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Eytan
10-30-2012, 10:46 AM
hey there.

made 2 batches (first time) of mead. ingredients:

1.4 kg english blossom honey
2/3 gallon spring water
Gervin no.3 champagne yeast
1 tsp yeast vit.

batch 2:

1.5 kg english blossom honey
2/3 gallon spring water
Gervin high alcohol wine yeast
1 tsp yeast vit.

pasturised honey and water together for 20 mins, removed scum on top, cooled and SG tested, added nutrients and yeast (which had already been pitched as per pack instructions).

first batch made on wednesday and 2nd on friday.

First batch not bubbling much. constant small bubbles (like a fizzy drink) and airlock burps every 20 odd seconds. no foam on top, 1/2 cm sediment at bottom. OG 1.085 and now at about half that.

Second batch bubbling often, foam on top and about 1cm sediment, burps every 10 or so seconds. OG 1.092 and now about 2/3 of that.

Questions:

1)Batch 1 has an odd smell, but not having done this before i dont know if this is an issue or not. it smells a bit like cider which has been left out for a couple of days. not particularly vinegary and you can smell the alcohol but yeah..smells like slightly off apple juice. No smell of burnt rubber. Is this normal?

2) Batch 2 had a kind of yeasty gunk at the top of the neck (where the foam stops). I carefully took this out with a sterilised spoon making sure not to get the spoon or the gunk in the foam or liquid. is this common?

3) at what SG/ amount of sediment should I rack for the first time? cant go by airlock bubbles as its never been more than about 1 every 20-30 seconds.

4) is it normal for it to reach 1/2 its OG in such a short space of time (5 days)?

5) does clarification happen during fermentation, or once it has finished (i.e only in secondary vessel)?

any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance
Eytan

fatbloke
10-30-2012, 12:16 PM
First things first, reading matter (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) for the new mead maker. A good read around the bazaars as well, and you'll pick up stuff like not boiling/"pasteurising"/heating honey musts.

Cold, cool and tepid are all good.


1)Batch 1 has an odd smell, but not having done this before i dont know if this is an issue or not. it smells a bit like cider which has been left out for a couple of days. not particularly vinegary and you can smell the http://www.gotmead.com/forum/images/misc/vbglossarlink.gif (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=alcohol) alcohol (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=alcohol) but yeah..smells like slightly off apple juice. No smell of burnt rubber. Is this normal?

2) Batch 2 had a kind of yeasty gunk at the top of the neck (where the foam stops). I carefully took this out with a sterilised spoon making sure not to get the spoon or the gunk in the foam or liquid. is this common?

3) at what SG/ amount of sediment should I rack for the first time? cant go by airlock bubbles as its never been more than about 1 every 20-30 seconds.

4) is it normal for it to reach 1/2 its OG in such a short space of time (5 days)?

5) does clarification happen during http://www.gotmead.com/forum/images/misc/vbglossarlink.gif (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=fermentation) fermentation (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php?do=showentry&item=fermentation), or once it has finished (i.e only in secondary vessel)?
1. you can get all sorts of funky smells during the ferment. Ones to take note of are vinegar and rotten egg (H2S). Otherwise, it's probably fine, presuming good hygiene regime for empty glass. I use CJJ's home brewed sanitiser once all the kit is washed and rinsed off - 5 crushed campden tablets and 1 teaspoon of citric acid dissolved in a pint of water - I keep this in a hand spray. Just spray everything, and then leave it to have 2 or 3 minutes contact time then just shake off/out excess.

2. you often get a yeast scum where the liquid finishes. It's not normally an issue, though you can just swirl the DJ and the moisture will take it off.

3. Don't know much of the data for Gervin yeasts. I just let it finish i.e. once I get 3 identical hydrometer readings, each one taken a few days apart. Then I rack it off the sediment, onto a crushed campden tablet and a half teaspoon of sorbate - which stabilises the batch and will prevent fermentation restarting if I add any more fermentables (which I do to back sweeten to about 1.010 - 1.015, which is where I like my meads).

Secondary fermentation isn't really a good description, as it's basically just the next stage after the primary has finished - it's not really going to ferment, but it gets the main amount off the first sediment.

It's the point where you'd want to make sure that the DJ is topped up to the bottom of the neck, to prevent oxidation.

4. It will vary from batch to batch. some finish in that time, some take longer. Properly balanced musts are what the yeasts like.

