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nestowa
10-19-2011, 11:16 PM
I have read some posts, but have been told over and over, that I need to give more specifics, as in recipe, etc. I don't have a cold area to crash it.
I don't want dry mead
I (more like my hubby) is worried that it hasn't settled yet.

So, I am making a very basic mead.

should yield 5 gallons of Mead

15# honey (we used 12#blackberry and 3# wildflower)
4 gallons water 1 at room temp. 3 cold in the fridge
2 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 tsp. yeast energizer
2 pkts. Yeast (Lalvin 7lb-1122)

the first hydrometer reading was 1.110 that was the day of creation (9/10/11)
The 2nd hydrometer reading was 1.010 that was 14 days later (9/24/11) day of racking
Because I had it in a 6.7gal carboy, there was about 7inches of air. I didn't know that too much air at the top was bad until I read some posts here, so for that, I thank you!
So, we re-racked to a 5 gallon carboy. There was still 4.5 inches of space at the top, so we put more honey slurry at the top to make it 2.5"
As we re-racked, we took a hydrometer reading it was 1.002.
So, I have a multitude of questions, but the main ones are
1. how long should it take to clear?
2. Should I take a hydrometer reading each week or two until I bottle?
3. is this batch a lost cause?

Soyala_Amaya
10-19-2011, 11:33 PM
Ok, to just answer your questions really fast

1. It's different for every mead. Anywhere from a month or two to a year or two...and some never seem to clear without help. There are several fining agents out there, a quick search will give you plenty of info. But waiting for how long till it clears doesn't give you too much information right now, because, really, at that point, it's just clear. Age has much more to do with taste than clarity, though the two do coincide.

2. Once you have static reading for about a month straight, leave it alone. You're letting happy CO2 out and bad oxygen in. Just watch the levels in your airlock and give it some benign neglect.

3. You had headspace during primary fermentation when your mead was covered by CO@ and burping gas. You racked to a new carboy and got rid of the headspace when primary was done...good job!

You actually want some room during primary because mead had a tendency to explode all over the place if it doesn't have room to bubble bubble toil and trouble. You'll see lots of threads about meadsplosions, don't worry. ESPECIALLY if people aerate and don't leave themselves that headspace and the oxygen makes their fermenting yeast very happy...my recent 3 gal batch in a 5 gal carboy filled up almost to the top with foam when I shook it all around.

You're doing ok...and WELCOME TO GOTMEAD!

Dan McFeeley
10-20-2011, 12:50 PM
As we re-racked, we took a hydrometer reading it was 1.002.

So, I have a multitude of questions, but the main ones are

1. how long should it take to clear?
2. Should I take a hydrometer reading each week or two until I bottle?
3. is this batch a lost cause?

Question 3 -- not a lost cause, not even close.

Question 1 -- YMMV, as in all things honey, it depends. It may clear quickly, it could take several months to a year. The real question is whether the fermentation is finished out. It's a good idea to bulk age this for now, keeping an air lock on it and maintaining sufficient headspace. About two inches maximum is recommended. You can top off with more honey slurry if needed but be aware that adding more honey tends to add more colloidal material, which will add to the clouding. If it really seems done, and even if it's done let it sit for a while (still meads have a way of waking up suddenly), you can try fining with sparkolloid if the cloudiness isn't going away within a reasonable time. Just my opinion, but sparkolloid seems to work best with stubborn haze in mead.

Question 2 -- I wouldn't worry about repeated hydrometer readings if the mead is still, with no visible signs of fermentation activity. Just bulk age as above with air lock, keep an eye on it, in case it wakes up again. A final gravity reading of 1.002 suggests it might.

Hope this is helpful!

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