View Full Version : Crystals in Mead?

02-01-2005, 11:21 PM
Howdy, I made a batch of semi-sweet mead with lime. I filtered it through a Buon Vino Fine filter. I did not go through the sterile filter. I've had some a while after it was bottled and it had a very slight fermentation, this was due to not running the mead through the sterile filter. It has now been 2 months of aging. Now I went to give some to a friend tonight and noticed crystals on the bottom. See the pic, hope it's not too big. Anyway, are these sugar crystals or bacteria? They are individual it's not one solid clump. Thanks

P.S. I opened one of the bottles and it didn't smell bad, I didn't try it, will wait until I have some responses.

02-01-2005, 11:41 PM
Heh, well I don't have an answer for you but I just wanted to state that that is a pretty cool picture. I can't imagine what they would be. I suppose sugar could be the culprit. Did you prime before you bottled? Can you give us the recipe you used? That may help in determining the cause.

02-01-2005, 11:58 PM
No priming, it wasn't supposed to be carbonated. Recipe is 15 lbs. raw grade A orange blossom, irish moss, lime juice, Beverage People Mead Nutrient, Lavin 71b Yeast, tartaric acid, malic acid

02-02-2005, 12:15 AM
I am definately not a micro-biologist nor am I am the most knowledgable about mead, so this is just another average person's thoughts.
two possible things come to mind for me.. one is of course sugar(s), because the crystals are extremely well ordered much like snowflakes (with suggests to me that its not a bacteria/fungi, but I am not a microbiologist after all, so it doesn't mean it isn't)..
You mention that the filter was not sterile, but was the filter clean but not sterile(ie new) or not sterile as in it had wine or something run through it before and might have had some parts left in?? (not a criticism, just a question) You mention some fermenting going on after bottling, so it a chance that it picked up some sugar/stuff/tannins/proteins when being filtered, and the crystals are some kinds of precipitate/salt falling out??
Personally I would wonder about the lime juice having something to do with this, since the many times I have used lime juice in cooking, the lime juice does wierd things to my other ingrediants..(makes hazes, etc..)
Sorry that is not too much help, just a few things to think about while you are waiting for the real experts around here to respond.. kinda curious to know what those things are...

02-02-2005, 12:16 AM
In wine, excess tartaric acid settles out as crystals (especially in cool temperatures).

You don't normally get them in mead (because tartaric acid isn't in most mead ingredients).

Tartaric crystals aren't bad for you, they just look bad. The remedy is to Rack off the crystals - it is good to rack off the crystals for white wine because it reduces the acidity of the wine.

I don't know, but probably, since you added tartaric acid.

02-02-2005, 01:19 AM
I second what James said. Looks like acid chrystalization to me.



02-02-2005, 03:29 AM
Thanks for all the replies. To answer a couple of hedges questions. I don't reuse filters all the filters are brand new, but the buon vino filters are called corse, fine and sterile this relates to the microns in which it filters not the condition state of the fitler.

02-02-2005, 08:44 AM
Looks like acid crystals to me. Bacteria wouldnt form structures like that. How big was your batch? I'm just curious as to how many gallons of water your 15 lbs of honey was dissolved in.

02-02-2005, 02:39 PM
5 gallons of water.

02-02-2005, 04:24 PM
How much acid?