5. It can happen anywhere you want. Some people like to just rack it off the first sediment (a.k.a. gross lees) then let it do it's own thing, some just make sure it's finished and then use finings to clear it in the primary fermenter, others will do various things including trying to stop an active ferment because they've made a very high gravity must and want it to have a certain amount of residual sugars, so they'll cold crash it for 4 or 5 days to make sure that the yeast is hibernating, then rack it off any lees onto sulphites and sorbate to stabilise. Which often works.

Personally, because I find I prefer medium meads. I just make the batch, to whatever strength I want, then rack it off the lees, then stabilise, then back sweeten to my preferred level, then worry about clearing it.

Eytan
10-31-2012, 05:36 AM
Thank you so much for your answers. they are immeasurably helpful!

checked batch 1 again this morning and found that its at 1.020 and the weird smell is gone! the fizzing is settling to barely any and i should think that by tomorrow i will be at around 1.010 - 1.005. Then I will wait a few days, rack and stabilise as you suggested and maybe add a fining chemical to speed up clarification (I want a batch done for xmas to give to my girlfriends mum, as she loves homemade stuff and alcohol!).

I noticed that you mentioned not heating... I did this as I had read in a few places that if you didnt pasturise, then proteins and residual wax (this honey is straight form the hive and untreated) may cause a haze in the final mead. is this not the case?

Sorry to be a pain but a couple more small questions popped into my mind...

1) do I need to add the stabilising agent if I get to 1.000? I got the impression that unless I was back sweetening (which im not sure I am), if SG was at 1.000 and not budging over a few days then fermentation has most likely stopped... is this correct, or am I misunderstanding?

2) does adding a fining agent decrease the time until its drinkable/ nice? is it the suspended yeast particles which inhibit the full flavour, or is improvement through aging independant of the yeast falling out of solution?

Again, thank you so much for your answers and help! Im glad to have become a member of such a friendly bunch and I hope, in time, to be able to offer advice to newcomers in turn!

Eytan
10-31-2012, 08:02 AM
Oh and...while im here :p

Batch 2 has high alcohol yeast (up to 21%) in it. As I said before, it started at 1.092 SG and now is at day 5 and about half that. If i wanted to increase alcohol content, am I right in thinking that I would simply need to add more honey at this point in fermentation?

If I do this, would the current (new) SG- SG (before adding honey) + OG = the equivalent OG when working out content?

i.e difference of 0.030 would be equivalent of OG of 1.122?

Thanks again!

Chevette Girl
10-31-2012, 10:12 AM
Heating can drive off some of the delicate aromas and flavours of the honey so most of us don't. Any proteins and things that could cause a haze will eventually settle out, I've never had a honey haze problem that a little bentonite couldn't take care of.

Even if your must gets down to 1.000, you should still stabilize it if you're going to be bottling it within a few months. The reason is that since ethanol is less dense than water, you can wind up with a measurement of less than 1.000 and still have residual sugars in your must, which can continue fermenting in the bottle if you're not careful. Happened to my first batch of mead, luckuly I only popped a few corks and made a mess, others have had bottles explode, which is not a laughing matter.

All a fining agent will do is pull small suspended particles out of your mead making it look prettier earlier. Unfortunately this seems to have little to do with how it tastes, the only way to age a mead is to age it... ;D

Usually what I do when I'm trying to boost the alcohol on a high-tolerance batch is wait until it gets below a certain target and then add enough honey to boost it back up to my maximum sweetness threshhold (ie, every time it goes below 1.010, I add enough honey to bring it back to 1.030), and I just keep repeating this until the SG stops changing, which hopefully end up somewhere around where I wanted it (for me, 1.010-1.020). It's called step feeding and it can push yeast past their listed tolerances sometimes, because it's easier on the yeast to feed them continuously than to drop them into a very high-gravity must right at the outset. It also gives you more control over where the fermentation's going to stop if you don't want to risk having it poop out at 1.050 or something.

And I'm afraid the calculation's a little more complex than that, because by adding a volume of honey to a volume of must, you're diluting the percentage of alcohol by the volume of the honey before it starts converting it into more alcohol. There are ways to figure it out posted around here, but I always do a spirit indication test when I'm done with a step-feeding endeavour because I don't trust the math.

Eytan
10-31-2012, 10:30 AM
Thanks for your reply chevette girl!

