View Full Version : Modifying 'completed' mead possible?

05-28-2013, 12:58 AM
Hi everyone!

About six months ago, I started a 5 gallon carboy of mead a'brewing. I had never brewed mead or indeed anything before, but figured it would be fun to try, and mead always interested me anyway.

My recipe was very simple: 5 gallons of water, 15 lbs of honey (the homebrew place said I only needed 10, but I wanted more sugar+alcohol), yeast, nutrients. I figure my next batch I'll experiment with spices. Anyway, I left it in the carboy for six months until today, when I bottled it!

I don't have anything to measure alcohol content, but I tasted some and was... disappointed. It's very weak. Weak, as in doesn't taste like much- no honey, no sweetness, no alcohol. If anything it tastes starchy, like corn almost. Granted, it's still cloudy and unaged, but still, I'm worried. The batch is all bottled up now- is there anything I can do to potentially make it better? I've heard spiced mead is a thing (spices you add right before drinking, that is, not when brewing)- would that help, and what would I add?

Thanks everyone!

05-28-2013, 02:13 AM
Was that 15lbs into 5gal of water? That makes ~6.25gal at 11.5%abv. If this is what you did, you made a light table mead/hydromel. These are very light in flavor indeed.
If your batch size was 5gal, then you would be up to about 1.108 SG, and may have a stronger flavor.
What yeast did you use? Yeast strain has a huge impact on mead flavor and character.
What temp was the ferment? At higher temps, many honey aromatics are driver off, and the balance switches to yeast derived flavors.
Last but not least, the star of the show: what honey was used? Most comercial blends lack flavor and aroma, and can be quite bland. They are acceptable in melomels, bochets, methaglyns, etc. wherever honey varietal flavor is not required or desired.
Open a bottle in a few weeks, see if its better. If not do an acid bench trial. Get some tartaric and/or malic acid and mix up a solution with water, add measured amounts to cups of mead and record your preference. Once you find your desired level record it and add it to the next bottle you open. It would be better if you didn't bottle it, but patience is the hardest lesson to learn in mead making.
Hope this helps :)
P.S. next time do an acid trial before bottling, then before adding the acid to the carboy add 5-10% more, let it sit another few months then try again. I always find that I need 10-15% more than my bench trial, but start at the lower end. The reason for the extra acid is because as it ages it will integrate and take some of the edge off, also some may precipitate out if there are extra potassium ions in your mead. OK, getting technical now, hope I helped ;)
P.P.S. it might have bottle shock! I just noticed that you bottled it today, and I've found that young traditional mead is severely proned to bottle shock. Just a thought.

05-28-2013, 02:46 AM
Well like Bob says, it sounds like its fermented dry.

Basic modifications would be back sweetening, acid and/or tannin addition.

Of course you can steep fruit, spices, etc can be used too.......