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mgvsquared
10-31-2013, 03:56 PM
2 questions really, but here goes.

1) I noticed when I went to bottle my mead (8 months after fermentation), the airlock on my carboy was dry. I must have let the liquid dry and and I forgot to refill. With a new baby in the house, I haven't been able to pay much attention to anything else. Now, the mead tasted fine, and it smells good (my neighbor said it smelled like vinegar, but it smells like honey to me -shrug-), but would it have lost some quality because of this? The airlock may have been empty as long as 3 months. For reference, it's a Medium Sweet Orange Blossom mead, and it tastes somewhat like a Chardonnay and it was supposed to be on the dry side.

2) For frugality, I bottled in screw-top clear claret bottles last Saturday. Aside from making the tops tight, do I need to do anything to further seal them? I was thinking of dipping them in wax or something.

Vance G
10-31-2013, 04:16 PM
If it doesn't taste like it is oxidized to you, that is fine. You dodged a bullet. If you are using screw tops, I would suggest you get new ones at your local brew shop so they do make a tight seal for sure. Dipping in wax would be a nice touch and would indeed seal it. Congratulations on the baby~!

mgvsquared
10-31-2013, 04:47 PM
If it doesn't taste like it is oxidized to you, that is fine. You dodged a bullet. If you are using screw tops, I would suggest you get new ones at your local brew shop so they do make a tight seal for sure. Dipping in wax would be a nice touch and would indeed seal it. Congratulations on the baby~!

Problem is, it's my first mead, I have nothing really to compare it to, aside from sweet sweet dessert meads I've had, ala Viking Blod, or Dansk Mjod.

But it tastes akin a Chardonnay, and somewhat sweet, so if that means it doesn't taste oxidized, I guess thats good. I guess my issue is I don't know what that tastes like. Is that what people mean when its turned vinegary?

And thanks! :)

Vance G
10-31-2013, 07:07 PM
I am in the same boat. I went to a good wineshop and found some meads that just weren't grape wine with fruit juice added. Mine compare favorably to the limited commercials I have tried. Bottom line is, if you like it and your friends ask for it, you succeeded. When people at a bee club meeting tried to buy one of mine and the bottle was emptied, I knew that one was more than OK. That was after it aged a couple years. 8 months earlier someone asked if I my horse had diabetes, aging makes quite an improvement. One of the ones I consider sickeningly sweet was suddenly gone. Out of five gallons, I only have three bottles left aging. My wifes quilting ladies seem to be disappearing it. We are doing this for our own entertainment unless you have a desire to be the best or go commercial, so there is no right or wrong if it tastes good. I just want mine to be respected.

Noe Palacios
11-01-2013, 01:45 AM
2 questions really, but here goes.

1) I noticed when I went to bottle my mead (8 months after fermentation), the airlock on my carboy was dry. I must have let the liquid dry and and I forgot to refill. With a new baby in the house, I haven't been able to pay much attention to anything else. Now, the mead tasted fine, and it smells good (my neighbor said it smelled like vinegar, but it smells like honey to me -shrug-), but would it have lost some quality because of this? The airlock may have been empty as long as 3 months. For reference, it's a Medium Sweet Orange Blossom mead, and it tastes somewhat like a Chardonnay and it was supposed to be on the dry side.

2) For frugality, I bottled in screw-top clear claret bottles last Saturday. Aside from making the tops tight, do I need to do anything to further seal them? I was thinking of dipping them in wax or something.

Hello mgvsquared:

One question. Is there some slime floating on your mead? If there is ... well the only thing you should do is age your vinegar, aged vinegar from mead is a really good stuff.

If there isn't, well, rack it, add campdem tablets as usual and leave it for 2 months. Make sure your airlock is filled with water. After these 2 months you should check again this slime thing. No slime means mead, slime means vinegar. Then you'll be ready for bottling mead ... or vinegar.

