View Full Version : Racking early and clarifing.

11-16-2012, 07:01 PM
I made two meads a while back.

The first one was this.

18#'s of wild flower honey from my hives and enough water to make move it up to 5gal. That's it.

Next day I mixed up one packet of Lalvin IVC D-47 yeast per package instructions and 1/2 tsp of WYeast wine nutrient.

Mixed everything up thoroughly making sure to get it well aerated and put it all in a 6gal glass carboy with bubbler.

Starting SG on 9/22 was 1.126.

My goal SG was 1.015-1.020. I checked a couple weeks ago and it was at 1.062 and hasn't really moved from there since.

Now clearly this is not "Done" fermenting, but it's really quite good, IMO. It's nice and sweet and my wife says "It's strong". By my calculations it's only @8.72% ABV.

My question on this one is am I hurting anything by racking this now? Will it retain it's current level of sweetness or will it become unbearably sweet later?

My other one I did was this one.

Started with ~1.5 gals of watermelon juice. All yellow except for one small red I had. 2quarts of mashed strawberries and 3 small limes. Total juices was again ~1.5 gals.

All of the juice was strained thru a #200 screen.

SG of the juice itself was 1.005. I added ~1.5 gals of water. I then added a little over 12#'s of the same honey which brought the SG up to 1.117 with a total volume of ~4gals.

I then added a Campden Tablet let it sit for 24 hours.

I then pitched Red Star Montrachet yeast according to package and added 1/2 tsp nutrients as I did the other recipe.

This one fermented down to about 1.040. I expected it to be very sweet but was not at all. It was very mediciny. By my calculations this one was only at 10.37% ABV. I do not understand why this one was not sweet at all, but none the less it stopped as well and I have already racked it.

This one I added some bentonite to after racking and here is my question.

There's about an inch to 1.5 inches at the top of the mead that is crystal clear. However it has been this way for a couple weeks and the rest does not seem to be clearing at all.

Do I just let it sit or do I rerack and or add more bentonite to it?

Any input would be appreciated.

11-16-2012, 07:26 PM
Sounds like both are stalled out. 1/2 tsp of nutrients is probably not enough for a quick fermentation. If you want that first one to continue fermenting, racking is probably not going to help you there. If you want it to stay where it is, go ahead and rack it. To ensure it doesn't slowly chug along (and these things can go for years...), you might consider stabilizing with sulfite/sorbate.

I haven't used Montrachet myself, but anecdotally this yeast can get medicinal especially when underfed. That flavor should dissipate with time. The lime juice (acid) and yeast off-flavors could be masking some of the sweetness of this one.

How much bentonite did you use? Was it the hot-mix stuff? Patience is generally the best medicine for getting clear mead. Otherwise, you could try adding more bentonite if your dose was small the first time, or try using a different kind of fining agent in case the cloudiness is due to something the bentonite won't pick up.

11-17-2012, 01:51 PM
The one I've already Racked I added a lower amount of the bentonite. I used ~2g per gallon and made a hot mix. Boiled water added it to the bentonite and made a slurry then mixed that with the Mead. I may rerack to pull the stuff that settled out out of the mixture and add another small amount of bentonite.

I think I will also rack the other one even though it is stuck and sweet, I actually like it that way so we'll see how it turns out.