Really helpful and informative!

Would you add more honey in the 1st demijohn, or rack to a second before adding honey? Id be worried that the honey would sink down onto the lees otherwise...

I will definitely stabilise, as dont want an explosion!

So, is mead technically drinkable as soon as its stable? Im really aiming to age for only about a month and a half before giving some away as a gift...but dont want to give it away if its not ready to drink :/

I will try to find the calculation, as I'd like it to be around 16-18 % eventually...

Thanks again! :)

fatbloke
10-31-2012, 05:07 PM
-----snip-----

checked batch 1 again this morning and found that its at 1.020 and the weird smell is gone! the fizzing is settling to barely any and i should think that by tomorrow i will be at around 1.010 - 1.005. Then I will wait a few days, rack and stabilise as you suggested and maybe add a fining chemical to speed up clarification (I want a batch done for xmas to give to my girlfriends mum, as she loves homemade stuff and alcohol!).
the last part of the ferment is the bit that takes the longest. It's usually considered "best" to let the ferment finish by itself - the only way that it seems that you'd halt an active ferment, is to cold crash it for a week or so, then while still cold, rack it off the sediment onto the stabilising chems.


I noticed that you mentioned not heating... I did this as I had read in a few places that if you didnt pasturise, then proteins and residual wax (this honey is straight form the hive and untreated) may cause a haze in the final mead. is this not the case?
No. If you can get hold of raw honey, bits of wax, dead bees, other hive debris either float off so you can scoop them out or they drop down with the rest of the lees. The proteins present will depend entirely on the flowers/plants that the bees visited to collect the nectar in the first place. Though honey hazing is one of the reasons I've got into the habit of letting my batches finish, then rack them off the gross lees, stabilise and then back sweeten - I like my meads at about the 1.010-1.015 area, but even then there's no telling how the ageing is gonna progress i.e. you could use a relatively harsh yeast like EC-1118 and when it's "finished" you might taste it and find it lacking in honey character and sweetness. Then 6 months, maybe a year down the road, you taste it again and it's recovered some of the honey characteristics through ageing and that there's a "perceived" sweetness that suggests you might not want to back sweeten. For the sweetness levels, I just stick to the numbers, then if (well, when really) I back sweeten, if the honey is gonna cause some hazing, it's less of an issue as I won't be bothered as I only have to clear it the once, and not find that after 6 months, it's cleared nicely, but needs back sweetening and have the batch haze up and need clearing again (whether with age or with finings).


Sorry to be a pain but a couple more small questions popped into my mind...

1) do I need to add the stabilising agent if I get to 1.000? I got the impression that unless I was back sweetening (which im not sure I am), if SG was at 1.000 and not budging over a few days then fermentation has most likely stopped... is this correct, or am I misunderstanding?

2) does adding a fining agent decrease the time until its drinkable/ nice? is it the suspended yeast particles which inhibit the full flavour, or is improvement through aging independant of the yeast falling out of solution?

Again, thank you so much for your answers and help! Im glad to have become a member of such a friendly bunch and I hope, in time, to be able to offer advice to newcomers in turn!
using a figure of 1.000 as finished is a little arbitary. 1.000 is the gravity of just plain water, so there is a little bit of residual sugars left in the batch, that's not to say that you can taste it, but it can be measured. With natural clearing, even if the batch seems clear i.e. you can read a newspaper through it, there are still some yeast cells in there - the only way to guarantee, or as close to damn it, make sure that it can't referment, would be to "sterile" filter it. Which means filtration media with a gauge of between 0.45 micron and 0.25 micron, which means spending some 's. Not necessarily lots of them, but a mini-jet is gonna rush you about 150 plus, new and the finest pads are about 3 a pop.

Or if you could come up with a vacuum pump, you could just get a tandem filter housing (which are the ones that you can buy to match an enolmatic vacuum bottler). The housing is about a "ton", and the "normal" gauge filter cartridges are about 40, while the 0.25 micron one being about 80 or so.

It doesn't matter how well you've cleared it, and/or filtered it. Most young meads aren't that good. Ageing is the miracle ingredient, and even then, some meads can take years rather than months.

