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MrRogers
12-14-2014, 02:44 PM
Greetings!

I've been following this forum for the last couple of years, even though I'm a quite silent member, mostly trying to absorb the wise advices I read around here.
Most of the mead batches I made so far became something I'm fairly proud of, except maybe the ones where I got too confident and experimented a bit too much.
This last one, though, is having a troubled life.

Sorry for the long post, but since I'm supposed to give details about the recipe, and the recipe require some explanations, here they are.

The recipe, for 19 liters (so around 5 gallons), with some explanations of the ingredients afterwards:

6.5kg Raspberry blossom honey
6.6g yeast "activator"
10g yeast nutrent "Nutrivit"
10g yeast nutrient "Nutrisal"
5g Potassium Carbonate
1 package yeast "Bioferm Killer"

OG: 1.104
FG: 0.997

The ingredients are not the ones typically seen around here because I live in Europe (in the Netherlands) and it's hard to find some of the yeasts and nutrients recommended in the forum. I don't think they're the problem because I've used them before successfully.

Anyway.
The yeast activator is supposed to help with the beginning of fermentation. I used it as usually Goferm is used, during the rehydration.
Nutrivit (https://www.brouwland.com/en/our-products/winemaking/yeast-nutrients/d/nutrivit-vinoferm-100-gr#.VI3UYSeK4bw) is a complex yeast nutrient which contains DAP, so I used it as Fermaid K (although it's hard to figure out if it's really equivalent, since I can't find details about its composition).
Nutrisal (https://www.brouwland.com/en/our-products/winemaking/yeast-nutrients/d/yeast-nutrition-vinoferm-nutrisal-100gr#.VI3UpyeK4bw) is just DAP.
Bioferm Killer (https://www.brouwland.com/en/our-products/winemaking/yeast/dried-yeast-bioferm/bioferm-killer/d/dried-wine-yeast-bioferm-killer-7gr#.VI3U0CeK4bw) is one of the killer yeast strains. I've used before with good results.

The nutrients (Nutrivit and Nutrisal) were added in 3 steps, during the first days of fermentation.

That was a year ago already.
In the meanwhile I racked the mead twice. The last time I did that was in July. At the time it was doing very well, but it was still not totally clear. And that's when I blew it, I guess. There was probably 2L of head space and soon after that I moved to another house, which included obviously moving the mead around and also leaving it in a warm garage for a few weeks, before I finally had the chance to put it in the cool basement.

Today I bottled it. It has an amazing smell, but not the intended one. It's clearly oxidized. It reminds me of an old Polish dwójniak or port. But of course the flavour doesn't match that. It doesn't taste bad, but it's dry, as I intended in the beginning.

Now, even though I already bottled it (should have written this before doing it), is there something you would suggest I could do to "save" this batch? I would imagine that trying to match the expectations of the smell could be a solution, by fortifying and back-sweetening. It's going to be hard to get the same honey soon, though. The honey came from Poland. It's a fairly international batch. :)

Thanks in advance!

kudapucat
12-14-2014, 06:08 PM
As it's in bottle, the first thing I would do is wait another 12-24 months. You'll be amazed at what can come of a nasty dry mead when it's 4 years old.
One of my best dry meads was described as "tasting very different to its smell" whilst the critic pulled a catsbum face.
This was the nicest review it received. So I'm thinking its a bit similar to yours.
Give it time it came good in the end.

skunkboy
12-15-2014, 12:46 AM
If you like port/sherry you shouldn't 't pitch this. If it wasn't already in bottles I would suggest a bit of back sweetening and some oak to match the nose, really shouldn't need any fortifying unless you are afraid adding a bit more honey would start it fermenting again, even though it is already at about %14, not sure what the alcohol tolerance of the yeast you used is. Shouldn't need to match honey again at this point, unless you really want to, be better off trying to find one to match the nose.
Something else you could also try is to make a bit of simple sugar (50/50 water/sugar, boiled, disolved, and cooled). Open a bottle and try adding varying amount of this to the mead and see if gets "better" as you add sweetness.

MrRogers
12-15-2014, 06:27 PM
Thanks for the suggestions!

For now I guess I'll just leave it. Maybe in some months I can do some small experiments with oak and/or back sweetening part of the batch. If I add some honey I will either stabilize or fortify. That yeast has a supposed tolerance of 16% alcohol, so I wouldn't risk it.

GntlKnigt1
12-15-2014, 06:44 PM
Yay! Another Dutchie! I've used that yeast with great results. +1 to skunkboy and kudapucat. I am not sure it is oxidized....try adding honey to a glass and mix, as suggested. Perhaps we get together and swap samples....

MrRogers
12-15-2014, 08:29 PM
I shall give it a try.
Yes, swapping samples sounds good. Different meads are always welcome. :)

kudapucat
12-16-2014, 05:35 AM
When I heard Netherlands, I was hoping you'd show up GntlKnight