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bazza
01-08-2014, 09:36 PM
Hello,
First post here.

I've made two dry meads now. Both were 12lbs of honey and enough water to get to 5 gallons. Yeast nutrient in both added over 3 days. Pure O2 over the first 2 days as well. I used 2 packs of rehydrated D47 for the first one and 2 packs of EC1118 for the second.

On the second one, I aged on medium toast French oak chips and vanilla beans.

Both turned out great and attenuated to just above 1.000. The taste in both meads is great. I'm very happy with that part. However, they both have a thin and watery mouthfeel. Is there something that is normally done to give the mead more body? Should I have added tannins or something to give it that extra something?

Thanks for any help you can provide. I plan to make another one shortly using the same base recipe and want to give it a little more mouthfeel like a white wine. The second mead was really modeled after my love of oaky Chardonnay. I feel like I nailed it except for that watery body.

Baz

loveofrose
01-08-2014, 10:00 PM
To some degree, that is the nature of dry mead. The very lite nature makes it great for summer time consumption though.

You can do some things to try and improve it though. I'll list some options aside from the oak/vanilla you've already tried.

1. FT Tannin SP Blanc - Too much gets astringent.
2. Add more honey. It will be sweet though.
3. Steeping some caramel malt for some unfermentable sugars. This will make it a braggot though.
4. Polysaccharides such as Opti-White.
5. Different yeast also impart different mouthfeel. Wyeast Dry Mead is very buttery while KIV-1116 is very estery.

There are options! You will have to determine what your favorite one or combination is!

bazza
01-08-2014, 10:30 PM
Well good. It sounds like I didn't really do anything wrong then. I think I just need an experienced mead maker to try my mead and critique it. Maybe it's just fine for the style.

Thanks for the reply.

fatbloke
01-09-2014, 12:25 AM
No probably not......

A small amount of grape concentrate can help too.........

Chevette Girl
01-09-2014, 08:09 AM
I second the suggestion about white grape concentrate (or raisins), I use it when I make pear wine because otherwise it's just too thin.

Bob1016
01-09-2014, 08:23 AM
I use booster blanc, tannin ST blanc soft (or whatever it's called), oak, and sur lie. A little oak and some lees contact can do wonders, and I don't ferment without blanc soft anymore (small 50ppm addition mostly).

bazza
01-09-2014, 09:07 AM
The oak and vanilla mead definitely has more body than the first mead I did but even that could use a little more, at least to my tastes. I've only ever had one commercial mead so maybe dry meads just work that way.

For those of you using white grape concentrate, at what point do you add it and how much for 5 gallons, roughly? I was thinking of making a raspberry melomel next but this has me thinking maybe going back to square one to get the basic mead correct. Or maybe upping the honey to 16lbs to see what that does.

Was the 1118 a bad choice for yeast? Does that just dry it out even more as a champagne yeast?

fatbloke
01-09-2014, 04:45 PM
The oak and vanilla mead definitely has more body than the first mead I did but even that could use a little more, at least to my tastes. I've only ever had one commercial mead so maybe dry meads just work that way.

For those of you using white grape concentrate, at what point do you add it and how much for 5 gallons, roughly? I was thinking of making a raspberry melomel next but this has me thinking maybe going back to square one to get the basic mead correct. Or maybe upping the honey to 16lbs to see what that does.

Was the 1118 a bad choice for yeast? Does that just dry it out even more as a champagne yeast?
EC-1118 is a champagne yeast! I don't like it myself. It does have it's uses i.e. restarting stuck ferments and for what it was intended (IMO making bland, sparkling whites etc), but I find it just blows too much of the volatile aromatics straight out the airlock and some of the more subtle honey flavours too.

I prefer K1-V1116 for traditionals, or better still, D21 if you can find/obtain some for them. We all have different preferences.

For using grape concentrate, you can add it to the unfermented must if you wanted, or you can add some gradually afterward to help with back sweetening.......

mannye
01-09-2014, 06:19 PM
Well good. It sounds like I didn't really do anything wrong then. I think I just need an experienced mead maker to try my mead and critique it. Maybe it's just fine for the style.

Thanks for the reply.