The only way that you're gonna be able to bribe (ok, so persuade/get in her "good books") the GF's mum, is to either try and mask the young taste, which means back sweetening and maybe some acid addition, or just giving her a bottle, that carries a label that says "not to be opened before XX/XX/XXXX"

Oh and...while im here :p

Batch 2 has high alcohol yeast (up to 21%) in it. As I said before, it started at 1.092 SG and now is at day 5 and about half that. If i wanted to increase alcohol content, am I right in thinking that I would simply need to add more honey at this point in fermentation?

If I do this, would the current (new) SG- SG (before adding honey) + OG = the equivalent OG when working out content?

i.e difference of 0.030 would be equivalent of OG of 1.122?

Thanks again!
Stuff doesn't have to taste like a distilled spirit to have higher than normal alcohol levels. If you want to increase it, then yes, step feed with more honey i.e. add more in increments, just don't try and bang it up out of the atmosphere, that will just stress the yeast and cause osmotic shock and probably kill off the ferment, or at least cause it too stick.

Recently, I've been making some "fresh grape pyments". I won't bore you with the details, but the initial addition of honey was 2kg, which from just the crushed grape, move the gravity from about 1.090 to 1.122, but the addition of an extra 1kg when it had dropped to about 1.060, only pushed it back up to about 1.075 (initial batch size was 25 litres of crushed/pulped grape).

Also, if you checked out a reasonably well worked out table, you'd find that a drop of 100 gravity points equates to about 13.5% ABV, whereas a drop of 133 points equates to a fraction over 18% ABV - equally, the smaller the batch, the smaller the increments of honey to add for the step feed - if you added a further 1lb to a batch that started at, say, 1.090, then a further 1lb would push the numbers up a hell of a long way, potentially giving you either a batch that might stick or even if using "normal" wine yeasts that finish at about the 18% mark, some residual sugars. I like to start a batch so it would achieve 14% easily, but then if I want to increase it, step feed incrementally, so that it will probably poop out (the yeast that is) at about 18% - honey musts have shown the ability to exceed the published figures some, maybe 1% or so, occasionally a little more.

The downside of high alcohol batches is that they either take a long time to age, or you need to back sweeten and maybe add a bit of acid to balance. Both of which help "mask" a young or high alcohol mead a bit.

I find that ageing is the best way.....

Thanks for your reply chevette girl!

Really helpful and informative!

Would you add more honey in the 1st demijohn, or rack to a second before adding honey? Id be worried that the honey would sink down onto the lees otherwise...

I will definitely stabilise, as dont want an explosion!

So, is mead technically drinkable as soon as its stable? Im really aiming to age for only about a month and a half before giving some away as a gift...but dont want to give it away if its not ready to drink :/

I will try to find the calculation, as I'd like it to be around 16-18 % eventually...

Thanks again! :)
I routinely add honey for step feeds to the original fermenter, but when it's got somewhere near to the 1/2 fermented level. It makes it easier to retain all the yeast, rather than losing some to the racking. Plus you can add the gravity drops together to work out the % ABV i.e. start at 1.100, add honey at 1.050, pushing it back up to say, 1.075. Then if you let it finish and achieved a finished gravity of 1.000, the total drop would be 125 points. The 100 point drop equates to 13.58% ABV, whereas the 125 point drop equates to 16.98% ABV - and yes, that example is a bit extreme IMO, but it illustrates the principle.

Yes, meads are technically drinkable as soon as they've finished fermenting, but they don't taste that good. If there's still sediment, you get a yeasty sort of taste. If you cleared it, then taste it ? well I can't actually think of any analogy to explain the taste, other than unique, but not that good. Whereas, 6 months to a year down the line and you'll find that you have a completely different result.

Chevette Girl
10-31-2012, 08:14 PM
If you really want to make something that's good in 2 months, get started on a JAO. It's well-balanced enough that it's pretty good in 2 months and REALLY good at 6 months.

Or heck, give your gf's mum two bottles of the same thing, one with a "do not open till XXXX" tag and one without, just a warning that it'll be different, and perhaps also a request for comments comparing the two...

Eytan
11-01-2012, 04:02 PM
Thanks so much to both of you! Batch 1 is at 1.010 and I'm waiting a few days before clearing, stabilising and racking to a fresh demijohn. Batch 2 was at 1.034 and I am attempting a step feed and have added a total of 350g honey over the past few days. Its now back to the same sg. :) Made batch 3 and 4 just now with heather honey and the same yeasts. Took your advice and didnt heat these ones! Both came out at 1.100. Now to play the waiting game! I will let you know how it turns out!
Thanks again for your patience and time :)

Eytan
11-05-2012, 05:22 AM
hello again!

so I racked off my first batch yesterday. Its starting to clarify dramatically (now very translucent) and bubbling has stopped entirely.

