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paulh
02-04-2007, 05:00 PM
Hello,I've been brewing beer for a while now and have tinkered around with mead a little, with limited success: two batches were oxidized before bottling.

I thought I was doing every thing right by keeping airlocks filled, siphoning without splashing,etc...But somewhere along the way I failed and wasted a lot of time and money.

What about sulphiting in the secondary? And at what rate? What about purging carboys with CO2 before racking? What more could I do for the next batch to help ensure all will go well?

Thanks for the help

WRATHWILDE
02-04-2007, 05:48 PM
Welcome to the Forums PaulH,
If you could let us know what your recipes were, the processes you followed, and the yeasts you used... we may be able to help you figure out what went wrong. Also if you didn't allow enough aging time, that could have been a factor as well. If you had let that same mead bulk age for a year before bottling you might have found it to be a much better mead. This is not the hobbie for someone looking for a quick brew to drink, like beer is. Mead takes time... and generally the longer you age the better. But knowing so little about your recipes and process I wouln't comment on whether sulfiting would do you any good. If you have the equipment to purge your carboys with CO2, then by all means do so when racking and before aging.

Cheers,
Wrathwilde

paulh
02-04-2007, 09:47 PM
Welcome to the Forums PaulH,
If you could let us know what your recipes were, the processes you followed, and the yeasts you used...


Certainly! The first batch to go bad was as follows:
4/21/06: (approx)14# honey
bottled spring water
10 g 71b rehydrated w/ Go-ferm
SuperFood and DAP added durring active fermentation
2-3min pure O2
fermented around 66-68 deg
starting gravity 1.100
4/24/06 gravity 1.060
5/14/06 gravity 1.002
6/1/06 racked to secondary
????? racked again

After that my notes aren't that great, but I remember the sherry-like flavors at each racking and becoming stronger over the next several months until it was dumped in October.

My wife introduced me to mead when we were dating so I'm trying to make something she'd enjoy. Seeing the faces she make after tasing samples at each racking wasn't too encouraging. I was hoping the harshness would lessen over time, but it did not. Was 5 months not enough time to get an idea of the finished mead would be like?

The second batch tasted the same earlier on, so I figured it would end up the same after time.

paulh
03-05-2007, 02:54 AM
Just checking back in, looking for some help before I try again. Hmmm... did I forget something in my recipe/process reply?

Maybe the mead just needed more time to age? How long should it take for mead to taste like mead?

WRATHWILDE
03-05-2007, 03:49 AM
Paulh,
Sorry about the late reply, I somehow missed your followup post.

I like to bulk age for at least a year, and it's amazing the changes that can take place between 5 months and a year. Also it looks like your mead ended up quite dry, and dry meads generally take much longer to age.
Also your wife may be more partial to a sweeter mead, something around 1.015 (semisweet) would probably do well. Generally I don't care for Dry Meads, there have been one or two exceptions, but they're not something I would generally want to sit down and drink. There have been numerous reports on this site of brewers relating tales of truly god-awful meads (tastes like ass is a description that comes up a lot), they ended up just keeping the Mead in the back of the closet and ignored for a year or two, only to taste it at that time and find that it had turned into one of the best meads they ever made. Vicky, the founder of this site, has a story about one of her first metheglins (I believe) that follows this pattern. So never give up hope, unless there are obvious spoilage growths, just put it at the back and rediscover it in a year or two.
I don't see anything wrong with your recipe, it was probably just too young.

:cheers:
Wrathwilde

Rhianni
03-05-2007, 12:26 PM
If I read the dates correctly its getting close to a year. Is it still tasting funky? I use that term instead of oxydation because I think its easy to jump to conclusions that that is the culprit. How much air space do you have in with the mead?
If its improving then it probably isnt oxydation.
If its the same or getting worse then it well could be.
At 1.002 there wont be much sweetness to cover up flaws.
Wrath is also correct in that if a person likes a tradition sweet mead then tastes a dry one it can be a rude experiance to the taste buds

WRATHWILDE
03-05-2007, 04:07 PM
After that my notes aren't that great, but I remember the sherry-like flavors at each racking and becoming stronger over the next several months until it was dumped in October.

The second batch tasted the same earlier on, so I figured it would end up the same after time.




If I read the dates correctly its getting close to a year. Is it still tasting funky?

Looks like the first one was dumped at about 5 months from pitching, and the second??? I'm thinking he might have dumped it too... if he thought it was going the way of the first. 5 months isn't long enough for most meads, most Dry meads especially.

:cheers:
Wrathwilde

paulh
03-07-2007, 01:03 AM
Looks like the first one was dumped at about 5 months from pitching


Sadly, this is true. Being new to mead, and more familiar with brewing beer, my impatience got the best of me. This will not happen again. Thanks for your help.

youngmeadman
03-07-2007, 05:30 PM
how do you know if your meads been oxidised?

Oskaar
03-07-2007, 06:09 PM
how do you know if your meads been oxidised?


Generally there are a couple of pretty simple ways to tell if your mead has become oxidized.

You'll notice a premature browning or darkening of your mead.

There will be port-like and/or sherry-like aromas when you raise the glass to your face.

There will be port/sherry like flavors in your mead that are not part of the fermentation or the flavor profile you had prior to the oxidation setting in.

That's generally what I would advise to check for.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Johnnybladers
03-07-2007, 08:16 PM
Premature browning or darkening? What constitutes premature? I'm a little concerned now since a cyser(the cider was already dark) and pear juice "cyser" are both kinda brown (both are in bulk aging now at about < 6 months old). I guess I'll have to taste some sherry or port so I'll have a baseline for comparison.