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jayich
04-19-2010, 11:54 PM
Today I racked a concord grape pyment onto 2oz. Hung. oak cubes and it tasted very sour. This is only my second mead but I do know meads markedly improve with age, but wil this sourness go away? Is the mead infected or could this sourness be from the concord grapes? It is quite unpleasant and it is hard to believe that it will dissipate. The F. G. was 1.00 and the O. G. 1.104. It was brewed about 3 weeks ago. Other brewing notes are as follows:

12 11.5oz. cans of Welches frozen concord grape juice conc.
7.6 lbs. clover honey
3 tsp. Fermaid K and 1 tsp. DAP added during first 3 days of fermentation
15 gm. Lalvin 71B and 10gm. Lalvin 1116 yeast pitched after appropriate rehydration in Go-Ferm.
pH adjusted with 1 tsp.KHCO3 and 2.75 ttsp. CaCO3- ending pH 3.5
Fermented at 60 to 64 degrees
Final volume 5.5 gal.

I did not sulphite the grape conc. but added it directly to my mixture of honey and water at about 130 degrees.
Could the non-sanitized grape juice cause a bacterial infection?
Any suggestions? Should I back- sweeten to balance the marked sourness?
The 3.5 pH was taken a few days prior to racking and I will take an additional reading, and if significantly lower, I would be more suspicous of an infection- like Pediococcus.
I would appreciate any comments from the experts out there.

akueck
04-20-2010, 01:27 AM
Can you describe the sourness? Is it acetic (like vinegar), lactic (like yogurt), citric (like citrus), malic (like apples), etc? Grapes definitely have an acid component to them as does the honey itself, and acid flavors will take time to integrate just like alcohol flavors. Unless you're noticing a sour flavor that would definitely come from something other than your ingredients or the yeast you used, I'd chalk it up to "young mead flavor".

Don't backsweeten now, it's too early to tell if you're going to need it. Let the mead grow up a bit. You can always add more sugar later, but can't take it out if you decide you don't need it.

Medsen Fey
04-20-2010, 09:06 AM
You probably don't have an infection. And if anything Pediococcus and other lactic acid bacteria would tend to lower the acidity by converting malic acid into lactic acid (Malolactic fermentation).

In a young mead or wine, the harshness and the bitterness from the yeast may make it seem more sour. As Akueck suggests, give it time. Later on, if it is still too sour, you can sweeten enough to offset it.

jayich
04-20-2010, 01:15 PM
Thanks for the advice. The sourness is not vinegary but may be tartaric, malic, or from lactic acid in my opinion. I will let it age and taste it in several months.