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  1. #1

    Question Sediment in botlle

    9/10/11 a group of us started to make our first batch of Mead. I have posted here only a couple of times, but am having another issue that I could not find the answer to on the forums.
    We bottled the Mead on 12/3/11, the carboy was thick so, the mead wasn't clear, but when we poured it into a glass, it did look clear.
    I don't know what happened after that. We bottled it, thru cheesecloth even, but picked up one of the bottles this morning and there is a bunch of sediment in it.
    Can someone please tell me where we went wrong?
    Will the sediment clear by the time it is ready to drink?
    Is this normal?
    Should I just junk the batch because it is bad?
    The fermentation lock had not been bubbling for at least 2 weeks before bottling.
    BTW - hydrometer reading at bottling time was 1.050 if that matters.
    Thank you for the assistance
    Last edited by nestowa; 01-15-2012 at 02:03 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    oh, forgot, we did cold crash before bottling also

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default It won't clear, but it will still be drinkable.

    Quote Originally Posted by nestowa View Post
    9/10/11 a group of us started to make our first batch of Mead. I have posted here only a couple of times, but am having another issue that I could not find the answer to on the forums.
    We bottled the Mead on 12/3/11, the carboy was thick so, the mead wasn't clear, but when we poured it into a glass, it did look clear.
    I don't know what happened after that. We bottled it, thru cheesecloth even, but picked up one of the bottles this morning and there is a bunch of sediment in it.
    Can someone please tell me where we went wrong?
    Will the sediment clear by the time it is ready to drink?
    Is this normal?
    Should I just junk the batch because it is bad?
    The fermentation lock had not been bubbling for at least 2 weeks before bottling.
    BTW - hydrometer reading at bottling time was 1.050 if that matters.
    Thank you for the assistance
    If it didn't look clear in the carboy, then it really wasn't clear enough to bottle, regardless of how it looked in a glass. Even when mead looks clear in the carboy, mead will often drop sediment after its bottled if bottled young.

    Cheesecloth is not nearly fine enough to filter mead as yeast sediment will pass right through it. Yeast sediment needs to be filtered with a 1 micron filter, or better yet, with a 0.5 micron filter.

    In lieu of filtering, using a fining agent and allowing at least 2 weeks (4 weeks is better), will improve the appearance greatly. I generally use both a fining agent and a filter and bottle after 6 to 9 months.

    That being said, the sediment will most likely not affect the flavor of the mead to any great extent. The amount of sediment by weight is extremely small compared to the weight of the mead. After all, how much smoke, by weight, does it take to fill a room with a cloud?

    BTW, is the final gravity actually 1.005? At 1.05, the residual sugar might rot your teeth as you drink it.
    Age improves with mead, even more than mead improves with age.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PitBull View Post

    In lieu of filtering, using a fining agent and allowing at least 2 weeks (4 weeks is better), will improve the appearance greatly. I generally use both a fining agent and a filter and bottle after 6 to 9 months.
    Or you could let it bulk age for about a year to let everything drop.
    “Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime!”

    slàinte mhath

  5. #5
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Default

    Just to add to the answers so far, don't dump it! Sediment in the bottle is one of the smallest "problems" imaginable and by no means warrants trashing an otherwise good mead.

    To echo the others, 3 months of aging is not nearly enough time to let a mead fully clear. In some cases, it can take years for a particular mead to finally be crystal clear.

    So, if it really does bother you, you have a few options. You could cold crash the bottles for a few months to compact the sediment and hopefully drop the bottles clear. Then you could carefully pour each bottle into a new one, taking care not to stir up much sediment.

    Another idea (which you might not like) would be to empty all the bottles back into a carboy for proper bulk aging.

    The only drawback to these is potential oxidation. If you brewed something like JAO, a traditional (just honey, water, yeast and nutrients), or a metheglyn (spiced mead), then the risk is relatively low. If, however, you made something with fruit (citrus excluded for the most part), then the risk of oxidation is higher.
    Find what you like, and hone it to perfection.

    And don't serve dodgy mead!

  6. #6
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    Ottawa, ON
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    Default

    Yes, don't throw it out! I think the only wines I've ever bottled that didn't drop at least a tiny bit of sediment in a few bottles of the batch have been the ones I ran through filtration. The most annoying one though was a year-old clear-looking batch with no sediment dropped after being racked months ago... I bottled it, and within a week it had dropped a bunch of sediment... I'm going to let it sit around for a while to see if it drops anything else, then I'm going to carefully pour each bottle off the sediment into a fresh sanitized bottle.

    I hope you stabilized it if you bottled it at 3 months old with residual sugar, whether it's 1.050 or 1.005. 2 weeks of no bubbling doesn't necessarily mean it's safe to bottle was this 2 weeks of no bubbling before or after you cold crashed?

    If you didn't stabilize it, please refrigerate and then carefully open one of the bottles to make sure it's not cabonated... pour some into a glass, give it a try and if it's fizzy, you want to open all the rest of them ASAP (refrigerate first, it'll keep any eruptions to a minimum) and put back in a carboy to either finish fermenting or be stabilized so you don't get bottle bombs.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmclean View Post
    Or you could let it bulk age for about a year to let everything drop.
    Yes, this is a good solution and I'd like to give it a try some day. Unfortunately, my patience an number of carboys is limited (to six).
    Age improves with mead, even more than mead improves with age.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PitBull View Post
    Yes, this is a good solution and I'd like to give it a try some day. Unfortunately, my patience an number of carboys is limited (to six).
    Only 6? Didn't you just move to a new house with a bigger brewery? I just ended up removing a toilet in the basement for additional space for heavy duty shelving units . I'm up to 10 carboys, and about 13 kegs
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9

    Default

    Never use bubbling as a sign that fermentation has stopped.

    At 1.050 that's still syrupy sweet! I'd be interested in knowing the Original Gravity as well as the yeast used. Unless you started with an extremely high OG I'm willing to bet this isn't finished yet.
    #! /bin/ksh
    export PATH
    CLI=`whoami`
    Signature()
    {for i in $CLI^Jdo^Jecho yes $i my .sig inhales^Jdone}

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlapppy View Post
    Only 6? Didn't you just move to a new house with a bigger brewery? I just ended up removing a toilet in the basement for additional space for heavy duty shelving units . I'm up to 10 carboys, and about 13 kegs
    We moved one week before Christmas. You can't imagine how hectic it was moving, getting the house in order, decorating for Xmas, and then having 21 people for the holiday dinner. We're moved in, but definately not "settled in".

    We do have a nice large basement equipped with an unheated storage room (a.k.a. "wine cellar"). Compared to the postage stamp sized basement we used to have, brewing will be much easier. However, we just started re-arranging the dozens of boxes scattered about the basement from the move. I hope to be up and running again some time in Feb. I'll fill the 6 carboys and then see how much I want to expand.
    Age improves with mead, even more than mead improves with age.

  11. #11

    Default

    thank you all, I am going to get with my friend who I bottled with and see what we are gonna do. thanx for all the help so far. I know I will have LOTS MORE questions.

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