Just a couple of question which have arisen though...

1) since racking (siphoned carfully) and putting in new carboy, Ive noticed some bubbles in the must. just like when you leave water out overnight (ie not like fizzing). I have left little to no airspace in the carboy, so was wondering if these bubbles are normal and if they are anything to worry about at all (dont want it to end up carbonated!)

2) how should it be smelling at this stage? I cant describe the exact smell... you can certainly smell alcohol in it, but it doesnt smell particulalry sweet...still a bit like 2 day old apple juice, but with the overriding smell of alcohol... I cant find anywhere online where it says how is should be smelling or tasting at this stage. I havent tasted as it clearly still has yeast in suspension and isnt ready for that... an advice on how a 0.994 mead should smell after a 10 day ferment might be of use...

Thanks again. I dont know what Id do without you guys!

Eytan

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I used a campden tablet and potassium sorbate to keep it stable and in an attempt to prevent oxidisation...

Eytan
11-05-2012, 09:41 AM
p.s do you backsweeten to taste just before bottling?

Chevette Girl
11-05-2012, 10:20 AM
1) That's a really good analogy, actually, and probably quite correct. Your must has CO2 trapped in it from the fermentation and the agitation of being racked will have dislodged some, that's what you're seeing.

2) At this stage we would be concerned if it smelled like old socks, vomit, egg-farts or cardboard. Most other smells, so long as they aren't terrible, are within the realm of "normal".

3) That's up to you, I like to stabilize it, give it 24 hours, backsweeten, then give it a at least week to make sure the SG hasn't moved before I bottle.

Eytan
11-05-2012, 10:29 AM
Thanks chevette girl!

As always, you are a font of wisdom!

will this excess CO2 come out on its own? There isnt much....

2) it doesnt smell like those things...but it isnt a pleasant smell :/ at what point should it smell like mead??

3) do you not leave it to age before bottling then? or do you stabilise much later than I have?
I dont want to backsweeten it until it has a flavour which will at least give me an indication of its final taste... so am i best to wait a month or so first? will the flavour and smell change a lot in this time?

People here seem to suggest that you age for drastically different amounts of time. How can I ever know if its just not turned out very nice, or if it simply needs more time... :s

Chevette Girl
11-05-2012, 10:49 AM
I'm kind of a bad example. I often do not stabilize a sweeter batch but I do usually leave them in the carboy for at least a year.

Fatbloke likes to stabilize and backsweeten right away because he knows where he wants the SG and he wants to give any hazing from the fresh honey time to settle out.

I don't usually backsweeten, usually I just let it carboy age until it's ready to be bottled and then enjoy it as it is.

When I do backsweeten, I like to age it for at least a couple of months or a year first so I know how it's going to taste. Age can bring back a perception of sweetness/honey flavour that can make a sweetened batch taste oversweetened.

But even when I do backsweeten, I give it at least a couple weeks before I bottle, just to make sure it's still stopped.

And yes, the CO2 will slowly come out on its own. It's called degassing. You can force it with a wine whip or other form of agitation, but it will eventually come out on its own.

LOL, that's a really good question, I have had quite a few batches I didn't like, I just keep checking on it every year to see if it's gotten any better. Some batches really really do (like my wild grape, which is coming into its own at 4 years) and some really don't (like one of my dry second-run batches that tastes as crappy at 6 as it did when I bottled it). It's why 1-gallon batches are so disappointing unless you bottle in 350 ml dessert wine bottles, you only get 4-5 chances at it if you bottle in 750 ml bottles. In my case, some of it was genuine mistakes like leaving something on the fruit for too long, and some cases it turns out I just don't care much for bone-dry mels... but it turns out my mom and stepdad LOVE them. Who knew? :)

Eytan
11-27-2012, 09:20 AM
Hi again guys!

So I'm now a bit further down the path to mead and have hit a few more concerns, which I was hoping someone might be able to advise on...

Batch 2 (see below) has cleared nicely, already smells and tastes pretty good and is just aging now.

Batches 1,3 and 4, however are a puzzle to me...

