View Full Version : Second Thoughts

06-02-2010, 01:31 AM
I stared at the honey in my cupboard for a while, thought "I wonder what a dry mead tastes like" and dove in, with no real research, etc.

Sometimes that's fun.

But second thoughts sometimes crop up. As they are now. So here's a request for advice.

I have about a gallon of plain mead (honey, water, yeast nutrient, and yeast) that's nearly done with primary fermentation. My plan was to rack (repeat as necessary), let it age for a good long time, bottle, let it age another good long time. I expected to be trying a first taste in a year or so.

I used el-cheapo honey that was sitting in my cupboard. I'm starting to think that if the only ingredient was honey, I should possibly have looked at getting something a bit tastier, or more interesting, to make it with. Since I'm already prepared to use a large dose of patience on this one, I'd rather maximize my returns a bit.

So my options, as I see it, are to:

1. Trust my sudden inspiration, and leave it as is. If it's not that great, learn something. If it's great, learn something.

2. Cover up\augment the boring supermarket clover honey with a fruit juice. (I'd probably try a blueberry or raspberry)

3. Cover up\augment the boring supermarket clover honey with spices of some sort. (I'd have no idea what to do here)

Any suggestions or ideas are quite welcome.

06-02-2010, 06:03 AM
Well I started my first batch the same way using health store honey. The only difference is I started with 5 gals but lost a bit to racking so ended up with 4 1 gal jugs. I just bottled 1 of those last week with the first bottle being just that plain mead and then backsweetening the rest of the first gallon. We tried both the past weekend camping and both were good with one being dryer and hotter and the other having a bit more honey flavor.

Plus I still have 3 more gallons to experiment with.(Hoping to try some strawberry in 1)

I'd say you could try bottling one straight to see how it ages and add something different to the other bottles to see how they react. Either way I think you should enjoy the results.:D

06-02-2010, 09:43 AM
Taste it next time you rack it. If you like how it tastes (I'd focus on the honey flavor and try to ignore any alcohol flavors at this point, as those will mellow) continue as planned. If you think it tastes too bland, I'd rack it onto some fruit. I did this last year, racking a traditional mead that wasn't very interesting onto some strawberries, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out!

Also, somebody in this thread sometime soon is going to ask for more specifics on your recipe, like how much honey, what kind of yeast, and when the batch was started. :)

Medsen Fey
06-02-2010, 10:36 AM
Also, somebody in this thread sometime soon is going to ask for more specifics on your recipe, like how much honey, what kind of yeast, and when the batch was started. :)

Yes, please provide those details, along with gravity numbers if you have them.

I think your first plan, to try it as a traditional mead is a good one. It will give you a reference point from which to judge other meads you make. If it tastes a little bland, try adding a bit of acidity (acid blend or lemon juice) to perk up the flavor a bit. Aging usually brings back more honey aroma, and you may find you like it a lot over the next year or two.

Of course, there would be nothing wrong in staring a second batch with some fruit/juice so you can make a direct comparison. :)

And Welcome to GotMead!

06-03-2010, 12:41 AM
Excellent - what started as a whim will now turn into a plan. I'll give it a bit of a taste at racking and perhaps adjust a little bit, but for the most part will leave it alone. I suppose I could just label it as "baseline Mead" or something similar.

I don't have my notes in front of me, but if memory serves, i used a bit under 3 pounds of honey, OG approximately 1.085. Champagne yeast was used, so it should finish dry. I started it up 9 days ago, and bubbling has slowed noticeably now.

I guess this means I should go shopping for some good honey to make a comparison batch. Woo! :D

By the way, thanks for the replies. The feedback is much appreciated!