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mtbikernate
08-02-2010, 12:28 AM
I've been registered here for quite awhile.

I made a batch of mead a couple years ago (Simple Cyser) and it didn't turn out. I was living in PA at the time I made it, and it traveled to TX with me when I moved. It finished here, and it was obviously bad. Not entirely sure where I went wrong, but I suspect there was contamination of some sort during the process. I wasted some good honey on that batch.

I still have some good honey waiting for a batch of mead, but I wanted to work on my techniques with cheap ingredients before I wasted more good honey.

I decided to work on a batch of JAO. I put that together this evening and I was meticulous about my cleaning procedures. I spent most of the day scrubbing down the kitchen, and after dinner I gave it one last wipe-down with bleach and cleaned and sanitized all of my equipment. I got out my mega jug -o- hand sanitizer (kept under the turtle aquarium typically) and then went to take a shower.

After my shower, I began to prepare the recipe and I was religious about using the sanitizer on my hands and soaking my equipment in bleach water when it wasn't being used (and rinsing thoroughly before using it).

I got through the recipe and my airlock began to bubble within about 10 minutes after adding the yeast. So far so good. I didn't bother measuring specific gravity on this recipe because I was trying to follow it to the letter.

Now I'm feeling a bit more comfortable, I think I'll try a blueberry melomel with some of the several pounds of fresh local blueberries I picked on Sunday and some of the good honey I've got (blueberry honey from PA).

wayneb
08-02-2010, 08:17 AM
Welcome back!

One caution - when you use bleach as a sanitizer, make sure that you rinse, rinse, and rinse some more until you are absolutely sure that there is no chlorine left. If you can smell bleach residue on any of your equipment, then there is enough there to spoil the taste of your mead. That's the biggest reason why I like to use the no-rinse sanitizers (I usually use StarSan). It leaves no bad tasting residual chemicals if used as directed.

mtbikernate
08-02-2010, 12:07 PM
Yep. I rinsed everything heavily before actually using it.

I just found out at the last minute that I didn't have enough campden tabs from my last go at homebrewing and I don't have a local brew store. I've got a couple different sanitizers on order for my next batch (I want to see which I like better) so I don't have to use bleach again.

Kee
08-03-2010, 12:09 AM
Welcome back.

The blueberry sounds nice! It'll be a good choice. Have you considered adding a little vanilla to go with it? (I like vanilla beans with my mels.)

Why do you say it didn't turn out? What was the flavor for the cyser? Do you remember any specifics, such as how long you aged it or if the scent was off? If the experts here can figure out what happended (if anything), it's easier to avoid next-time.

mtbikernate
08-08-2010, 05:45 PM
Welcome back.

The blueberry sounds nice! It'll be a good choice. Have you considered adding a little vanilla to go with it? (I like vanilla beans with my mels.)

Why do you say it didn't turn out? What was the flavor for the cyser? Do you remember any specifics, such as how long you aged it or if the scent was off? If the experts here can figure out what happended (if anything), it's easier to avoid next-time.


I've been trying to find a recipe that looks good (and has relatively simple procedure) before I start the blueberry batch. vanilla sounds like it'd be a tasty addition. I'll certainly consider it.

There was a really off flavor in the cyser. It was dry, for one...but that's not what made it bad. it was a chemical flavor of some sort. It didn't taste like bacteria got in and turned it. I just don't know enough to be able to tell if it was oxidation, if the cider I used had a chemical in it that wrecked the flavor, or what. I started on the mead a few years ago when I lived in Pittsburgh. I don't remember the date I began, but I do remember that I racked it and everything while I still lived there. I moved to Texas, and the stuff sat around here for months before I made any attempts to taste it. When I did, it was no good. I even invited other people to taste it to confirm what I thought - that it was no good. But that was at least 2yrs ago now, so I can't remember too many details of the taste.