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  1. #1
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    Aug 2005
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    Chandler, Tx
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    Once fermnetation in the glass carboy is complete how long do you leave it alone to let clear up before bottling?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2005
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    Perkasie, PA
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    Depends on the yeast. If it is cool {<60 F} and its been 6 months then you might want to try some type of fining agent. Some mead made without heating the water or using heated fruits will not clear well due to proteins or pectins. The flavor is not usually effected by the haze. Small amounts of tanins from tea, grains, oak chips or grape seeds can also help with clarity. Meads made with soft, low mineral water and a short boil or heating {180 F, 5 min} are invariably crytal clear unless contaminated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Chandler, Tx
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    282

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    It's a blackberry mead. It has been fermenting for 3 months now and has just now died out. I've racked it over 3 or 4 times already to get it off the sediment. It looks really nice but with it being so dark it's hard to say that's it's cleared out and everything has settled. I typically give it 2-3 months after fermentation but even then I sometimes see some sediment in the bottle. Just wondering what the rest of you do.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    Hey Propolis,

    It's hard to put a time line on when it may clear. I've had sediment form in bottles when the mead looked crystal clear at corking.

    As to dark color mead (I make a lot of them), take a sample from the carboy and hold it up to a light blub. The light passing through the glass will tell whether or not it's clear.

    A few I've made, have taken 4 or 5 months to clear.

    Anthony

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    3,076

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    Once fermentation in the glass carboy is complete how long do you leave it alone to let clear up before bottling?
    Three years [img]smile.gif[/img] . Don't be in a hurry to bottle unless you need the carboy for the next batch or you've headspace in the carboy. That said, shining a flashlight thru the carboy should indicate haze even with very dark mead. Think of headlights on a foggy night; you'll see the beam like a light saber, from all the particles reflecting light. Racking doesn't necessarily help clear anything, just gets it off the lees. After a couple months, the lees are usually non-yeasty (proteins, tannins, etc.) and not likely to be detrimental anyway. It's always bugged me how many books say "rack every two months until clear" or something similar. Racking that often IMO just makes less mead in the end .

    Time'll clear most meads. And, as noted above, a little bottle sediment is not a problem and not uncommon. With brambleberries, pectic haze could be an issue... but only an aesthetic one. Gravity + time = clear mead in 95% of hazes. If you check it out, and it's cloudy, and you want to get it clear ASAP, try cooling it down in a fridge ("chillproofing" to the winers; they do it to precipitate out harmless but unsightly tartaric acid crystals so it won't happen later in the bottles) to get suspended stuff to drop out without losing more volume to fining. If that doesn't work go ahead and fine with agent of choice.

    If you're not in a hurry I'd wait. Though many clear meads will throw a sediment in the bottle over time, a mead bottled cloudy is unlikely to clear.

    I just sampled my three-plus-year-old gewurtztraminer pyment ("Gewurtztra-meader", har har) that's been kinda hot at previous samplings. I've left it in a corny keg in a corner of the utility room, not having the heart to discard it quite yet (been there?) and heck if the durn thing hasn't smoothed itsself right out after all! What a relief; bottling it this weekend (along with an orange wine, Spanish Rioja, and a couple bottles of the house Mild Ale for gifts). Anyone else save up bottling day for months ?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #6

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    I have one batch clear now after 2 years. It had started out as a high gravity mead, needed watering down and repitching. Seeing this one go 2 yrs makes me say that time has been the key factor. I think it is safe to say I have never had a mead clear in 2-3 months! My ideas to help speed this up (but I do not do):
    Refrigerate the carboy
    Pay attention to the flocculation characteristics of your yeast.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Skull Valley, Az
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    285

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    As to needing the carboy for the next batch--the prickly pears are big and juicy this time of year.

    Last season I started two batches that were quite riotus at the beginning. They woke up this spring and worked a little more.

    The color is still strong burgandy. I'll need to bottle soon. My goal is to prolong storage and further develop quality of the drink. Trouble is I'll need to sample often....by the time its definitely there--there will be pitiful little left.

    That's why I need the carboys--to start the next batches now.

    Lol
    BBZZZZZ

  8. #8

    Post

    You should bottle when they are stable, not when you need to. It sounds to me like you need more carboys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Hi,
    I'm doing my first batch. As an oversite I didn't take an initial gravity reading till about 40 hrs into fermenting. It is 1.042. Does that sound about right?

    5 gallon batch
    10 pounds Courtland apples in food processor
    4 quarts honey
    Red star pasteur champaign yeast
    pectic enzyme,
    yeast nutrient

    [size="1"][ August 25, 2006, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: MichaelW ][/size]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    So the gravity now, 40 hours in, is 1.042? About right. From the honey alone your OG would've been 1.086 or so. Sounds like it's right on track. That's a lot of apple pulp!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Thanks Ben,

    But now, Help!, Panic!

    At 4 days in the primary fermenter, bubbles have stopped in the airlock and the Gravity is right at 1.00. What gives?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Four days is an awfully fast ferment... has it been hot there? Not impossible by any stretch. Anyway 1.000 would be a finished or very nearly finished mead. Sounds like you've got a fermented mead on your hands [img]smile.gif[/img] .
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Its been in the house at 74-75 F if my thermostat is correct. Feels cooler to me but my wife dosen't think so.

    Finished mead? so would I bottle now? It tastes a bit fizzy/tangy like a heffe-wizen. I could feel my stomach churn with a few sips. Its not very strong in alcholol flavor.

    Should I add more honey and yeast, or rack, or bottle? I used a dark likely Tulip Poplar honey if that makes any difference.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2005
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    Perkasie, PA
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    If you can, place it in a cooler location and wait a few more months. Your yeast is still going strong.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2005
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    By "strong" I mean alive and metabolically active. Even poor flocculators will not create a hazy stomach churner if they are dormant. Cold stabilization will make them die or become dormant.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Thanks Aspera,

    I just racked it into a 6 gallon carboy which is too big, so I'm getting ready to put it in a 5 gallon carboy. The process was pretty much a disaster with lots of opportunity to introduce foreign bacteria an excess oxygen. I got frustrated and squezed juice out of a nylon strainer bag with my hands, restarted the syphon lots of times with my mouth, and cussed a good amount.
    Looks like I need some more equipment too.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: How long for mead to clear

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Thanks Aspera,

    I just racked it into a 6 gallon carboy which is too big, so I'm getting ready to put it in a 5 gallon carboy. The process was pretty much a disaster with lots of opportunity to introduce foreign bacteria an excess oxygen. I got frustrated and squezed juice out of a nylon strainer bag with my hands, restarted the syphon lots of times with my mouth, and cussed a good amount.
    Looks like I need some more equipment too.
    Here it is, eleven years later, and a baby mead maker is looking for help.

    And I stumble across this exact description of my first racking experience with my daughter. "Two chimps trying to do long division."

    I hope you worked it out, sir! lol! (I hope I do, too!)

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