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shanx
09-16-2011, 06:50 PM
After 2 months and a few days, my first batch is finally ready. It tastes deliciously, all my friends approved. Yet most of them pointed out the same factor (i had also noticed): the smell.
yes, a strong yeast smell lingers, even though i racked it.

I used the basic recipe for 5 liters (with boil method). only 1 racking (after 1 month. afterwards, no more yeast was deposited by the bottom of the bottle)

Chevette Girl
09-16-2011, 07:20 PM
Is it perfectly clear? ie, if you shine a bright light through the glass, can you see anything in the liquid? If so it's not ready and there's still yeast in suspension, you'll want to give it a few more months to settle down, or hit it with a fining agent to make things settle...

Before any further speculation, folks will need to know what kind of yeast you used and what kind of honey.

Also, have you had mead before? I find it often does have a peculiar smell that doesn't carry over to the taste that is somewhat reminiscent of yeast (to me, anyway).

Oh, and welcome to the addiction- er, hobby! ;D

skunkboy
09-16-2011, 07:22 PM
Use any potassium sorbate, or yeast nutrient?

AToE
09-16-2011, 11:03 PM
2 months after starting fermentation is really young, there's guaranteed to be a TON of yeast still in suspension unless it was fined, or maybe filtered. The yeast dropping mostly out of suspension is something I attribute the major flavour changes from 4-8 months a mead goes through to.

Dan McFeeley
09-17-2011, 12:28 AM
It's hard to put a name to an odor without actually smelling it. Is it really "yeast," or is there another name that might hit closer to the source of the off odor?

If you could post your recipe and procedures followed, that might help in getting closer to what the odor might be. Maybe it's ok, just something that will age out, maybe it's something else.

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shanx
09-19-2011, 04:22 PM
first of all, thank you for the warm welcome and your helpful and kind answers. i'm excited with my new hobby and looking forward to sharing further mead-related experiences with you guys.

@Chevette Girl @Dan McFeeley: we used "Fleischmann" yeast, but i don't know if that information helps. it's a normal bread yeast. i brew from Brazil, so I use different honey and yeast brands than most of you.
i believe the smell is yeast, 95% positive. maybe that smell is normal after only 2 months and i'm just way too perfectionist, since it's my first batch and i don't know what to expect.
i've had mead once before, at a local medieval bar. i was happy to notice that, in spite of the awkward yeast smell, mine tastes much better than that one, and all my friends agree :) i consider buying some from the internet, for further comparisons

@skunkboy I used some yeast nutrient -sugar in fact, dunno if it's a good idea (is it?). and no potassium sorbate

@AToE i'm relieved to read that. part of that smell i assume is from yeast is gone now, so it's probably only a matter of time.
will i need to rack it again, then, even though i see no dropped yeast?

cheers

Chevette Girl
09-19-2011, 07:13 PM
What Skunkboy meant by yeast nutrient would be white crystals available at brew stores, usually it's diammonuim phosphate, which gives the yeast some nitrogen they can use to multiply in the early stages of a ferment.

Potassium sorbate is a preservative that will prevent the yeasties from multiplying any more, generally used with sodium or potassium metabisulphite, which stuns the yeast so they quit making alcohol even if there's still sugar or honey to feed them. It's best to either stabilize your meads with both of these before you bottle if there is any sweetness left, or wait at least a year before bottling it, just to make sure it doesn't ferment in the wine bottles, we call this situation a "bottle bomb" for a reason. There are some really good threads around on stabilization that you should take a look at.

As for racking, I'd let it sit until you do see some sediment (could take weeks or months), then rack it off.

skunkboy
09-19-2011, 08:12 PM
i've had mead once before, at a local medieval bar. i was happy to notice that, in spite of the awkward yeast smell, mine tastes much better than that one, and all my friends agree :) i consider buying some from the internet, for further comparisons
cheers

Good for you! A little work and you are already pleasing yourself and your friends.
Think of what you might accomplish now with a few more experiments... ;-)

dave_witt
09-19-2011, 08:26 PM
we used "Fleischmann" yeast, but i don't know if that information helps. it's a normal bread yeast.


It may very well be the yeast--it is a bread yeast, and usually one would use a wine yeast for mead. A question to ask is whether or not anyone on the forums has used Fleischmann's before, and whether they could tell us if it would impart more of a yeastie scent/flavor to the mead.

(Personally, having experienced it in breads and home made root beer, I would say yes, but that's just my experience. YMMV.)

Chevette Girl
09-19-2011, 08:40 PM
It may very well be the yeast--it is a bread yeast, and usually one would use a wine yeast for mead. A question to ask is whether or not anyone on the forums has used Fleischmann's before, and whether they could tell us if it would impart more of a yeastie scent/flavor to the mead.

(Personally, having experienced it in breads and home made root beer, I would say yes, but that's just my experience. YMMV.)

I think a lot of us use Fleischmann's bread yeast for JAO's and they're drinkable in 2 months, I've never had one that tasted yeasty by the time it cleared.

dave_witt
09-19-2011, 09:27 PM
I think a lot of us use Fleischmann's bread yeast for JAO's and they're drinkable in 2 months, I've never had one that tasted yeasty by the time it cleared.

That's true, but I thought the reason JAOs were drinkable so quickly were because of the heavy citrus flavors that covered up any harsh flavors. Wouldn't that also be the case for the yeast?

shanx
09-19-2011, 09:44 PM
Is it perfectly clear? ie, if you shine a bright light through the glass, can you see anything in the liquid? If so it's not ready and there's still yeast in suspension

turns out it is not completely cleared. i've just shone light through it and saw some remaining powder in it. so i guess that was the problem after all. damn, i wanna drink it : ) good thing i have a few more batches that are almost ready.

i like the wine yeast idea, instead of fleichmann. i just don't think i can easily buy some around here. there are no brew stores at my city.

thanks for the tips everyone!

Soyala_Amaya
09-20-2011, 09:06 AM
Online stores! You can order pretty much EVERYTHING online, and I know there's a few stores that have free shipping over certain amounts. (E.C. Kraus is one I know of off the top of my head.) Pick up some yeast, some stabilizing chemicals, maybe a new carboy...it's easy to get over the minimum free shipping amount! And sometimes, even with a brew store around, you can get some more exotic stuff they don't carry online.

Dan McFeeley
09-20-2011, 12:58 PM
I use Fleischmann's exclusively for my JAO batches, and I believe Joe's original recipe for JOA calls for it. I haven't had any problems with it.

It may also be your aging period -- just from my own experience, nine months minimum is a good aging period for a JOA. It can be drinkable once it's clear, but I notice that with a good aging period, the flavors become melded, which works wonders for the harsher taste of the orange pith that can be really noticable sometimes in a young JOA.

I would suggest caution with using wine yeast for a JOA. One of the things that makes this recipe work is how everything balances together. A good JOA will finish out sweet, and that's from using the bread yeast, which tends to be finish out early, without consuming as much of the fermentable sugars as a wine yeast would. A JOA that is a bit too dry may be out of balance, and need additional aging.

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