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bwalker187
06-11-2014, 04:29 PM
Hi! I've made my first two batches of mead, just bottled them and they both taste like cough syrup. One is an elderberry mead and the other is an apple mead that was secondary fermented with vanilla beans. I've read about the medicinal flavors mellowing out with aging, but was wondering if it's common for young meads to taste like this.

GntlKnigt1
06-11-2014, 04:47 PM
No, its not common. Can you give us more info about how you made it? Maybe we can figure out the problem.

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.

bwalker187
06-11-2014, 05:32 PM
For the elderberry one, I used 1 quart of honey, 10 cups of water and 1 cup dried elderberries. I rehydrated the elderberries in hot water and then added everything to a one gallon fermenter and pitched champagne yeast. It fermented for about a month ( I waited about a week after it stopped bubbling), then I racked it to a secondary fermenter, where it stayed for another month and was just bottled. I tasted it while racking and it tasted great.

For the apple on, I used 4 pounds of honey, 2 gallons of water and 32 ounces of apple juice. I primary fermented for about a month and then racked into three batches. I added vanilla beans to one batch, ginger to one and left one plain. This batch was also made with champagne yeast.

I bought a large batch of honey and would like to continue to make mead as various fruits come into season, but I'm worried that my efforts will be lost! Any help is greatly appreciated.

icedmetal
06-11-2014, 05:54 PM
Did you taste the mead at bottling time? How did it taste at that point? (was it possibly bottling process that introduced an off-flavor, or did it exist prior to bottling?)

bwalker187
06-11-2014, 06:01 PM
I bottled today, which is when I noticed the off flavors. Both batches tasted good when I racked them.

fatbloke
06-11-2014, 10:50 PM
Many young meads can have a medicinal or "alcohol hot" type flavour......

its not lost or ruined, just young.........

Give it a minimum of 6 months, better a year, then try it. It'll be more mellow, almost like something completely different.

Peeps worry as the preconception is that its made from honey so should be sweet like watered down honey with alcohol.

It can be if thats how you want it but it can be very different........

Chevette Girl
06-12-2014, 01:00 PM
I've had stuff I thought was amazing at racking time and then was unimpressed with by bottling time and still not that impressed with after aging. I'm thinking it's that tiny bit of residual sugar left before I rack that makes the difference, I keep trying but I just don't like my meads and wines dry.

Sometimes that little hint of sweetness can hide a multitude of sins too. Maybe add a tiny bit of honey to yours to see if it helps?

bwalker187
06-12-2014, 09:47 PM
I've had stuff I thought was amazing at racking time and then was unimpressed with by bottling time and still not that impressed with after aging. I'm thinking it's that tiny bit of residual sugar left before I rack that makes the difference, I keep trying but I just don't like my meads and wines dry.

Sometimes that little hint of sweetness can hide a multitude of sins too. Maybe add a tiny bit of honey to yours to see if it helps?

I was thinking that maybe it's dryer than I care for. Do you always add some honey to the bottle, or do you stop fermentation early to leave some sweetness behind?

Honeyhog
06-13-2014, 08:59 AM
Most ferment to dry then stabilize the mead with sulfite and sorbate, then backsweeten to the desired level. Other than that you could step feed until the yeast poops out and then bring it up to the desired sweetness.

Chevette Girl
06-13-2014, 12:20 PM
I would never add honey to the bottle unless you've stabilized the must with potassium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate, otherwise you risk popped corks if you're lucky, bottle bombs if you're not. Nothing says you can't add a little to your wineglass while you're drinking it though!

Get_Wiggly
06-13-2014, 03:15 PM
did it ferment in hot temperatures?

bwalker187
06-13-2014, 06:36 PM
did it ferment in hot temperatures?

It fermented in my kitchen. The weather has been fairly mild, but there have been some hot days in the past two months.