bind some flavor elements with charges, even if they are very small particles. A filter can remove particles with charges, or it can be neutral and only retain particles based on size. If using a neutral filter, the elements that create flavor and aroma are very tiny and you'd need ultrafiltration (below 0.1 micron) to remove them. The typical sterile filtration with a 0.45 micron absolute filter (or 0.2 micron) simply won't filter out those particles - they pass through.

Filters can affect the flavor, especially if they are not flushed and rinsed properly, and if the wine get excessive oxygen exposure during the process. This oxidation probably accounts for many of the anecdotal reports where people describe filtering as having altered the flavor. In a variety of scientific studies, when done properly, filtering has been shown not to harm wines. Emile Peynaud actually went as far as saying that filtering would invariably improve the outcomes. Now my palate is not sensitive enough to pick up on those subtle changes, so I have to defer to the scientific experts with the trained tasting panels that have studied these issues.

Still, the fact is yeast taste bad. Don't believe me? Well taste a heaping tablespoon or two of your wine yeast (before or after rehydration). Ghacck! :p
A yeasty, cloudy mead usually tastes crappy. Filtration can eliminate those bitter little buggers leaving the wine tasting cleaner and fresher.

In my experience, filtration does not cause a loss of flavor or aroma, and I have definitely stripped some using Bentonite and fining agents so filtration can be a useful and practical technique.

Medsen

EDIT - On another site I saw Tim Vandergrift referring to an interview from some years ago with Christian Moiuex, the owner of Chateau Petrus (yes, that Petrus - the super expensive Pommerol) who replied when asked why he used very tight filtration on his wines, "Because I don't hate my customers. Only a fool thinks unfiltered wine is superior." I'd love to track down that interview to read the rest - What an attitude! :rolleyes:

fatbloke
01-30-2010, 07:17 PM
Actually fining is more likely to have an impact on flavor and aroma than filtering. The fining agents will bind charged particles and may just as easily bind some flavor elements with charges, even if they are very small particles. A filter can remove particles with charges, or it can be neutral and only retain particles based on size. If using a neutral filter, the elements that create flavor and aroma are very tiny and you'd need ultrafiltration (below 0.1 micron) to remove them. The typical sterile filtration with a 0.45 micron absolute filter (or 0.2 micron) simply won't filter out those particles - they pass through.

Filters can affect the flavor, especially if they are not flushed and rinsed properly, and if the wine get excessive oxygen exposure during the process. This oxidation probably accounts for many of the anecdotal reports where people describe filtering as having altered the flavor. In a variety of scientific studies, when done properly, filtering has been shown not to harm wines. Emile Peynaud actually went as far as saying that filtering would invariably improve the outcomes. Now my palate is not sensitive enough to pick up on those subtle changes, so I have to defer to the scientific experts with the trained tasting panels that have studied these issues.

Still, the fact is yeast taste bad. Don't believe me? Well taste a heaping tablespoon or two of your wine yeast (before or after rehydration). Ghacck! :p
A yeasty, cloudy mead usually tastes crappy. Filtration can eliminate those bitter little buggers leaving the wine tasting cleaner and fresher.

In my experience, filtration does not cause a loss of flavor or aroma, and I have definitely stripped some using Bentonite and fining agents so filtration can be a useful and practical technique.

Medsen

EDIT - On another site I saw Tim Vandergrift referring to an interview from some years ago with Christian Moiuex, the owner of Chateau Petrus (yes, that Petrus - the super expensive Pommerol) who replied when asked why he used very tight filtration on his wines, "Because I don't hate my customers. Only a fool thinks unfiltered wine is superior." I'd love to track down that interview to read the rest - What an attitude! :rolleyes:
Hum? well that's pretty much over my head...... ;D

I was just alluding to the practicalities of whether "speed is of the essence"......

I've found/experienced, that if you just try and run a cloudy wine/mead through a filter, it blocks the hell out of it and ends up costing you time/money/effort.

If I'm in a bit of a rush, then I just hit it with finings.

If time's not an issue (as is usually the case), then I just clear it naturally with time, it gets racked a couple or so times and when I can read the text of a newspaper through it, then it's ready for a final (and careful) racking before I run it through my enolmatic/tandem filter combo. I regularly use a 1 micron filter element. If particles are smaller than that, then tough, they stay in the mix.....

I'm not a big fan of finings per se, but there are a couple of processes where I couldn't do without them (not worthy of mention here, it's other elements of home brewing.....)

Hence I just reckon that it's down to mjh to understand the possible pitfalls and then decide.

damn, I hope that doesn't sound rude in anyway..... It's just meant in a shoulder shrugging "well I just....." sort of way.

regards

fatbloke

Brad Dahlhofer
01-31-2010, 12:04 AM
I personally like to fine and filter all my meads. For home-sized batches, I use a Superjet (though the MiniJet would work fine for 5-10 gallons batches), and filter with the #2 filter pads. I've found that if you fine the mead with Sparkolloid, Bentonite, or another fining agent, there's no need to start with the #1 filters. I just am careful to not pickup much sediment until the very end of filtering. I do this by keeping the racking cane held above the sediment by a few inches until I get towards the very end. This will keep your pads from clogging early during the filtering.

I personally think the few dollars for a set of pads are justified by how much more I enjoy getting every drop of mead from my bottles.

Medsen's right. Yeast just tastes bad. It also looks sloppy when sharing your prized home made mead with family and friends.

mjhughes
02-01-2010, 01:49 PM
Thank you all for responding.


I am planning on starting a bunch of mead, I am not sure I will have room or money for all the carboys needed. A buon Vino mini jet is $180USD and the filters are 3.00 USD. My thinking here is that over the long run a filter may be cheaper than carboys + the extra space needed.

The room i keep my supplys in rarely (power outage) changes temp. so that shouldent be a problem.

If someone has used a filter to clean a cloudy mead I.E. I can see my hand through it but I cant read any print. How many filters, time are we talking about?

FYI :Almost all the meads i will be making at 1st will be 5gal traditional sweet meads with as little sulfites and campden as possible. I wand to get a good working knowledge of the honey before adding fruit and spices.

When do you make a decision on if a mead needs fineing agents? I know JOA clears in 2mo but i havent had enough experience with my others yet my oldest mead is 6mo and its still a bit cloudy.

Brad Dahlhofer
02-01-2010, 04:08 PM
Thank you all for responding.

If someone has used a filter to clean a cloudy mead I.E. I can see my hand through it but I cant read any print. How many filters, time are we talking about?


You should be able to do that in one pass with the medium filters. It's about as fast as racking.



When do you make a decision on if a mead needs fineing agents? I know JOA clears in 2mo but i havent had enough experience with my others yet my oldest mead is 6mo and its still a bit cloudy.

I fine all my meads with Sparkolloid. Very efficient.

Medsen Fey
02-01-2010, 04:59 PM
I don't usually worry about fining or filtering until 9-12 months. Prior to that, I just let it sit.

Using a 10 inch cartridge filter, I can run a 5-gallon, totally-cloudy, active fermentation through in one pass.