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aczdreign
08-03-2010, 02:30 PM
Okay, so I've got a batch of plum melomel that's been cold crashing for several weeks now, with pectic enzyme. I haven't seen any signs of clearing at all. I was wondering how long I can expect to wait, and also what would happen if I were to bottle it the way it is now.
Do the pectins stay suspended in the mead, or will my bottles have nasty layers of sediment over time?

I am, at this point, calling this mead a successful experiment, I like the flavors that are blended, it tastes great, I have learned many things from this brew; But I need that carboy and am ready to move on.

All comments appreciated.

wayneb
08-03-2010, 02:44 PM
In my experience, eventually almost all meads will clear. If pectins are your problem then eventually the pectic enzyme will clear them. However, if the haze is caused by something else (proteins or polysaccharides other than pectin), in most cases that stuff will settle out into a layer of crud on the sides or bottoms of your bottles. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since with careful decanting you can still pour off a clear mead.

aczdreign
08-03-2010, 02:52 PM
The melomel is made from Plum, Rosehips, and Lemon balm. The plums were the only solids to go into the fermenter.
I've been told, I think it may have been Medsen, that plums are high in pectin and that I should have added pectic enzymes at the start. I didn't realize this at the time, so I added the enzyme into the cold crash phase.

I don't know enough about the other types of haze to be able to make an educated guess of my own, what would cause them?

capoeirista13
08-03-2010, 02:57 PM
Just some notes about pectin and pectic enzyme
1.) Pectic enzyme works best at lukewarm to cold temperatures. It is most effective at ~60 (some sources will say 65) degrees F and below. Above 100 degrees F it becomes innefective. This is something to keep in mind when adding the enzyme.
2.) Pectin works many times fast in a non-alcoholic solution than it does in an alcoholic solution. Alcohol also seems to, from personal experience, reduce the overall effectiveness of pectic enzyme.
3.) If you haven't used pectic enzyme before, you may not know what pectin looks like when it separates. Pectin will separate from the solution and sink much like when yeast flocculates. The difference, however, is that when yeast settles it becomes compact and solidifies to some extent. Pectin, on the other hand, is light and looks 'fluffy.' When agitated the pectin will temporarily disappear back into the solution but will also resettle quickly.
4.) Pectic enzyme will not help clear any haze caused by honey.
5.) Contrary to popular belief, pectic enzyme (and therefore the presence of pectin) has an effect on more than appearance. It also affects flavor and mouthfeel and seems to have a slight effect on fermentation rate.

Medsen Fey
08-03-2010, 03:16 PM
Just some notes about pectin and pectic enzyme
1.) Pectic enzyme works best at lukewarm to cold temperatures. It is most effective at ~60 (some sources will say 65) degrees F and below. Above 100 degrees F it becomes innefective.

Actually the optimal temperature for many pectinase enzymes (there are a whole family of them) is around 50 CELSIUS (122 F). Their activity is minimal in the cold, so if you add pectic enzyme to a batch and stick it in the fridge it won't clear.

I would suggest taking your batch out and letting it sit at room temp. If you did not add 2-3 times the usual recommended dose, I'd add more now. However, I wouldn't do this unless I tested to confirm the presence of pectin haze (using methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol).

capoeirista13
08-03-2010, 03:19 PM
yeah my bad it is celsius

aczdreign
08-03-2010, 03:20 PM
Actually the optimal temperature for many pectinase enzymes (there are a whole family of them) is around 50 CELSIUS (122 F). Their activity is minimal in the cold, so if you add pectic enzyme to a batch and stick it in the fridge it won't clear.

I would suggest taking your batch out and letting it sit at room temp. If you did not add 2-3 times the usual recommended dose, I'd add more now. However, I wouldn't do this unless I tested to confirm the presence of pectin haze (using methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol).

Wow. Lol, I wish I had known that about the higher temp, I've wasted a lto of time in the refrigerator! lol
I'll go take it out now and give it more time, I have noticed that the topmost portion looks like it might have cleared just a tiny bit, but that could just be my imagination.

Also, I did test for pectins using 91% isopropyl alcohol, and it took some time, but I did have little gray blobby things suspended in the liquid.

aczdreign
08-03-2010, 07:33 PM
What does this stuff look like when it starts to work?
I just opened my mead closet and had a look, and I definately see a layer on the top, about 1/4-1/2 inch that is much clearer than the mead below. I tried to take a picture fo it with my camera but I couldn't get the lighting right.
It also looks like the liquid is higher up in the neck of the carboy than it was when I took it out of the fridge...

Medsen Fey
08-03-2010, 08:37 PM
What does this stuff look like when it starts to work?


Like very slow clearing.

AToE
08-04-2010, 02:07 AM
You'll think nothing is happening from my experience, then wake up to weird fluffy goop sediment and a clearer mead.

wayneb
08-04-2010, 09:41 AM
From your description, it sounds like it is working. The clearing appears to start from the top, since the heavier stuff that causes the haze slowly settles to the bottom. Give it a week or so longer, and you should have a mostly clear mead.

aczdreign
08-04-2010, 05:58 PM
You'll think nothing is happening from my experience, then wake up to weird fluffy goop sediment and a clearer mead.


From your description, it sounds like it is working. The clearing appears to start from the top, since the heavier stuff that causes the haze slowly settles to the bottom. Give it a week or so longer, and you should have a mostly clear mead.

Thanks a lot guys. I really hope this stuff clears up, because after tasting it, I am convinced that it is the best fermented beverage that I've ever made.
I would hate to have to explain to folks that I give it to, "Ya well, its cloudy and ugly, but hey it tastes good!"