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Kody_Wulfe
03-06-2017, 02:03 AM
Good Afternoon Everyone,

This is a great site and I hope to become an active member....

I have just completed my first two 1 gallon batches of very simple Mead.. they have been racked into carboys and am letting them do their thing...

I do have a couple questions...

Aeration.... I was not aware that you should stir the must for the first few days.. I will do that from now on.. do I really need a Lees stirrer.. or can I use my s/s spoon I use for starting my batches....

Clearing Mead... I have read that Mead will clear over time.. but some batches just wont and there are clarifying agents for sale.. what are peoples thoughts about them?? any suggestions???

Thank you,

Kody

Dadux
03-06-2017, 05:13 AM
Hey Kody! Welcome to the forums
You dont have to buy a lees stirrer, shaking the jug or bucket, or simply using a big spoon to stir for a while will do. Be careful, since when you move the mead the co2 leaves very fast and that may blow the airlock. Using the spoon is more gentle than shaking. Once some co2 has left the vessel you can shake
Also, its best if you degass and areate. Aereate for the first two or three days but degass during all the ferment to help the yeast. The difference is in one you want to add a lot of oxygen so you gotta stir/shake a lot more to clean all the co2 and then some more.

About claryfing, there are a bunch of agents. Most common seem to be bentonite, superkleer and sparkolloid. You dont need to use them. Unless you backsweetened or used fruit it should clear relatively quickly. If you want to use them, the most effective seems to be superkleer because it clears all types of particles in suspension. For the others, some will work for some types of particlrs and some for others. You can understand more here https://winemakermag.com/26-a-clearer-understanding-of-fining-agents
I myself am just new to claryfing agents so i cant say much. Used superkleer on a batch and it cleared amazingly, but got another where it didnt work so well. It is however the best regarded fining agent.

bernardsmith
03-06-2017, 10:11 AM
Hi Kody, (you can't get rid of me!).. most meads (IMO) clear nicely by themselves if given enough time but if you are fermenting fruit (melomels) and you heat the fruit then you may find that any pectins in the fruit set and those don't clear easily. What you may want to do with fruit is , about 12 hours before you pitch the yeast (because alcohol denatures the enzyme) add some pectic enzyme. This will help prevent what is called a pectic haze.

Squatchy
03-06-2017, 10:21 AM
I would suggest you do buy a lee's stirrer. Yeast really do much better if they are aerated during the first 1/3 of the ferment. You can use the stirrer on a drill to create a vortex in the must to saturate O2 into suspension.

If you use bentonite and put it into your must prior to pitching your yeast. It will clear very quickly once your batch is finished fermenting without leaving the metallic taste that is sometimes associated with the use of bentonite. I do this every time and it works great!!!

caduseus
03-06-2017, 10:45 AM
Good Afternoon Everyone,

This is a great site and I hope to become an active member....

I have just completed my first two 1 gallon batches of very simple Mead.. they have been racked into carboys and am letting them do their thing...

I do have a couple questions...

Aeration.... I was not aware that you should stir the must for the first few days.. I will do that from now on.. do I really need a Lees stirrer.. or can I use my s/s spoon I use for starting my batches....

Clearing Mead... I have read that Mead will clear over time.. but some batches just wont and there are clarifying agents for sale.. what are peoples thoughts about them?? any suggestions???

Thank you,

Kody

Yes buy a stirer as it degases better.
I stir very often at first to aerate and then to degas.
To degas without aeration put the stirer at the bottom to avoid air/fluid turbulence at the top.

1) While you only need to aerate the first 2-3 days, you need to degas much longer.
2) one way to help clear the mead faster is NOT to rack once fermentation is done but stir every other day AFTER fermentation is done and all the CO2 has degassed. Continued stirring helps keep the yeast active so they themselves will help clarify the solution. I have been doing 30 days past the end of fermention and it has helped clear but I am considering doing even longer based on advice I received.
3) when you are finally ready to rack cold crash for few days first
4) Add bentonite before pitching yeast as this helps clear. It leaves no taste itself if done before pitching yeast.

Kody_Wulfe
03-06-2017, 10:51 PM
Thank you all for the advice.. what is the difference between degas and aerate?????

Kody

bernardsmith
03-06-2017, 11:12 PM
Degas is all about removing the CO2. You can remove the CO2 without incorporating air into the mead (eg by pulling a vacuum) aeration is all about incorporating air (or oxygen) into the liquid; the air is for the yeast and during the active phase of of fermentation the yeast will take up all the air you provide. Later, the air can spoil the mead (through oxidation ) or by enabling acetobacteria to transform the mead into vinegar.

Squatchy
03-06-2017, 11:25 PM
So with degassing you are not as aggresive. You can stir somewhat vigourously and the gasses will foam up on the top and then dissapate. WHen you aerate, you intentionally do it enough that you are trying to get air churned into the must

Kody_Wulfe
03-07-2017, 02:26 PM
So in the first week, you aerate with some force then after your degas??? All with the same tool...????

and did I read right, that you use Bentonite BEFORE you pitch yeast???? If so how much for one gallon??

Thanks... Learning alot..

Kody

Dadux
03-07-2017, 03:24 PM
So in the first week, you aerate with some force then after your degas??? All with the same tool...????

and did I read right, that you use Bentonite BEFORE you pitch yeast???? If so how much for one gallon??

Thanks... Learning alot..

Kody

Yes, just imagine you have to take the gas that is there (the CO2) before you can introduce the O2 that you want the first days. Not exactly accurate but it does the trick of explaining how it works. After, you dont need the O2, just want to reduce the ammount of CO2.
Bentonite binds with the cells and keeps them in suspension during the ferment. The bentonite falls with the cells, but is pushed up by the CO2 leaving the carboy. This helps the yeast. when the ferment is over it settles better because there is no more CO2 being produced and the bentonite drags the yeast cells fast. I think (but i might be off on this one, someone correct me if im wrong) you add 1/4 of what its recomended for fining (which should be stated in the package)

Kody_Wulfe
03-07-2017, 04:15 PM
I am getting this.. really..HEHEH I did the math.. it would be a little under half a teaspoon of bentonite in a gallon batch.. stir with vengeance a couple times a day for the first week or so.. then degas once per day??? am I finally on the right path?? HEHHHEHE

Kody

caduseus
03-07-2017, 04:54 PM
I am getting this.. really..HEHEH I did the math.. it would be a little under half a teaspoon of bentonite in a gallon batch.. stir with vengeance a couple times a day for the first week or so.. then degas once per day??? am I finally on the right path?? HEHHHEHE

Kody

Yes. I use a drill attached to a stirrer going at half speed. This does a better job than by hand
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064O9C3C/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://smile.amazon.com/Midwest-Brewing-and-Winemaking-Supplies/dp/B0064O8QY8/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1488919993&sr=1-1&keywords=wine+degas
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B007RT8U1S?psc=1