PDA

View Full Version : clears too early?



hedgehog
03-03-2005, 10:41 PM
Ok, its time for me to ask another stupid question.
When a mead clears by itself, is it trying to hint that it is done?? Even if it definately HAS NOT had time to finish fermenting?? Or is this a hint that the yeast ran outta nutrients??
I am asking because my mead batch A from my "majorly unscientific molasses test" is clear enough to read newsprint through it. The short version of the details go as follows: 1/2 gallon batch, 71B yeast, S.G: 1.100, "clover honey" with molasses added, no nutrient. The fermentation kicked off well, slowed somewhat in the first two weeks and is now almost silent. (1 glug every two hours or so, no bubbles visible inside the bottle) There is a decent sized pile of lees on the bottom, about 3/4inch deep. I was planning on checking and racking it, but the mead is quite clear. The fermentation lock doesn't have any specific smell, just beside the vodka thats in it. The mead/must does have a reddish tint to it, but it is tranparent.(think filtered cranberry juice). I pitched this batch back on Feb 12, and so my calendar says its definately not done. But the mead is clearing..
I am thinking that the yeast might have run outta nutrients and died off. But would a mead clear if the yeast ran out of nutrients? or would they stay suspended and hang around??
I am split on what to do with this batch.. part of me wants to toss in some nutrient or raisins and see what happens. (which would kinda finish up the test and kinda be cheating) The other part is considering just letting it sit a little longer then racking to bottles, and tasting/testing in the process.
I would appreciate hearing any comments you all might have.
hedgehog

Oskaar
03-03-2005, 11:12 PM
71B Clears pretty quickly in my experience compared to D-47, K1V and others. If it's cleared it's ready to rack. Once you rack it, spin a SG and taste it. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Cheers,

Oskaar

jab
03-04-2005, 01:44 AM
Yup, that was my question, what is the SG.

Dan McFeeley
03-04-2005, 06:22 AM
Ok, its time for me to ask another stupid question.
When a mead clears by itself, is it trying to hint that it is done?? Even if it definately HAS NOT had time to finish fermenting?? Or is this a hint that the yeast ran outta nutrients??

[....]

I pitched this batch back on Feb 12, and so my calendar says its definately not done. But the mead is clearing..

Hello Hedgehog --

The calendar isn't always the best guide for when a mead is finished. I've had a capsimel and a dandelion mead finish out in one week. Perfectly dry, no off flavors. It was simply a fast ferment, with no nutrient starvation (and the capsimel was an all natural fermentation, no additives or nutrients!).

Don't mean to sound like an echo chamber for the previous replies to this thread, but taking a gravity reading is your best indication as to whether or not the fermentation is done. Give it a check and let us know.

Pewter_of_Deodar
03-04-2005, 12:27 PM
Whether a batch is still fermenting is indicated by activity in the trap. If you have bubbles, you have fermenting unless the temperature in the room is rising...

Clearing is only a slightly related issue. Some batches will not clear at all while fermentation is occuring because the rising CO2 carries debris upward until the bubbles burst on the surface. Then the debris sinks again until caught by another bubble. I generally do not have viscious ferments and so some of my batches begin to clear before fermentation is entirely complete. Others do not clear until long after fermentation is over and I have stored them in a cold room for quite some time.

It depends on the yeast more than anything, but also on the honey and fruits used. Some things like white grapes, peaches, and pears are notorious for slow clearing. There are probably others...

Hope this helps,
Pewter

hedgehog
03-09-2005, 11:50 PM
First off,
I want to send a slightly belated thanks to everyone who replied, all good advice and much appreciated. I racked this batch a few days back and spun a gravity reading. The gravity came out to be 1.030. I did not taste this batch yet, as I racked into a smaller container(quite a fight) and wanted to wait a bit. It smelled ok, but since this is only a 1/2 gallon batch starting, I would like some to finish. I also had a minor mishap with some of my bottles, so I didn't want to bottle this batch yet either.. so for now it is snug under an airlock and waiting a bit.

Jmattioli
03-10-2005, 05:36 PM
If you like the taste at 1.030. Sorbate it. That's not a dirty word. Its used in many drinks and food you get from the store. The proper amount won't spoil the taste and it will prevent renewed fermentation.
Just being clear is no guarantee things won't start up when the temperature warms up.
Joe