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Wiccancowboy
10-23-2011, 06:14 PM
Just bottled our first mead.... fairly quick and simple recipe I found online, that I can't exactly find again (whoops). Anyway, it was one that said it didn't do well with long aging, and should be consumed within a year. It's been in the carboy for 6 months. We bottled it in 12 ounce bottles (no larger bottles) and let it sit for about a week before trying it. It's definitely alcoholic, and it's VERY sweet. The problem being, after my 2nd glass, I developed the most horrible case of heartburn I think I've ever experienced in my life (I rarely get heartburn, and this was agony)! Has anyone ever had this happen to them? And if so, what did you do to fix the problem?

AToE
10-23-2011, 06:40 PM
Hmmm, odd. I never get heartburn from just alcohol, it's always booze + greasy food! I don't think it would be anything mead-specific that caused this, it's more likely it was just whatever else you'd eaten that day etc.

Of course I could be totally wrong, and either way welcome to gotmead!




...Oh, and TUMS. That's the only advice I have! ;)

TheAlchemist
10-23-2011, 07:10 PM
With JAO that indluded the pith, I got heartburn pretty bad with the first test (about 3mo after pitching the yeast). Now I've tasted the same batch again a couple of months later and don't suffer the same fate.

Chevette Girl
10-23-2011, 07:51 PM
Was there orange pith in your recipe? That'd be my first suspect too...

My original JAO (Joe's Ancient Orange mead) was the first thing I ever got heartburn from in my life, I now always make it without the pith, just zest and juice... the funny thing was, two people I fed it to who usually DO get heartburn, didn't.


And welcome to the forum!

Wiccancowboy
10-23-2011, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the welcome, everyone. :)

There was no additive to the mead.... just honey, water, and yeast (And nutrient and energizer).

I did this 2 days in a row. After the first day, I paid attention to what I was eating and ate totally different food the next day. Drank 2 glasses of mead, and got an epic case of heartburn.

I'm not sure what's causing it, but it's making it hard for me to enjoy my homebrew.

Chevette Girl
10-23-2011, 09:59 PM
:( That really sucks.

Although I fail to see how ANY mead can't benefit from some age... most of us find that we want our meads aged 9 months to a year if we can wait that long! :)

Do you get heartburn after only 1 glass? If not, then maybe something that cleanses the palate/neutralizes whatever's in your stomach might be recommended in between glasses?

It's possible that you've got something going on in your esophagus that doesn't like prolonged contact with alcohol so if you've got a full-ish stomach, the level reaches the owie spot? Just conjectures... were you drinking on a full or empty stomach?

Loadnabox
10-24-2011, 09:37 AM
There was no additive to the mead.... just honey, water, and yeast (And nutrient and energizer).



If there's no fruit, spices, vegetables, corn sugar etc etc.... then it's a traditional. Traditionals always do better with aging even when super sweet.

I would be very interesting in knowing more about the recipe.

How much water?
How much honey?
Do you have Specific Gravity readings?
What kind of yeast did you use?

Wiccancowboy
10-25-2011, 08:30 PM
the recipe called for 15lbs of honey, I had 16, so we went with it. 5 gallons of water. I used the Wylands Sweet Mead yeast. Thing being, it was yeasted quite a bit, we pitched 3 times because the yeast seemed to keep dying off. We also used nutrient and energizer throughout the 6 months that it was in the carboy. I don't have the gravity at bottling.

It's really odd. I never get heartburn, ever. I can eat pretty much anything I want, with no adverse reaction, or at least not one like this!

I don't think it's anything that has to do with my body not liking alcohol... I tend to drink quite a bit of beer, and Jack Daniels is quite the friend, so I don't think it's that. I don't know. It's a bummer. I'm trying a bit of it with some 7Up, which is total blasphemy, I know, but I want to see if that cuts the issue back some.

Guinlilly
10-25-2011, 08:43 PM
the recipe called for 15lbs of honey, I had 16, so we went with it. 5 gallons of water. I used the Wylands Sweet Mead yeast. Thing being, it was yeasted quite a bit, we pitched 3 times because the yeast seemed to keep dying off. We also used nutrient and energizer throughout the 6 months that it was in the carboy. I don't have the gravity at bottling.

It's really odd. I never get heartburn, ever. I can eat pretty much anything I want, with no adverse reaction, or at least not one like this!

I don't think it's anything that has to do with my body not liking alcohol... I tend to drink quite a bit of beer, and Jack Daniels is quite the friend, so I don't think it's that. I don't know. It's a bummer. I'm trying a bit of it with some 7Up, which is total blasphemy, I know, but I want to see if that cuts the issue back some.

How much energizer and nutrients did you use? If you kept adding it over 6 months that could be what is giving you heartburn.

Wiccancowboy
10-25-2011, 08:46 PM
If I remember correctly, we used the nutrient and energizer twice.... Once when we racked the mead out of the carboy and into a bucket for fermentation (we were also doing a beer in between, and needed the carboy for a bit), and then once when we racked it back into the carboy.

edit: I think it was .5 teaspoon of each, each time. So total of 1 teaspoon of nutrient, and 1 teaspoon of energizer for the batch.

