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What does Clear Mead look like?
If you are working with your first batch of mead you might be wondering what "clear" means when it comes to mead.
I have some help for you here.
First off there are a lot of variables when it comes to mead. Starting with the fact that every batch of honey is different -every single batch. So the color is not going to be the same from batch to batch.
In this video I have here you can see a pronounced difference in the colors of the two meads. The batch on the left is wildflower honey and the batch on the right is clover honey. So that starts us off very different. And when the meads are clear they look very different.
About this 21 second animation. I took a picture a day of two batches of mead as they developed over a 90 day period. It gives you a really good idea of what the mead looks like as it transforms from honey and water into actual mead. You can see the cloudiness develop, deepen then disappear as the mead clears up.
Having trouble with your mead clearing up?
There are a lot of variables including the honey, the yeast and the various other ingredients that you used. How long it has been fermenting and how many times you have racked it all factor in.
My biggest advice for you is to not worry about it! Yup, Give it time and rack it regularly. It should clear up on it's own. But... some batches just refuse to clear. That is just a fact. It does somewhat affect the taste of the mead because with a cloudy mead there are lots of flavor particles floating around.
My second piece of advice for you, if you are a beginner, is to let it be. Don't try any chemicals to clarify it. Rack it and bottle it as you are supposed to and enjoy it!
But, If you really want to clear up your mead there are some chemical techniques that you can use. I have done it many times. Underneath the video and the pictures is more about this including links to what you should buy.
The Video is between the lines:
Here are two pictures submitted by Mike. They show the same batch of mead after 30 days without the addition of any chemicals for clearing. You can see it just takes a little time and the mead will clear right up! My thanks to Mike for sending in these pics!
Here are pictures of four different batches of mead that have clarified. And the fifth picture shows a batch that is fermenting. This final picture gives you some contrast so you can see a couple of batches that are fermenting and have not yet clarified.
In this next video I show you how to clarify mead. And I have two batches side by side so you can see the dramatic difference between a cloudy mead and a cleared mead.
Three Products for clarification
Each one of these products works differently. And each comes with instructions. You should follow those instructions implicity.
The typical process is that you mix a small amount of the powder with hot water and stir. Then you add this to your mead. The solution attracts the particulates in the mead, binds with them and grow large. Then they fall to the bottom of the carboy or jug. And after a varied period of time you have a nice sediment on the bottom which you can rack out.
Bentonite is a clay-like mineral that removes positively charged particles from wine. Add prior to primary fermentation to clear pectic and protein haze. Add 2 teaspoons with half a cup of boiling water (or very hot) and stir for 1-2 minutes. After the solution stands for an hour, mix and stir the solution into your wine. Let stand for 7-14 days during primary fermentation, then rack into a sanitized carboy.
Super Kleer KC Fining Clarifier is suitable for clarifying all beers, wines and ciders. It is a highly effective two-step fining agent composed of liquid kieselsol and chitosan. Each component works by attracting particles of the opposite charge. The kieselsol, also known as silicon dioxide, is negatively charged and the chitosan, which is derived from shellfish, is positively charged. Each package will treat 5 to 6 gallons.
Sparkolloid is by far, our most popular and effective wine clarifier. Mix one tablespoon of sparkalloid into 1 cup of boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While solution is still warm, mix into 6 gallons of wine and stir gently. For best results, wait at least a month before bottling.
Want to learn more? I have an article where I specifically use Bentonite.
Bentonite and Mead Making - Bentonite is a clarifying agent. If you are having trouble getting your mead to clear up bentonite will do the trick.
I found a whole bunch of wonderful drinking goblets on amazon. I have a page with them right here. Just a couple of years ago you couldn't get a goblet, or mead! It is great to see both are becoming very popular. Mead Goblets
I have ebooks above if you want to get off to a quick start in mead making but some people really prefer a regular book and I have one of those too. Read more about it here and you can order it from amazon.com