View Full Version : Overdid It With Lemon Oil - Will It Get Better With Age?

06-25-2006, 12:59 PM
After primary fermentation was done I added 1 oz. of lemon oil and 8 oz. of vanilla extract to my 5 gallon batch. Now the taste is pretty good for a 'green' mead, at least from what my untrained palette can tell. The aroma however is something else, the lemon scent is completely overwhelming, almost offensive. Can I expect the 'Lemon Pledge' scent to become less intense? (For readers outside of North America: Lemon Pledge is a furniture polish.) Will I have to resort to blending this batch with another?


Muirghein Tarot
06-25-2006, 02:02 PM
I probably don't know the answer but I'm fishing for more information anyway.
How long ago did you add the lemon oil?


06-25-2006, 05:14 PM
I added it just a few days ago.

The guy at my local homebrew store just told me that I would have to blend it with another batch or dump it. I'm bummed. I don't what I was thinking.

Muirghein Tarot
06-25-2006, 06:47 PM
Unless you just have to have the carboy I wouldn't dump it. I don't think you should dump mead unless it's fuzzy.
Every thing I have read and the people I have talked with have all say about the same thing, problem meads can improve with age. If you don't have to have the carboy I would make sure the stopper is tight, the airlock full, and set the carboy in a cool closet for a few months. The worst that could happen is when you check it it's not improved and that leaves you in the same place you are now. Maybe give it till the end of August then check the smell out. You said it tastes fine just the smell is to strong. If it's not improved any by then, you can then try blending it.
Is there any separation in it at all? I haven't used an oil yet, is it possible it might come to the top and you could rack under it? My only other thought is that if it is giving off that strong of a smell it would stand to reason that is has to be venting some of that smell away. It might disappear in time or at least go down to a not so obnoxious level.
Hope that helps and hope I'm right,

06-25-2006, 07:20 PM

Racking under the oil was my first thought too... before I made my way down to Tarot's post, so I'd have to say "I second" racking under the oil. The oil separating and forming a layer on top is probably why you're getting an overwhelming lemon pledge scent. I'd move the carboy to your work area now, wait a week... to let it settle and separate some more, then rack below the oils. Hopefully you'll notice a much more mellow nose after you do.


06-25-2006, 08:48 PM
If you can fit the carboy in a refridgerator, then the lower temperature may help separate out the oils (a week or two)

Also, I think three years of aging will guarantee to cure this problem 8)

06-25-2006, 09:12 PM
Thanks all for the replies. It didn't occur to me to rack under the oil. There is a layer of something on the top, it probably is the lemon oil.

It's clear to me that this is not going to be entered in a competition, but if in a year or two or three it's still doesn't exactly smell 'to style' then I'll just have to drink the whole batch myself. :) There's always the next batch. In my case that's going to be a dry sparkling oaked mead (now fermenting).

Now I just have to remember to experiment on smaller batches.