View Full Version : What is green/young Mead suppose to taste like?

10-19-2006, 07:07 PM
Hey everyone,

I just tasted two of my meads that are currently in a secondary carboy for bulk aging.

They are both traditional, varietal sweet meads with D47 yeast and they were made about 2 months ago. I followed the recipe in Compleat MeadMaker for "Sweet Show Mead" and followed the "No Heat Method". Both meads had strong healthy fermentation and I was very sanitary in my methods.

So back to tasting. I tried the MeadowFoam first and found this kind of off (or so I think) flavor and smell. The best way I can describe it is rubbery with smoke ??? Its not strong, but its there. The smell is similar to the rubber stopper. But I dont think there is any way the stopper could impart any flavor or smell to the mead. The ones I use, I have used over and over again, always being sure to clean and sanitize them. And besides, it doesnt even touch the mead.

So to see if this is normal I tried my BeeWeed Mead and found the exact same thing. A kind of rubber smoke thing (maybe I'm totally off on this description, but its what my sniffer and brain are telling me). Now I'm thinking that this is just what very young mead can taste and smell like and that with many more months of aging it should go away, hopefully.

I really need to go to the Mead Festival to get some mead tasting under my belt. Its easy to taste lots of good beer. But for mead lovers its a way more difficult to get experience in tasting this elixer of life.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Let me know what you think.

10-20-2006, 01:30 AM
To me, young alcohol has a sharp, hot taste. Hits me in the back of the nose. Not really smoky rubber, but maybe it's related. Personally, I wouldn't worry just yet.

10-20-2006, 01:57 AM
Can you post up the exact recipe please along with any nutrient dosing, aeration, pH and fermentation temperature please. Need to know what the process was in order to give a good idea of what you may be tasting.

Wild guess without info would be phenolics or fusels. Generally has to do with fermentation temperatures and/or excessive amounts of yeast. D47 can go that way sometimes when it is a combination of high fermentation temperatures (over 75 F) and inadequate nutrient levels as the fermentation progresses.

Hope that helps,


10-20-2006, 02:16 AM
There's lots of things to consider. What Oskaar asked is important. Also, when was the batch made? Has it cleared or will those smoky/rubber aromas/flavors settle out with the yeast.

I have a batch of the meadowoam going but usd the 71B yeast. Mine fermented too dry. When it was at 1.020 or so, it had nice aroma/flovor (considering the influence by the yeasties). I am considering running my next batch using R2 with a target finishing gravity at 1.015 or so.

For reference, mine didn't have the smoky rubber stopper thing going.


10-20-2006, 10:16 AM
First of all, I am completely new at meadmaking, so I have no experience of my own. However, your concerns remind me of an online video I watched recently. A few weeks ago, a GotMead Forum member posted about several videos on BacicBrewing.com (http://www.BasicBrewing.com) in which James and Steve of Basic Brewing Video (http://www.basicbrewing.com/radio/index.php?page=video) made a batch of mead. They are beer brewing experts, but they decided to try meadmaking. Here is the link to the video:

James and Steve check in on the mead experiment (http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbv09-12-06.mov).
(Quicktime required)

They decided to try the mead when it was young, but they discovered off flavors that made the mead almost undrinkable. One of them described it as a "rotten cardboard rubber" taste, and the other described it as "rubber bands" or a tire innertube.

They thought it could have been due to autolysis, but they decided to call David Myers of Redstone Meadery (http://redstonemeadery.com) to get his opinion. David Meyers chastised them for trying the mead too early, and told them that young mead often has a "hard plastic off flavor that hits you in the back of the palate". James and Steve decided that that was a good description of what they were tasting, and they reported that the off flavor was in fact decreasing with age.

I had a batch of hard cider come out with a slight off flavor fitting this description. I decided that I left it on the lees too long, but maybe it just needed a little aging. Oh well, it wasn't so bad that there's any left now. I guess I'll never know. ???

10-20-2006, 11:14 AM
As I recall, the end products of the BBR Meads were very drinkable after some aging! I've been meaning to go back and watch the videos again now that I have some minimal experience.

I have a similar off-flavor in the nascent Cyser I am making, (tasted after only 1 week in Primary, so it was barely conceived let alone YOUNG!) but it really seems related to apple and cinnamon than the yeast and seems to be fading a bit. Due to rack and taste this weekend.

David Baldwin
10-20-2006, 12:02 PM
I love D47 for the mouthfeel it contributes but...

I have also found that it takes a bit of TLC and careful planning to get it adequate yet not too much nutrient - staggered with good must oxygenation and optimal fermentation temps.

A rhodomel I made got away from me, and it has taken a long time to age out.

The good news is that time will make a tremendous difference.


10-20-2006, 01:26 PM
MeadowFoam Mead made Aug 24

16 lbs Raw Honey
2 tsp Yeast Nutrient
2 tsp Yeast Energizer
1 capsule White Labs Servomyces

I used the No Heat method outlined in the compleat meadmaker and followed the sweet show mead recipe in the book as well.

Aeration was shaking it violently once after I put the yeast in.

Fermentation temp was 72-73 degrees.

I added some calcium carbonate to bring the pH up to 4 because it was at 3.6 or below.

It stayed in the primary carboy from Aug 24th untill Oct 18th. And it might seem like that could be the problem with it but the BeeWeed Mead has almost the exact same flavor and aroma and it only stayed in the primary for 3 weeks.

The ABV of the MeadowFoam is 12.5%
__________________________________________________ __________
BeeWeed Mead was made Sept 13th

Everything was the same for the BeeWeed except for the following:

I used Go-Ferm in the yeast hydrating water.

I did 1 tsp of Wyeast nutrient instead of the servomyces capsule.

I did not have to add any calcium carbonate.

The BeeWeed only stayed in the primary for 3 weeks and I then racked it.

The ABV of the BeeWeed is 15%.
__________________________________________________ _________

The BeeWeed fermented a lot faster and stronger than the MF but it has an almost identical flavor and aroma. So I'm beginning to think that both meads are fine and it will just take time for them to mellow out and develop.

Neither mead has cleared yet. I have both meads in storage at about 68 degrees right now.

10-22-2006, 03:42 AM
It's interesting that they spoke to David at Redstone. I've found that exact flavor you're referring to (vinyl-phenolic) in his Traditional Mountain HoneyWine which is a hall mark of the yeast he uses, which is Montrachet. If you check the review section of the main site (at the top of the page) and go to my review of the Redstone Traditional, you'll see how I described it.