View Full Version : Can mead go stale?

11-11-2009, 01:55 PM
Greetings to all-
New to the list (thank you!) and have been searching to no avail to get this question answered.

The scenerio is this..
The mead was kept warm over an open flame in say, a pitcher of some kind, then the question was raised, woulden't that mead get stale?

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Medsen Fey
11-11-2009, 02:41 PM
Welcome to GotMead LadyRusa!

I think to get an answer we need a bit more information. You might start with telling us what kind of mead or even better, providing the recipe then we'll know what we are talking about.

In an open container mead will eventually spoil. It will oxidize and develop an aroma an flavor similar to sherry, then it will lose aroma and may wind up smelling something like wet cardboard. If it stays in an open container long enough, acetic acid bacteria and other spoilage organisms will grow in it and turn it into vinegar (foul smelling vinegar most likely). However none of this spoilage occurs instantly, it occurs over a period of a day to weeks.

If your goal is to open a bottle of mead and make a mulled mead in some kind of a pitcher, you can do that and it will taste just fine (especially with a few spices thrown in -yum). A day of two later you'll probably see a big deterioration.

There are a lot of factors to consider - if you have a very sweet mead over an open flame you may caramelize or scorch some sugar that would make it taste crappy. Also, being over a flame may cook off a lot of water and alcohol making it taste yucky.

Why are you wanting to heat mead over a flame in a pitcher?

11-11-2009, 11:23 PM
Oxygen is the main culprit in the deterioration of any fermented beverage though,as Medsen stated, it takes time to ruin. The lengthy periods of heat might keep, add to, or take away from the flavor but it would surely lose it's alcohol, and that would be a sad thing.

11-12-2009, 01:54 AM
How long are you heating the mead? You can leave a glass out on the counter for many hours before it starts to taste off (overnight will usually do it). Time, as has been pointed out already, is the main variable here.

11-12-2009, 04:04 PM
*smiles* Thank you for the welcome and quick replies.
The only other information i can provide is that, yes, it was spiced and it was in a pitcher because it was poured from several bottles to keep from having to continually open new bottles when it was needed. ((not sure why, just how they did it!)) and it was basically left to "stay warm" near the open flame for an entire length of the day.
i'm sure that sounds quite odd, but i appreciate the answers.

Thank you again.