Clearing times

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Bluespark

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What is the longest it has taken a mead to clear? The shortest?

I have a few different batches started at the end of november 2012. I started by making a traditional mead, then adding flavours in secondary, once divided into separate carboys. Some are almost clear, others are not even starting. I step fed ec1118 to its max tolerance, so this is 18% +. All fruit ones had pectin enzyme added at the beginning of secondary. Here are the types/ clarity:

Hibiscus- very hazy.
Strawberry- 80% clear, just a bit foggy
Vanilla- 80% clear, just a bit foggy
Orange cinnamon- 80% clear, just a bit foggy
Pomegranate- very hazy
Chocolate- extremely cloudy.

Is this normal? These are now 3+ months old, and I was hoping to bottle at 4 ish months, but I will leave it as long as nessesary.
 

JustinCider

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I'm about to use some bentonite to clear up a few wines and meads i have in the same position as yours are. Although i haven't gotten very good instructions to use it yet. As far as i know...you should stabilize and then pitch your pre mixed bentonite and it should be crystal clear in around a week as the clay will bind to all the BS. I wish someone like Fatbloke would respond and tell us his process for using bentonite...I'm guessing he wouldnt use it though. hahahahaa. Just rack for a few more months.
 

Inner10

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I use bentonite in my must, if I want my final product to be absolutely crystal clear and I don't want to wait a year I use Sparkolloid. 48 hours later it's clear.
 

saramc

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Pulled this from Jack Keller's site, Finishing Your Wine page @ http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/finishin.asp

Bentonite is added according to the need for it. That is not a very precise answer, but let me explain. A dose rate of 1-6 grams per gallon is usually desired. The lesser amount is for wines that are almost clear, but a slight, unsightly haze persists. The greater amount is for wines that have real clarity problems. You have to judge the degree of severity yourself, but do not want to use more than necessary as it will impart an "earthiness" to the wine if over-done. The best thing to do is give the wine plenty of time to clarify on its own. I never add bentonite to a wine that hasn't been given six months and three rackings to clear.

Bentonite must be hydrated before being used. Measure out the desired quantity (say, 2 grams). Pour 3/4 cup of boiling water into a small bowl (for 4 grams of bentonite, use 1-1/2 cups of boiling water) and add the bentonite. If you do not have a gram scale, one measured teaspoon of bentonite weighs 5.4 grams. Use a small whisk and mix the bentonite-water into a slurry. Mix for at least two minutes, working out any lumps that form. You want a creamy consistency. Cover and set aside for 24 hours. Do NOT skip this step! The bentonite will settle, so grab the whisk and whip it into a slurry again.

The wine should be recently racked before adding bentonite, as you do not want a lees deposit present when you add the slurry. Sterilize a wooden dowel or glass rod. Remove the airlock from the wine. While slowly adding the bentonite, use the dowel or rod to stir the wine. The bentonite has to be thoroughly mixed with the wine to work, so stir well. Clean the mouth of the secondary to remove any bentonite that may have gotten on it and refit the airlock. Keep the wine at room temperature (moving it into a cold garage will cause some of the bentonite to go back into suspension). The bentonite will attract positively-charged particles as it settles out. When the wine is clear, give it another few days and carefully rack it off the bentonite deposits. A treatment should take no more than two weeks. Bottle at once.
 

MarshmallowBlue

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Ive had some clear in a couple months and one at 5 months that didn't clear because of pectin. But was crystal clear after pectic enzyme addition.
 

biochemedic

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Cysers tend to clear the fastest in my experience (usually crystal clear on their own in 3-4 months), but I've learned this year that it seems to depend on the apple blend...this year my cider source was all green apples (Granny Smith, Gold Rush & Golden Delicious) and it seems to be taking a little longer to clear. The longest to clear is things like cocoa meads...I'm not sure exactly how long it would take naturally, but I know its longer than 2 years! (I eventually got impatient and finally hit it with SuperKleer KC...(twice!)...to get it to clear. I'm expecting to have to do the same with my cocoa bochet I currently have bulk aging....)
 
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Bluespark

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Any one else notice that high abv meads tend to clear slower? My 18% (or a little higher) is taking a lot longer to clear than my lower abv(14%) stuff.
 

Yooper

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Any one else notice that high abv meads tend to clear slower? My 18% (or a little higher) is taking a lot longer to clear than my lower abv(14%) stuff.
No. BUT- I have noticed that certain yeast strains take longer. Maybe you used champagne yeast for the 18%, and montrachet yeast for the 14%, and that's the difference.
 
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Bluespark

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I've used ec1118 for the 18% batch, and lalvin 1122 and d47 for the 14% ones.

The fastest clearing by far is the JAOM's made with bread yeast. Why would bread yeast (and citrus without pectin enzyme) be crystal clear in under 3 months while the ec1118 batches are 4+ months old and still very hazy?
 

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