View Full Version : strange taste and about adding spice's and herbs

01-18-2010, 10:55 AM
i have a little question about adding some nice flavours to my secondary.
and bout the strange taste (or at least i find it strange)

first things first, Batch info:

honey: 6.3kg cheap flower honey (first time so i figured i start cheap)
1 L fresh apple juice
2 ts acid
2 ts yeast nutrient mix

i made a starter for my yeast wich didnt work out (afterwards i figure i schocked it and maybe gave to little sugar to start it up) :
1 fresh orange juiced (100ml)
100ml water
1 ts sugar
1 ts nutrient
6 gr yeast (18% alc. tolerance unknown brand, came with wine making kit)

the yeast didnt take off so i just did a plain rehydration
with another 6 gr yeast. after wich things did start off.

total must volume: 16L
starting SG: 1.126
PH 3.9

used my power drill to stir/create mead vulcano. (luckily i had my fermenting bucket only half way full, so no spillage :P)
over time i added another ts of nutrients te make sure it kept going.

after about 2 weeks it seems to be stabilizing.
current SG (2 days ago actually) 1.020

after testing i did a little sampling and found the taste quite unpleasant. not downrigth rancid but still. it tasted like champagne thats been left open and out of the fridge for a week but is still sparkling and very sweet.
is it just me or is this kind of taste a little odd.

also if this batch isn't a failure yet i want to know about adding spices and such. mainly how much and for how long.
i will be racking this 16L into 3 5L carboys(leave 1L for topping upt later) and add some flavouring (3 different types)

things i have on hand and want to try:
cinnamon sticks
star anis
liquorice root
vanilla sticks

not on hand but from an old spice mix for a regional traditional drink, do or dont?

Maddar root
calamus root
ornage skin
star anice
Laraha skin

Medsen Fey
01-18-2010, 11:19 AM
Welcome to GotMead snikje!

It is quite common for mead just finishing fermentation to taste very harsh and yeasty. That flavor will change dramatically over the coming months. It is also very possible that your mead will continue slowly fermenting for many weeks, so continue to monitor the gravity until it remains stable.

The spices you list can make great meads (I'm not familiar with Maddar root or laraha skin) so it become a question of which of those flavors you want to use. If you aren't sure, one idea is to take combinations and amounts that you want to test and make a tea out of them. If you like the tea, you'll probably like what it does for a mead.

Since you are starting, I would suggest that you take a few liters of the mead without adding any spices to it and bottle and age it separately so you can compare the flavor of the traditional mead base to the results you get with the spices. It will give you the chance to see how a traditional mead ages and changes.

I hope you get something great!


P.S. Do take a moment to look at the NewBee guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) if you haven't already. There is lots of good info, including how to rehydrate yeast. :)

01-18-2010, 12:15 PM
hmm tea.. good idea. ill be sipping tea all evening i guess :P
meybe ill just make 2 spice mixtures and leave 1 carboy as is then . just as a base line.

if it does continue to ferment for some time that does not mean i cant rack into those 2 caboys right? or should i really wait till fermentation has completely stopped then rack and add flavouring and let clear and age.

cos i would like to do a quick batch of JAO in the bucket just to try that one out.

Medsen Fey
01-18-2010, 12:30 PM
You can go ahead and rack if you need the fermenter.

01-18-2010, 06:24 PM
btw laraha fruit skin is mostly used in the reasonably well known blue Curaçao liqueur.
the color is fake but laraha fruitskin is one of the main ingredients. its rather bitter in taste.


and i checked its madder root not maddar. and some research turns out its mostly used for coloring (natural red dye).
makes for some nice bloodmead then :) but apperently not much used in food/drink exept in some old drink in france.

i got the spice mix recipie from a guy in the reform housewhile looking for good quality spices and liquorice root. his parents used to make all kinds of spirits, and this was apparently popular in our region at the time. i am lookign forward to having another chat with him. those obscure old recipies often contain a lot of great ideas to try. at least thats my experience for cooking and other field so i guess it holds true for mead as well.

01-18-2010, 08:50 PM
hallo Snikje,

veel succes met je mede !

(sorry guys, had to greet my fellow BeNeLux in our native language. Back to English now)