PDA

View Full Version : Troubleshooting - Orange Blossom Mead Clouds When Used as a Topping Mead



schlapppy
11-20-2011, 12:28 AM
I'm not sure I am going to be able to give the exact recipe on this mead. I brewed it 1.5-2 years ago for the purpose of using it as a topping mead. This is a stronger topping mead that finished dry. i keep this mead in a keg, and will use it to top up other batches that are in carboys.

Guess at the recipe:
S.G. 1.120
Yeast - Llavin 1118
Guess at F.G. 1.004

Nothing really special from there. I don't think I used anything to clear it, any nutrients, nor did i back sweeten.

So here's the problem.

There has been a few times (but not every time) when I use this mead to top up with, it seems to instantly cloud the bottom X inches of the carboy that it just topped off. The clairity of the rest of the batch doesn't seem to be effected. The sediment doesn't settle out and drop. it stay suspended even after sitting there for months.

I will take a pic to demonstrate what I'm talking about, and post it here soon.

schlapppy
12-05-2011, 09:19 PM
Attached are the pictures of the meads. Luckily, I did this mead as part of a side by side comparison so I have two batches. The one that was topped up with the mead I save as a topping mead is on the left of the side by side comparison. The other one the sediment looks normal, as I typically expect it.

skunkboy
12-05-2011, 09:37 PM
Is that suspended through the bottom level of the mead, or is it just on the glass? If you disturb the carboy it would probably dance about a bit and then settle down to the bottom...

Chevette Girl
12-05-2011, 10:06 PM
Is that suspended through the bottom level of the mead, or is it just on the glass? If you disturb the carboy it would probably dance about a bit and then settle down to the bottom...

That's exactly what I was thinking... it looks like fluffy floc stuck to the glass.

schlapppy
12-08-2011, 12:31 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think that the sediment is just hanging out on the carboy. I made a small video to test this theory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07V0QIGJCis

This topping mead has done this to me before.. so I'm guessing it is the culprit. Funny thing is.. the topping mead is very clear.

So my guess is... there is something about the mead that I use as a topping mead that must be either postively or negatively charged. You know how some of the clarifiers out there made sediment drop because they are so strongly charged? I'm wondering if the mead I made for topping is similar. Maybe I need to hit the batch with some clairifer.

skunkboy
12-08-2011, 12:41 AM
In the original pictures there was some yeast/sediment on the sides of the glass, which was not evident in the video. I would agree that you are probably pulling something out of one or both meads when you mixed them, I have seen this quiet a bit with some of my older meads when I blended the remains after bottling together as test mixes. I'm not sure what would compact the sediment much more down at the bottom much more than it currently is...

My somewhat lame suggestion would be to rack off the sediment and top it off again...

Chevette Girl
12-08-2011, 12:53 AM
I agree with what skunkboy said, it did look like it was clinging to the sides in the photo, clearly not the case in the video. For some reason it's acting as a flocculant and has caused more stuff to settle out of the mead it was mixed with, they look like nice big fluffy flocs that don't want to compact...

And I just came up with a theory! Maybe it's got charged particles in suspension even though it looks clear, let's say for the sake of example that your topper is positively charged, and if you mix it with other meads that either have no particulate or also are positively charged, nothing exciting happens, but if you mix it with something that's got negatively charged particulate, it causes big fluffy clumps like you're seeing because it's pulling more crap out of suspension than was going to settle naturally?

... maybe all that time spent near settling tanks gave me an idea or two...

THawk
12-08-2011, 02:04 AM
... maybe all that time spent near settling tanks gave me an idea or two...

What do you do that you have to be near settling tanks?

Chevette Girl
12-08-2011, 04:09 AM
Spent a summer making water :)

I worked at the regional drinking water facility as a summer job while getting an environmental engineering degree. Both of these involved using "floc" and "sludge" as honest-to-goodness technical terms. I have seen how Ottawa water is made. I drink it straight from the tap.

schlapppy
12-08-2011, 09:09 AM
Maybe it's got charged particles in suspension even though it looks clear.

Yeah.. that's what I was trying to explain too.. so we're on the same lines of thinking there. I'd be hesitant to hit it with any clarifies to settle this, as the rest of the mead is so damn clear (and after only like 2 months!). Maybe I'll rack the clear mead off, and hit the mead/sediment suspension with bentonite.

Bentonite has a negative electrostatic charge. (Just a fancy word for static electricity)... so if that works.. maybe I'll hit my topping mead with it too, so it can be more neutral base, like what it's supposed to be.

schlapppy
02-10-2012, 08:53 PM
FWIW... I just racked off the mead that looked like sediment. This is going to be an unsolved mystery.