I'm normally a beer brewer but I've been experimenting with things like hard cider and lemonade (I also have some Arizona iced tea that I fermented, just to see what happened). Most recently I made a 1 gallon batch of mead. The recipe is very simple:
3 lbs of unprocessed clover honey
a bit shy of 1 gallon of water (~1 gallon with honey)
1 satchet of lavlin EC-1118 (with yeast starter)
1 tsp of yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp of yeast energizer
Basically, as simple a mead as you can possibly make.
The starter was a cup and a half of water with a few generous spoon fulls of the honey. I added yeast to that and gave it a swirl every time I walked by my desk. Only left it for about a day before pitching, but a gallon of must probably doesn't even need a starter. I figure this is my first mead and I hear honey is hard to ferment, so why take chances?
So I did the brewing and everything, put it in the fermentor, a 1 gallon glass carboy, let it do its things, no problems. OG was 1.080 at about 100 degrees, which I believe calculates to 1.086. Fermentation started just a couple hours after pitching, which the starter definitely helped. After that first aggressive, who's-your-daddy fermentation period (1 week), I take a gravity reading. It's at 1.000! I thought this was hard to believe so i stirred the whole thing up real well (it was still quite cloudy) and took another reading. Still 1.000, so I guess that's right.
It starts to get clear in a matter of couple days and the yeast cake is very definite. At this point I siphon into secondary and take a reading, which is a little lower than 1.000, I think .999. After racking I add some potassium sorbate so the yeast doesn't repopulate.
It's been another week and looks great. I took a little taste today and it tastes like straight up bread. Smells yeasty too, but the flavor is just disgusting. I know, it's been only 2 weeks and 2 days since brew day, but I'm wondering if maybe sparkolloid or some other clearing agent would be a good idea. I have zero experience with any of these chemicals.
So my question is, which one should I use? do I need one? what else could do it? or should I just let it sit a couple months? I adapted this recipe from a short mead recipe designed to take a month.
Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!