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DCFTW
08-17-2015, 11:06 PM
So while watching that show Vikings on History Chanel I had the thought that it would be pretty awesome to brew my own mead. So I went out and bought a bunch of local wild flower honey and made my own five gallon batch of mead. The recipe I used was bare bone. Honey, yeast, and water. It turned out great and I'm very happy with it.

Then I heard from a guy at my work that you can add ingredients to already made mead to change the taste. I assumed that you had to throw that stuff in there from the beginning but I decided to give it a shot. I took two gallon jugs and added my ingredients. One i put a split vanilla bean and a cinnamon stick in. The other a sliced orange, 3 gloves, a pinch of nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick. Then I topped them off with mead, stuck a stopper and an air lock in them, and set them in the wine cellar. I checked on them tonight after about two weeks and noticed a bunch of cloudy looking stuff at the bottom.

Anybody have any experience with this sort of thing? Is there something I can use to break this stuff down and clarify it? Is it just a cosmetic thing? I'm hoping I didn't just ruin two gallons of good mead. Thanks for any insight y'all can provide.

Squatchy
08-17-2015, 11:51 PM
Your ok. Taste it every few days until you like how it taste. You can then fine it and cold crash it at the same time and then rack of the slime on the bottom

pacman.what
08-18-2015, 01:03 AM
Your ok. Taste it every few days until you like how it taste. You can then fine it and cold crash it at the same time and then rack of the slime on the bottom
That's a relief to hear. The guy I talked to said to let it sit on that stuff for a few months. Does that sound a bit excessive? Also, what do you mean by fining and how long do I need to cold crash it for? Thanks for all your help.

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JayH
08-18-2015, 04:06 AM
Basically let it sit till you like the way it tastes. The fermentation is over, so you're just adding flavor. While 3 Gloves are a bit much, 3 clovers are also an awful lot for just one gallon of mead. So just taste it every little bit till you like it and the rack it again. Fining means to put something in that will cause all of the stuff that makes it look cloudy fall out of suspension. However, once you rack it off your spices, stick the bottles in the fridge for a couple of weeks and you will find that in all likelihood they clear up by themselves.

Cheers
Jay

Stasis
09-01-2015, 08:10 AM
Just to clarify: the cloudy stuff is just fine particles and yeast which are suspended in the mead. By time (sometimes months) they usually settle to the bottom of the fermenter (Sometimes they might need help to settle like cold crashing). This is why the guy you talked to said what he said. However, leaving spices in for a long time could be a mistake.
Tasting every couple of days ensures that the mead is not over-spiced. Listening to the live gotmead show it seems this is common practice even with professional brewers. I would suggest adding spices when a mead is almost drinkable so that the spices don't mellow out again after a year of aging, after which you'd have to add spices again. Racking off spices after days rather than months also ensures the herbs or spices don't impart grassy or astringent flavors (again quoting the show).
If there were nothing added to the mead, then in all probability it would have been ok to rack off the sediment after a couple of months. This is unless there is a lot of sediment, or if the yeast used is particularly bad for aging on the lees.

Squatchy
09-02-2015, 12:22 PM
Some yeast will ruin a batch if you leave it in very long. 71b is bad that way. Rack if as soon as your fermentation is over. Even with other more friendly yeast you still want to rack off the rough lees as soon as it makes sense. The fruit and spices in the rough lees will start to decompose and can lead to off flavors. Once you have done that the finer lees will be ok to leave in your vessel if you want to. You will want to keep that suspended, so a stir every day or every other day is required.

Oskaar wrote an article on the home page here at Got Mead. You can read the scoop there.

Stasis make a great point about adding your spices ect near the end of your ageing time. They will fade as things age. So if you add the stuff after you have stabilized and aged it, you can have a much better idea of the flavor profile.

I had 2 batches that were way way to strong. Cloves for one and the other was vanilla. Both were just terrible. I was surprised how well they tasted 9 months latter. One thing I have not yet learned is,,,, does everything fade in time? Or, is there some things that get more prominent over time.

Stasis
09-03-2015, 11:46 AM
...does everything fade in time? Or, is there some things that get more prominent over time.

I am also extremely curious about that. If spices don't all mellow/age out uniformly then what could once be a balanced mead could age into something which leans towards only those spices which don't mellow

Squatchy
09-03-2015, 02:35 PM
I have a Royal Methligen going and it seems to me the spices are growing stronger as time goes by. I think I will need to add some traditional to it to water down the spice profile some. I have noticed that while things are still young it almost seems like they almost travel on a roller coaster. What I mean is one taste check and it taste such and so. The next taste test seems to have moved over to the other side of the line and then back again latter. Like a wave length.
It also seems like much latter the honey flavor starts to stick it's head out a bit into the mix.

EJM3
09-04-2015, 05:59 PM
Yeah, you loose the honey aroma & flavor for a while, but a bit of aging usually brings it back.

I like to do a method called Sur Lie/Battonage, more on that here at message #17: www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/19823-Another-newbee-s-JAOM
(http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/19823-Another-newbee-s-JAOM)