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Thread: Mead won't clear

  1. #1

    Default Mead won't clear

    Hello! So I made this 1 gallon batch of mead, and it is done fermenting. I racked it into secondary but it won't clear. Some info: Simple show mead ( just wildflower honey and water) OG: 1.122 used EC-1118 for yeast. FG is around 1.002 or there abouts. Used 1/2 tablesppon of generic yeast nutrient and a 1/2 teaspoon of DAP. I racked it about 2 weeks ago, shaked the carboy with airlock still attached to get c02 out of it. It just won't clear. How do people end up with clear meads that you could read news paper through?

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BeerHog View Post
    Hello! So I made this 1 gallon batch of mead, and it is done fermenting. I racked it into secondary but it won't clear. Some info: Simple show mead ( just wildflower honey and water) OG: 1.122 used EC-1118 for yeast. FG is around 1.002 or there abouts. Used 1/2 tablesppon of generic yeast nutrient and a 1/2 teaspoon of DAP. I racked it about 2 weeks ago, shaked the carboy with airlock still attached to get c02 out of it. It just won't clear. How do people end up with clear meads that you could read news paper through?
    You can cold crash it. Put it in the fridge for a week or two.
    In reality 2 weeks is a relatively short time to clear a mead in.

    Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    1) If you stir the lees every other day for 30 days after fermentation the yeast will help you fine it for you-but you must stir at least every other day!
    2) when I stopped adding DAP for nutrient additions this also made fining slightly easier
    3) There are fining agents you can use. Most are grouped into two types: those that remove positive charges and those that take out negative charges. Super kleer offers both in one package but follow instructions.i prefer bentonite plus warm sparkalloid.
    4) For fruit mead involving fruit, then use pectinase

    If you follow all of the above then a cloudy mead should be VERY rare.

  4. #4
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    What Farmboyc said!

    Two weeks is very little time. "A watched jug/carboy never settles/clears!".

    That being said, I've always had good luck with Super-Kleer.

  5. #5
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    Strongly agree. Two weeks in secondary is no time at all if you are looking for a bright clear mead. You may need to wait two or three months for gravity to force the yeast down towards the bottom. And unless you have stirred frequently during active fermentation to degas your mead is likely saturated with CO2. That gas will keep all kinds of particles fully suspended in solution. Remember that half the weight of the fermentables is converted to CO2. If you plug the primary with a bung and airlock most of that CO2 will be forced in to solution. This is one reason why many of us ferment in buckets loosely covered with a cloth.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    Strongly agree. Two weeks in secondary is no time at all if you are looking for a bright clear mead. You may need to wait two or three months for gravity to force the yeast down towards the bottom. And unless you have stirred frequently during active fermentation to degas your mead is likely saturated with CO2. That gas will keep all kinds of particles fully suspended in solution. Remember that half the weight of the fermentables is converted to CO2. If you plug the primary with a bung and airlock most of that CO2 will be forced in to solution. This is one reason why many of us ferment in buckets loosely covered with a cloth.
    Wait so airlock is not necessary? I thought if you donít seal it with airlock youíll get vinegar out of your mead?

  7. #7

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    It is not necessary in primary but is in secondary.
    You still need some form of cloth to keep bugs out.

  8. #8
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    As caduseus implies - but does not make explicit - you are making mead not brewing beer so what folk do when they brew does not always apply when they ferment honey and not grains. Grains (malt) are very susceptible to bacterial infections in ways that sucrose and fructose is not and honey is essentially made up of the latter two sugars, not complex sugars that need to be broken down by enzymes.
    But vinegar does not happen unless several conditions are met. First , the solution is full of alcohol, second, the alcohol is exposed to oxygen and third, the oxygen exposed alcohol is infected by aceto-bacter. Three conditions. But while the yeast is active in your primary it is producing pounds of CO2 and that CO2 is blanketing your mead preventing any O2 from combining with the solution and any aceto-bacter (most often carried by fruit flies) cannot effectively infect your mead WHILE IN THE PRIMARY. Of course, if your meadery is infested with fruit flies you may want to take additional steps to make certain that those flies do not end up (in numbers) in your mead and that may mean that you do need to seal your fermentation vessel...

    Once active fermentation has ceased and the yeast are not producing CO2 then that blanket of gas no longer sits above your mead. And that is when you need to have (past tense) racked your mead into a container with a) no head room and b) sealed with an airlock. Banging home a bung and airlock while the yeast is belching out CO2 is like wearing a belt and suspenders to prevent your pants from falling down. Actually, it is more silly as the airlock will prevent more of the CO2 from escaping and that acidifies the mead (stressing the yeast) and stresses the yeast mechanically as the huge volume of gas now super saturating the mead puts great pressure on the yeast cells. An airlock is used in the secondary. In the primary a clean cloth is all you need.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    As caduseus implies - but does not make explicit - you are making mead not brewing beer so what folk do when they brew does not always apply when they ferment honey and not grains. Grains (malt) are very susceptible to bacterial infections in ways that sucrose and fructose is not and honey is essentially made up of the latter two sugars, not complex sugars that need to be broken down by enzymes.
    But vinegar does not happen unless several conditions are met. First , the solution is full of alcohol, second, the alcohol is exposed to oxygen and third, the oxygen exposed alcohol is infected by aceto-bacter. Three conditions. But while the yeast is active in your primary it is producing pounds of CO2 and that CO2 is blanketing your mead preventing any O2 from combining with the solution and any aceto-bacter (most often carried by fruit flies) cannot effectively infect your mead WHILE IN THE PRIMARY. Of course, if your meadery is infested with fruit flies you may want to take additional steps to make certain that those flies do not end up (in numbers) in your mead and that may mean that you do need to seal your fermentation vessel...

    Once active fermentation has ceased and the yeast are not producing CO2 then that blanket of gas no longer sits above your mead. And that is when you need to have (past tense) racked your mead into a container with a) no head room and b) sealed with an airlock. Banging home a bung and airlock while the yeast is belching out CO2 is like wearing a belt and suspenders to prevent your pants from falling down. Actually, it is more silly as the airlock will prevent more of the CO2 from escaping and that acidifies the mead (stressing the yeast) and stresses the yeast mechanically as the huge volume of gas now super saturating the mead puts great pressure on the yeast cells. An airlock is used in the secondary. In the primary a clean cloth is all you need.
    Thank you for comprehensive answer. I should try to ferment in an open bucket... one follow up question tho... do i rack & airlock once og is steady for 3 consecutive days or is that too late?

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