Author Topic: Clarifying mead  (Read 7851 times)

Offline beerrat

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Clarifying mead
« on: April 17, 2010, 08:57:08 AM »
Greetings
I have a sweet mead in secondary (glass) for 2 months (was in primary for about 40 days).

It is clearing slowly, wonder what others do to produce clear mead.

I have bentonnite on hand.

I see that sparkalloid was used by the past couple NHC winners.

Regards,

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 10:07:07 AM »
The best mead maker I know (who's leading our mead tasting tomorrow) does a one two punch of Bentonite and Sparkoloid.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 10:43:10 AM »
If you're in a hurry cou van use the clearing agents, and I have used them myself a couple of times...they do the job quite efficently, but you don't really need them.   
I usually just let my meads clear on their own schedule. 
The end product has always been noticeably better that way (to my taste buds, anyway). 
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Offline beerrat

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 04:45:55 PM »
Any suggestion on when and how to apply clarifying agents in a mead.    I've used some in making a wine - same technique of degassing, etc?  Ken Schramm's book does not cover application steps for fining agents - he mentions them, but not how to use.

This seems like a good reference,but looking for other opinions:
http://www.meadmadecomplicated.org/mead_making/chemicals/fining_agents.html

As always, thank you for the valuable input!

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 08:49:17 PM »
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 05:35:17 AM »
Bentonite and then filtering is what I find to be the easiest and best. Or, as others have said, you could just wait for it to clear on its own.
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Offline beerrat

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2010, 03:37:17 PM »
I used bentonite, waited 3 weeks - cleared a little, then racked off, added "Super Kleer".  Mead cleared nicely in 4 days.  I still have to rack off and will continue to age, but pretty tasty mead even now. 

I'm likely to skip the bentonite next time to see if it really did that much.

Thanks all!

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 01:14:18 PM »
First thing I try is sparkalloid.  Second thing I try is Super-Kleer.  Third thing I try is bentonite, then sparkalloid.  That last one takes longer and costs you more lost volume.  If I was less of a cheapskate, I'd probably use super-kleer all the time.

Bentonite and sparkalloid do the negative/positive charge thing, just like super-kleer (a 2-stage fining system).

Sparkalloid tends to be a little more "fluffy" and doesn't settle as compactly.

Tip: do all this warm, if it's not clear in a day or two, put it in a cold place (I use my lagering fridge) and let it sit.

Filtering is very rough on a mead and can strip flavor, color and aroma.  Try to use time first, finings second.
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Offline beerrat

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 10:36:52 AM »
Thanks all.  I just moved the mead to a keg for aging until I have a chance to bottle.  It looks wonderfully clear, a nice honey smell, and tastes dang nice for 6 months old.

I used Super-Kleer and will try that alone next time.  

Offline Dan

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 01:29:18 PM »
If you're in a hurry cou van use the clearing agents, and I have used them myself a couple of times...they do the job quite efficently, but you don't really need them.   
I usually just let my meads clear on their own schedule. 
The end product has always been noticeably better that way (to my taste buds, anyway). 

My co-worker clarifies his mead using the natural method and they always turn out far better than any of the commercial meads that I've tried. He says that it takes a about a year and I don't think I have the ability to not drink it before it's ready.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 01:36:21 PM »
"better than any commercial meads" is a surprisingly low bar...
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline Dan

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 01:46:47 PM »
"better than any commercial meads" is a surprisingly low bar...

Until he started working in our department, I hadn't heard of mead so I'm probably not the best judge either.

Offline beerrat

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2010, 06:19:55 PM »
"better than any commercial meads" is a surprisingly low bar...

Dang - my friends said mine was as good as some of the commercial ones.  Sigh - not quite the compliment I thought ;-)

Looks like time to enter it into some contests for some better feedback!


Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 06:27:45 PM »
True story.  I was with Curt Stock at an International Mead Festival competition a few years back when Curt pulled out some of his meads to share with commercial meadmakers.  You should have seen their faces.  It was like the first time someone looked at a big screen HD TV when all they had seen before was a 13" black & white set with rabbit ears.

I don't remember the exact quote, but to paraphrase one of them basically said "I'm going have to go back and rethink everything."

Yeah, they're that good.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Clarifying mead
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 06:38:14 PM »
We've done a mead tasting for damn near 20 years and consistently we've always found it to be the case that the commercials are bland in comparison. I think it has to do with most of them being acidified and set to be like white wines.
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