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View Full Version : Tartness. Does it "age out"?



Jess
11-02-2009, 11:47 PM
Well, it's coming up on one month since I started my first batch of mead and the hydrometer is reading 0.996 after starting with a 1.100. Only problem is....I just couldn't leave well enough alone. At two weeks into the ferment I decided that a slight apple taste would be interesting to add. I sliced up one Granny Smith apple and added it to the must. Man, did that one apple ever make a difference! You can taste it and it also added an overwhelming tartness to the overall taste.

Will this mellow with time? I sure hope so. I only left the apple in the must for a week but boy did it ever leave its mark!!!

Medsen Fey
11-03-2009, 10:02 AM
Only problem is....I just couldn't leave well enough alone.

I know that feeling.... :)


Will this mellow with time? I sure hope so. I only left the apple in the must for a week but boy did it ever leave its mark!!!

Acidity does tend to mellow with time, but it may take months to years. Your best bet is probably let it age for the next 6 months to a year and see how it fares. You can always stabilize it and then sweeten just a little to offset the sour flavor if you want to.

Dan McFeeley
11-03-2009, 11:38 AM
Time does heal all, or maybe most, faults, and it's a good thing to do even with the most eminently drinkable mead. Was this a small batch? That's what it sounds like if only one apple had a strong impact on the flavor.

Experienced winemakers will sometimes use a malolactic fermentation to soften the tartness contributed by malic acids in the wine (malic acid is the primary acid in apples), but if this is a small batch, best to let it sit for a while.

It's also possible that what you are perceiving as "tartness" might be a complex of flavors, with the bitterness of tannins from the apple (did you slice the entire apple, core and all?) and other flavor, all augmenting the acidic taste contributed by the amlic acid. If that's the case, the tartness may mellow all the sooner, something like a JAO -- orange peel can be pretty strong, but nine to twelve months aging helps a lot.

wildoates
11-03-2009, 12:12 PM
I've got a couple of meads in bulk aging that are rather tart, and I'm just letting them sit for a while before I decide what to do with them. It's pretty much always good advice.

Jess
11-03-2009, 10:44 PM
It was actually just one Granny Smith in a five gallon batch and it made quite a difference. But considering that this is my first batch of mead, it could very well be just a natural occuring incident that the apple had little (if anything) to do with.

Thanks for the positive responses. I'll just wait and see if time really does "wound all heels". LOL!

Oskaar
11-04-2009, 02:06 AM
It was actually just one Granny Smith in a five gallon batch and it made quite a difference. But considering that this is my first batch of mead, it could very well be just a natural occuring incident that the apple had little (if anything) to do with.

Thanks for the positive responses. I'll just wait and see if time really does "wound all heels". LOL!

Jess,

Would you post your exact recipe please?

Call me jaded, but by volume, one apple in a five gallon batch just doesn't add up. I've made hundreds of gallons of cysers and the effect of one apple in a five gallon volume doesn't really come close to what you're describing in my experience. Sounds to me like there's more going on than meets the eye. With your recipe we can comment more accurately.

Cheers,

Oskaar

AToE
11-04-2009, 02:53 PM
Is it possible that part of this "tartness" is just the taste of a super young mead with lots of yeast in suspension? I've found in my very short brewing history that yeast can sometimes taste and smell a lot like fermented apples - so this really might just be a 1 month old mead tasting like, well, a 1 month old mead!

Jess
11-09-2009, 09:53 PM
Sorry I didn't post my recipe, Oskaar but a week later, the tartness has disappeared and the mead is now crystal clear. Guess I panicked over nothing, afterall.

AToE
11-09-2009, 09:57 PM
My bet is on the suspended yeast tasting like s#@t.:)