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View Full Version : Help, my mead is going crazy!!!



Carpathian Wolf
01-03-2013, 08:20 AM
Greetings from Romania to all mead lovers on this forum!

I need some help with my mead and I really hope you can help me.

I made aprox. 100 l of mead. Three months later it had a very good taste,it was still (it no longer fermented) and semi-dry. Two months after that I had the first problems with it. It started to become acidulated and a bit sourish. I had bottled tens of bottles when its taste was still very good. I added a little bit of honey to some bottles and afterwards I realized that this was maybe the reason for which the mead became acidulated. The problem is that the mead with no added honey also became acidulated (to a smaller extent). Which can be the cause of the acidulation and the sourish taste?

I specify that the mead remaining in the cask came into contact witn the air from the cask. In a 200 liters cask I left only 30 liters of mead inside. Can this be a a cause of the acidulation of the mead and the change of taste? Why did its taste change and how can I repair it? Its taste isn't bad but it's not so delicious.

What do you suggest me to do? If I add potassium metabisulphite is it enough to eliminate the acidulation from the mead? Will I then be able to add honey with no fear that the acidulation will increase? Is it better to add the honey to make it sweeter and after several days to add potassium metabisulphite? Is it still necessary to add potassium sorbate too? If I want the mead to be sweeter is it better to add more honey in the composition and stop the fermentation or after the fermentation I add a bit of honey (to taste) and then add potassium metabisulphite? One more thing that troubled me is that although the honey was very dark in colour and so was the composition, the mead became very light,almost colourless.

I specify that the recipe I used was made of honey ,pollen and wine yeast (is it possible that the acidity is due to the pollen?).

I saw recipes in which sugar is added besides honey. Doesn't the sugar give it a bad taste or doesn't it make it less delicious?

I greet you all and I thank you for your understanding.

A Happy New Year with a lot of good mead!

magneto
01-03-2013, 09:40 AM
Take a look at this page:

http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/problems.asp

The section entitled "Flavors, Tastes and Smells" may help.

icedmetal
01-03-2013, 11:35 AM
It sounds to me like you tasted your mead, found it delicious, then hurried to bottle it. You mention it is semi-sweet, and you do not mention using potassium metabisulphite and sorbate before bottling. This leads me to believe that your bottled mead may still be slowly fermenting, and may end up blowing the corks out, and making a huge mess. If it were me, I'd unbottle all of it and put it back into a fermenter.

As for the mead still remaining in your barrel, yes, oxidation can easily affect the flavor of your mead. Less so while fermentation is still under way, but the potential cannot be ignored lightly. If you can detect any difference in the flavor of what's already bottled vs. what is not, you may want to keep the two separate.

To safely and predictably end up with a semi-dry product, you should choose a yeast that can ferment 100% of the provided honey, stabilize, then backsweeten. Keep an eye on the hydrometer for awhile, and ensure that fermentation has finished, then bottle. Personally, I'd wait longer than that; aging in bulk you can modify the mead if it doesn't turn out the way you'd like, and mead tends to drop sediment for quite some time. If you bottle before it's crystal clear, you're going to have sediment in your bottles at some point.

Hope this helps.

skunkboy
01-04-2013, 12:36 AM
Anything visual happening to the mead that would indicate an infection, cloudy or strands of stuff forming?

So the bottled mead is fine but the mead you left in the barrel is going sour, or all of the mead is going sour?

Carpathian Wolf
04-01-2014, 03:11 PM
I thank you all for your answers. You were very kind. I apologize for not replying sonner.

The mead that became sour was completely compromised. I chose to use the bottled one immediately.

Now I have a new problem and I ask for your help again. I have some mead from multifloral honey and I let it to ferment two months ago. It is still fermenting slowly and I can't botlle it. I bottled a few bottles when the mead seemed still. Later, posibly because of the heat and some sediments of yeast, the bottles exploded. I'd like to stop the fermentation. I tried to stop the fermentation with potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate but it seems it doesn't work. Could you recommend another method? I must stop the fermentation so that I can bottle it in two weeks 'time.

