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undyingfutility
04-16-2008, 07:19 PM
Hey all,
So I've got a couple of meads that are essentially done with primary fermentation. First, the recipes:

1 gallon Date Mead:
3 lb orange blossom honey
1/2 lb dates left in primary
1tsp DAP added a little past 1/3 sugar break
OG: 1.100
FG: <1.01 (I need a bigger graduated cylinder >_<)
PA: ~13%

5 gallon Blood Orange Mead:
15 lb various honeys
6 blood oranges - zest, pulp (everything but the whites), left in the primary
5 tsp DAP at 1/3 sugar break
OG: 1.09
SG: 1.012 (little more fermentation)
PA: 10.4%

The issue with both meads is that they are very harsh. I've read on the forums that a lot of young meads are like that and thus need aging time, but I don't know if that's the problem. The date mead is pretty astringent, maybe because of tannin in the dates? Blood orange is sort of bitter/sour mixture, which I'm guessing is some combination of acidity and bitterness extracted from the fruit.

My question is: What can / should I do? Thanks in advance!

Yo momma
04-16-2008, 08:36 PM
What yeast did you use? My guess is that you need to let it age a little. With it being a 10%er it would take just a few months for it to meelow out and blend. How long has it been in the secondary? A little more info will help us help you. :icon_thumright:

Oskaar
04-16-2008, 09:35 PM
Sounds like maybe you used a champagne yeast.

How long did these ferment?
How long have these meads been aging?
What was the temperature?
Did you aerate?
How was the fruit processed (chopped, crushed, pureed, whole?)

That will get us going on the right track. Also, please include your fermentation management and processing methods.

Cheers,

Oskaar

undyingfutility
04-17-2008, 02:34 AM
I used Red Star's Premier Cuvee, which I believe is a champagne yeast, for the date batch and Red Star's Cotes de Blanc for the blood orange. As for the fermentation, they're both still in primaries. The date batch is essentially done, and probably due for secondary, while the orange still needs a few more days. Both are ~2weeks old, with aeration the first 3 days of fermentation. Temperature varied from about 60-70 throughout the period. The dates were chopped, then heated with the must to try to get sugar to crystallize out (~165F). Blood oranges were zested, fruit crushed, and everything except the whites put into the fermenter.

As for fermentation management, I checked the SG of each batch every few days to see how they were progressing. The orange went pretty steadily, with no issues. The date slowed down pretty significantly for a few days, but some DAP and air got it going again.

If you need anything else, please ask, and many thanks!

Oskaar
04-17-2008, 03:20 AM
Patience Patience Patience!

Dude, these things are only 2 weeks old. Rack them and let them clear. Once they've cleared, rack them again and give them four to six months and check your gravity, then do a taste test. These are way too young to be stressing about. Unless they are infected, horribly riddled with reductive/off-flavors (think catbox, soap, band-aid, green apple, etc) you're being much too critical much too soon. They need to let the yeast drop out of suspension and clear before you even think about stressing.

Take a deep breath and relax. They'll be fine. Just give them the time they deserve!

Cheers,

Oskaar

Brimminghorn
04-17-2008, 05:19 AM
Oskarr is right. Those meads need some aging time, so don't worry. I made a date mead a few years ago and it was harsh tasting at first but it mellowed over time and is quite nice now. So just remember to be patient with your mead and you will be rewarded in the end.


Cheers,
Jon

undyingfutility
04-17-2008, 05:12 PM
Sounds good. I'm not sure about the date batch though - it has a pretty hard-to-describe odor/flavor that seems off. Kind of like the smell of stomach acid. I'm a little concerned about it, since it was a little slow in taking off, that there may be some nasties to blame. Thoughts?

beachfrontmeadman
04-17-2008, 05:36 PM
believe me, mead can change dramatically over time, and as long as it doesn't become oxygenated its only going to get better, i've had a few batchs that i was very near to throwing out that are coming along wonderfully now

Oskaar
04-17-2008, 07:34 PM
Date mead will smell funkadelic as it goes through fermentation and aging. Just let it sit and leave it alone for a while. Don't let your angst over the aroma goad you into doing anything premature. Relax, have a homebrew.

Cheers,

Oskaar