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Old 09-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
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Default Define "Clear"

I've heard from everywhere that you should bottle your mead when it is "clear". What exactly does that mean? It seems to be a bit of a subjective measurement. Should it be clear in a glass? Clear through the carboy? Cause my orange blossom mead is a dark orange color and I can't imagine ever being able to see straight through the carboy. But in a glass its very clear and a little yellow color. Is this ready? Or am I waiting for another degree of clear??

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:06 PM   #2
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At some point, you should actually be able to see through an orange blossom honey mead, even in the carboy. How long has this one been done fermenting? If it's been several months, and it tastes good, you could consider hitting it with some finings to finish clearing it if you need the carboy space, otherwise, there's no harm in letting it just age in bulk.

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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Its been done fermenting for at least a month now, maybe a little longer. When I racked it again today I took a gravity read of 1.000. So it's in no danger of starting up again.

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jpcoote View Post
Its been done fermenting for at least a month now, maybe a little longer. When I racked it again today I took a gravity read of 1.000. So it's in no danger of starting up again.
Mead can often finish at .990.

"Clear" means "read a newspaper through it" clear. Even dark red wines can be seen through if held up to the light in a glass, while lighter colored meads are seen through right in the carboy.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:01 AM   #5
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Ok well my mead is perfectly clear in a glass. Should I leave it longer till its clear in the carboy?

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Old 09-16-2012, 12:35 AM   #6
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If this is a pure orange blossom mead, I'd let it be...you could consider racking it, but you won't be harmed by letting it ride for another month or two...

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:53 AM   #7
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The "read a newspaper through it" is valid for traditionals and other relatively light coloured meads, if you have a dark one, or made with fruit, etc then shining a bright torch/flashlight through it normally reveals any suspended sediment.

Of course, there's exceptions. Where it may look clear and gets bottled only to have a sediment a similar colour to the mead drop out later. Which I understand are tannins and sometimes proteins. In a similar way that you sometimes get a slight dark red/purple sediment in the bottom of a red wine.

IMO, its only an issue if you can see it.........

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Old 09-18-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
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Of course, there's exceptions. Where it may look clear and gets bottled only to have a sediment a similar colour to the mead drop out later. Which I understand are tannins and sometimes proteins. In a similar way that you sometimes get a slight dark red/purple sediment in the bottom of a red wine.
Where would tannins come from in a traditional mead?
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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Where would tannins come from in a traditional mead?
Oak....
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:01 PM   #10
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Ok well my mead is perfectly clear in a glass. Should I leave it longer till its clear in the carboy?
I would.

You said fermentation ended a month ago. That's a long time for a beer, but not for mead, wine, etc.
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