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tweak'e
03-12-2011, 06:44 PM
had a small tasting session last night with my test run mead and also a commercial bottle.
bit of a story behind the commercial mead. its a bottle of manuka mead i was given and it originally tasted $%&* awful. more like kero/turps than mead. didn't even get the glass down. so it was topped off with water and but in the fridge. so last night, after its been in the fridge for several months, we tried it again and it was wonderful. still horribly sweet but no fusel taste at all.

now my test run mead was some old reject honey i was given. looked like it was cooked in the drum. yeast used was EC-1118 and outcome was somewhat fusel as to be expected especially at summer temps.
it was stabilized, backsweetened, a bit of acid mix, then quickly bottled to make room for another batch.
after a few months sitting in the wine rack it looks to have a little bit of very fine sediment at the bottom.
taste, surprisingly the mead had lost most of its fusel taste. still a bit funky but quite drinkable.
now i also kept a small bottle of pre stabilized mead in the fridge. what was interesting was the difference between the untouched and backsweetened bottles. the untouched bottle was fairly horrible and no one finished their sample.

i'm very surprised at the commercial bottle aging so rapidly in the fridge. i wonder if its related to the fact that they bottled it with a tasting cork instead of a real cork ??

AToE
03-12-2011, 07:07 PM
It could be the probably large dose of O2 it was given before being re-corked.

Also, if you got it when it was ony a few months old (totally possible, but hard to know for surte), then a couple more months represents a significant % more aging.

Chevette Girl
03-13-2011, 02:36 AM
...and if you topped it off with tap water that might account for something too, there's a fair bit of air dissolved in that... of course, that's a shot in the dark and rendered completely useless if you used boiled and cooled water :)

tweak'e
03-13-2011, 04:04 AM
sorry i forgot to mention i boiled the water before hand.

AToE
03-13-2011, 04:12 PM
Ok, so there wasn't much free O2 in the water then, but still, plenty could have gotten in during the time the bottle was just opened and partially emptied. That's my best guess for this rapid change (though as I mentioned, if this was a young mead then your aging time could have been as long as it had already been aging, all over again, so not insignificant at all!).