How long does it usually take to clear?

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jpcoote

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Quick question from a first time mead maker. I left my mead in primary for about two weeks (mostly because I was out of town) and then racked it a few days ago. About how long should I expect to wait until it clears / should I rack multiple times to help clearing?
 

Arpolis

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On all my meads it was about 2 - 3 months and then they were as clear as they would get. I also keep my mead in a primary for 1 - 2 months too. Racking only once and then siphoning strait to bottle.
 

Homebrew22

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Racking risks infection so the fewer the better. i rack twice. Once to a secondary for a month. Then let it sit for 1-2 more months in another carboy.
Just make sure to use good sanitation habits.
 

MrSweet

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Also, be careful not to agitate the mead too much when you rack so that you reduce the chance that you will oxygenate it.

When you rack (auto-siphon is my preferred tool), cheat the nozzle to the side of the carboy keeping it as close to the bottom/liquid level as possible to avoid any splash.

Also, I would imagine the time it takes to clear would depend on the amount of diffused solids in the honey itself. You can use chemicals to clear it, but personally, I'd rather rely on gravity and patience. My show mead took almost 2 months to clarify to the point it was like a white wine, but the honey I use is unprocessed, straight from the farm.
 
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jpcoote

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Awesome! Thanks for the feedback. Now to try to not drink it all in the next 2 months....
 

Taise

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Depending on what you are making it most likely isn't completely drinkable once it clears. Mead needs time to age and improve the flavor even after it's clear.
 
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jpcoote

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According to the recipe Im using, it should be ready to drink at bottling. But regardless I don't plan on opening any more than one or two of the 24(ish) bottles before at least May.
 

Golddiggie

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Drinking mead too soon is a seriously BAD idea. For anything under 14%, I'd not bottle for at least 8-9 months (don't care what a recipe says, they lie). In the 14-18% range, go 10-14 months before bottling. 18-21%, go 18-24 months before bottling. Above 21% you'll want to go as long as it takes.

The time frames for mead are no where near those for beer you normally brew. Unless you're normally brewing beers in the 14-21%+ range.

BTW, a mead can take several months to become clear. It can take a year, or more, depending on the ingredients and yeast used. I would carefully rack no more than once every 2-5 months. Also, the longer you bulk age it the better. It gives you more time to adjust the batch if needed. Once its in bottles, you're locked into it.
 

huesmann

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Meh. Drink it when you want. It's true, the flavor profile can change, and also true that higher-test batches take longer to age, but if you open a bottle and like it, there's no reason not to drink it and open another.
 

KBentley57

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I started my first mead in the early part of may. It was a 3 lb per gallon with some ginger and brown sugar along the way. It sat in the primary for probably 6 weeks. I've racked 2 times now and its incredibly clear. I'm bulk ageing in the carboys, and I may rack one more time, depending on if it needs it or not
 

Golddiggie

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Drink it once it's bottled, but DON'T rush to bottle it up. Rushing to bottle means you'll also need to stabilize it to prevent fermentation from kicking off again, depending on how it finished. I wouldn't want to come home to corks being pushed out of bottles of mead that were bottled too early.

Besides, with the cost of honey, it's better to not rush it.
 
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jpcoote

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Thanks for all the advice! Im graduating from college in may, and that was actually my inspiration for making mead. I figured what better way to celebrate graduation with a few good friends than with a few bottles of homemade mead. So I'll definitely be opening a few around that time. That said ill still have about twenty bottles left, which I don't plan on touching for a looooooong time :).

I'll also probably try a melomel of some sort in the next month or so, so if anyone has a recipe that they just HAVE to share, I'm all ears :)
 
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