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BostonMike
03-10-2012, 10:29 PM
Hi guys,

I brewed a small batch for my first attempt using strawberries. It's been in the 2ndary for quite a while, and I just took a sample, and I'm not happy with it right now. It's quite clear, has a nice slight strawberry aroma, but the flavor is off. I can't even describe it. Maybe medicinal? A bit weak. It doesn't have a strong flavor of any ingredient, the fruit or the honey. Is there a length of time one would recommend conditioning in the secondary for fruit meads? Well, here's the ingredients:

3 lbs Wildflower Honey
3 lbs strawberries (frozen, packaged)
Cote des Blance
Yeast Nutrient blend

I did the no-heat method by just adding the honey and water to a 1 gallon fermenter. I fed it with the yeast nutrient a few times during primary fermentation. After two weeks I added the strawberries and split it between two fermenters (due to volume). Nearly two weeks later I racked off the strawberries back into a one-gallon fermenter. It's been in that fermenter for about 3 1/2 months around 62 degrees.

Is there any saving this mead or explanation of what might have gone wrong?

Mike

TAKeyser
03-11-2012, 02:06 AM
Don't give up on it, sometimes it just takes a while for the flavors to come out. Had a Pineapple melomel that I couldn't taste the Pineapple until about 18 months.

Chevette Girl
03-11-2012, 02:10 AM
Fermented strawberries don't taste the same as unfermented strawberries, I would almost describe it as phenolic...

It's definitely a little surprising at the first taste, or at least that's what I found with my batches of strawberry wine AND some commercially made strawberry wine made from straight strawberry juice.

Is your mead dry or has it still got some sweetness to it? If it's dry maybe backsweetening it a little might make it taste a little better.

BostonMike
03-11-2012, 01:30 PM
Thanks for your thoughts and advice. What would be your preferred method of backsweetening and amount of that sweetener? Should I just use honey and kill the yeast? Reminder that this is a one gallon batch.

The mead is pretty dry with little sweetness.

Do you guys generally prefer the outcome with wine or beer yeasts (or mead yeasts)? I'm wondering if the Cote des Blance was not the best option.

I also made a cyser that also came out surprisingly dry. I'm thinking of adding a cinnamon stick and some vanilla. I may backsweeten this one too if I am confident in the method.

TAKeyser
03-11-2012, 02:55 PM
Thanks for your thoughts and advice. What would be your preferred method of backsweetening and amount of that sweetener? Should I just use honey and kill the yeast? Reminder that this is a one gallon batch.

The mead is pretty dry with little sweetness.

Do you guys generally prefer the outcome with wine or beer yeasts (or mead yeasts)? I'm wondering if the Cote des Blance was not the best option.



When I backsweeten I'll halt the yeast with Campden tablets and Sorbate per the instructions on the packet. I'll than mix up a little honey and water and add it to my mead a little add a time, gently stir and taste. I'll continue this until i get the sweetness I'm looking for.

As for the yeast selection, I've had positive results with beer, wine and mead yeast. What I use really depends on what I am making, what ABV I want and if I want the yeast to bring out any aromas that they are known for. For example I just made a Wheat Braggot, and I wanted the Banana esters that some German Wheat yeast strains are known for, I also wanted about 10% ABV so I had to find which yeast would give me the characteristics I wanted to bring out. I know it wasn't the simple cut and dry answer you were looking for.

Dan McFeeley
03-11-2012, 05:47 PM
The seeds on the strawberries can give the finished melomel a bit of a tannic punch. If you fermented the whole strawberries, with the seeds, that might account for the off flavor. It's a different taste compared to what you might get from a wine fermented with too many stems and seeds from the grapes.

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BBBF
03-11-2012, 07:57 PM
My last strawberry batch tasted "vitaminy."

Matrix4b
03-12-2012, 06:58 PM
simply let it age. Unless it is at least 8 months into aging, I wouldn't really worry about the flavor. It will taste a bit antiseptic as most meads do.

Matrix

greenbucks
03-13-2012, 05:11 AM
simply let it age. Unless it is at least 8 months into aging, I wouldn't really worry about the flavor. It will taste a bit antiseptic as most meads do.

Matrix


Matrix4b is right. You'll need to wait a few more months. I made a strawberry mead too and was disappointed at first and only to find out after 6 months that it turned out well.

Patience is key.

Bob J
03-13-2012, 07:56 AM
Really glad to see this thread..... I have 5 gallons of strawberry Pizazz in secondary that I was worried had an off taste as well.... Was concerned that I had messed it up somehow but after reading this it will hopefully be fine....