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Thread: Layers in mead

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    459

    Default Layers in mead

    What causes visible layers in mead? I've a 5gall carboy that began in June, I haven't taken a gravity reading
    -waiting on baby #3 to arrive soon
    -waiting on a refractometer to get ordered for me as part of a barter deal

    I racked once, added some more honey and nutrient. Fermentation "appears" to have ceased some weeks ago.

    The main part of the carboy is clear, but the bottom 2 inches or so has a clear stratified mirky layer, and below that the typical settled yeast.

    I did steal an ounce out and it is comming along tastewise. Does the visual layer mean anything? I was going to rack again, but I don't want to sacrifice what appears to be a gallon of haze. Am also wondering if the yeast is still working in 'that layer?'

    Should I chill the carboy to assist settlement? We are about 75F
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    woodbine, MD, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    It's been years since I made mead, but I used to have multi-layers at the bottom of my 5/6 G carboys. I usually bottled that separately after final rack and most of the cloudiness fell out while bottled. Didn't taste quite as well as the other bottles, but it did its job. Had a couple blow up on me in the basement as well. You adding any clarifiers?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    no clarifiers added. Most of the batch is clear. Wondering if the late addition of honey settled, and yeasties are still eating it?
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    Meads stratify pretty easily, especially if straight honey has bee added. I'd gently stir with a sanitized degasser or racking cane to get it mixed in; the yeast won't chew through it as it's likely too osmotically dense.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Townsend, TN
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    I agree with ben......I would rack it off of the bottom thick layer and stirr or shake and then see if the yeast take off again......if they dont your idea of chilling always works really well for me to clarify....even better than any of the clarifying agents I have tried.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,527

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    So Mr. Brewcat, you kinda answered my question on another thread. I can't see layering in a brewbucket, but a stirring isn't harmful neh?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    Well, not during active primary fermentation. After that the oxygen that stirring can introduce will oxidize (stale) mead instead of oxygenate it for the yeast.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    I did not open the carboy, but swirled the whole thing around enough to whirlpool the mead. Seemed to mix the layers up. I'm just glad no one piped up and said some alien creature was going to emerge from the smokey layer and eat all my airlocks.

    We'll see where it settles, then try racking to mix it up.

    Is it work jetting some CO2 into a carboy prior to racking the mead to prevent oxidation? We got into home kegging so now I have that toy...


    Cheers
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Layers in mead

    How many babies did you have to barter with to get a refractometer?

    If you stirred it up you might have to wait a while for it to settle down. I've heard chilling the demijohn down can help. I just let them sit around for a long time, rack from the primary and bottle. Generally this takes a year around here. For ultimate clarity letting them sit in a secondary and settling out will help. Adding chemicals ( ew yuck) can help also.

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