Hi everyone! I hope things are continuing to go well for you all, and if they not, chin up! It’ll get better!
As I sit here waiting for my mead to hang out in secondary fermentation for about 6 weeks, I’ve noticed that it isn’t clearing up nearly as much as my other grape wines have done in the past. Of course, I haven’t added any clarifying agents to the mead, but I do remember in the past my wines have cleared up pretty well on their own if I left them to sit for a similar period of time. I see a lot of sediment at the bottom of the carboy, but the liquid is still very cloudy. Perhaps this is a trait of the mead making process?
Looking around the internet a bit, it seems as though some people are saying to just let the wine sit until its clear? This one guy several years ago on this one thread said he waited months and his mead never cleared. He was told that it might have had something to do with the type of honey that he used, and that the haziness could be related to the proteins and/or pollen in the original honey. I have no idea how much truth there is to that, but I would also wonder whether or not the particular processing technique for the honey would have an effect on how it would perform in the mead. If any of you readers have any insight on this, even if it’s to tell me it’s just an “old wives tale”, do share your experiences!
From what I’m reading, it might be a good idea to rack my mead a couple of times over the next few months and see how that goes? Alternatively, if it’s still not clearing up, it looks like I can do very similar things to what I would do with grape wine in terms of adding clarification agents to the wine to get the job done quicker.
I think what I’ll do is that I will try to just rack it without adding anything, then, if it turns out I need to move before it’s had a chance to clear up on its own, I’ll add bentonite or some other clarifying agent to get the job done quickly so I can move bottled wine instead of a big carboy which would undoubtedly get destroyed knowing my luck!
My name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.
No useful suggestions or anything, but mine’s not clearing either. Mine’s about the same age, and I’m also planning to rack and see if that does anything useful. I’d rather not add a clarifying agent, so I’m going to wait longer to see if anything happens. Fingers crossed for us both!
Started my Mead same time as you. Just racked first time from secondary fermenter. Still very cloudy with lots of sediment. True I’m making Cyser but it’s still Mead. I also make 50 gal. of Hard Cider every year which takes forever to clear (1year no racking) so I’m treating the Mead the same way. I just think "new method, new thinking!”
Meads often improve GREATLY with much aging, like 6 years. Clarifyers are used, often after fermentation has stopped on it’s own, or has been stopped with an agent. They often require as many as 10 rackings. True that different honeys give different clarities due to various chemical makeups, proteins included. Be very patient with mead – you will be glad you did.
Some meads that do not clear well are, in fact, some of the best. I do not encourage "Whole Hive" mead, but it has gotten some rave reviews, and you guessed it – it never clarifies like wine.