Thank you again, mead masters. Cheers!

Medsen Fey
04-01-2014, 03:39 PM
Can you give the recipe details?

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Carpathian Wolf
04-01-2014, 04:11 PM
Apx. 30% honey from volume. In 100 liters of must I have 30 kg of honey.

Medsen Fey
04-01-2014, 04:41 PM
Yeast type?
Nutrients?
temperature?
Amount of sorbate and sulfite?

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Carpathian Wolf
04-01-2014, 04:54 PM
Yeast type?
ENARTIS FERM SB - Saccharomyces cerevisiae ex r.f. bayanus - 20 g.
Nutrients?
SUPERVIT - 20 g.
temperature?
24 Celsius
Amount of sorbate and sulfite?
sorbate 22 g. and sulfite WINY ENARTIS - 15 g.

Medsen Fey
04-01-2014, 07:24 PM
OK, this yeast has 14% ABV tolerance right?

Did you measure starting gravity? What is the current gravity? Do you know the pH?

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Stasis
04-01-2014, 09:01 PM
I suspect 20g of nutrients is rather low (I *think* you need at least around 40g), especially if supervit did not publish their figures like lallemand. For all we know you might need to provide even more supervit per liter than fermaid. Plus your mead has no fruit or anything that provides extra nutrients..
Even the sorbate and sulphites seem to be quite less than I'd suspect necessary

Carpathian Wolf
04-02-2014, 02:27 AM
OK, this yeast has 14% ABV tolerance right?

15.

Did you measure starting gravity? What is the current gravity? Do you know the pH?

I don't know about thes. ??? How do you measure them? What are these?

Carpathian Wolf
04-02-2014, 02:46 AM
I suspect 20g of nutrients is rather low (I *think* you need at least around 40g), especially if supervit did not publish their figures like lallemand. For all we know you might need to provide even more supervit per liter than fermaid. Plus your mead has no fruit or anything that provides extra nutrients..
Even the sorbate and sulphites seem to be quite less than I'd suspect necessary

SUPERVIT recomends 10 - 30 g/hl. I chose to put half of this... Can I add it now? Tomorrow I want to make an ultra-filtration* (sterile). After removing all yeast sediments can the mead become still?

For ultra-filtration (sterile) I use a filter like this (http://www.ibrew.com.au/products/colombo-rover-pump-and-12-pad-filter) . From my point of wiew this takes from flavour, color and the consistence of mead. Does any of you use this machine?

The maximum legal limit for sorbate is 27 g/hl in EU... (200 mg/l)

antonioh
04-02-2014, 05:25 AM
Which can be the cause of the acidulation and the sourish taste?


What about acetification ? 30 litres in a 200 litres cask is too much air... even with 100 litres, after fermentation has ended is to much air ... and once it starts, usualy it doesn´t stop.

Medsen Fey
04-02-2014, 05:41 AM
The gravity readings are measurement of the sugar concentration in the must. You get them using a hydrometer, but you might be getting readings using other scales such as BRIX, Baume, or potential alcohol. These measurements allow you to monitor the progress of fermentation, and to calculate the ABV of the mead. These kinds if measurements allow you to know when your mead is finished, or when it is stuck.

Sorbate and Sulfite usually will not stop an active fermentation. They work best at keeping a fermentation that has stopped and cleared from restarting.

A filter that removes ALL the yeast can stop fermentation and prevent it from restarting. However you must use very, very fine filters, and with an active fermentation that is cloudy with yeast, you may need to do a two stage filtration, one course, and then one fine/sterile to prevent clogging. If you've never done it before, you don't want to depend on this to prevent exploding bottles.

You don't need to add more nutrients to this batch if you are trying to stabilize and bottle it.

What is the reason for the two week time deadline?

