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vahan
11-27-2008, 10:16 PM
Hi, i have an OB mead:

16 lbs Ob Honey
Yeast nutrient (1 tbls about)
3 packs Lavlin D-47 (rehydrated)

It is currently in the tertiary and is about 1 year old. This was made before I knew anything about proper nutrient additions and constant aeration/stirring in the beginning. It was also made without any sulfites. SG is unknown (don't know it gravity matters now!)

SO, it has a nice sweet taste and aroma from the OB honey, but I can detect a slight sour taste to the mead. It is not that bad, the sour taste actually adds a little bit of character, but I think it may be a flaw. Is the sour taste malolactic acid fermentation or some bacterial contamination?

I am pretty anal about sanitization, so I don't think there was any contamination.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
vahan

JamesP
11-27-2008, 11:37 PM
Can you take a gravity reading, as this will give a clearer picture of how much residual sugars are left in the mead.

Dan McFeeley
11-28-2008, 10:10 AM
Hi, i have an OB mead:

16 lbs Ob Honey
Yeast nutrient (1 tbls about)
3 packs Lavlin D-47 (rehydrated)

It is currently in the tertiary and is about 1 year old. This was made before I knew anything about proper nutrient additions and constant aeration/stirring in the beginning. It was also made without any sulfites. SG is unknown (don't know it gravity matters now!)

SO, it has a nice sweet taste and aroma from the OB honey, but I can detect a slight sour taste to the mead. It is not that bad, the sour taste actually adds a little bit of character, but I think it may be a flaw. Is the sour taste malolactic acid fermentation or some bacterial contamination?

I am pretty anal about sanitization, so I don't think there was any contamination.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
vahan

It's difficult to say -- it wouldn't be malolactic acid fermentation -- the primary acid in honey is gluconic acid, with not much of the other organic acids. Sanitation -- I'm sure you hadn't seen a film or cloudiness to the surface of the mead.

Did you have the right amount of head space in the carboy, about an inch, or is there a possibility that the mead was exposed to air for a prolonged length of time? There may be a possibility of acetic acid buildup, if that was the case.

Or, it may simply be a lingering flavor from the honey itself. It's difficult to assess the taste of honey because of the overpowering sweetness, but it's possible that the sour notes you're tasting could be a characteristic of the honey itself, once the sugars were fermented out of it.

In any case, best to let it age a bit longer. If you're concerned about spoilage, you could rack and add sulfites, but aging may be the best cure.

vahan
11-28-2008, 07:06 PM
thanks for the replies

the gravity is 1.028. Nice and sweet. SO, fermentation was clearly not complete! But I do like sweet meads.

the head space is about 1 inch, but without CO2 or sulfites, oxidation is possible.

I tasted it again after the gravity reading and the color is very nice, a pale orange, nice aroma, and overall a really nice taste. It has a sour twang (subtle). Maybe that is just the honey or maybe that this was my first traditional mead?

I've added a little sulfites and will continue to age...but I'm tempted to bottle and drink!