See? This is why a mead trading system is going to help all of us become better mazers!

kudapucat
01-10-2014, 04:41 AM
Trade is a bad word. The IRS and the ATO look upon this word with greed.
Exchange perhaps? Long distance sampling? LDS?

kudapucat
01-10-2014, 04:44 AM
How about Mead Evaluation And Distance?

BBBF
01-10-2014, 08:38 AM
I like where you headed, but I would use "discussion."

mmclean
01-10-2014, 11:33 AM
Mead Evaluation And Discussion

I'm liking this a lot. :cool:

mannye
01-10-2014, 12:47 PM
Allrighty then! We have MEAD! I've already received one sample of marinade and I am going to try it out this evening and see how it marinates my liver.

Riverat
01-10-2014, 02:02 PM
Mead Evaluation And Discussion

I'm liking this a lot. :cool:

Ditto!! ;D

mannye
01-10-2014, 02:49 PM
Fatbloke. I think the acid test is best. Pm me your snail mail and I will add you to the mailing once the BOMM is clear. If it gets to to you, it will get to most! There's one already Destined for Oz. Which thinking about it is actually the real test. Heck if it gets there, it will get anywhere!


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

bazza
01-10-2014, 05:08 PM
How do you guys ship? I know USPS won't do it. I think FedEx will if you don't tell them what it is. I have homebrewing friends in the UK and we'd like to swap beers but the Customs on both ends have always scared me away from doing it.

mmclean
01-10-2014, 06:24 PM
I shipped UPS to the Mazer Cup twice. No problems.

mmclean
01-10-2014, 06:26 PM
Allrighty then! We have MEAD! I've already received one sample of marinade and I am going to try it out this evening and see how it marinates my liver.

Our livers are evil and needs to be punished.

Shmafty
01-10-2014, 06:44 PM
I shipped UPS to the Mazer Cup twice. No problems.I don't mean to take this thread even futher off-topic, but do you have any tips for packaging bottles of uh... flavor samples, when shipping? I'd hate for any of my packages to arrive all sharp and soggy.

mmclean
01-10-2014, 06:53 PM
12 oz beer bottles, zip-lock baggies, newspaper and bubble wrap.

Worked for me. :)

kudapucat
01-10-2014, 08:18 PM
So are we really going to have Mead and MEAD on this forum and expect newbees to no be confused?

Discussion works, I was aiming to include the shipping aspect. Delivery?

kudapucat
01-10-2014, 08:20 PM
Cardboard box. Bubble wrap. Ensure no glass touches. Ensure everything is packed tight so nothing can move.

joemirando
01-11-2014, 06:14 PM
I picked up a trick here in the forums that has helped me quite a bit as far as 'thin' taste. It's too late for your current batches, but you might want to consider it in the future... Try using 1 tsp of black tea, brewed and left to cool down, per gallon of mead. I have used as much as 2 teaspoons/gallon without seeing a corresponding increase in "depth". It starts out dark because of the tea, of course, but as fermentation goes on, it lightens up and you really can't tell that its there... except for a little bit of 'feel'.

There may well be reasons you wouldn't want to do this, but I haven't run into them (I know its a no-no where show meads are concerned, but I'm not interested in 'showing' them... yet).

For your current batches, perhaps a little additional time will bring out more character. I don't have any experience with the other things people have mentioned, but they sound like good options.

Good luck,
Joe

kuri
01-12-2014, 09:10 AM
I picked up a trick here in the forums that has helped me quite a bit as far as 'thin' taste. It's too late for your current batches, but you might want to consider it in the future... Try using 1 tsp of black tea, brewed and left to cool down, per gallon of mead. I have used as much as 2 teaspoons/gallon without seeing a corresponding increase in "depth". It starts out dark because of the tea, of course, but as fermentation goes on, it lightens up and you really can't tell that its there... except for a little bit of 'feel'.

Joe

Joe, does that only work if you put it in in the beginning of the ferment? Also, at 1 tsp a gallon, does it really make a noticeable change in color? Is it just normal tea that you'd consider drinking, or is it 1tsp of liquid made from 1 tsp of black tea and 2 tsp of boiling water? I just had my first taste of my second BOMM (Alfalfa honey), OG 1.090, FG 0.989. It's only been about 6 weeks since I made it, and more time will I'm sure help this out a bit, but my wife and I both agreed upon our first taste that it is thin.

loveofrose
01-12-2014, 09:48 AM
I thought of one more trick as I was drinking a glass of Redstone Traditional last night. An old trick used in liquors is to add a bit of food grade glycerol. Gives the liquor that thick mouthfeel.

