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danr
08-27-2013, 03:53 PM
I have a traditional Tupelo Honey mead that I fermented dry and then stabilized and backsweetened to 1.012. It was started 8 months ago with White Labs sweet mead yeast which is very low flocculating. Although it has cleared up some, it has always had minimal lees at racking and remains somewhat cloudy. I attribute this mostly to the strain of yeast, although I understand that there could be some protein haze associated with the backsweetening.

I am thinking that now might be the time to try a fining product like Super-Kleer, but I was wondering if cold crashing might have any positive results even though fermentation has long since stopped. Since my general understanding is that cold crashing causes the yeast to drop by making them temporarily dormant, this does not seem like it would help in my case since there are no active yeast.

joemirando
08-27-2013, 05:21 PM
I have a traditional Tupelo Honey mead that I fermented dry and then stabilized and backsweetened to 1.012. It was started 8 months ago with White Labs sweet mead yeast which is very low flocculating. Although it has cleared up some, it has always had minimal lees at racking and remains somewhat cloudy. I attribute this mostly to the strain of yeast, although I understand that there could be some protein haze associated with the backsweetening.

I am thinking that now might be the time to try a fining product like Super-Kleer, but I was wondering if cold crashing might have any positive results even though fermentation has long since stopped. Since my general understanding is that cold crashing causes the yeast to drop by making them temporarily dormant, this does not seem like it would help in my case since there are no active yeast.

My understanding meshes with yours. I have cold crashed an active fermentation to halt it where I wanted it, and it worked fine, but cold crashing a finished mead that had no lees but was cloudy had no effect whatsoever.

But perhaps, in the words of the prophet Curly...

"Maybe it couldn't hoit! Nyuk nyuk nyuk" ;)

Seriously, if you can afford two weeks to experiment, it might not be a bad idea. It could be that whatever the haze is will drop out or at least thin out in the cold.


Maze on,

Joe

mannye
08-27-2013, 06:58 PM
I don't know exactly why cold crashing makes yeast drop out of suspension, but I do know that a good cold crash should be done BEFORE you add finings and then you rack off the lees into a third stage (assuming you've already racked into a secondary) without moving the thing.

Then, once you've done as much as you can with just settling, you add you finings and wait. Many times you might find that the cold crash was enough.

EDIT... but don't keep it in there too long... If someone with more mead brain than I have could comment... when a beer is cold crashed, you put it in there for about 48 hours or so then rack and use finings... BUT if you leave it in too long you can get a haze caused by the cold! Don't know if mead behaves the same way, but it's food for thought.

Chevette Girl
08-27-2013, 07:15 PM
I don't know exactly why cold crashing makes yeast drop out of suspension, but I do know that a good cold crash should be done BEFORE you add finings and then you rack off the lees into a third stage (assuming you've already racked into a secondary) without moving the thing.

The way it was explained to me is that it reduces the energy of the yeast and makes 'em lie down and go to sleep. I don't know why it works on already dormant yeast but it seems to, when I've racked something that's been done for a long time and put the lees in the fridge, it drops clear in a couple of days. I think Fatbloke does this too.

And actually, you might not want to cold crash and rack off the lees before you add finings. The way fining agents usually work is they make all the small particles stick to something, and the more particles in suspension, the more likely the small ones are to come in contact with something... it's sort of counter-intuitive, the way stir plate experiments which keep the lees mixed in for the whole fermentation often drop out clear because all the tiny particles have been vacuumed up by the bigger ones.

Edit: meads are usually not subject to chill haze the way beers are, something about the malt and the proteins and the unfermentable sugars, I think, but I can't remember the details.

mannye
08-27-2013, 07:20 PM
Edit: meads are usually not subject to chill haze the way beers are, something about the malt and the proteins and the unfermentable sugars, I think, but I can't remember the details.


Yeah from what I've read so far, it seems that there are less protein issues (none at all? don't know) with mead so a chill haze doesn't enter into it... thanks for the "clarification" haha...I make myself laugh with my punnery.

Fisk Jaegaren
08-27-2013, 10:30 PM
Add some KC Superclear, put in closet for few days, stand back and be amazed.

mannye
08-27-2013, 10:56 PM
Add some KC Superclear, put in closet for few days, stand back and be amazed.

There is the voice of experience!:D

danr
08-29-2013, 01:18 AM
Thanks guys (and gal).

When I racked to a 3 gallon carboy for bulk aging, I also filled a 1 gallon jug and some smaller bottles. I am trying cold crashing with one of the smaller bottles to see if it helps at all. In the meantime, I am also going to buy some Super-Kleer. I will post my results.

Dan

danr
09-13-2013, 12:21 AM
Just a quick update:
Cold crashing my already stabilized Tupelo mead did nothing. I have a separate thread - LINK (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=215060#post215060) - where I am tracking my Super Kleer experiment.

Dan

Swordnut
09-15-2013, 10:11 AM
I use cold crash only to clear my mead. My experiences with it are generally very good. I keep it in the fridge at max setting for 2 weeks, by then it's usually still very hazy, to a point where there's not much difference oddly enough. I attribute this to the frequent opening/closing of the fridge stirring it up again though.

After that I take it out, place it somewhere where it won't be looked at and is perfectly silent for 2 weeks. When I peek back after that it's crystal clear. I've done this to 4 batches now with consistent results every time.

From what I understand the yeast goes dormant and this is the main clearing method. For already dead/dormant yeast still suspended, do know that the cold also decreases the molecular activity of the mead. The colder something is, the less the molecules vibrate (basic chemistry). This too could cause the dormant yeast still suspended between previously actively vibrating molecules to now drop down.