View Full Version : Not sure... burned flavor?

07-05-2014, 09:48 PM
1 Gallon Batch
4lbs Wildflower Honey
1 teaspoon Fleischman's bread yeast
Water (not sure if it was spring or tap)

I made one of my first attempts at a Show Mead about a year ago, and everything seemed to go fine. Everything bubbled and burped merrily in a 1 gallon jug with a water airlock. After it finished, I let it settle for about a month and cleared with bentonite, then siphoned off it off the lees to another clean jug. Once it settled out, I siphoned and bottled it. After almost a year of aging, I opened one of my bottles to see how the mead was aging... and it tasted rather bad.

It isn't sweet at all, and has an almost burned or dark chocolate flavor to it. Others described a medicine-y burn on the tongue and that it's sweet for a second, but then goes bad in the month...

I admit to not having a good palette or ability to describe, but any help would be appreciated. Did I botch this completely, or is there any way I might save this?

07-06-2014, 04:36 AM
Burnt as in carbonised sort of taste ? Or medicinal in a sort of alcohol hot, vodka evaporating on you tongue sort of taste ?

Big difference........

The former, I don't recognise, as that would need very burned bochet type honey or maybe some molasses.

But the alcohol hot/vodka or whisky/hard liquor type notes are frequently encountered......

Those are often fusels a.k.a. higher alcohols.

In a show mead type mix these would be unusual but not impossible. A bit like having a dry show mead.

Generally, show meads are long, tortuous fermentation, where the lack of nutrients means that the yeast struggles and usually dies early, leaving a sweet mead. Oh and that's usually with a wine yeast too.

It's entirely feasible that having used bread yeast and depending on how much honey was used per gallon, fermentation temps etc etc,

that you have ended up with a dry(ish) show mead and possibly some fusels.

It's still likely gonna be down to luck, because in that scenario, all you can do is to let it age some more (for the home mead maker, aging is often recommended to be done in bulk as you achieve consistency - and test sampling is easier).

If it's all bottled, you can either 're-bottle into smaller bottles or just resign yourself to leaving it another year before opening the next one too try........

07-06-2014, 05:57 AM
A few steps to help you know what is going on when you are making mead. Get a hydrometer so you can measure the levels of sugar in your must. Using wine yeast which is more predictable. Maybe using some sulfites to protect your mead. What was the color of this when it was done, did it have any brownish tinges? Were there any stuff on the bottom of the bottle? And maybe keep some better notes to. WVMJ