Yeastcake and clearing issues ?

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Jokester

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I started the 2nd batch of mead on top of the yeast cake from my first batch that actually fermented so clean and cleared so fast, I was amazed/shocked/surprised etc etc.
Then after 5 days of Tosna feeding it, I left the country for 8 weeks setting the house at 55. TBH, it stayed in the high 50-mid 60's that whole time.
This mead (11lb honey in 5 gal) has fermented to under 1.00 and tastes absolutely drop dead delicious but is not clearing.
Is the yeast cake a factor for not clearing ? I've put it in the secondary and still no clearing even 2 weeks of keeping it over 70F.
I am using Voss Kveik yeast and tea and raisins as nutrient in the primary.
 

CKuhns

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"Is the yeast cake the reason for not clearing? "

Could be but likely it is not. Most of the Kveik yeasts floculate out pretty well. I would rack it to get it off the Lees.

If the flavor is good there is nothing wrong with a cloudy mead. (I personally prefer a crystal clear mead. I think it tastes better than most cloudy ones and it just looks nice in the glass.)

If you want to clear it up:
- Time - Rack it off the Lees and give it a few months. The side benefit is it will degass out the entrained CO2 and improve the flavor.
- If you just do not want to wait - Rack it off the Lees and cold crash for 3 to 5 days.
- If that doesnt work add a fining agent. I prefer KC Supe Kleer 2 pouch system. Wait 3 to 5 days and rack.
- In this case these likely will do the trick.

Note
There are a number of reasons a mead does not clear.
- Its not done fermenting. Not the case if your at 1.00? For more than a few weeks without it changing.
- Negative, Posative or Neutrally charged particles or a combination suspended in your mead. Fining agents could be added. I prefer KC Super Kleer for the Neg and Pos but there are many other fining agents out there that work too. The Neutrally charged (or technically not charged particles) just take time. But cold crashing does help immensely.
- Pectin Haze from fruit can be corrected with pectic Enzyme. (Not likely unless you added fruit.)
- Honey haze, usually from the protien in raw honey. Icing glass or bentonite seems to work the best. But again a kit likely would not have used raw honey.
 
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Jokester

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I added raisins and tea as nutrient right at the start in the primary.
I am thinking I will rack it off in a few days and cold crash and freeze concentrate this batch.
That also would let me clean out this jar because the whole bottle 1 5gal, transfer another 5 gal to secondary, and start a 3rd 5 gal batch I did last time ~8 days ago was a little much. I'll do better splitting it to 2 different days.
 
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Jokester

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Oh I just found out, even an 8% mead can finish well under 1.00. I really should be shooting for .995 or even under that. This one already near 10% and really needs to drop further. But, it just tastes so very very good. I am even reluctant to freeze concentrate it for fear of ruining that flavor profile. Really it tastes like honey, without the sweetness - hard to describe any other way. Delicious. And I'm really stuck. Maybe straight to bottle, and it will likely sediment and clear atleast partially and by the time I get around to drinking/gifting it, it will have to be chilled, which causes a cold crash anyway. Real dilema.
 

CKuhns

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Not really a dilemma. Store it upright, and decant slowly and carefully. If you do it well you only lose about an ounce.

My adult son's prefer to just pour it hard and get a slight yeast flavor with some of my meads.
 
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The dilema was to freeze concentrate it or to not. I wasn't going to add anything to help clear it. I'm only doing a 50% freeze concentration so I would think all the flavor will be preserved. Anyway I'm waiting 2-3 days atleast till I can start drinking the previous batch.
 
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No worries.
I also have in the past preferred to stir up the lees. Its the hefeweizen habit. I also have friends who do that. I sort of had to grow out of it.
Since the previous batch went clear so rapidly when it was done, literally on day 22 it was cloudy and 24 hrs later it was clear, I am looking to it clearing for validation. Hopefully it will cold crash and freeze concentrate well and turn out great.
TBH, the non clearing batch tastes better than the cleared batch.
 
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I freeze concentrated ~1.5 gal to ~3/4 gal. So something near 20% is the hope. This wont freeze. I have tried already, it doesn't even turn to a gel like substance. It has a few icicles form and that seems to be it in 24 hrs in a 0F freezer.
I started with something that may have been 11-12%. It didn't really clear in the process either. But, OMG, did it preserve the flavor - Oh yea big huge YES, and the thing is such a warming drink.
So my next question is - how to drink it, drink it warm like brandy, or room temp or cold. And how is it so warming even when drank cold. And in a way the mead that cleared, and I bottled etc, I have more freedom to let it bottle condition for longer. Its now day 10 and no mishaps with bottle bombs.
I cant even believe I have 3/4 gal of this, its so good, and I have near 3.5 gal more with 1 gal in the fridge cold crashing and ~2.5 gal freezing, OMG is it an abundance of riches.
Now are mead hangovers as bad as red wine hangovers ?? Cos if I freeze today working on my friends bike, I'm gonna get home and explore the answers to that question.
 
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And even after imbibing to unconsciousness - the next morning was all sunshine and roses.
However I also should say it snuck up on me when drinking.
It may be 20% or even 25% - I am not exactly sure I got 3/4 gal from 1.5 gal. I may have been closer to 2 gal, and got under 3/4 gal, didn't measure it too close.
I will need to be more accurate in extracting the next batch. I have noticed this problem when doing this in past batches, I tend to over concentrate, my goal seems to be to get as little as possible from as much as possible. Makes for an interesting experience.
 
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The next batch was almost 2 gal and I only pulled little over 2/3 gal. So nearly triple the concentration. North of 25% - closer to 30%. I only melted till all the honey color was mostly gone from the ice. And yes definitely stronger than previous batch, and really it tastes like what sunshine feels like on your enclosed porch after a cold night.
 
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Cold and rainy day, perfect to drink mead, and even drank cold it warms you up.
 

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