This drying thing happened to me few times without big consequences. I was tempted to use glycerin instead of water but never tried. Now I'm using Better Bottle's Dry Trap.

Saludes,

antonioh
11-01-2013, 07:14 AM
If itīs getting vinegar, total acidity is rising (because volatil acids are rising), as I think, also the pH is coming down. Check in a week or two interval.

Chevette Girl
11-01-2013, 11:56 AM
If you don't know what oxidization tastes like, try a sherry. That's how I'd describe it, sherry-like. Others have had oxidation result in a taste like wet cardboard, but I've been fortunate enough to only have the sherry taste, and I don't usually consider it a fault because I like sherry and it often works with the wine or mead I was making anyway.

mgvsquared
11-01-2013, 02:06 PM
Hello mgvsquared:

One question. Is there some slime floating on your mead? If there is ... well the only thing you should do is age your vinegar, aged vinegar from mead is a really good stuff.

If there isn't, well, rack it, add campdem tablets as usual and leave it for 2 months. Make sure your airlock is filled with water. After these 2 months you should check again this slime thing. No slime means mead, slime means vinegar. Then you'll be ready for bottling mead ... or vinegar.

This drying thing happened to me few times without big consequences. I was tempted to use glycerin instead of water but never tried. Now I'm using Better Bottle's Dry Trap.

Saludes,

Well, it's already bottled, so I'm already a step ahead! Before it was bottled and in its carboy, it did have a spot of whiteish stuff, that I assumed was floating yeast about the size of a quarter and circular. But, it was there before the airlock was dry. Could you describe the "slime" you're talking about? Because other than that, the surface of the must was mostly clear.

It doesn't smell like vinegar, if thats a good sign. Instead, to me, it smells like diluted honey with a zing, which I suppose is the alcohol. It tastes Chardonnayish to me, so I really don't know, but it gives a nice buzz after half a bottle.

TheAlchemist
11-02-2013, 02:05 PM
...if you like it and your friends ask for it, you succeeded. When people at a bee club meeting tried to buy one of mine and the bottle was emptied, I knew that one was more than OK. That was after it aged a couple years. 8 months earlier someone asked if I my horse had diabetes...aging makes quite an improvement.... there is no right or wrong if it tastes good...

Yep.
What Vance said.
It's all in the timing.
(oh! And I love the horsepee reference!)

Noe Palacios
11-03-2013, 01:29 AM
Well, it's already bottled, so I'm already a step ahead! Before it was bottled and in its carboy, it did have a spot of whiteish stuff, that I assumed was floating yeast about the size of a quarter and circular. But, it was there before the airlock was dry. Could you describe the "slime" you're talking about? Because other than that, the surface of the must was mostly clear.

It doesn't smell like vinegar, if thats a good sign. Instead, to me, it smells like diluted honey with a zing, which I suppose is the alcohol. It tastes Chardonnayish to me, so I really don't know, but it gives a nice buzz after half a bottle.

Hello mgvsquared:

Here are few links where you can watch how slime (mother vinegar) looks.

www.food-skills-for-self-sufficiency.com/images/vinegar-mother.jpg

http://lostmeadowvt.com/images/blogs/vinegar3.jpg

http://thrivefarm.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/apple-cider-vinegar-mother.jpg

Saludes,

mgvsquared
11-03-2013, 05:18 PM
Hello mgvsquared:

Here are few links where you can watch how slime (mother vinegar) looks.

www.food-skills-for-self-sufficiency.com/images/vinegar-mother.jpg

http://lostmeadowvt.com/images/blogs/vinegar3.jpg

http://thrivefarm.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/apple-cider-vinegar-mother.jpg

Saludes,


Definitely didn't look like that. So, I'll let it age a while and try it again. I'll assume I dodged a bullet because it tastes fine to me! In the end I had solid fermentation, transfers were as gentle as possible, my mead did not get sick and tastes pretty good. All in all I think a solid first effort. I'm excited to see how it turns out later next year. :)