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WannabeViking
08-14-2014, 05:58 PM
Hello,
I just racked my mead for the first time. I let it sit in the first carboy for about 25 days. I tasted it after racking and it tastes very similar to champagne. A slight tongue bite that simulated carbonation (maybe it was carbonated?) then it got really smooth and slightly sweet, I wouldn't describe it as sour. The ingredients I used for my one gallon batch were 48oz raw clover honey, one packet of fleischmann's yeast (I know I should have used something more specialized) and one gallon of store bought water. During primary fermentation it got a little warmer than I would have liked a few times. My questions are: Is this normal or abnormal? Is it something I need to worry about? Did I let it sit on the lees too long? I apologize if I asked a stupid question, this is my first batch of mead and I'm not sure I know what I'm doing.

mannye
08-14-2014, 07:24 PM
Hello! I think you are OK but you would have benefited from reading the JAOM recipe. A little orange and some raisins would have made a world of difference in that mead even just using Fleishman's. In fact JAOM is specialized for Fleishman's yeast. Anyway, that hint of carbonation you feel is most likely actual carbonation left over from the ferment. Everything seems fine with your mead. Is it clear yet?

Chevette Girl
08-14-2014, 07:29 PM
Two of the nice things about using Fleishcmann's, it's pretty tolerant of high temperatures and it's not bad for sitting on the lees.

It tastes carbonated because it sort of is, carbon dioxide is one of the yeast's byproducts and even when the batch isn't under pressure it can take a while for it all to escape even when fermentation's complete.

Most meads taste odd (or downright unpleasant) after primary so yours is probably fine, it just needs some time for the yeast to settle out and clear, the carbon dioxide to escape, and a little aging to happen to mellow it out.

Edit: curse you and your stealth-posting, Mannye! :)

Good point about JAO though, WannabeViking you should take a look at that recipe and give it a try. We don't all know what 3 lb honey fermented with bread yeast in a gallon of water is supposed to taste like, but a significant number of us know what the JAO recipe is supposed to taste like.

mannye
08-14-2014, 08:21 PM
Edit: curse you and your stealth-posting, Mannye! :)

.

heehee. Like the legendary ninja... I STRIKE!

antonichen
08-15-2014, 04:07 AM
You know, I have to say that I DO believe that my JAOMs are actually improving with age. While they are still sweeter than what I like to drink, I had one tonight that's been chilling in the fridge for two or three days and I have to say, it wasn't too bad. I started brewing them in February, so they've been around for a bit now, but I'm guessing only with about 4 months of actual aging because two months were in the primary carboy.

WannabeViking
08-16-2014, 02:56 AM
Thanks guys for the advice and information. I would have added fruit but I thought it would be best to limit the variables as much as possible for my first mead.

Is it clear yet?
It is not clear yet but it seems to be getting there.

antonichen
08-16-2014, 03:15 AM
Hey Viking, do you want a mead that's more sweet or dry? As the members mentioned, the Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (JAOM) is pretty close to what you made, but with a few extra ingredients. I find it very, very sweet, too sweet for my liking, but as I mentioned above it's still not too bad. I was looking for something a bit more dry and I followed the BOMM recipe (you can find it here on the site). The BOMM uses a Belgian ale yeast and I have been very impressed so far. It tastes totally different to me and it takes half the time to be drinkable.

I made a JAOM variant too with fresh strawberries instead of oranges in the primary fermentation; I also used less honey. It is very bitter, but I actually think I prefer it more than the JAOM because it isn't so sweet. I don't know if I will continue using bread yeast though, since I have really enjoyed the Wyeast 1388 so much (this is from the BOMM recipe by the way)! I also love the ales brewed in this style (dark Belgian ales) so I guess that has a part in it.

I believe it would be a good idea to think about what you are hoping to make before you start... I actually think that honey, yeast, and water is a tough mead to start with because it's so simple, you can taste the mistakes (if you make any). The newbee guide mentions that and recommends new mead makers to go with more ingredients. Not trying to tell you how to brew (I'm a total newbee myself) but just some thoughts. Good luck in your brewing endeavors!

WannabeViking
08-16-2014, 03:39 AM
I appreciate the advice antonichen, I'll definitely try the BOMM recipe seeing how it will be drinkable around new years. I'm not sure if I prefer dry or sweet mead. I guess seeing as how I used so much honey I will probably end up with a sweeter mead. My experience with mead consists of two flavors from the company dansk mjod, so its very limited. I guess I'll have to try a few more to see what I prefer.

mannye
08-16-2014, 07:31 PM
My experience with mead consists of two flavors from the company dansk mjod, .

Ahhhhh I'm glad you still decided to keep going. I don't know the other flavor they have but I have often described Viking Blod as tasting of sadness and disappointment.