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dreampet
10-16-2011, 05:04 PM
Recipe is as follows:
one gallon of honey, four gallons of regular tap water, and red star champagne yeast (I don't remember the specific number).
We made two batches, one using local unpasteurized honey from a local beekeeper, and one using standard pasteurized clover honey from Wal-mart.

After fermentation, we racked the mead off the lees into clean carboys, mixed in a little clarifier and some preservative and let it sit. It has been about 6 weeks, and we checked it out again to see what was happening. Both batches smell yeasty and have a taste that is not pleasant. It has an alcohol taste, a little bit of yeast taste, and frankly, it's bland. Definitely not something I want to drink. Also, the batch with the Walmart honey is really cloudy, whereas the unpasteurized batch is nice and clear.

But what's with the taste/smell? Is it just that it hasn't aged long enough? Is there something wrong; are these batches ruined?
We've made both wine and beer before, and everything has been fine.

Chevette Girl
10-16-2011, 05:37 PM
Did you get initial and final specific gravity readings? Those would help.

How often did you aerate?

6 weeks is pretty young to be expecting much from a show mead (mead containing honey, water and yeast, known to be difficult fermentations) so I wouldn't be worrying just yet... it's not like wine kits where they're drinkable after 4 weeks. Especially if they've gone dry, dry meads seem to need a while to mellow out to anything drinkable.

I'm not familiar with Red Star products so I don't know if the yeast would be imparting off-flavours if they're starved for nutrients, but next time, I'd suggest you use yeast nutrients (DAP or diammonuim phosphate) and yeast energizer (vitamins and minerals for yeast), since honey's mostly sugar and not much in the way of amino acids and proteins that the yeast can eat in order to replicate.

AToE
10-16-2011, 06:59 PM
Waaaaaaaaaay too young to have even the slightest clue how this will turn out. After 6 months it'll at least be drinkable, 1 to 1.5 years is when you'll see it actually turn into something that'll surprise you though. :)

PitBull
10-17-2011, 08:58 AM
You will definitely be surprised at what a difference nine months to a year will make. I know I was.

Dry meads especially, may not smell or taste all that wonderful at bottling. In about a year’s time, you will swear that Bacchus (or Dionysus, depending on your religion) came down from the heavens, smiled upon you, and blessed your mead. If made correctly, it will almost magically have both a wonderful nose and taste.

Patience is a wonderful ingredient to add to your meads. But it is very hard to when you are just starting out and you have not yet built up your inventory and selection. I've found it's much easier to be patient when you have a store of 150+ bottles of mead/wine in your basement.

AToE
10-17-2011, 12:52 PM
It's also much easier to be patient if you simply don't bottle it until it's at least close to ready. ;) I don't bottle mine until at least a year most of the time, plus this lets the mead really clear properly so you don't wind up with sediment in the bottles.

PitBull
10-17-2011, 04:56 PM
It's also much easier to be patient if you simply don't bottle it until it's at least close to ready. ;) I don't bottle mine until at least a year most of the time, plus this lets the mead really clear properly so you don't wind up with sediment in the bottles.
I'm not nearly as patient as you. I fine, filter and bottle my mead at about 6 to 9 months, then age.

Ofter in addition to lack of inventory and selection, one also tends to lack enough empty carboys. I have only six, 2 @ 6 gal., 2 @ 5 gal., and 2 @ 3 gal. (plus numerous 4-liters and smaller). Twenty-eight gallons of brewing capacity is not nearly enough. It's especially true when you add wine and beer to the mix.

I'll likely get a couple more 6's or possible 6.5's in the near future. My wife thinks I'm crazy... but the majority of voices in my head disagrees with her.

Heathenlegions
10-17-2011, 07:47 PM
Haha, yeah my boyfriend thinks I'm already obsessing over this mead hobby and I just started with my first two batches. Only have two 3gallon carboys, thinking of buying a big pail/bucket for secondary after primary fermentation,less costly?

Guinlilly
10-17-2011, 09:17 PM
Haha, yeah my boyfriend thinks I'm already obsessing over this mead hobby and I just started with my first two batches. Only have two 3gallon carboys, thinking of buying a big pail/bucket for secondary after primary fermentation,less costly?

You generally want to do it the other way around. Primary in the bucket, rack to carboy for secondary.

JLindsey
10-17-2011, 09:21 PM
My first batch tasted like "medicine" after one year, according to my honest friends. After two plus years it took a first in its category at the Mazer Cup. Hang in there!