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Paul S
09-15-2012, 11:05 PM
I am brand new to meadmaking and was gifted 3 gallons of mead from a friend who is moving out of the country. Each gallon has a wonderful flavor, although a bit sweet. There is a gallon of plain, a gallon with raspberries added, and a gallon with orange, cinnamon, and cloves. They were kept in one gallon containers for a full year, and were given to me with the airlocks still on. The one noticeable and unpleasant characteristic is that they have a yeasty taste. As they have never been racked, I understand this is my next step. Can I expect racking to improve on the yeasty taste? And as the taste otherwise is so pleasant, and at a year out they are mature (true?), is there any way I can rack repetedly over the next few weeks to get a finished product that has no yeast aftertaste?


I appreciate the feedback.

wayneb
09-16-2012, 08:16 PM
Well, it would have been better to rack once all the yeast had settled out, but better late than never. The "yeasty taste" that you are noticing is very likely caused by yeast autolysis - the breakdown of yeast cells that occurs after they die. It usually takes some months to happen, but after a year of aging on the lees I'm sure you've got some yeast cell contents in your mead.

That said, you can get rid of much of the yeasty character by racking carefully off of the lees so as to leave as much as possible behind. Do that, then allow the mead to rest in another container for a time (month or so). If anything else falls out of suspension, rack off of that as well.

If too much yeasty character remains after the second racking, you could try fining (i.e. using a clearing agent) that is good for pulling suspended proteins out of the mead. Hot Mix Sparkolloid would work, as would an "old school" fining - egg whites. Add the fining agent per directions, stir in slowly but thoroughly, and allow the mead to settle a bit longer, several weeks. Then rack once more and see if that takes care of the problem.

Racking, and patience, can help with lots of minor mead issues. There really is no substitute for time in this case!

Paul S
09-16-2012, 11:26 PM
Thanks for taking the time to respond in such detail. I certainly appreciate it. As a beekeeper, I regard honey as precious, as as such, want the mead gifted to me to get the help I can provide for it to be as enjoyable as possible.

Much appreciated!