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Thread: Milky white sediment at bottom of bottle

  1. Default Milky white sediment at bottom of bottle

    Hello! First time mead maker, and first post on this forum!

    So, with the help of the the local brewery and brewing club, I made my first batch of mead. Everything went as well as could be expected from a newbie and I even got my mead tasted by a mead judge, who pronounced it as "pretty good".

    So, anyway, I have used some kind of shellfish based clarifying agent (chitosan?) and bottled my mead about a week afterwards. It has been more than a week or so since then.

    I have since noticed that my bottles all have a milky white sediment in them. It is mostly on the bottle of the bottle, but there is also some on the sides of the bottle. One is even cloudy all throughout. Does anyone know what it is? What do I do to fix it? How do I save my mead?



  2. #2

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    How old was the Mead when you bottled it?

    chitosan and kielsosol are often used together for clarifying, these are the products that I myself use. You put the Chitosan in and an hour later you mix the Kielsosol with a set amount of water and add that. After 2 weeks I bottle and have never had issues. I always use both products in conjunction as I was instructed so I don't know the outcome of just using Chitosan alone.

    If I had to guess what is now on the bottom of your bottles I would say the week between adding the chemical and bottling wasn't long enough and you are seeing everything (yeast, tannins, protiens and chitosan) continue to fall out of suspension.
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

  3. #3
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    Yeah I'd say that looks a lot like fining agent fluff. Some will compact over time, others tend to stay fluffy. Not sure what yours will do, but you have two options. You can just leave it there (shouldn't do much harm) and pour carefully, or try to rebottle. It's probably best to leave the bottles as they are and go forward. Waiting longer before bottling will allow that stuff to drop out in your carboy instead of your bottles.
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  4. Default

    The mead itself is about 6 months old.

    As for the chitosan and kielsosol, I added them about an hour apart. I bottled the mead about a week afterwards, since my understanding was that it took about 48 hours to do the work. I gave it a week to be sure. Not long enough, I guess.

    I guess I'll have to just re-bottle the mead, since the bottles are meant for wedding some years down the line...

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    Well apart from the sediment, the mead looks marvelous.

    I concur with the others about the possibility of what the sediment is........I've also had some that looked crystal clear, yet some months down the line, sediment has appeared, though as I don't routinely use finings, the sediments have looked different.

    Perhaps someone in the brewing club could loan you a filter ? As it would seem the only sure fire way is "sterile filtration". My filter housing takes a range of cartridge sizes, the finest being 0.25 micron. Your only caveat being that you wouldn't use something that fine on a brew where fruit has been used as it would remove pigmentation and potentially some of the fruit flavouring particles as well.
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    I tend to give fining agents at least two weeks to settle out, though if I have time it's more like two months. A lot of clearing does seem to happen in the first couple days, but other stuff continues to drop out after that as well.

    Be gentle when rebottling. You don't want to get any air into your mead at this point. I would guess your best bet would be to transfer from the bottles to a large container, and from there back into bottles. I know several folks here have done it that way and had things turn out ok.
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    Looks like the yeast fluff and protein that settles out of mead when it has not been cleared.
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  8. #8

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    You could carefully re-bottle the mead as mentioned below. You may also consider enjoying this mead and making another batch for the wedding since you have years. Regardless welcome to the board Pivot.
    - They say hard work never hurts anybody, but why take the chance.

  9. Default

    patience is key when working with mead. After using a clearing agent you definitely want to give it plenty of time. I usually wait 2 to 3 weeks for every particulat to fallout and proceed to bottle or bulk age.

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  10. Default

    Thanks for everyone's help!

    I've decided to try re-bottling. So, I've poured it all out, back into a sanitized carboy to let sit for a month.

    This batch of mead has a certain amount of sentiment attached to it. It is my first batch of mead and it is only about a month or so older than my first born son. The hope is that the mead will hold up and come out okay when he gets married in 20-30 years. So far, everyone I've talked to so far has told me it should not be a problem, so here's to hoping it'll last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pivot View Post
    The hope is that the mead will hold up and come out okay when he gets married in 20-30 years. So far, everyone I've talked to so far has told me it should not be a problem, so here's to hoping it'll last.
    I hate to be a buzz kill, but I've never heard of mead keeping for that long. I considered doing something similar but decided against it because there doesn't seem to be any data/info showing mead can hold up over that long a period.

    Hopefully one of the mazers on this site can contradict me with first-hand evidence...
    "I've never forgotten anything that I can remember."

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    Quote Originally Posted by icedmetal View Post
    I hate to be a buzz kill, but I've never heard of mead keeping for that long. I considered doing something similar but decided against it because there doesn't seem to be any data/info showing mead can hold up over that long a period.

    Hopefully one of the mazers on this site can contradict me with first-hand evidence...
    Erm, gimme another decade or so and I can tell you what 20 year old JAO is like
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by icedmetal View Post
    I hate to be a buzz kill, but I've never heard of mead keeping for that long. I considered doing something similar but decided against it because there doesn't seem to be any data/info showing mead can hold up over that long a period.

    Hopefully one of the mazers on this site can contradict me with first-hand evidence...
    This is just an excerpt of the full article (could not find the whole thing online) but you can at least read part of it at http://www.examiner.com/article/the-...-year-old-mead the excerpt is just 2 out of the 8 55+ year old meads that he tasted on his trip.
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

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    Quote Originally Posted by icedmetal View Post

    Hopefully one of the mazers on this site can contradict me with first-hand evidence...
    I LOVE to be contradictory! (where's that evil grin smiley when I need it)

    I've kept meads literally for multiple decades (I made a mead in 1980 that we thoroughly enjoyed during the millennium celebration) and they can be quite drinkable, even great, after that time.

    The only time I've tasted a mead that was clearly "past prime" it had been kept under less than ideal storage conditions, and had been bottled back in the mid 1960's. We tasted it at the last Mazer Cup and it had been spoiled due to oxidation. Bottom line - don't let your corks go dry, and re-cork every 20 years or so, and traditional meads can likely outlive their creators!
    Na zdrowie!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneb View Post
    I LOVE to be contradictory! (where's that evil grin smiley when I need it)

    I've kept meads literally for multiple decades (I made a mead in 1980 that we thoroughly enjoyed during the millennium celebration) and they can be quite drinkable, even great, after that time.

    The only time I've tasted a mead that was clearly "past prime" it had been kept under less than ideal storage conditions, and had been bottled back in the mid 1960's. We tasted it at the last Mazer Cup and it had been spoiled due to oxidation. Bottom line - don't let your corks go dry, and re-cork every 20 years or so, and traditional meads can likely outlive their creators!
    And I love to be contradicted by those in the know Thanks Wayneb!
    "I've never forgotten anything that I can remember."

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    Some meads can age that long. I recall reading Charlie Papazian tasting some meads that were about 50 years old. A sack strength traditional should be able to do it with good cellaring, but closure type will also be important.

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    Some meads can age that long. I recall reading Charlie Papazian tasting some meads that were about 50 years old. A sack strength traditional should be able to do it with good cellaring, but closure type will also be important.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    excerpts from the article you are referring to are linked in my post from earlier today.
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

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