PDA

View Full Version : Slight sedimentation problem



PitBull
03-09-2010, 01:12 PM
In early September, I made a batch of Peach-Ginger melomel using the fruit-in-the primary method. Even though I added peptic enzyme, the melomel would not clear on its own. I added some Sparkolloid and a week-and-half later, the melomel seemed crystal clear. I sulfited and bottled in early-January, FG = 0.998.

A couple of weeks after bottling, I noticed some sediment in the bottles. I decided to bite the bullet and re-bottle using a Vinbrite Mark III Wine Filter System (gravity flow, painfully slow) with a polishing filter. Again, the bottled melomel looked absolutely clear. I was convinced that the re-bottling was worth the effort. However, I just recently noticed a small amount of sediment in the bottles. Definitely not significant enough to re-bottle, but more than I would like when I give or serve the wine. I am however, quite pleased with the way this young melomel tastes already.

What is causing the sediment to re-occur in wine that looks crystal clear? I’m about to bottle a batch of cyser and do not want the problem to re-occur. I recently purchased a Buon Vino Mini Jet and 6.0, 1.0 and 0.5 micron filters. Any recommendations on filter sizes, e.g., is the 0.5 filter really necessary?

Thanks for any advice that you may have.

Medsen Fey
03-09-2010, 04:56 PM
I've had sediment form after filtering at 0.5 microns. There are some things that are small enough to pass through which then grow bigger over time. As they aggregate and polymerize, they get big enough to drop out. Long aging will eventually cure the problem, but it may take well over 1 year. I think fining with Bentonite helps reduce it as I think it is often related to proteins. Putting it in a fridge often speeds up the process.

Dan McFeeley
03-10-2010, 12:06 PM
I've had the same impression -- proteinaceous colloidal material that settles out of a crystal clear mead over time. I'm not sure if filtering will cure the problem since the dynamics of how these sediments form, or what they form out of, doesn't seem to be known. Ultrafiltration, I think, cures the problem but that's something well beyond a home meadmaker's resources.

--

Medsen Fey
03-10-2010, 01:34 PM
Commercial white-wine makers do finings to eliminate proteins as a matter of routine in most cases. This helps to prevent hazes from developing with temperature increases. The effect of temperature fluctuation may be a significant contributor to this problem. When a batch warms up, some of the proteins may denature, or just change their conformation enough to allow more sites to open up. Then they can aggregate together and subsequently precipitate out (especially when cooling back down). Having a cellar with stable temperature would probably solve some of my issues with this.

Medsen

Nate PT
07-04-2010, 04:11 PM
I just bottled my first batch in beer bottles (just a 1 gallon batch, got 8 bottles, you lose so much racking!). They have been bottled for a week today and I noticed there is some dark sediment at the bottom that comes up when you pick up a bottle. Do you just stop pooring when the yeast is about to come out like with bottle conditioned beer or do you just mix it all up before pooring?

Chevette Girl
07-04-2010, 06:01 PM
Nate, I get the same thing myself, usually because I managed to fumble my racking tube and stirred something up while I was bottling... usually what I do is pour it off the sediment, using a carafe might help with this, the more times you slosh it back the more it will get stirred up... if it was too good a wine to leave the dregs behind, I save the last glass for myself so nobody else gets the crud... The nice thing if you only want a glass or two is that often the particles are large enough that they'll settle out again in a day or so, so you're good by the next time you want to pour...

Tannin Boy
07-04-2010, 07:45 PM
Nate, I get the same thing myself, usually because I managed to fumble my racking tube and stirred something up while I was bottling... usually what I do is pour it off the sediment, using a carafe might help with this, the more times you slosh it back the more it will get stirred up... if it was too good a wine to leave the dregs behind, I save the last glass for myself so nobody else gets the crud... The nice thing if you only want a glass or two is that often the particles are large enough that they'll settle out again in a day or so, so you're good by the next time you want to pour...
Nate,

I will ditto that too.

If you store the bottles upright then less lee's
will move into the clear wine. I find mead to be a
bit less than cider as to the infiltration of lee's into the
clear wine. The sediment is much more dense with mead than
cider...My 2 cents worth anyways...

If the floating lee's is displeasing as I find it to be, then just
shake it all together for a bit of haze and no harm done...

AToE
07-04-2010, 11:37 PM
Not pour out the yeast with bottle conditioned beer?!?!?! But that's what makes it extra good!

With sedimented mead I just give up and let it mix in (I store them horizontally anyways so it's impossible for it to not mix in).

Chevette Girl
07-05-2010, 12:24 AM
If you store the bottles upright then less lee's
will move into the clear wine.

I store mine on their sides (recommended if you use corks so they don't dry out) but if I exercise a little foresight, I'll take my selected bottle and gently invert it once to get any loose crud off the sides, then stand it upright till I want to use it, whatever hasn't settled out in the time before I pop the cork can just darn well stay in the wine.

Tannin Boy
07-05-2010, 06:05 AM
I store mine on their sides (recommended if you use corks so they don't dry out) but if I exercise a little foresight, I'll take my selected bottle and gently invert it once to get any loose crud off the sides, then stand it upright till I want to use it, whatever hasn't settled out in the time before I pop the cork can just darn well stay in the wine.
CG,
Good Point!
I had forgot to mention a day or two before you serve.
As a newbie I used 350ml. ( CLEAR ) :( bottles????
I had hoped the color would show through nicely, but all I
could focus on was the sludge. I have used a finning agent
on a recent batch, and it does remove quite a bit, still leaves
a lot in suspension. I placed another batch into the fridge just
to see the effects this would bring to the table..So far I am not
impressed with this either. I have just finished bottling 100 liters
of wine that sat in the oak barrel for 6 months and it was perfect!
I am leaning towards a conical fermenter for the mead to let it sit
and eliminate the need for racking. That is the least of my pleasures
in the process of mead and cider making.

Chevette Girl
07-06-2010, 12:45 PM
Tannin Boy,

I agree, I just tried a 350 ml bottle of Mulled Cranberry Wine that I bottled 2 years ago and the whole side of the bottle is cruddy from neck to bottom. Worth it for the taste though, turned out like mulled sherry, and most of it stayed put on the bottle and didn't end up in the glass.