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Hagroth
02-01-2013, 07:46 AM
Hello,

I've completely fermented my two new batches now, my second round, and everything went rather smoothly.

The following is specific to my case. The question is more general and is in bold at the bottom.

Here are the recipes. As you can see, they're literally the same except for the yeast strains, and I've made sure to treat them exactly the same. They've stood in the same room, been stirred for the same duration at the same time of day, gotten the same nutrients etc. up until III reached the 1/3 sugar break. They stopped fermenting about the same time.


III:

10 litres (2.6 gallons) water (1.002 in gravity)
6 kg (12 lbs) honey (below 20% water content)
1 tsp nutrient (Wyeast Nutrient Blend)
One package (5 g) Lalvin D47 (14% tolerance)

OG: 1.133
pH: 4,3-4,6
Volume: 14,1 liter

Sugar breaks:
Expected to go from 1.133 to 1.030. 1/3 would be 99, 2/3 would be at 64.

Expected FG: 1.030




IV:

10 litres (2.6 gallons) water (1.002 in gravity)
6 kg (12 lbs) honey (below 20% water content)
1 tsp nutrient (Wyeast Nutrient Blend)
One package Wyeast Dry Mead (even though a bit more than half the package would do) (18% tolerance)

OG: 1.130
pH: 4,3-4,6
Volume: 14,25 liter

Sugar breaks:
Expected to go from 1.130 to 1.000. 1/3 would be 87, 2/3 would be at 43.

Expected FG: 1.000




Here's the complete diary. Within parentheses is the speed as in gravity points/24h, batch III listed first and batch IV listed second, so: "(III; IV)". On each day, batch III is listed first (on top), batch IV second. Within parantheses after the date is the day number.



2012-12-01 (1) 20,9 C

133=0%

130=0%

-- (11,4; 5,1)

2012-12-02 (2) 20,9 C

124=1%

126=0,5%

-- (7,8; 7,8)

2012-12-04 (4) 19,5 C

108=3%

110=2,4% pH->3,1

-- (7; 8)

2012-12-05 (5) 18,7 c

101=3,9% Last aeration

102=3,4%

-- (7,8; 5,9)

2012-12-06 (6) 19,5 C

93=4,9% 1/3 sugar break

96=4,1%

-- (6; 7)

2012-12-07 (7) 20 C

87=5,6%

89=5% 2 tsp potassium carbonate

-- (6; 8)

2012-12-08 (8) 20,5 C

81=6,4%

81=6,0% 1/3 sugar break pH->3,6 Last aeration

-- (5,9; 7,8)

2012-12-09 (9) 20,5 C

75=7,2%

73=7,1%

-- (4,3; 6)

2012-12-10 (10) 20,5 C

70=7,8%

66=8%

-- (4,9; 4,9)

2012-12-11 (11) 20,5 C

66=8,4%

62=8,5%

-- (4,0; 4,9)

2012-12-12 (12) 21 C

62=8,9% 2/3 sugar break

57=9,2% 1 tsp nutrients

-- (3,1; 6,1)

2012-12-13 (13) 20,5 C

59=9,3% 1 tsp potassium carbonate

51=10%

-- (3,9; 4,9)

2012-12-14 (14) 20,5 C

55=9,8% pH->3,5

46=10,7%

-- (3,1; 6,2)

2012-12-15 (15) 20 C

52=10,2% 1 tsp nutrient

40=11,5% 2/3 sugar break

-- (2,1; 4,2)

2012-12-16 (16) 20,5 C

50=10,5% 1 tsp nutrient

36=12,1% Aeration

-- (3,6; 4,4)

2012-12-17 (17) 20,5 C

46=11,1% Aeration

31=12,8%

-- (3,3; 2,2)

2012-12-18 (18) 20,5 C

43=11,5% Aeration

29=13,1% Aeration

-- (2,9; 3,8)

2012-12-19 (19) 21 C

40=11,9%

25=13,6%

-- (3; 3)

2012-12-20 (20) 21 C

37=12,3% Aeration

22=14,1% Aeration

-- (3,1; 3,1)

2012-12-21 (21) 21 C

34=12,7%

19=14,5%

-- (2,5; 2,5)

2012-12-22 (22) 20,75 C

31,5=13,1%

16,5=14,8%

-- (1,8; 1,8)

2012-12-25 (25) 21 C

26=13,9%

11=15,6%

-- (1; 1,5)

2012-12-27 (27) 21-22 C

24=14,1%

8=16,1%

-- (1,4; 0,7)

2012-12-30 (30) 21 C

20=14,7%

6=16,4%

-- (0,9; 0)

2013-01-01 (32) 21,8 C

18=15%

6=16,4%

-- (1,1; x)

2013-01-03 (34) 20,3 C

16=15,3%

x=x

(I didn't do any more measurements but batch III is clearly about to stop. They're both in filled up carboys now, except for the bottom 1-2 litres which is probably mostly crap anyway.)

--


"Last aeration" means that it's the last time I really aerated in the batch. Up to that point, I've aerated once or twice per day. When I "aerate", I do it for about 4-5 minutes. Subsequent "aerations" are just brief, 20-30 second agitation.

I transferred the batches by attaching a hose to the spigot and simply using a bottle filler to the carboy.

Now, the batches did taste ok, drinkable but far from excellent or delicious. Is this normal? Will they get much better with time? Or should mead taste great right after fermentation in order for it to be great later on. My first two batches (the ones before these ones) tasted a bit similar but much worse and made me cringe a bit as I drunk it. On the other hand, they weren't aged at all and I had committed various mistakes when I made them.

Thanks!

Bob1016
02-01-2013, 08:47 AM
How old are these. After 6 months you generally see where they'll go: better than before, potential to age for years, might need more time, etc. You can make mead that tastes great right out of primary, but if it doesn't, don't be discouraged some need more time than others. :)

Marshmallow Blue
02-01-2013, 11:22 AM
From what I've experienced. Meads are like zebra's stripes. They're all just a bit different but still part of the same style. If it tastes bad, it may just need some time to mature. I have had a mead that tasted and smelled really nasty, and over the coarse of 4 months, tastes better now. Ive also had ones that tasted fine off the bat and certainly didn't get worse with age.

I've also found that the sweeter ones taste better earlier (unless they are too sweet) while the dry ones need time to really define itself and become a nice smooth dry mead.

Medsen Fey
02-01-2013, 12:48 PM
Generally speaking traditional meads take 1-2 years for the aroma and flavor to really shine. It is too early to judge.

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