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Cloudy Mead After Straining/Racking

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l.hansen

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Hi!

I am new to mead. This year I decided to try my hand at brewing a dandelion mead. After I got the mead all set up I had left it off to the side and waited for it to ferment and clear. After it had cleared, I decided to strain out the plant bits and put it into a growler so it could age. However, after straining and racking it into a growler I have noticed that it has become cloudy and after a month has not cleared. I am confused to why it was clear and then went cloudy.

Was it not done fermenting? I went back to the wine making store to get an airlock that fits the growler that its currently in just in case. I also have an apartment that's rather cool and sits around 15C-19C throughout the summer and chillier during the winter. Was the fact that the weather cooled after I was done racking, making my apartment colder, a culprit to it becoming cloudy again? I picked up some bentonite clay just in case that's the trick to clarifying it. However, I am not much bothered by the idea of having a cloudy mead in the end but I am just wanting to make sure that everything is done right.

*** EDIT ***

I just found some photos of my mead before I racked it and compared it to photos of what actual clear mead should look like. Looks like my mead wasn't fully cleared to begin with. Can I throw an airlock back on? Or now that its sat for a month is it too late?

I am so new at this!
 

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Harleybrew32

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how long did it ferment in primary?
put the airlock in it and if you can warm it up a little bit.
let sit for 2 weeks then see how it looks.
cheers
 
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l.hansen

l.hansen

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how long did it ferment in primary?
put the airlock in it and if you can warm it up a little bit.
let sit for 2 weeks then see how it looks.
cheers
My Mead fermented for about 2-3 months. I can't remember the exact count but closer to 2 months. I will put an air lock back in it! Thanks :)
 

Mtrhdltd

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I wouldn't do that. Siphon carefully next time and leave behind the lees and anything else you dont want. You definitely oxidized, and possibly infected your mead. What was your OG, and your FG? You might have enough alcohol to inhibit bacteria but I would drink it soon.
 
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l.hansen

l.hansen

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I wouldn't do that. Siphon carefully next time and leave behind the lees and anything else you dont want. You definitely oxidized, and possibly infected your mead. What was your OG, and your FG? You might have enough alcohol to inhibit bacteria but I would drink it soon.
I read that if its infected it would have fuzzy bits on top? I used a sanitizer for both the cheese cloth and funnel. I was just following the advice of the guy who sold me supplies. I know some sediment from the bottom got in, would that also be a cause for cloudyness? What is OG and FG? I am aware of the words gravity fall but I don't know how to test that. Its sat for over month and hasn't grown any fuzzies... yet.

I was hoping to save it for Winter Solstice but perhaps I will just drink it ASAP. I was curious about its aging flavour but I felt pretty proud with how it tasted fresh out of the bottle because it was my first try.


.... Ok, just to update on this comment I posted. I watched a quick youtube video on gravity fall. OG means original gravity? And then I am assuming FG means finished gravity? I know none of those numbers as I wasn't aware that was something I should have tested for or thought to buy a hydrometer.
 
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Mtrhdltd

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OG is original gravity, how much sugar is present before fermentation. FG is final gravity, how much sugar remains after fermentation. The difference will tell you alcohol content. Infection is simply anything unwanted, and can include many things. You cant sanitize the air in the jars, which you mixed in when straining, also cheese cloth cant really be sanitized as it's very porous. It looks like something may be growing on the surface, but I could be wrong. Mixing the lees, or sediment can cause cloudiness but it should settle back out. If it tastes good then be happy with it. Dont stress too much.
 
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l.hansen

l.hansen

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OG is original gravity, how much sugar is present before fermentation. FG is final gravity, how much sugar remains after fermentation. The difference will tell you alcohol content. Infection is simply anything unwanted, and can include many things. You cant sanitize the air in the jars, which you mixed in when straining, also cheese cloth cant really be sanitized as it's very porous. It looks like something may be growing on the surface, but I could be wrong. Mixing the lees, or sediment can cause cloudiness but it should settle back out. If it tastes good then be happy with it. Dont stress too much.
I think whats on the surface is sediment or possible pollen from the dandelion. It has this silkiness to it that seems like floating sediment. I saw it slowly rising from when I strained it. Now I know, no more cheese cloth. Kind of disappointed that the guy at the shop steered me away from buying the tube for siphoning (which is what I read to do and had intended) as he said that cheese cloth does the same thing and is easier because I made such a small batch of mead (about 2.7 litres).

Do you think it would be safe to leave for Winter Solstice or should I find myself a nice evening in the next couple of weeks to enjoy it?
 

Mtrhdltd

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It should be safe. I only reccomend drinking soon as you said it tastes good now. You might not like it after aging, oxidation does not taste good. It is possible your are right about the stuff on the surface, I haven't used dandelion myself. How much honey did you use?
I typically make 1 gallon meads and use a small autosiphon.
 
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l.hansen

l.hansen

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It should be safe. I only reccomend drinking soon as you said it tastes good now. You might not like it after aging, oxidation does not taste good. It is possible your are right about the stuff on the surface, I haven't used dandelion myself. How much honey did you use?
I typically make 1 gallon meads and use a small autosiphon.
I tried my best creating an adjusted recipe as everything I found on the internet was for 1 Gallon and my fermenting jar (intended for sauerkraut but it worked) was 1.5 litres under a gallon. The yeast calculation was my biggest struggle.

2 1/4 cups of honey
1 1/2 cups of raisins (as I read raisins help feed the yeast)
3gr of yeast.
2 cups of blossoms
tea for tannin
spices
2.5 tbsp of squeezed lemon (I can't remember why I added it but I remember there was a reason)

and then topped off with water until the jar reached a 2.7 litre volume.

I'm reading over my notes right now and I wish I elaborated on my quantity decisions more so I could understand why I chose the numbers in the future. 😅

By my notes, I seem to have understood at the time that you use 1lb (1 1/3 cup) of honey per quart (946 ml) and I think I went up from there to get to my 2.7 litre volume... and that you use roughly 1.2 gr per litre of water for mead?


NEXT TIME I will just buy a gallon jug and that will make things more clear. I will save my fermenting jar for sauerkraut instead of mead.
 

Mtrhdltd

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I think you have enough alcohol to be safe from most infections. I use one quart, around 3 lbs, per gallon, yields around 12%. Lemon was probably for the acid. Raisins are debated about heavily, my favorite recipe uses them. You may check into DAP and fermaid for nutrients. I use liquid yeast so I cant help there, but they will ferment well at a wide pitching rate. I use a 1.4 gallon demi john for primary so that I can rack a full gallon for aging. I'd say your on the right track. Enjoy your mead and dont worry too much.
 

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