Guinlilly
10-25-2011, 08:49 PM
If I remember correctly, we used the nutrient and energizer twice.... Once when we racked the mead out of the carboy and into a bucket for fermentation (we were also doing a beer in between, and needed the carboy for a bit), and then once when we racked it back into the carboy.

edit: I think it was .5 teaspoon of each, each time. So total of 1 teaspoon of nutrient, and 1 teaspoon of energizer for the batch.

Well that's not it then. ;D

AToE
10-25-2011, 09:45 PM
Ok, that yeast is notorious for failing hard, and you didn't give it much for nutrients - and I'm guessing nothing at all for aeration right?

Without a hydrometer you're really flying blind (for future reference fermentation should take no more than 2 weeks unless you're doing an extended cool ferment on purpose), so I'd go buy a hydrometer and get a gravity reading on this.

I'll bet you're basically drinking liquid sugar and that's what's causing you the problems, it probably only fermented to a pretty low alcohol content and left you with a super super sweet mead.

Wiccancowboy
10-25-2011, 10:51 PM
I didn't know that meast was notorious for failing.... A friend of mine used it for a recipe, and it came out spectacular.

As far as aeration, we did try to aerate it every time it was re-racked, stirring it briskly with the racking cane.

We do have a hydrometer, and have some readings, but I can't find them, and we didn't take a reading before bottling. I'll have to take a look at that.

AToE
10-25-2011, 10:53 PM
It can make good mead, it's just one of the most difficult to work with yeasts ever or it stalls out and doesn't ferment nearly as much as it should - and it has nothing about it better than any wine yeast (it really just says "mead" on the lable...) so most people avoid it once they try it and have trouble!

A hydrometer is the main thing though, fermenting without one is like driving with a blindfold on!

chams
10-27-2011, 12:46 AM
It's the sugar...that is causing the heartburn.
Go see your doctor.

Wiccancowboy
10-27-2011, 01:20 AM
Hm...

Let's lay some of the variables on the table.

I am 7 years out of Roux-N-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery. I've lost over 200lbs. Sugar does not agree with me in the form of Dumping Syndrome. I have NEVER had heartburn until this batch of mead.

I will admit that I drink A LOT. I don't care what anyone else says. I've homebrewed this mead and a beer, I've helped friends homebrew mead and cider before.

I'm hoping I can find the resolution for this. I don't want this to ruin my enjoyment of homebrewing.

AToE
10-27-2011, 01:53 AM
I think making drier mead is quite likely a big factor here - do you have the ability to get a hydrometer reading for this? That would be a really massive tool in figuring this out, without that data we're really just guessing.

If you've had mead made by someone else and had no problems then step one is to compare the hydrometer readings of the 2 batches, and then start comparing every difference in overall process.

This is a pretty rare thing to come up, so the more info the better~!

Chevette Girl
10-27-2011, 08:10 PM
I've lost over 200lbs. Sugar does not agree with me in the form of Dumping Syndrome.

Congrats on taking control of your weight! I have a friend who's probably 150 lb less than he was after gastric surgery (not sure what procedure) about 4 years ago.

Ok, so your stomach is smaller than original specifications... Do you drink wine at all? Sweet wines?

Here's my line of thought - how fast do you drink mead (volume/time) as compared to hard alcohol, wine or beer? Beer might not have enough alcohol to burn your esophagus if you do drink a large volume quickly and it backs up, and maybe you don't drink sufficient quantities of hard alcohol fast enough for it to back up in your modified system?

I dunno, just a thought...

Medsen Fey
10-27-2011, 10:20 PM
It is an interesting problem. It must not be the alcohol, which often causes GERD to be worse because you'd be having similar symptoms from the whiskey. One question is does this happen with commercial mead? Do you have the same symptoms with a bottle of Chaucer's? If not, then you have something specific with your batch of mead.

That could be a lot of things. Perhaps something in the honey (there are all sort of compounds in there) so you may find that using a different type of honey will work. You might find that having less residual sugar helps. I've not seen any data looking at Fusel alcohols and a relationship to GERD, but having a long struggling fermentation could have something to do with it.

I'd say you have a little research and testing to do to find out if mead in general is your problem or if it is just your batch. I don't envy having to do it the hard way though. Good luck.

Wiccancowboy
10-27-2011, 11:55 PM
@Chevette Girl: Thanks! And congrats to your friend on the weight loss.

I drink moscato sometimes, and quite a bit of Port, and that hasn't caused an issue.

Interesting thought though. Mead definitely doesn't go down as fast as beer or hard A. I'm not sure exactly how I could test that out.

@Medsen Fey: I don't run into the same issue with Chaucer's or any other commercial mead. I think it's specific to this batch, which totally bums me out. I guess it's back to the drawing board, and in the meantime, cutting this batch with 7up if I want to drink it at all.

AToE
10-27-2011, 11:59 PM
That's definitely a bummer if it's batch specific because like you say you won't enjoy this one as much. But, at least it means you can make more in the future and hopefully not have this issue, learning about good fermentation management - stuff like how much nutrient to add (and when), different yeasts, aeration, etc will let you make something that ferments in a sane amount of time like 1-2 weeks and will be a much cleaner tasting product anyways, and hopefully without this problem.

And as Medsen says... maybe just maybe it was the specific honey (or it could have been the effects of a pile of problems adding up). Out of curiousity if I were you I'd make a small 1 gallon batch with the same honey, but improved processes whenever you embark on another large batch, and see if down the road that one has issues or not.