View Full Version : First batch - bottled!

10-06-2009, 10:57 PM
So it may be a little early (just under two months), but I've bottled my first batch. It was a pretty basic recipe, 12lbs of clover honey, about 8-9lbs of blackberries, close to half in the primary, half in secondary, and lavin 71b-1122 yeast (pectic enzyme, nutrient and energizer).

The day before bottling I added the pot sulfate and sorbate to stabilize the batch, and backsweetened with honey dissolved in warm water (about 60/40 honey/water). At most I'd say two cups got added to backsweeten, doesn't take much as I guess I like a little dry as opposed to sweet. Now I do have one question.

In tasting the mead, I found out a few curious things. Now first, let me add that I know this isn't supposed to taste like the finished product yet. Now on to the tasting. The nose was incredible, strong honey aroma and almost a citrus-berry nose mixed. Fairly strong bite at first, but not as bad as I expected for a young mead, WONDERFUL flavor towards the back of the tongue as long as you take the time to let it pass over your entire mouth (which we should always savor our own creations right?). But I couldn't help noticing that it also seemed a bit...watered down after that initial sip. Now I know that aging will really take the edge off the initial alcohol bite, but will it also balance it and have it develop a bit more of a full body? I know I shouldn't be too concerned. I polished off the full glass worth that was left when I was done bottling and found myself wanting another taste so it definitely wasn't bad for this early on, but is it normal when meads are young to not seem as "full-bodied"? Forgive my ignorance on the lack of a better term.

On the plus side, this first batch of mead has gotten me into home brewing full force. I have a 5-gallon batch of cider in one primary hoping to have some ready by the holidays, and a 1-gallon traditional mead (3.2 lbs of orange blossom, lalvin d47), and my in-laws are giving me a ton of wild concord grapes from their yard to do a 1-gall wine (wanted a pyment, but it's their fruit and kind of a gift for them so wine it is). Looking forward to the challenge of trying to balance out that wild grape tartness, might juice them first, can't imagine you can keep the skins and seeds in for more than a couple days before a tannin and seed-bitter overdose.

So thanks in advance for future replies on the mead aging question, and another big thanks for you all helping me get this far!

10-06-2009, 11:12 PM
Welcome to the addict... er, ahh, the hobby! ;)

Actually the recipe that you used will produce a mead that is a little light-bodied, but if it has you wanting more, that isn't necessarily a bad thing! In the next batch that you make along these lines, you might want to up the quantity of honey to 15 lbs, and use 12 to 14 lbs of fruit. I think that will give you exactly what you're looking for. You might also want to search out truly "raw" honey - I suspect that unless you were specifically told otherwise, your clover honey may have been heated and filtered. That removes some of the honey aroma and character and can leave your mead seeming a bit thin.

That said, with some aging the alcohol will integrate, and a few other chemical reactions will take place that will have the effect of rounding out the mouthfeel a bit. More honey aromatics will also be evident after some months' aging.

Congrats on the successful batch!!