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Stasis
04-02-2014, 06:14 AM
Ok.. So mead would need at least 200ppm YAN (Or RAN). To make this easier to compare to the data supplied by Enartis this would be 200mg per liter RAN (I have taken the middle road between the values for nitrogen). "Research has shown that the RAN content to ensure reliable fermentation is 150 mg/L, while 250 mg/L is the level needed to ensure good quality wine" (taken from Enartis' own leaflet here: http://www.browamator.pl/zdjecia/9/3/8/2908_Enartis_Supervit.pdf)
Now Enartis have very conveniently told us exactly ow much of this is in their stuff, "10 g/hL of SUPERVIT supplies 20 mg/L of RAN"
Let's say you go for the minimum 150mg/l and hope that the honey boosts this figure a bit up and that the slightly lower alcohol level of your mead would not have great requirements. This would mean you need ((Total RAN required) / (mg per l of current formula)) * (g per hectoliter to supply this amount) = (150/20 * 10) = 75g.
From my calculations you would need 75g - 100g of Supervit in your batch of mead to reliably ferment. This leaves out factors such as the specific nutrient requirement of the yeast. Some need more, some maybe less. Some people split this with DAP to push down this number but that's another discussion.
Having said all this, now that fermentation has stopped for whatever reason, supplying the extra nutrients now could be pointless or even detrimental as your yeast may not use these nutrients at this point and they could end up serving only as food for spoilage bacteria.
Now if your mead tastes good and the Final Gravity is low (FG = SG after fermentation. = your remaining sugar in mead after fermentation) then perhaps you have avoided the worst of the consequences from supplying a low amount of nutrients (low nutrients result in sluggish and stuck fermentations and the possibility of off flavors in the end product). OG, FG, SG are all realized through the same type of reading through a hydrometer.
I hope some more senior members could chime in and walk you through the following delicate process.

Stasis
04-02-2014, 06:18 AM
Hehe thankfully Medsen provided the rest of the info you needed :)

EDIT: According to the leaflet "From 10 to 30 g/hL, depending on the grape RAN content." The reason my final figure is so much higher is because in mead there is no grape at all to provide extra nitrogen. The nitrogen content in honey is rather low.

WVMJack
04-02-2014, 06:48 AM
CW, Problem #1 airspace in old barrel leading to vinegar.
Problem #2 bottled sweet mead to early and not stable leading to bottles continuing to ferment.
Answer Some basic beginners understanding and some patience our new friend. The style of mead you are making takes a while to finish fermenting, you are rushing much to fast. How if your honey crop this year? WVMJ

Carpathian Wolf
04-13-2014, 03:27 PM
The gravity readings are measurement of the sugar concentration in the must. You get them using a hydrometer, but you might be getting readings using other scales such as BRIX, Baume, or potential alcohol. These measurements allow you to monitor the progress of fermentation, and to calculate the ABV of the mead. These kinds if measurements allow you to know when your mead is finished, or when it is stuck.

Do you mean GLUCOMETRE Dr GUYOT?


Sorbate and Sulfite usually will not stop an active fermentation. They work best at keeping a fermentation that has stopped and cleared from restarting.

Too bad. :)


A filter that removes ALL the yeast can stop fermentation and prevent it from restarting. However you must use very, very fine filters, and with an active fermentation that is cloudy with yeast, you may need to do a two stage filtration, one course, and then one fine/sterile to prevent clogging. If you've never done it before, you don't want to depend on this to prevent exploding bottles.

You don't need to add more nutrients to this batch if you are trying to stabilize and bottle it.

I did a double filtration with sterile filters. After filtration the mead had a higher acidity, but after 2-3 days it diminished considerably. It seems to be stable now, but I will make some lab tests the following days.


What is the reason for the two week time deadline?

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

I promise to a friend that I will deliver the mead soon for an event. And a promise is a promise...

Carpathian Wolf
04-13-2014, 03:39 PM
CW, Problem #1 airspace in old barrel leading to vinegar.
Problem #2 bottled sweet mead to early and not stable leading to bottles continuing to ferment.
Answer Some basic beginners understanding and some patience our new friend. The style of mead you are making takes a while to finish fermenting, you are rushing much to fast. How if your honey crop this year? WVMJ

I didn't have bees last year for some reasons. But I hope this year I will have beehives again. Hmmm, what wonderful feeling. I am really fascinated by beekeeping. And with some practice I can become a real maniac. Hehe.

