View Full Version : Clearing a Plum Melomel

11-15-2015, 10:59 AM
I made a very simple melomel, using wildflower honey and filtered water, no heat method, and not a particularly high OG (1.081), which I fermented completely (SG 1.000) with Wyeast 4632. I then racked it onto about 15 lbs of fresh, chopped plums. It fermented again for a few days. When it was done, I racked it off the fruit into a glass carboy and added some oak spirals while it cleared. When it had the oak character I wanted, which was about five weeks later, I racked again, and added a bentonite slurry, stirring it up several times over the course of a few days, which cleared it some, but not nearly enough. Now I'm suspecting the remaining haze is pectin. I have some pectic enzyme, but I've never used it before. Would it be appropriate now, or is there a better option. Cold crashing? Should I just give it more time? It's been at 55-60 degrees in my basement pretty much since the fruit addition.

Thanks for any advice. I have more details if needed.

11-15-2015, 02:44 PM
I have made a very similar batch twice and have a third under lock and key as we speak. I did not have fresh plums so I used chopped up prunes. I have not used Bentonite post ferment. I did add it up front once in a port style batch. It cleared very nicely.
I have a fridge that I use for cold crashing set just above freezing. It works pretty well to clear things out so I haven't had to use pectinaze for a while now. I have used it to clear pectic haze and it worked pretty well. I think if you can, cold crash it and let it just fall out naturally. If it needs a little help later on, the pectinaze won't have to work so hard if it's already fairly clean.

Hope that helps. It's not a definitive answer, but the best I have to chime in.

11-16-2015, 06:49 PM
I put it in the fridge at 40F. We'll see what happens. I appreciate the input. It tastes wonderful. Just need to get it cleared for a wonderful mead.

11-17-2015, 11:32 AM
IIRC, pectic enzyme should still work in the presence of alcohol, so there's no harm in giving it a shot.

I've had bentonite strip most of the flavour from a couple meads I used it on, so I'm pretty wary about it now. I've had better luck with SuperKleer as the "when you can't wait, and you need this mead to be clear" ingredient.

Time, of course, is generally a good idea regardless.

11-17-2015, 05:32 PM
You're right about the time. I have a mead tasting coming up though and I was hoping this could be included. I haven't experienced the flavor loss to bentonite, but I've heard others have. I'm pretty well stuck with it though because many other clarifying agents are derived from shellfish. Allergies. 😕 I appreciate the feedback. Hoping the cold crash does the trick!

11-19-2015, 10:15 AM
How long should cold crashing take in this situation? It's been a couple of days and I've seen no change at all. How long should I give it in the fridge?

12-04-2015, 01:13 AM
Update. It's been about two weeks. I removed it from the fridge and racked it off the sediment. It had cleared a little bit not nearly enough. I added 1 tsp of the pectic enzyme and mixed. Reading up online I got mixed advice on what temperature the pectic enzyme would work best at and how long it would take to work. I left it out at ambient cellar temp (about 60-63F). Don't see much evidence of clearing. But at this point I'm in for the long haul. How long should this take? Is there any advice specific to the enzyme?

12-04-2015, 03:53 PM
This thread on winepress.us just says don't put it in after fermentation has started.. Luc Volders says he had a blog that showed how the pectic enzyme wouldn't work in the presence of alcohol. But then I see others saying that they added it and it helped, even at the end of fermentation. So...who to believe?