View Full Version : Smells and tastes like Sherry, what can I do?

06-02-2014, 08:46 PM
OK I made a Cranberry spice mead which I ended up bulk ageing. I think the bulk part is ok, but I when racking off of secondary I poured off the extra into two small bottles with mini-bungs (looked very cute) apparently I must have allowed too much headspace or something in the two bottles, and it has a very Sherry (oxidized) taste, without tasting as good as Sherry.

Is there some way I can turn this frown upside down and make this a palatable sherry? What would I need to do? I know some back sweetening may be in order, but other than that I am clueless. Any advice would be welcome.


06-02-2014, 10:48 PM
I'd fortify with some brandy and then back sweeten......

06-03-2014, 03:12 AM
First make sure you added some KM to your bulk batch. How did you end up with excess headspace in 2 different bottles? Much better to have filled 1 bottle up and dump out the rest. How much are you willing to spend to make a horrible tasting topper drinkable? WVMJ

06-03-2014, 12:43 PM
KM? mean potassium metabisulfite?

06-03-2014, 02:46 PM
I noticed you said you poured the mead into the bottles. Syphoning the mead should be better since there is less splashing. As you pour mead into a bottle the liquid falls from some height and makes a lot of bubbles and introduces air. Same is true while racking - try to minimize splashing, once you have some volume of liquid in the bottom of the carboy make sure the pipe is submerged so that the mead has no contact with air as it goes from one carboy to another.
Headspace is another potential problem as already mentioned. I've read sorbate and tannins help combat oxidation too

06-03-2014, 02:56 PM
Is it possible that the cranberries and spice created a somewhat sherry-like taste? I imagine fermented cranberries to maybe taste like sherry. have you tried samples while making this mead? I wonder if the larger batch has a similar taste also

06-03-2014, 03:28 PM
OK let me clarify further to this post and then perhaps someone can give me the answer I was asking for.

I did siphon from a larger carboy to a smaller, I had enough left over to almost fill up two bottles spare, ergo I put a bung on the two spare bottles. No potassium meta or sorbate was added before I racked off of secondary to either the bulk batch or the bottles. The bulk batch is just bloody dry and needs back sweetening, however the bottles got hit with oxidization for whatever reason. I have since learned that if you LIKE the taste of your mead and it is done fermenting then I should bloody well stabilize it! Alas, I did not know this with this batch. Lessons learned and all.

Fatbloke, you mentioned fortifying with brandy and back sweetening? Pardon my ignorance, but how much brandy? just for taste? same with sweetening? Then how would I store it? Thanks for a suggestion! I'm all ears!

06-10-2014, 03:55 AM
How much smaller did you go? I fortified my 6 gallon Pyment with 2 L of Brandy (40%).

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06-10-2014, 04:15 PM
My capsicumel came out tasting like sherry too. It was treated in exactly the same manner as my traditional, except the capsicumel had a handful of birdseye chilis and some ginger thrown in. Could be something to do with that?

06-10-2014, 05:29 PM
For some reason sometimes if you put it in a wine bottle they get oxidised, it might be that your airlock has a little ridge where they formed it and it lets air in, I usually take a razor to my platic airlocks to shave the little ridge off. As far as your comment about stabalising, when you rack from primary to secondary you can add KM but save the sorbate until you are getting ready to bottle, many people add KM during the second racking instead especially if they added KM during the primary. Try to find some half gallon jugs, they take a bigger bung and seem to keep the wine better than putting them in small bottles. WVMJ