Mead oxidation and clarification

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stefansjs

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Hey folks, I'm making my first mead. I've done a little bit of beer brewing (about 20 batches), so I've got a little bit of understanding about some fundamentals.

One thing that I'm worried about is that I might have really oxidized my mead when I was transferring it to secondary. It was still degassing about 2 months after I pitched yeast when I was transferring to secondary. I made the mistake of letting the siphon stop during transfer and then restarting the siphon while the hose was in the mead. What happened was a lot of foam and degassing all at once. I'm worried that what I also did was really oxidize the mead.

Now it's sitting in secondary for about 2 months so far and it doesn't appear to be dropping clear. It's still quite dark. Did it get dark because it oxidized? Will I be unable to tell when it's clear because of how dark it is? Should I be taking steps to mitigate oxidation? Or assist clarity? I don't usually use fining agents for grape wine or beer and so far it's been fine. But now I'm wondering if I made a mistake that's going to exacerbate these issues?

Thanks folks!
 

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bernardsmith

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Hi stefansjs, Wine (or mead) making is similar to brewing but while it is similar it is not identical. Oxidation in wine , making is a lot like rust on a car. It can take MONTHS not minutes or days. Grain is very susceptible to all kinds of spoilage: If you simply soak wheat berries or barley in water for three days you will have grown an enormous colony of lactobacilli. That does not happen in wine making. Beer is naturally not very acidic. The pH of mead or wine can be close to 3.0. The ABV of most beers are going to be around 3-6%. The ABV of most meads or wine is likely to be 10- 15%. That means that the fermentation will produce POUNDS of CO2 by weight. POUNDS... and if the CO2 is saturating the wine or mead then it will keep in suspension yeast and proteins and all kinds of compounds that will need to fall out of solution for the wine to become bright and clear and THAT takes time. It can take months.
All that said, every variety of honey will finish with a different color. Some finish close to black and others finish golden while still others will finish as pale as a white wine.
Bottom line: Don't worry. Don't fret. You almost certainly have not "oxidized" your mead. Patience. Just let it age until it clears bright.
 
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