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stem32
06-17-2004, 12:04 AM
I heard or read somewhere that you can use egg whites to clarify the must. Has anyone ever heard of this? I've got good tasting mead and its ready to bottle, but I don't like the cloudiness of it. I live in a small town in southwest AZ, and a wine supplies store is nonexistent. Is there anything else that I can use to clarify it, I'm scared of salmonella!

Norskersword
06-17-2004, 12:18 AM
I've heard this as well. If you don't want to use egg white, have you thought about ordering online?

You can get 4 gallons worth of Tannin for 95 cents here: http://morebeer.com/

JamesP
06-17-2004, 04:51 AM
Learning from wine, the following gives a good summary
http://home.att.net/~lumeisenman/chapt14.html

(if you have little or no tannin in your mead, then follow the white wine recommendations).

Usually Bentonite, Kieselsol or Sparkalloid are good recommendations, but you need to have a supplier or Home Brew shop to get them from.

ThistyViking
06-17-2004, 02:39 PM
Assuming you have 12% + ABV salmonella might not be a worry..

That being said... i have no advanced microbiological knowledge that your mead would kill it off at 12% ABV if it was present.

Certainly I believe the odds are rather small, I do make home made egnogg with raw eggs at christmass time. though it probably has been known to hit 12% ABV as well (but not always)

No idea how risky it is. (suspect small assuming you keep eggs refrigerated)

JoeM
06-18-2004, 12:54 AM
The chance of contracting salmonella from raw eggs is extreamly small, although not 0. However, there are pasteurized eggs available, and if these are used the chance is in fact 0. As far as clarifying agents, i have experience with bentonite and sparkaloid, neither of which i really like. Bentonite settles out extreamly well and is easy to rack off of, but doesn't always do a satisfactory job of clearing in my opinion. Sparkaloid is just the opposite, it produces some of the clearest most beautifully sparkling meads I've ever seen. However, it does NOT settle out well and is very hard to rack off of. i always end up with a fine dusting of it in the bottles. a lot of people recommend using both bentonite and sparkaloid in the same batch (although not at the same time) as one pulls out particles of one charge and the other pulls out the opposite charge. Mind that if you use them at the same time they will essentially cancel each other out.

Derf
06-18-2004, 01:56 AM
I use bentonite in my primary when I pitch the yeast, and add sparkaloid or some variant later on in the secondary when I stabalize with potasium sorbate. I haven't made much mead this way, but it worked very nicely for my first batch, and it's always worked nicely for wine. I wouldn't know how to go about using egg whites though, and I have no suggestions for stem32 if you can't get to a homebrew store.

stem32
06-23-2004, 04:11 AM
Well thank you all for the info. and thanks for the links. I've done a little more researching on the subject and I think I'm gonna try plain gelatin. It sounds a little safer than egg whites. And if it doesn't work I can just keep it all and drink it myself. ;D Actually the best idea just came from my girlfriend. I'll split the batch in half and try both! I just wanted some good looking mead for the 4th. Thanks again to everybody for your input.

Pewter_of_Deodar
09-27-2004, 02:42 AM
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is that chilling a batch may help it to clarify. I have had friends that had trouble with Pymeth's that used white grapes not clearing that chilled them for 48 hours and saw excellent response. The change in temperature evidently causes the impurities to clump and sediment out...

svaros
09-27-2004, 07:15 PM
Winemakers have been using egg whites for years. The amount is usually about 1 egg white per 5 gallons (whisk the whites a bit and then just dump them in). It is a very gentle fining agent. Gelatin is the opposite extreme. It is one of the more aggressive fining agents. I've been told to stay away from gelatin unless you have a really cloudy product.

So far, I've only had one mead that didn't drop clear, and this was because I didn't wait long enough.