Never tried it with mead personally, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Redstone Traditional has it added!

joemirando
01-12-2014, 11:54 PM
Joe, does that only work if you put it in in the beginning of the ferment? Also, at 1 tsp a gallon, does it really make a noticeable change in color? Is it just normal tea that you'd consider drinking, or is it 1tsp of liquid made from 1 tsp of black tea and 2 tsp of boiling water? I just had my first taste of my second BOMM (Alfalfa honey), OG 1.090, FG 0.989. It's only been about 6 weeks since I made it, and more time will I'm sure help this out a bit, but my wife and I both agreed upon our first taste that it is thin.

I can't attest to how it might work after the fact. It would seem to me, though, that the fermentation removes almost all of the 'tea' qualities except for the astringency.

I start out with a teaspoon of black tea. I don't think its necessary, but I start out with a teaspoon of very good loose tea, steep it in about a cup and a half of boiling water, let it cool to 'warm', add the liquid to the honey to help dissolve it, add more boiling water to the used tea leaves, let it sit and cool again, and add THAT tea to the honey and shake the who-ha out of it.

It does darken the must quite a bit. Some of mine have started out mud colored. Very nasty looking. But as fermentation progresses, the dark color disappears completely, as does anything definable as tea taste. It happens even with 2 tsp of tea, but I haven't found any real benefit to using 2 tsp/gallon over 1 tsp/gallon.

And don't put loose tea in your must... unless you want a mess. The CO2 will push the leaves up up up. I thought about grinding the dry leaves and tossing them in, but I've never done it.

You can't add tea to a show mead, so if you are planning on entering it in a contest somewhere, pass on the Tetley.

It may also happen that your mead's mouth feel 'fills in' as it ages. I haven't been making mead long enough to have experienced this myself. A couple that I've made that I classify as 'thin' are still aging. There are other options too, and some have mentioned them in this thread. Things like acid blend, certain fruit concentrates, oak, etc., but I haven't tried them so I can't comment. My advice as a newbee would be to listen to the voices of experience, do things in small increments, have patience, and get another batch started ASAP. <grin>

Good luck,
Joe

Bob1016
01-13-2014, 12:06 AM
How old are these batches? At ~6mos you can guess what thr mead will be, but they don't really start to show they're true colors till about a year (some 9mos, others up to 24). After a few batches you'll get the hang of judging them.

kuri
01-13-2014, 04:12 AM
I can't attest to how it might work after the fact. It would seem to me, though, that the fermentation removes almost all of the 'tea' qualities except for the astringency.

I start out with a teaspoon of black tea. I don't think its necessary, but I start out with a teaspoon of very good loose tea, steep it in about a cup and a half of boiling water, let it cool to 'warm', add the liquid to the honey to help dissolve it, add more boiling water to the used tea leaves, let it sit and cool again, and add THAT tea to the honey and shake the who-ha out of it.

It does darken the must quite a bit. Some of mine have started out mud colored. Very nasty looking. But as fermentation progresses, the dark color disappears completely, as does anything definable as tea taste. It happens even with 2 tsp of tea, but I haven't found any real benefit to using 2 tsp/gallon over 1 tsp/gallon.

And don't put loose tea in your must... unless you want a mess. The CO2 will push the leaves up up up. I thought about grinding the dry leaves and tossing them in, but I've never done it.

You can't add tea to a show mead, so if you are planning on entering it in a contest somewhere, pass on the Tetley.

It may also happen that your mead's mouth feel 'fills in' as it ages. I haven't been making mead long enough to have experienced this myself. A couple that I've made that I classify as 'thin' are still aging. There are other options too, and some have mentioned them in this thread. Things like acid blend, certain fruit concentrates, oak, etc., but I haven't tried them so I can't comment. My advice as a newbee would be to listen to the voices of experience, do things in small increments, have patience, and get another batch started ASAP. <grin>

Good luck,
Joe

Thanks for the details. I was thinking you meant 1 tsp of liquid rather than 1 tsp of tea leaves and was wondering how such a small amount could make much of a difference. 1 tsp of tea leaves, though, could make quite a difference. I haven't had an issue with thinness except for this one mead that started at 1.090, and I'm thinking I probably will stick with 1.100 and higher from here on out, so this might not be a problem in the long run, though it is definitely worth trying out to see what can be seen.

