View Full Version : Fix my mead!

08-19-2014, 11:00 PM
It's now been about 4 months since I embarked unto the world of mead-making. The first batch I prepared was comprised of two half gallons fermented with champagne yeast, nutrient, and energizer.

However, now that I taste the mead the flavor profile is not quite to my (or, more importantly, my wife's) liking (too dry, not very sweet, etc.). Rather than throwing away the entire batch I understand that I can modify the flavor to my liking (Please correct me if I'm wrong).

My question is this: What should I be conscious of when doing this? And, any tips?

In advance, Thanks!

Medsen Fey
08-19-2014, 11:48 PM
Please provide the recipe details as that will help folks give you better answers.

Chevette Girl
08-20-2014, 12:13 AM
Without seeing the recipe I can't say for sure but if the complaint is that it's too dry, backsweetening it may be your answer. If you have a hydrometer, we can give you some good instructions, if you don't, then it's either doing math or just winging it :)

Also, don't be too critical of it at 4 months, especially if you used champagne yeast. I wouldn't even try a mead before about 6 months and wouldn't pass judgement on it for a year.

08-21-2014, 10:14 AM
This being my first batch I was basically winging it (using a recipe I found online - Probably 1.5lbs of honey/half gallon) and didn't record the ingredients or initial gravity as I should have... The only difference between the two half gallons was the addition of orange slices in one. The final gravity (recorded when racking 3 weeks later) seemed to be below 1 (I think .98 (is that possible?) - not adjusting for temperature).

I'm assuming that the alcohol content in this initial batch was relatively high compared to a second batch I did (EC-1118, IG - 1.125, FG - 1.024) because it had a much stronger alcohol taste at initial racking.

08-21-2014, 10:36 AM
Maybe if you find the link to the recipe and post it? Then tell us how much you "winged it" from the recipe. That should do it.

Chevette Girl
08-21-2014, 10:56 AM
For a start, go play with the Mead Calculator and get a feel for how much honey gives you what percent alcohol in a gallon. I'm guessing 1.5 lb in a gallon is going to give you something around 7% (go look it up to confirm, I'm too lazy! :D) so though it might taste very alcoholic, given the amount of honey you put in, it can't be that strong. Sometimes if the fermentation isn't happy (didn't get enough oxygen or nutrients or loving attention, never know with yeast), they can make higher alcohols we call fusels, which have that rocket-fuel bite to them. Also, new meads can have some pretty wild things going on. And everything's accentuated in a dry mead where a sweet one might hide a multitude of sins.

That batch with EC-1118 where you went from 1.125 to 1.024? That should be around 11-12% (go look that one up too, homework!) and I'm guessing you used 3.5 lb honey in a gallon... so it is technically more alcoholic than your second batch is even though it stopped while there was still honey to eat, the other batch at .998 (yes it is possible because the ethanol the yeast produces has a lower specific gravity than water). I'm betting that simple backsweetening will improve your outlook on your first mead quite a bit, I'm not much for dry meads in the first place and a young dry mead can be just gross. Since you have a hydrometer, take a glass of the dry batch and add a few drips of honey, stir, taste, repeat if required, then when you get it where you want it, check the SG, then you can use the calculator to figure out how much honey you need to add to raise the SG from .998 to what you like.

In the future, keep a log (even if it's just an electronic one on here, although I keep a paper copy in a duo-tang) of every batch you do including the ingredients and the procedures used (did you heat the honey, did you rehydrate the yeast or pitch dry, how often did you aerate, when and how much nutrients and energizer did you feed, starting SG, SG along the way, when did it stop bubbling, when did it clear, etc etc etc.

10-17-2014, 12:21 AM
Thanks Chevette Girl! BTW -sorry for the belated reply but I lost track of this tread... I wish this form was able to notify me when a replay has been posted...

10-17-2014, 01:30 PM
Thanks Chevette Girl! BTW -sorry for the belated reply but I lost track of this tread... I wish this form was able to notify me when a replay has been posted...

I think it does if you tell it in the settings. Take a look at your profile and I think somewhere in there is "email me when there's a reply to a subscribed thread" or something like that. You have to be subscribed to the thread for that to happen.

Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.