Batch 1 has cleared totally, but has a strange smell (hard to describe but not nice) and has a quite acidic and sour aftertaste (not nice at all!)

batches 3 and 4 (both with heather honey) both have a fine smell, but taste both very watery (if you get what I mean) and very sharp aftertaste on both of them. They havent really cleared properly yet (despite bentonite and then a racking) and im not sure if this is due to the heather or what else it could be due to....

I will admit that I have probably uncorked them and sg tested a bit too often (every day since about a week after ferment started).

So what do you think? Do I have 3 gallons of vinegar, or is this normal/salvageable??

thanks for your help in advance!

Eytan

Chevette Girl
11-27-2012, 11:08 AM
Take a sample of batch 1 and add a little honey to it, see if that improves things. It may turn out that it's unbalanced when it's dry, or you're like me and just don't really like dry wines. Is it the same weird smell it had during fermentation?

As for the other two not clearing, Bentonite only attracts positively-charged particles, so if you've got negatively-charged particles causing the cloudiness, you may need to try Sparkolloid. Here's a thread (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19827) for reference... plus, it's only been a month since you started 3 and 4, are they done and stable? Any yeast activity will keep the yeast in suspension no matter what you do, and clarifying agents also don't work if a mead or wine is still degassing, so you may want to try stirring both of them a few times a day for a week, then see if it all settles out again once you leave it alone. I know it's counterintuitive, to clear it up by stirring it, but if you check out the stir plate experiments some of the folks around here have done, they find it clears up right away because not only is it degassed but the constant agitation has given all the bigger particles ample opportunity to vaccum up the little ones so it all settles out quicker.

And once the SG stops changing dramatically, you can go with once a week, once every other week...

Eytan
11-27-2012, 12:13 PM
Hi again ChevetteGirl! Glad to see you are still here and helpful as ever!

Batch 1: I think I tried taking a sample and mixing it with honey about a week ago. result was better, but still had a slightly bitter and acidic aftertaste, which was a bit unpleasant. The smell is quite similar to when it was fermenting, but far less sharp (Im guessing the sharpness was partly the CO2 fizz). I will try this again when I get home from work and post results later tonight.

Batches 3 and 4: I never thought about the charge of the ions! Im not too bothered about leaving it to clear on its own, rather than add a fining agent to clear it. Its more the taste Im worried about... It tastes like water and alcohol...but not really like honey! is the sharp,acidic aftertaste or the lack of flavour anything to worry about?

Basically, if its not turning to vinegar Im happy. I can wait as long as it takes, but if its definitely gone beyond saving, would rather simply dump the batch and put the demijohns back to good use!

On a side note, due to the fear of losing some of the batches...I have bought enough ingerdients and equipment to start another 4. I will be doing this tomorrow!

Thanks again!

Chevette Girl
11-27-2012, 12:53 PM
Hi again ChevetteGirl! Glad to see you are still here and helpful as ever!

Heh, can't get rid of me that easily ;D


Batch 1: I think I tried taking a sample and mixing it with honey about a week ago. result was better, but still had a slightly bitter and acidic aftertaste, which was a bit unpleasant. The smell is quite similar to when it was fermenting, but far less sharp (Im guessing the sharpness was partly the CO2 fizz). I will try this again when I get home from work and post results later tonight.

This is young, still, if it tastes a little better this time than last time, it's probably just an aging thing.


Batches 3 and 4: I never thought about the charge of the ions! Im not too bothered about leaving it to clear on its own, rather than add a fining agent to clear it. Its more the taste Im worried about... It tastes like water and alcohol...but not really like honey! is the sharp,acidic aftertaste or the lack of flavour anything to worry about?

How dry did these end up? It's quite common for meads, especially dry ones, to taste like not a lot for the first 6 months to a year but many meadmakers have found that the honey's character will come back at some point during that period of time. Or you can stabilize and backsweeten, that should bring some honey flavour back too. You can again try a small bit of honey in a small sample to see if this is something you'd want to do with these batches.


Basically, if its not turning to vinegar Im happy. I can wait as long as it takes, but if its definitely gone beyond saving, would rather simply dump the batch and put the demijohns back to good use!


Sharp, acidic, bitter are all valid descriptions of a young wine or mead that hasn't integrated yet, but don't sweat it unless it starts tasting like acetic acid. And if it does that, hell, let it go and you'll have some very interesting homemade vinegar! Just keep it away from any of your other meads... (don't cross-contaminate, especially plastic and rubber implements)