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View Full Version : I have to say this..... I hate the taste of a backsweetened mead



McJeff
05-07-2015, 10:50 AM
Well maybe hate is a strop word. I prefer the taste of a mead that has gone thru the fermentation process vs a mead that was backsweetened to the same level of residual sugars.

bathtub brewer
05-07-2015, 12:23 PM
That is interesting.
I just bottled my first batch that I tried back sweetening. In the bottom of the barrel taste test I didn't notice much difference, but I haven't opened a bottle yet.
So I am curious what is the difference?

Marshmallow Blue
05-07-2015, 12:54 PM
you could have a taste sensitivity to sulfites. But you should still sulfite + sorbate any mead that has residual sugars to avoid annoying things like blown corks, as they are a pain to clean up.

McJeff
05-07-2015, 12:55 PM
Maybe im crazy but i feel like i can taste a more pure honey flavor in a backsweetened mead. In all fairness i dont have anything backsweetened that is a year old yet to give it a fair taste.

PitBull
05-07-2015, 04:25 PM
That is interesting.
I just bottled my first batch that I tried back sweetening. In the bottom of the barrel taste test I didn't notice much difference, but I haven't opened a bottle yet.
So I am curious what is the difference?
Honey is made up of several different kinds of sugar. Iíve seen speculation that yeasts may have a preference for one type of sugar over another. Think of it as a kid with a Halloween bucket full of Hershey kisses, Red Vines, Sweet Tarts, and Whoppers. He/she may eat all of the kisses, most of the Red Vines, half of the Sweet Tarts and just a few of the Whoppers. That would mean what is left (residual) in the Halloween bucket is not in the same proportion as what was there originally.

When one backsweetens, the proportion of added sugars from honey is the same as the in original must. I do not know if any post-fermentation analysis has been done to confirm this theory. Just food for thought.

Ragnar_of_Jotunheim
05-07-2015, 04:50 PM
How do you feel about staggered sweetening?

Marshmallow Blue
05-07-2015, 04:59 PM
Honey is made up of several different kinds of sugar. Iíve seen speculation that yeasts may have a preference for one type of sugar over another. Think of it as a kid with a Halloween bucket full of Hershey kisses, Red Vines, Sweet Tarts, and Whoppers. He/she may eat all of the kisses, most of the Red Vines, half of the Sweet Tarts and just a few of the Whoppers. That would mean what is left (residual) in the Halloween bucket is not in the same proportion as what was there originally.

When one backsweetens, the proportion of added sugars from honey is the same as the in original must. I do not know if any post-fermentation analysis has been done to confirm this theory. Just food for thought.
Just an info dump:

The Sugars in Honey are Fructose and Glucose, the same sugars that are in wine grapes. They are both the single chain sugars that wine yeast has been bred to prefer.

McJeff
05-07-2015, 05:19 PM
Just an info dump:

The Sugars in Honey are Fructose and Glucose, the same sugars that are in wine grapes. They are both the single chain sugars that wine yeast has been bred to prefer.

this all makes sense

EbonHawk
05-07-2015, 05:35 PM
Maybe im crazy but i feel like i can taste a more pure honey flavor in a backsweetened mead. In all fairness i dont have anything backsweetened that is a year old yet to give it a fair taste.This does NOT make sense, not to me. I would think I would like more of a pure honey flavor in a backsweetened mead. That's kinda the whole point, isn't it? For the final product to taste like the honey it was made from. I know I prefer the batches I've made that have a taste of honey in the final product; much preferable to the sweet alcoholic water some of them have been.

McJeff
05-07-2015, 05:42 PM
This does NOT make sense, not to me. I would think I would like more of a pure honey flavor in a backsweetened mead. That's kinda the whole point, isn't it? For the final product to taste like the honey it was made from. I know I prefer the batches I've made that have a taste of honey in the final product; much preferable to the sweet alcoholic water some of them have been.

well now you are getting into the area of personal preference ;)

PitBull
05-07-2015, 05:43 PM
Just an info dump:

The Sugars in Honey are Fructose and Glucose, the same sugars that are in wine grapes. They are both the single chain sugars that wine yeast has been bred to prefer.
Those two are the main ones, but also Maltose, Sucrose and Higher Sugars. Those last three combined make up about 10% for the honey by weight and vary depending on the honey type.

If the yeast has been bred to prefer fructose and glucose, then those remaining three would disproportionally make up mead's residual sugar.

McJeff
05-07-2015, 05:53 PM
Those two are the main ones, but also Maltose, Sucrose and Higher Sugars. Those last three combined make up about 10% for the honey by weight and vary depending on the honey type.

If the yeast has been bred to prefer fructose and glucose, then those remaining three would disproportionally make up mead's residual sugar.

totally makes sense, thank you for not telling me in crazy ;)


and dont get me wrong i like the taste of honey, otherwise i wouldnt be here!

EbonHawk
05-07-2015, 08:10 PM
well now you are getting into the area of personal preference ;)
Ahh..so you don't like your meads to taste like honey. Gotcha. No, you're not crazy.. you're just weird! Hehe. :-P

ostensibly
05-08-2015, 06:57 AM
I find that aging takes away the raw honey taste. Leaving it alone that long is frequently a problem for me though.

McJeff
05-08-2015, 08:58 AM
I find that aging takes away the raw honey taste. Leaving it alone that long is frequently a problem for me though.

i got some stuff that will be a year old this summer, so ill give it another taste. Next few batches im goin to start trying to cold crash stuff at or about the ABV im shooting for, see if i like that process better.

mannye
05-08-2015, 10:46 AM
Well maybe hate is a strop word. I prefer the taste of a mead that has gone thru the fermentation process vs a mead that was backsweetened to the same level of residual sugars.