Just one more question. Has anyone tried Earl Gray in a mead? I ask because that's mostly what we drink at home, but I don't particularly see it as a good flavor to add to a mead. If the oil of Bergamot flavor disappears, however, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

bazza
01-13-2014, 08:26 AM
How old are these batches? At ~6mos you can guess what thr mead will be, but they don't really start to show they're true colors till about a year (some 9mos, others up to 24). After a few batches you'll get the hang of judging them.

The first one is from Jan 2011 and the second one is Jan 2013 (I missed 2012 :( )

I think the oak and vanilla one will fill in over time. It's only a year old so it will be interesting to see where it is in another year.

I use black tea in my English ciders and the tannin does help with the mouthfeel there as well.

joemirando
01-13-2014, 12:33 PM
Just one more question. Has anyone tried Earl Gray in a mead? I ask because that's mostly what we drink at home, but I don't particularly see it as a good flavor to add to a mead. If the oil of Bergamot flavor disappears, however, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

I wouldn't bet on the oil of bergamot disappearing. In JAOs, for instance, its not the meat of the orange that gives the flavor, its the peel which contains the oils. Oil of bergamot is the same... it comes from the peel. Most of these oils dissolve pretty well in alcohol, so it would probably be there for the duration, without the tea flavor or color.

I use a very VERY good tea for 'filling in' mead. It was voted best tea in the world by Time Magazine. It has its own citrus-y flavor, without the citrus. It makes an excellent cup of tea. I don't think its really necessary to use a 'high quality' tea, but to be honest I've got more of that than good ol' Red Rose decaf. <grin>

I'm also intrigued with the idea of using different types of fruit juices to not only sweeten but to 'thicken' the taste and, to quote Chevette Girl, "its on the list". ;)

Be well,
Joe

kudapucat
01-13-2014, 04:42 PM
My boss likes weak tea. So, one day where there was but one bag left, I decided we could share.
The result was, the second cup had much less flavour, but still a lot of tannins.
If you were wanting to add tannins, but not tea flavour, perhaps make yourself a cup whilst brewing, and use the 'spent' leaves in your must?

Bob1016
01-13-2014, 07:55 PM
Depends on the tea. For oolong, I usually get 7 brews before the flavor turns (but I buy very good oolong). Some Sri Lankan teas can be very tannic and can loose flavor but not the bite by the 3-4 brew.

Chevette Girl
01-13-2014, 09:18 PM
It depends on the tea... of course I'm a heathen and brew with loose tea in a travel mug and just try to use the right amount so the last mouthful of the first run is faintly bitter, then there's usually enough flavour to be worth drinking a second run... some teas will do more, but no matter how strong my hibiscus and rosehip tea is the first time, the second run might as well be dishwater... and my standard orange pekoe bagged tea (typhoo decaf because I never liked Red Rose and Tetley's decaf is occasionally described by my mother as limp dishwater) is good for two runs in a big mug as long as I don't steep it too long.

mmclean
01-13-2014, 09:35 PM
Seems I remember a tread around here somewhere where some folks, maybe Medsen Fey and wayneb, were saying that tea tannins won't hold up for long. Maybe only a year.

Can't say first hand though.

joemirando
01-13-2014, 11:45 PM
My boss likes weak tea. So, one day where there was but one bag left, I decided we could share.
The result was, the second cup had much less flavour, but still a lot of tannins.
If you were wanting to add tannins, but not tea flavour, perhaps make yourself a cup whilst brewing, and use the 'spent' leaves in your must?

That is an excellent idea! I'm going to write that one down and put it with the other tips and tricks I've garnered from this site.

Thanks,
Joe

fuelish
01-16-2014, 06:14 PM
3. Steeping some caramel malt for some unfermentable sugars. This will make it a braggot though.
I've done this, although in a couple meads that had some some strong flavors goin' on ( an oaked habanero , and a cranberry ) ....dunno what flavor it might impart on it's own, but yeah, should give a bit o' mouthfeel