Carpathian Wolf
04-13-2014, 03:44 PM
Ok.. So mead would need at least 200ppm YAN (Or RAN). To make this easier to compare to the data supplied by Enartis this would be 200mg per liter RAN (I have taken the middle road between the values for nitrogen). "Research has shown that the RAN content to ensure reliable fermentation is 150 mg/L, while 250 mg/L is the level needed to ensure good quality wine" (taken from Enartis' own leaflet here: http://www.browamator.pl/zdjecia/9/3/8/2908_Enartis_Supervit.pdf)
Now Enartis have very conveniently told us exactly ow much of this is in their stuff, "10 g/hL of SUPERVIT supplies 20 mg/L of RAN"
Let's say you go for the minimum 150mg/l and hope that the honey boosts this figure a bit up and that the slightly lower alcohol level of your mead would not have great requirements. This would mean you need ((Total RAN required) / (mg per l of current formula)) * (g per hectoliter to supply this amount) = (150/20 * 10) = 75g.
From my calculations you would need 75g - 100g of Supervit in your batch of mead to reliably ferment. This leaves out factors such as the specific nutrient requirement of the yeast. Some need more, some maybe less. Some people split this with DAP to push down this number but that's another discussion.
Having said all this, now that fermentation has stopped for whatever reason, supplying the extra nutrients now could be pointless or even detrimental as your yeast may not use these nutrients at this point and they could end up serving only as food for spoilage bacteria.
Now if your mead tastes good and the Final Gravity is low (FG = SG after fermentation. = your remaining sugar in mead after fermentation) then perhaps you have avoided the worst of the consequences from supplying a low amount of nutrients (low nutrients result in sluggish and stuck fermentations and the possibility of off flavors in the end product). OG, FG, SG are all realized through the same type of reading through a hydrometer.
I hope some more senior members could chime in and walk you through the following delicate process.

Thank you very much for your answer, it helped me.

SilentJimbo
04-13-2014, 03:46 PM
I promise to a friend that I will deliver the mead soon for an event. And a promise is a promise...
If it's to all be drunk at this event, do you actually need to bottle it? Could you just transfer it into some unsealed jugs or something shortly beforehand?

Carpathian Wolf
04-13-2014, 03:52 PM
another challenge. :)

How can I take the bitter taste from mead? It comes (most likely) from the lemon peel. :|

The best method is the one with activated carbon filters?

Carpathian Wolf
04-13-2014, 03:57 PM
No, I have to bottle it...

Medsen Fey
04-13-2014, 05:19 PM
A positively charged fining agent can sometimes reduce bitter elements, but time is the most effective treatment.

Rushing a mead to meet a deadline will often produce an inferior mead that doesn't reflect well on the mead crafter.


Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Carpathian Wolf
04-15-2014, 05:48 AM
A positively charged fining agent can sometimes reduce bitter elements, but time is the most effective treatment.

Rushing a mead to meet a deadline will often produce an inferior mead that doesn't reflect well on the mead crafter.


Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

I understand. My mead has now 3 months. I hope it will diminish the bitter taste. But I am so tempted to use Carbon Filter... Hmm...

I know it's not good to offer a mead wich is not mature enough. This will be a lesson for me.

Do you want to recommend a performant glucometre/hydrometer? How can I measure the PH?

Thanks for all the support of Got Mead community! You are the best.

Cheers!

Carpathian Wolf
04-18-2014, 03:33 PM
Do you want to recommend a performant glucometre/hydrometer? How can I measure the PH?



Anyone?...

mannye
04-18-2014, 06:44 PM
Anyone?...

I don't know if you have amazon over there, but any one of the cheaper hydrometers on there will do the job. Also for pH, there's a yellow one that's also on amazon that's so cheap we call it "El Cheapo" pH meter.

GntlKnigt1
04-19-2014, 01:39 AM
This is what we call the "El Cheapo" pH meter... properly calibrated and maintained, it does a great job...
http://www.amazon.com/HDE-Digital-pH-Meter-Tester/dp/B0054IQCB4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1397885871&sr=8-5&keywords=pH+meter