I do not think you're crazy at all. I have the same problem. I also wouldn't say hate... I would also venture to say that I haven't given backsweetening a chance since the first time I did it the result was not pleasing to my taste buds. However, it's important to note that when done correctly, it should balance flavor. If you are getting a drastic change in the flavor of your mead, I think you may be using too much or not giving it enough time to "settle."

But taking the grain of salt into account that I still have a lot to learn about the post fermentation process, I still (at this moment in my mead career) prefer the flavor of a mead that was fermented and without adding raw honey. I much prefer to step feed and produce a sweet mead to blend with dry. There could be an argument that it's the same thing as back sweetening, but not to my palate.

McJeff
05-08-2015, 11:01 AM
i hear you, still learning myself

fatbloke
05-10-2015, 05:32 AM
It's one.of the reasons I back sweeten incrementally. I know I usually like my meads at about the 1.010 sort of area, but I ferment dry and then add small amounts of honey, taking a taste after each addition and gravity check.

Perception of sweetness is individual to each of us. It could be that someone else would taste it as a bit dry whereas you taste it as over sweet.

Hence I make it to how I like it. If someone else doesn't think it's right, then ***k 'em. They can make their own.

Overall, it should be balanced..........

McJeff
05-10-2015, 09:56 AM
If someone else doesn't think it's right, then ***k 'em. They can make their own.



HAHAHAH, oh i just found me a a quote!

skunkboy
05-11-2015, 01:26 PM
I know a couple of people who claim to be able to taste raw/unfermentated honey added to mead, and they have usually end up being correct when they point it out...

mannye
05-11-2015, 04:13 PM
Raw honey hits some receptor in the back of my tongue that gives it away every time.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

skunkboy
05-13-2015, 11:05 PM
Can you describe what it feels/tastes/whatever??

mannye
05-19-2015, 08:47 PM
Hmmmm you know when you eat a sweet pastry that has that nasty artificial flavor? Like off brand oreos? It's a corn syrup/karo syrup nastiness I just don't like.

JDWebb
05-30-2015, 04:31 PM
Being new to this whole mead thing, I had my first real mead not long ago, way after I started making mead! Since my first taste, I have purchased a variety of meads from my liquor outlet, and I must say, I haven't found one I like yet. All were way too sweet for me. I actually prefer my January White that I started last January. It was made with D47, juice and zest from 5 oranges, a hand full of raisins, a few spices and 15 pounds of honey. We bottled it not long ago, and it tastes like what I would call a young white wine. Its very drinkable now served cold, but I think will get even better with time. It first hits you with just a bit of sweetness, and by the time it gets to the back of your mouth, its almost like a pinot grigio. Pretty much what I was hoping for. I do have some others I've done that came out very sweet, they're good with crackers and cheese, or something savory, but I wouldn't drink it with a meal. Now, my rosemary wine, that is something I would serve with a chicken dinner. Try dropping a sprig of rosemary into a bottle of chardonnay for a few days to get an idea of what it tastes like. It was made with white grape juice, honey and of course, the rosemary sprig.

58limited
06-01-2015, 07:56 PM
... I know I usually like my meads at about the 1.010 sort of area, but I ferment dry and then add small amounts of honey, taking a taste after each addition and gravity check.

Perception of sweetness is individual to each of us. It could be that someone else would taste it as a bit dry whereas you taste it as over sweet.

Hence I make it to how I like it. If someone else doesn't think it's right, then ***k 'em. They can make their own.

Overall, it should be balanced..........

I have to agree with you, Fatbloke. I like my traditional meads right at 1.012. Having said that, a couple of my metheglins and melomels are actually better at 1.025-1.035 which is pretty sweet but the spices or fruits attenuate the sweetness quite a bit.

Chevette Girl
06-02-2015, 11:10 AM
i got some stuff that will be a year old this summer, so ill give it another taste. Next few batches im goin to start trying to cold crash stuff at or about the ABV im shooting for, see if i like that process better.

I would like to hear how you find your aged backsweetened stuff compared with the new backsweetened stuff you don't seem to like.

I don't backsweeten often, I usually just take what the yeast give me and am happy with it. Or give it to my mother if it's way too dry.

And I generally like the results of the step-feeding I do. Really, I think I've only ever backsweetened two batches (chocolate pear and a mixed mead from three batches I threw together for a friend's memorial), the rest either stuck where I wanted them (like a JAO) or were step-fed in small increments.

BBBF
06-17-2015, 12:31 PM
I tend to prefer dry/semi-sweet meads, so I do not back sweeten very often, but the idea of the yeast favoring the simpler sugars and the higher concentation of the more complex sugars remaining tasting different from a backsweetened mead is an interesting idea. I am going to have to add this to my list of experiments.

McJeff
06-17-2015, 01:20 PM
I tend to prefer dry/semi-sweet meads, so I do not back sweeten very often, but the idea of the yeast favoring the simpler sugars and the higher concentation of the more complex sugars remaining tasting different from a backsweetened mead is an interesting idea. I am going to have to add this to my list of experiments.

after talking it out, it only makes sense. At least thats what my mind says ;)

McJeff
06-23-2015, 03:27 PM
Ok I have to admit I MIGHT be wrong. Opened two recently that I had backsweetened. Strawberry I wish I had actually sweetened more than I had and a Tupelo that was just a hint sweeter than I normally like but the oaking balances it well. I can still tell its raw honey but they both have blended well with time. Again guess I'm just too impatient.