View Full Version : Cucumber Mead

08-07-2008, 01:20 PM
If that had been my intent, great. But alas it wasn't, the four meads I've made using local Clover (60# bucket) have a cucumber taste to them. Before I question the apiary, are there any process flaws that might present that flavor characteristic?

These were all no boil, no campden, unfiltered, various yeasts, fermentation temp 68-72, early ones no SNA, Iodophor in proper dilution as a santizing agent.

I don't trust my palette as delicate/trained enough to judge the raw honey, I haven't noticed it in there but it may merely be my blunt palette.

Any clues?

08-07-2008, 02:09 PM

Please post the exact recipe and procedure so the experts here can have a better understanding of what may have happened.


08-19-2008, 07:17 AM
Sorry for the delay, here are the recipe specifics for the latest cucumber tasting mead.


A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00 Wort Size (Gal): 5.00
Total Extract (Lbs): 11.00
Anticipated OG: 1.093 Plato: 22.25
Anticipated SRM: 6.4
Anticipated IBU: 20.4
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
45.5 5.00 lbs. Briess DME- Weizen America 1.046 8
45.5 5.00 lbs. Honey Local Clover 1.042 0
4.5 0.50 lbs. Pale Malt(6-row) America 1.035 2
4.5 0.50 lbs. Flaked Oats America 1.033 2

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1.00 oz. Goldings - E.K. Whole 4.75 17.5 60 min.
0.50 oz. Goldings - E.K. Whole 4.75 2.9 20 min.


WYeast 3944 Belgian White Beer

Fermentation was between 68 and 72, in the primary 30 days, racked to secondary for 60 days, bottled when clear.

Original Gravity 1.096
Final gravity 1.006

08-19-2008, 08:15 AM
The beekeeper probably hired out the bees for pollination to a pickle farmer.
Or he may have had the bees on clover but they found the cuke nectar more plentyfull or they had to find what was flowering ( sounds like the cucumbers won )
The beeker might not have "pulled" the honey after the clover blossom and left it on the hive. Next thing ya know the bees were in the cukes, wildflowers, etc... hence blended honey.
I have heard of stories where someone needs a colony or two of bees in their apples to be frustrated that the bees went elsewhere ( neighbors plants/trees ) because the intended target ( apple trees ) were not ready yet. It is quite a timing thing.
I'd suggest boiling it ( hard pasturization ) to remove unwanted aroma, ( good or bad in this case ) but you will iin reality end up with a pretty "blah" honey.
I wonder if you couldn't add say a 3 to 1 ratio of a strong flavored honey ie. buckwheat to alter the flavor.

08-19-2008, 08:33 AM

This recipe is more of a Beer made with honey as there is ever so slightly more fermentables provided by malt than honey, but it is so close it can be called a braggot for all intents and purposes. Since it is a beer, the answer to the cucumber smell may be found in John Palmer's list of off flavors/smells in his "How to Brew" book. Check here (http://howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html) and see if the description of any of the off smells matches what you are sensing. From the recipe, I am assuming you made this the same way you make your beer (boiling the wort, rapid cooling, aeration, pitching etc). Did you boil the honey with the malts, or add it in the fermenter after cooling?

Since this smell seems to be appearing in all four Meads (or are the other 3 batches also Beers with honey?) you have made so far using this honey, the cause may be a component of the honey. To test this, dilute some of the honey down with distilled water and see if you can detect the same smell (get some friends to help with this in case you cannot detect it but others can). How old is the honey? Has it crystalized with more liquidy honey on top? If so, there could be some bacteria living in this upper part that could be affecting the flavor. Has the honey darkened over time or is it still a nice light color?

If the honey is not the cause, you will have to look at other options. For example, it may be that your equipment has some scratches that could be harboring some nasties (plastic bucket used as fermenter?); the hops you are using could have oxidized a little; or simply that the Mead is still very young and needs more time bulk aging to allow the specific component you are smelling to dissipate (acetaldehyde can create a pumpkin smell, which you could be perceiving as cucumber).

Hopefully, you can dig down to what is causing this flavor. Provide more details as to your process, storage methods, ingredients etc. and perhaps we can spot something that you missed. Let us know how the honey tasting goes, and do contact the apiarist who may know exactly why the honey tastes the way it does.