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AlwaysWaven
06-16-2015, 05:14 PM
Ok, I bottled my first mead and I thought everything was fine. But, last night I was having a swig and noticed something in the bottle. When you swish the bottle around you see a cloud of something moving around. I went to check the other bottles and they all have it. It is a very small amount in each bottle, but each has some in there. Should I have let it it in the secondary container longer before I bottled?

Stasis
06-16-2015, 05:57 PM
Seems some lees have settled in the bottle. Whether or not this is a problem depends on how big these clouds are, what yeast you used and whether or not the mead is clear. If it's clear unless stirred at least there shouldn't be much more settling of lees. Yeast contribute since some meads can benefit from sitting on lees and others don't. If there was any residual sugars in your mead (if you bottled a sweet mead) I'm concerned whether you bottled too soon and maybe you're at risk of the bottles popping their corks or bottle bombs

ScottBehrens
06-16-2015, 06:30 PM
Did you use a clarifier?

AlwaysWaven
06-16-2015, 07:49 PM
It is JAOM and it had cleared.


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bmwr75
06-16-2015, 08:53 PM
My JOAM has the same issue now and it was crystal clear when I bottled it. Don't think it is a problem.

joemirando
06-16-2015, 08:58 PM
I have had the same thing happen to me on several occasions. I find that it takes a lot longer than you think to finally clear.

The first time I racked any mead, I thought that there was no way it could ever get any clearer. So I racked it. And just as happened to you, i saw a fine sediment settle in the bottles after a while. Since then, I have taken to racking several times before bottling. It is especially important to not try to get every last drop off the lees when racking... especially with a JAOM. Using bread yeast gives you light, fluffy sediment that is easily drawn up into your tubing or racking cane which, of course, ends up in the new vessel whether it be the bottle or another carboy.

If you draw from the bottom of the carboy, just above the lees, you will see the fine sediment being drawn up into your tubing or racking cane. It is for this reason that I start siphoning from about an inch below the surface and slowly move the tubing down as the level drops. Then I take the rest and carefully pour it off of the lees into as small a bottle as i can find (a soda/pop bottle with 'feet' works well since the little 'wells' in the bottom serve to let the sediment settle). Tall and narrow is better than wide and short (or even wide and tall), stick it in the refrigerator and let it settle and siphon it into the rest... or drink it and call it 'sampling'. ;)

Joe

AlwaysWaven
06-16-2015, 09:00 PM
How long should it sit in each racking?


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joemirando
06-16-2015, 09:02 PM
Conventional wisdom says 3-4 weeks. I try to wait more than 4.

PitBull
06-17-2015, 09:37 AM
I have had sediment form months after bottling, even in mead/wine that has been fined and then filtered with a one micron nominal filter. It seems especially true for bolder types of honey and red wines.

Here's a link to an article that shows sediment is difficult to avoid: "Understanding Sediment in Wine (https://sontes.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/understanding-sediment-in-wine/)"

Good reading.

fuelish
06-17-2015, 10:45 AM
I started as a homebrewer, so....slight amount of sediment in my bottles doesn't bother me....obviously there will be some in my bottle carbed meads, sometimes there's a bit in my still meads (typically in some melomels, mango especially, it seems), but, am very confident in my methods and hydrometer use that bottle bombs have never ever been an issue here....yet ;) Careful decanting/pouring, the last half oz or so isn't important....it's all good...of course, I doubt few, if any meads have been harmed through extended bulk aging, other than possibly from lax sanitation regimen

bernardsmith
06-17-2015, 01:30 PM
I would think, though, that any sediment in bottles is viewed as a defect in competition as it detracts from appearance

EbonHawk
06-17-2015, 08:29 PM
Ok, I bottled my first mead and I thought everything was fine. But, last night I was having a swig and noticed something in the bottle. When you swish the bottle around you see a cloud of something moving around. I went to check the other bottles and they all have it. It is a very small amount in each bottle, but each has some in there. Should I have let it it in the secondary container longer before I bottled?

I started as a homebrewer, so....slight amount of sediment in my bottles doesn't bother meAmen to that; a little sediment never hurt anybody. If it bothers you, just pour off of it into a glass until it starts to "migrate" off the bottom, then stop pouring. This is all too common in homebrewing beer, so I have bottle-poured and left sediment (well, 98% of it..) behind until it's just habit now, and I frequently wait for commercial brews' sediment to show itself (of course, it never does) because it's such an ingrained habit.

My hat goes off to anyone who can get sediment-free anything that's homemade. More power to ya, I say. It makes no difference that I can tell, in the taste, and any friends who are turned off by it...well, they don't get repeat samples of my brews and meads. :-p

I would be hard pressed to detect it in the final tastings unless it was just a huge amount of it, but I always pour in such a way that it gets left behind. Because, who doesn't like a nice pretty golden mead or cyser, or a crystal clear Irish red ale sitting there in all its glory before I subject it to some metabolism? I'm sure there is no documented case of any harmful effects from a little bit of sediment making it into the glass.


I would think, though, that any sediment in bottles is viewed as a defect in competition as it detracts from appearanceWow...that's....disappointing. I had no idea it was judged negatively (never been to an official tasting or competition). I could see if it was all swirled up into the final product, but judges are a sad and prickly lot if a bit of stuff left behind in the fermentation process is a problem. I suppose it fits, I guess. And just makes me glad that I've never submitted anything in a "proper" competition. Judging from complements I get frequently from my circle of tasters, I'm glad to say that's as far as my brews will probably ever go. I don't need that kind of stress in my hobbies.

