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vk7tpg
12-15-2010, 07:05 PM
Apart from the common method of heating removing the proteins in honey before fermentation and the use finings like bentonite after fermentation has finished, has anyone used proteinase or protease to remove proteins from mead?

wayneb
12-15-2010, 07:31 PM
I have not tried adding any protease enzymes to a traditional mead must (I haven't ever seen the need to - in most cases spent yeast cells bind what little proteins are in the must and drag them to the lees layer as my meads age), but in my melomels I have recently been using a DSM enzyme product called Rapidase, which combines proteases and pectinases to help break down fruit cell walls to extract as much juicy goodness as quickly as possible from that fruit. I find that it does work - I do get greater fruit presence (and much more completely macerated fruit "gunk") once my mels have finished fermentation, than I did before I was using the Rapidase.

Welcome to the "Gotmead," active posters, BTW!! I see that you've been lurking for a while....

vk7tpg
12-16-2010, 01:20 AM
Wayne B.,
I normally don't have any problem with melomels either but this is a hydromel that defies any fining I have used to clear it. Hence the question on the use of protease. Aging hasn't helped either. It is about 2 years old. Will see if I can obtain some rapidase for a trial.

Medsen Fey
12-16-2010, 10:28 AM
The potential problem with proteases, is that they are enzymatic proteins themselves. While I have not tried them in mead, you may be replacing one set of proteins with another.

Perhaps if you provide the details of your recipe and what you've used to try clearing it, folks can come up with some other options.

Endeavor to persevere!
Medsen

vk7tpg
12-20-2010, 02:44 AM
In the reply of wayneb an enzyme called rapidase is mentioned. Is this a protease or a pectinase?
As to Medsen Fay's post the recipe is a standard sack mead recipe in which the honey is a monofloral from the Bursaria spinosa bush found locally in Tasmania, Australia at this time of the year. I didn't heat the honey but used hot water to dissolve it and began fermentation on cooling. I have used bentonite after fermentation with no effect as well as Polyclar VT and even isinglass and whirlfloc. Time hasn't helped solve the problem either.
I have found a source of a suitable protease in Australia and will begin experimentation as soon as I get it.

Medsen Fey
12-20-2010, 09:30 AM
Other options which may be effective include putting it in a refrigerator as the cold increases settling of particulate matter. Filtration would also be an option that might solve the problem immediately without further additives.

wayneb
12-20-2010, 01:10 PM
In the reply of wayneb an enzyme called rapidase is mentioned. Is this a protease or a pectinase?


It is a combination of the two (as I noted in my earlier posting), that is optimized to break down cellular components in fresh grapes, which promotes the fermentation of wine. However, it works well on a variety of different red fruits (in my experience).

I don't think that it would have much effect in an already fermented must, however, as the ethanol denatures the protease component of the mixture. As Medsen noted, proteases are enzymatic proteins themselves, and most proteins denature (in this case they dissociate - break down) in the presence of ethanol or other organic solvents.

I'm interested in the protease that you've selected to experiment with, but from what I know about them in general, I'm not too optimistic that it will clear your mead any more than any of the other treatments that you've tried.

vk7tpg
12-20-2010, 10:34 PM
I'm interested in the protease that you've selected to experiment with, but from what I know about them in general, I'm not too optimistic that it will clear your mead any more than any of the other treatments that you've tried.

The protease has been suggested by a company in Australia called Enzyme Solutions. As to its exact name I am awaiting an email reply from them as to what it is. I have mentioned the conditions of presence of ethanol and a pH mid 3's when I asked about a suitable protease. It may not work but I have tried almost everything else so I haven't a lot to lose as the next step is disposal of the batch.

wayneb
12-21-2010, 11:24 AM
Another thing to consider, is drinking it as-is. There's nothing inherently wrong with a little haze in a mead, especially if a glassful isn't too cloudy. A little haze is certainly not a cause for dumping it! :o If nothing else, it would make a fine addition to a meat marinade!!

vk7tpg
12-22-2010, 06:14 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. Perhaps I was a little hasty in suggesting that disposal was the next step. Could at this point summarize what my original post has found out. Firstly I would say that no-one in the GotMead community has used protease to clear a mead. There is considerable doubt whether it will work. The standard methods for removing proteins from mead seem to work for most people( That is why they are used!) One way to get a clear mead is to use bentonite during the primary fermentation rather than post fermentation. Rapidase too can be used as it is a pectinase and a protease. (As yet I haven't found any reference to Rapidase being a protease from looking at its MSDS and other sources online). Overall it has been an interesting exchange of ideas on the topic. I thank everyone for their input.
By the way I have enough of the mead to marinade meat for the rest of my life or at least a few years!!

wayneb
12-22-2010, 08:01 PM
I stand (or sit) corrected. Digging further into the Rapidase data myself (I've been using Rapidase Maxifruit, which is only one of several enzyme formulations from DSM with the Rapidase moniker), I see that it is just a formulation of pectinases.

Oh, well. That goes to show you that you shouldn't take the word of a sales rep as fully correct. "Trust, but verify..." should be the approach. ;)