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Sediment at the bottom of my bottles

jpog

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 20, 2012
71
2
0
Dear all,

I have been making mead for a little over 10 years now and I still have not figured out how to stop the sediment from forming at the bottom of my bottles overtime. The sediment does not make it taste bad, it just looks a little funky.

Background: All my mead is filtered with a 3 stage filtering process (not a normal 10 stage filter used in commercial meads and wine), it is also stabilized with sulfite and aged for 6 months before filtered or bottled. Once bottled it looks crystal clear (despite the color it retains from the honey and or other ingredients). However, about 4 months of sitting in a sealed bottle, light sediment forms on the bottom (which slightly increases overtime). What go this be and how do I get rid of it?
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
Hi - A few questions...
1 - Down to what size filter (e.g. in microns) are you filtering with?
2 - Does this happen to any of your Trads, or just those meads with other ingredients?
3 - Do you use pectic enzymes at all?
 

Crispy

Grumpy Old Drone
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 28, 2016
66
5
8
Burlingame, California
@jpog,

It seems I have a similar problem with some of my bottled mead. I filter my mead with BuonVino Mini Jet and after few months or a year a very fine sediment is settling on the bottom or side of the bottle if stored horizontally. I also re use oak barrels from local distillery and it seems that mostly mead from thees barrels has this problem. I came to the conclusion that the very fine burned oak particles from heavy toasted barrels are causing this. I either see less or none of the sediment from medium toast or if the mead was not in the barrel at all.
Hope this helps
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,204
26
48
Denver
You need to use finning agents to clear it before you run it through the filters. If you use both charges it should do the trick.
 

Crispy

Grumpy Old Drone
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 28, 2016
66
5
8
Burlingame, California
You need to use finning agents to clear it before you run it through the filters. If you use both charges it should do the trick.
This is not the case in my situation, I filter only very clear meads which either cleared on their own or after using finning agents.
The problem here is that the charcoal particles are so small that the 0.5 micron filter pads I am using are not enough to stop it. The sediment amount is very light and miniscule and it resembles smoke rather than solids. The only way to make it absolutely clear would be to use a filtering device with yet finer pads I think.
 

jpog

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 20, 2012
71
2
0
Hi Guys,

I filter my mead using the filter my mead with BuonVino Mini Jet down to 0.5 micron. My meads are not age in charcoal barrels so it is not charcoal, any ideas what the sediment is? This happens to all my meads and I do not use pectic enzymes. What type of fining agent would you recommend, I try to minimize any chemicals I put into the mead, plus I don't want the flavor profile to change.
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,204
26
48
Denver
Finnings won't change your flavor profiles. Water is a chemical. So are all the individual ingredients in honey. Everything is a chemical. I would ditch that attitude. I think the dusty sediment after filtering and a few months in the bottle are tannins. That's why I use both charges of finnings so you have stabilized both charges and a cold stabilization by cold crashing
 

Crispy

Grumpy Old Drone
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 28, 2016
66
5
8
Burlingame, California
To make it absolutely clear, I am not 100 percent convinced that my home grown explanation of the sediment is actually correct. I did not analyze the sediment in any way, just came to this conclusion as it somewhat makes sense to me. Squatchy may be right that the sediment is a tannin or something else but on the other hand it also happens with meads on which finning agent was used. After next filtration I will try to store my mead in a carboy for a while and rack it one more time if any sediment is present. Hope my aging memory will allow me to remember to do this :)
 

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
@jpog - I can only guess at this point...
If this happens to our Trads, then I'd ask if you use oak at all. As Squatchy and Crispy are mentioning, tannin can drop out over time. I've seen this in higher quality (IMO) commercially produced red wines that have aged in the bottle for some time.
It's my understanding that you simply cannot filter out pectin (not without an expensive filter anyway), so if your meads have used any ingredients with pectin, then this could also be a factor. Even if the mead seems super clear, pectin can still show up. I had a vanilla peach mead that would not clear (even after finings). I added some pectic enzyme, stuck it in the fridge, and it finally cleared after a few weeks. Guess what? I still ended up finding the slightest bit of very fine dust-like sediment in a few of those bottles that I have not had in any of my other meads (yet).
 

jpog

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 20, 2012
71
2
0
Thanks for the input, Squatchy what type of fining agents would you recommend?