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Leeham991
03-17-2015, 04:57 AM
Sorry I had no idea where to post this thread. Haven't been here so long I am not familiar with what goes where exactly.


Basically a few years ago I made some mead and it forever remains bad. I wonder if I were to put some in the freezer and reduce it to a spirit of sorts would that be a good idea or would I just be better off throwing everything out? Someone told me to wait 10 years and see what happens to it, but I haven't really got that long and nobody in my family drinks mead.

My second question is: what is the best mead recipe for a 4.5 liter demijon that is plain and doesn't require back sweetening?

Medsen Fey
03-17-2015, 05:47 AM
Can you tell us what makes your mead "bad" and provide some details about the recipe and process? Also, what do you like in a mead in terms of ABV, sweetness, etc.?

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Leeham991
03-17-2015, 11:33 AM
The mead just tastes awful and has this sort of stomach turning quality. It's drinkable with a bit of back sweetening, but even then it has a lot of dirty flavours to it and it's not particularly pleasant. I made it using sub-standard equipment without having access to a proper kitchen, good quality honey, spring water or decent food-safe sanitation.

I have a more recent batch of mead which was made properly and it is fine, but this first batch I made back in 2012 is godawful and I just need to figure out something to do with it.

Today I moved a bottle worth to a jug and put it in the freezer, but remains to be seen whether this is going to be worth it.

I would very much like to get rid of this batch because it is using up 2 carboys and a dozen bottles that I could be putting to use trying to make home brew a regular thing.

Medsen Fey
03-17-2015, 11:37 AM
Concentration of bad flavors generally results in worse.

It is rare to have a mead so bad that sweetening can't salvage it, but it can happen. My condolences.

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bernardsmith
03-17-2015, 12:43 PM
Hi Leeham991. Not a direct answer to your question except I totally agree with Medsen Fey that concentrating bad flavors is not a good idea, but here is what I would do. Put aside your questionable mead and make a new 5L batch using a tasty varietal honey (say 3 lbs (1.5 Kg?) , spring water, yeast nutrient and a good yeast (not sure what you can get in the UK). If you ferment at lower rather than higher temperatures and if you use a wine yeast such as 71B or D47 or the UK equivalents (not a champagne yeast) then the mead will ferment dry in about 2-3 weeks and clear in about 2 months. It will still be fairly "green" but should be drinkable even then. Allowing that mead to age another 2-6 months will improve it significantly... but my point is that after 2 months you can compare the taste it has to the taste your original batch has... and so determine whether it is better to dump the first batch or sink more effort in it to salvage it.
From your account it sounds to me as if the first batch may have bacterial issues, and while a lambic mead is a possibility, I think most folk who play with sour fermentations tend to control which bacteria they allow into their meads and beers... seems like you were more open handed. But try making a batch that will not be more than say 12 or 13% ABV, so the amount of alcohol won't be out of balance with the amount of flavor and (even if dry) the sweetness... (you would be looking for a starting gravity of about 1.100 and a finishing gravity of about 1.000)..

Leeham991
03-17-2015, 01:44 PM
I got the mead out of the freezer and I appear to have just produced hell juice.

I think what I'll do from here is clear out all of the in-use equipment and put this disaster behind me lol

bernardsmith
03-17-2015, 03:05 PM
I got the mead out of the freezer and I appear to have just produced hell juice.

I think what I'll do from here is clear out all of the in-use equipment and put this disaster behind me lol

OK... but if there is bacterial infection you may want to REALLY sanitize that carboy and any tools, hoses and tubes and any other equipment you used. Indeed, after sanitizing to your satisfaction, I would add a pint or so ( one liter?) of sugar water (no yeast) bang in a bung and airlock and see if that sugar water ferments in two or three days. If there seems to be no activity (And by that I mean that the specific gravity remains rock solid and has not wavered a hair), then I would think that your sanitation process has (for all intents and purposes) removed the bacteria too. If, on the other hand, the sugar water appears to be fermenting without any addition of yeast then you may want to remove the carboy (and all the other equipment) far , far , far away from your mead making -to the furthest end of your home - for vinegar making.. But others on this forum may be less cautious then I...