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WikdWaze
08-03-2004, 03:55 PM
I have a LOT of spare time at work which I use to ponder various things. I spent most of last night discussing with myself the problem of clarifying the mead. The biggest problem with fining is that it's all guesswork. You put in one fining agent and it draws a certain amount of residue to the bottom, another agent draws more to the bottom. Too little fining will leave debris floating, too much will create it's own debris cloud. Then it struck me, all the fining agents work the same way, they attract oppositely charged particles into clumps that sink to the bottom. Why not use the exact same technology used in filterless air purifiers to purify mead?

Here's how it would work;

Disassemble two stainless steel kitchen strainers for the screens. Set the carboy of mead on one of the screens, on a non-metallic surface. The other screen would be rolled into a cylinder shape and attached to the bottom of a drilled stopper with a few of the wires protruding through the stopper to provide a connection. Insert the rolled-up screen into the carboy. A cheap battery charger can then be hooked up, one terminal to each screen. Turn the charger on the lowest setting. Theoretically this should be perfect. The electric potential created by the charger would draw charged particles to the screens just like a fining agent would draw particles together. The only difference is that the fining agents are hit-and-miss. It may take days, weeks, even months to get a clear product because you're relying on random chance to cause the agent to bump into the unwanted particulate matter. With the ionic field method the entire volume of mead is exposed to the charge, all the particulate matter would be effected right away. I could easily see this clearing a mead in a matter of hours, if not minutes. There is a bit of a shock hazard, but that just makes life interesting. You'd have to leave the power on when you pulled the screen out of the carboy to make sure none of the residue fell back in the mead.

No reason this shouldn't work as well in liquid as it does in air.

Derf
08-03-2004, 05:23 PM
You try it and let us know how it works.

Oskaar
08-03-2004, 08:22 PM
OK,

Theoretically it sounds like it would work. I would guess that you would have better success by letting gravity assist the fining process by finding a way to get that second screen to the bottom of the carboy.

Otherwise, take a chance . . . Custer did!

Cheers,

Oskaar ::)

WikdWaze
08-04-2004, 12:44 AM
I do believe I will try it. Hope y'all aren't in any big hurry to find out, I haven't even bought a carboy yet to start my batch. Mrs. Wikd always seems to have other plans for my paycheck. I am anxious to get started though.

Norskersword
08-04-2004, 02:31 AM
Or you can just put your batch in the fridge for a few days. That will make it super clear. ;D

You really do have too much time on your hands. You should use your imagination to figure out how to bring back the dead or something. What you are describing sounds a bit like putting your carboy on a rising platform during a thunderstorm shouting "It's alive!" :o

WikdWaze
08-04-2004, 03:44 PM
If my mead starts walking I'll consider the experiment a failure :P

You're absolutely right, I do have way too much time on my hands.

Jmattioli
08-04-2004, 08:40 PM
I have a LOT of spare time at work which I use to ponder various things. I spent most of last night discussing with myself the problem of clarifying the mead. The biggest problem with fining is that it's all guesswork. (snip)
Actually, Clarifying is USUALLY not a problem. Over 90% of the time you don't have to do a thing. It clears by itself WITH TIME and mostly within a few weeks after fermentaion has stopped. When using fruits in a mead it helps to add pectin enzyme and others add grape tannin for some complexity and it also aids in clearing faster. Others use a little refrigeration. Only had to use a fining agent once in over 20 batches and only one fining agent (Sparklaloid) cleared it up in one week. While its true commercial wineries use clarifiers the majority of times, they have their reasons---- it is also true that it is rarely needed with home brewers that have more time to let nature take its course. I would recommend you read "The Compleat MeadMaker" by Ken Schramm before your first batch. You will be glad you did as he covers a lot of territory that will aid in your experimentation and delight with Mead.
Best Wishes in the pursuit of your new hobby,
Joe

JoeM
08-04-2004, 09:57 PM
even if you could create a field potential and seperate out the particles...when you tried the remove the screen cylinder from inside the carboy you would dispurse all the sediment back into the liquid both beucase you would break the field, and becuase the sediment would not form a firm cake that could be moved without being disrupted...thats my theory and i'm sticking to it ;-)

WikdWaze
08-05-2004, 01:04 AM
Actually, Clarifying is USUALLY not a problem. Over 90% of the time you don't have to do a thing. It clears by itself WITH TIME and mostly within a few weeks after fermentaion has stopped.

Absolutely correct, but I am not renowned for my patience. If I can find a way to drink the mead a week or two earlier without adding chemicals, I'm a happy guy.


even if you could create a field potential and seperate out the particles...when you tried the remove the screen cylinder from inside the carboy you would dispurse all the sediment back into the liquid both beucase you would break the field, and becuase the sediment would not form a firm cake that could be moved without being disrupted...thats my theory and i'm sticking to it

Possibly. Whatever is drawn to the bottom grid will stay there thanks to gravity, the top grid may or may not hold on to the sediment as it is pulled out. I'm already considering alternate grid placements, specifically at the sides of the carboy. If the debris could be held at the sides you cold rack the mead all the way to the bottom and get every last drop.

Remember, this is just a theory. I posted it to provoke thought and discussion. It may turn out to be a complete flop, it may turn out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have never been a fan of the status quo. To paraphrase a wise man, take a chance.... Columbus did.

Norskersword
08-05-2004, 02:11 AM
If you try this out I'd love to see pictures. ;D

WikdWaze
08-05-2004, 04:30 PM
If you try this out I'd love to see pictures. ;D

I have the digital camera. All I need now is the honey, yeast, screens, charger, stoppers, airlock, kettle, and a couple carboys. I can say with 100% confidence that I will take a picture of the setup before throwing the switch. I am somewhat less certain there will be anything to take a picture of after I throw the switch.

It looks like I'll be able to start getting my supplies within the next couple weeks. Then what, maybe another three weeks to ferment? Hmmmm, should be ready to throw the switch about Halloween, coincidence? Be out of the hospital in time for Christmas.

Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. As long as I don't ask "what could go wrong?" or say "hey y'all, watch this" when I throw the switch I should be okay.