PDA

View Full Version : Phenolic, listerine/medicinal taste...



Maeloch
04-03-2014, 04:58 AM
Several of my first traditionals have this. They are still young (~6months) and I was assuming this is just what young meads tastes like and it will age out. Is this correct? Googling the issue of phenolic meads I seem to get mixed opinions on whether or not this is a permanent flaw. If it is, I'm a bit concerned, as I've used some of these for topping up subsequent batches and taste is noticable in these now (duh!).

As it covers several meads, I won't post logs/recipe unless someone thinks it would be useful, and I'm happy with general opinons on this...I don't think it's anything wildly wrong with my process (aeration, nutrients, pH, etc). I do suspect it might have something to do with Gervin White Wine yeast (GV5) I was using alot at the time, as I've not noticed it in younger meads made with other yeasts (KV1-1116, EC-1118, WY1338, etc).

Assuming it is a permanent flaw, is there a good way of masking or blending out the taste? Sweetening I've found does the trick at least to some extent, but not always totally.

fatbloke
04-03-2014, 05:45 AM
Fusels is what comes to mind......

like when you ferment D47 to high (its best kept below 70F/21C). Aging is usually the trick, but there's no real guide as to how long.....

I don't have a local supplier for Gervin yeast so I don't know whether its similar in character/property.....

But that's what I'm thinking.......

You've sussed the sweetening trick but you could try slight over sweetening then some acid to balance. I'd suggest a few small experiments first though........

Medsen Fey
04-03-2014, 06:20 AM
High temperature fermentation can definitely create this kind of problem and some yeast are more sensitive than others. Aging for a year or two tends to improve the problem a lot, but it may not go away completely. I have one batch I've aged over 5 years without it resolving, so you may not know if it will work until you try it. Sweetening can cover a multitude if sins, but as you have seen, some flaws are hard to mask. PVPP fining can also be tried.

Another possible cause for nasty phenolics is contamination, particularly with Brett. Did you sulfite these batches?


Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

Maeloch
04-06-2014, 07:10 AM
Thanks very much Medsen/Fatbloke.

I did sulphite the batches, after the first racking. Is Brett contamination something that crops up in primary or secondary?

Regarding fermenting too warm. I chose the Gervin white wine yeast as that's what they had in stock at the brewshop, and it was good down to 5-10C - which is what I guessed the cupboard temp was in my unheated spare room. It was closer to 15C. I'm not sure if this is 'warm' enough to cause problems with a cold fermenting yeast?

Like I said, the problem seems to have vanished with recent batches - I'm mostly worried I've borked some of these to tho, by topping up with the phenolic old batches. Oh well live and learn...don't top up using flawed batches.

Medsen Fey
04-06-2014, 10:36 AM
Brettanomyces is more likely to be a problem during aging in secondary (or thereafter) and usually need some oxygen exposure. A little sulfite after fermentation will usually keep Brett and other spoilage organisms suppressed.

At 15C, the temperature will not be a problem causing medicinal or fusel character.

Sometimes, the honey itself can contain some medicinal phenolics that really come out once the sugar is taken away. I've experienced this with Mangrove honey for an example. Perhaps some of you honey in the early batches had some of that character.

GntlKnigt1
04-06-2014, 02:21 PM
Interesting Medsen. I am wondering if that is what made my 2nd batch of caramelized honey from pressure cooker bitter. It was very strange.

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

Maeloch
04-07-2014, 10:35 AM
Sometimes, the honey itself can contain some medicinal phenolics that really come out once the sugar is taken away. I've experienced this with Mangrove honey for an example. Perhaps some of you honey in the early batches had some of that character.

Well by far the worst is a 1gal traditional with a pound of buckwheat in the honey mix (the rest is wildflower from memory). Although an orange blossom trad is pretty medicinal too.

I guess all I can do is age them and see what happens, make sure I don't skip sulphiting after primary, and avoid any yeasts that seem to cause this problem (for now).

GntlKnigt1
04-07-2014, 11:43 AM
Hmm...buckwheat is supposed to be good for traditional....

Sent from Arthur Dent's towel smothering a volume of Vogon poetry, some of which just leaked out.

Medsen Fey
04-07-2014, 01:15 PM
Buckwheat honey can be a little rough, especially the Eastern buckwheat.

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

GntlKnigt1
04-07-2014, 01:33 PM
I heard the darker honies like buckwheat had more nutrients and potassium and hence, fermented better in a traditional.....

Sent from Arthur Dent's towel smothering a volume of Vogon poetry, some of which just leaked out.

Medsen Fey
04-07-2014, 04:52 PM
They do tend to have more of what yeast need and will tend to ferment better. However, "easier to ferment" doesn't necessarily mean "tastes better." Brother Adam believed only lighter colored honey was appropriate for mead (except heather/ling honey)

Some dark honey can carry harsh flavors - mint honey comes to mind.

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

pokerfacepablo
04-08-2014, 03:31 AM
Interesting Medsen. I am wondering if that is what made my 2nd batch of caramelized honey from pressure cooker bitter. It was very strange.

Sent from the Nexus of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which has been infected with Vogon poetry, some of which leaked out here.

I did a Bochet in a similar fashion. Same bitter finish but smoothed out over time. Wondering if I had done something wrong and could of prevented it.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk