I started a batch of mead one year ago. It has stopped working but, it has not cleared. What can or should I do?
Name: Bruce T.
Before you can know what to do you have to answer the question: why is the mead still cloudy? There are three things that instantly come to mind as a possibility.
Your Mead Could Still Be Cloudy Because It Is Still Fermenting:
Even though it has been a year, it is still possible for a fermentation to kick back up again. All it takes is some leftover sugar from the original fermentation. There is still yeast in the mead. It is just dormant. The slightest amount of fermentation could be the cause of your mead still being cloudy.
You can determine if the cloudiness is being caused by fermentation by taking a hydrometer reading. If you are getting a reading of .998 or higher on the Specific Gravity scale, then the mead is more than likely fermenting. You need to figure out how to get the fermentation to finish. Then the mead will clear on it’s own once the fermentation is done.
If this is the case, I would suggest going to the article on our website, Top 10 Reasons For Fermentation Failure and see if you can figure our why your are having the long, drawn-out fermentation.
Your Mead Could Still Be Cloudy Because It Has Spoiled:
Wine, mead and even beer can become spoiled from time to time. Bacteria is the main cause, but I have seen many cases where mold spores have taken over a batch. Both bacteria and mold can be airborne and land into a defenseless batch of mead. It can also come from being unsanitary with the equipment the mead comes in contact with. Either way, this could be why your mead is still cloudy.
If the spoilage is so progressed as to cause a cloudiness, you should be able to identify it simply by its odor. A sulfur odor is okay, but if you smell things like sauerkraut, rubber, fingernail polish, any of these would indicate that your mead is possibly infected and has been spoiled. There is nothing you can do to reverse this. It will simply need to be discarded.
Your Mead Could Still Be Cloudy Because It Has A Pectin Haze:
I saved this for last because it is the least likely. If you did not put any fruit in the mead, it is not likely at all, but if you did use fruit, there is a possibility that your mead could be experiencing a pectin haze from the pectin that was in the fruit.
To determine if this is what’s going one, take a quart sample of the mead and add to it a teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Let the mead set for a few days. If the mead clears and creates no sediment in the process, this means you have a pectin haze was the reason your mead was still cloudy. If the mead does not clear at all, or clears, but creates sediment, then you do not have a pectin haze problem.
I do not know which one it is, but I’m fairly certain that one of the above is the answer as to the question: why is my mead still cloudy?
Hope this helps you out.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.