I will always be open to trading samples with fellow brewers though. I'm always interested in that next "great and wonderful thing". :-)

JayH
06-18-2015, 03:39 AM
Wow...that's....disappointing. I had no idea it was judged negatively (never been to an official tasting or competition). I could see if it was all swirled up into the final product, but judges are a sad and prickly lot if a bit of stuff left behind in the fermentation process is a problem. I suppose it fits, I guess. And just makes me glad that I've never submitted anything in a "proper" competition. Judging from complements I get frequently from my circle of tasters, I'm glad to say that's as far as my brews will probably ever go. I don't need that kind of stress in my hobbies.

Of your 50 points only 6 go to Appearance. This includes color, clarity, legs, carbonation etc (as appropriate for style). If is just on a little settled out on the bottom, most judges that I know won't take away for it, however at some point (very subjective) it starts to become a problem and some or all of those 6 points are at risk so to speak. If it is so bad it interferes with the flavor or just simple enjoyment of the mead then you may find other points taken of on other parts of the score sheet.

Shelley
06-18-2015, 06:13 AM
I'm in the "don't fuss too much about sediment" camp. Most of the time it hasn't affected the flavor, so it gives my mead some extra proteins. Makes it healthier. (Right? Right??)

But there is a distinct bias towards clear wines and meads, and 6 out of 50 points can mean the difference between one medal or another in some of the competitions. What you can do is sacrifice some half-bottles for absolute clarity. (I bottle in 10-ounce capped bottles, so this is easy.) Decant the top clear half of your mead into your competition bottles, and then re-cap them and let them age again.

The rest, of course, is mead fortified with additional nutrients. Pretty close to medicinal. Save that for your own drinking pleasure... er... health.

EbonHawk
06-19-2015, 01:05 AM
Of your 50 points only 6 go to Appearance. This includes color, clarity, legs, carbonation etc (as appropriate for style). If is just on a little settled out on the bottom, most judges that I know won't take away for it, however at some point (very subjective) it starts to become a problem and some or all of those 6 points are at risk so to speak. If it is so bad it interferes with the flavor or just simple enjoyment of the mead then you may find other points taken of on other parts of the score sheet.Ahh, okay, that's nice to know. *whew* I'd probably be safe then. Glad to know they're not complete fascists about the whole process. That would seriously lower the fun factor of this hobby. There's a zen-like relaxation to finally sitting down with a good bottle of something you've made...then there's that soft, warm, fuzzy feeling that sets in 7 minutes later when it's a particularly smooth yet potent batch of something-or-other. :-)

mannye
06-19-2015, 02:54 PM
I'm guilty of obsessing over clarity. But I don't let it stress me either. I just see getting perfectly clear mead as part of the fun. Even so, it can be amazingly difficult to eliminate precipitation of solids even after you let it sit, rack a few times, add finings, cold crash AND filter! I have a few bottles that have been through all that and yet a year or so later have a very fine layer of almost ethereal sediment. It consists of particles so fine that just the slightest movement gets them up and about.

I suspect it's the 1 micron filter that so far is my smallest one. Wineries do .65 and even .45 which is sterile filtration (I'm oversimplifying perhaps but that's the gist) in addition to other things like flotation (bubbling nitrogen through the must and removing the resulting foam before fermentation). Flotation is supposed to remove compounds that would contribute to oxidation in the finished product. I can't wait to figure out how to make a DIY flotation bucket!!!

But it's fun for me. I can see how making perfectly clear mead can be a pain in the butt to a normal person. I just get such a thrill from seeing the final jewel-like appearance that it's worth all the effort.

Oh and I think I should note that so far it has little or no effect on flavor to go from clear mead to polished mead. Cloudy to clear is a different story. In my experience cloudy mead has a softer mouthfeel and the taste is affected by the yeast. I don't think it's a negative effect just that it does taste different when it's "sort of" clear.


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EJM3
06-20-2015, 11:32 AM
I don't really care about getting all of the last tiny bits of yeast out of my final product, kind of a mini sur lie to my thinking. My experiments with sur lie have all turned out quite tasty, as such I'm pretty much using only yeast that are good for that like D47 (great for the Winters), K1V (Great for the Summers) & RC212 (for berry mels, etc), I avoid 71B as I'm a bit lax and getting things off the lees sometimes.

Also a bit of lees in there really can boost the mouthfeel of thin/watery mead & mels, at least to me anyway. Plus it can add it's own very unique contribution like bready/toasty/yeasty, like a champagne. I made a cyser last year that got put into a couple champagne bottle with 19 grams of honey & one with 4 oak cubes cut in quarters. I've been giving those bottles a thorough frequent shaking according to my battonage schedule, then just once in a while the last couple months. The plain one was sampled a few weeks ago and the verdict was that it was quite good & that the yeast really added something to the Chamcyser (ala: Fred Sanford's Champipple (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCIQ3ywwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DEsr 4MEu20bs&ei=OoeFVa-ZK5b9oQSOqorwDA&usg=AFQjCNEY39ljnJ8MSOcnL7sEZsEkqHBMmQ&sig2=SILhLySf3v1BgA0DxEci-Q&bvm=bv.96339352,d.cGU)). Next up on the chopping block will be the oak aged for when our friends finally get moved in...