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Mazer828
09-25-2015, 09:08 AM
I hate to even post this question because I know I have very little information, so let me apologize for speaking in generalities from the start.

A friend of mine kicked off a batch of mead using raw organic clover honey and distillers yeast, going simply for high ABV. He took no notes. Yeah I know! 😅 But he tells me he started with 10 lbs of honey, added about a half cup of the yeast (I know, I know) oxygenated, waited several days, added 5 more pounds, added some nutrient, oxygenated again, waited several days again, added 5 pounds more honey, more nutrient and more oxygen, and then a few days later added like 5 pounds of mango puree and more nutrient. Now he's saying it smells great but he can't get it past his lips because it tastes like rocket fuel and skunk feces. And he's asking me what he should do.

[emoji15]

My thoughts are definitely in the "dude what were you thinking" area on much of his "plan" but I have to put all that behind me and try to focus on a rescue operation for his mead, if it's even possible. I know it's not an infection. I know what's going on is poor yeast selection and poor yeast management that led to this taste nightmare. So here's my question:

Is this stuff drain cleaner, or is there any hope at all that some plan of action and a whole bunch of mellowing time will make this drinkable again?

Thanks to all, and again, sorry I have so few details.

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curgoth
09-25-2015, 10:39 AM
1) Age will help.
2) The skunk smell is probably sulphur. You can pull some of that out by running the mead through copper mesh or putting some clean, sanitized copper tubing in the mead for a little while.

Squatchy
09-25-2015, 06:52 PM
I have read many times on this site to never throw anything away.

Mazer828
09-26-2015, 10:21 AM
I have read many times on this site to never throw anything away.
Hey at the very least, we've invented a new style: a smellomel. [emoji23]

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fatbloke
09-27-2015, 12:50 PM
I'd just do as already suggested with the copper tubing trick, then rack it to a new container, de-gas and then seal it up and forget about it. If the rocket fuel taste is fusels, it may take a while to mellow (year or two).

Oh and a campden tablet wouldn't go amiss.........

Mazer828
10-03-2015, 09:01 AM
@fatbloke really?! Sulfites at this stage? Interesting! Let me in on your thought on this. What would sulfiting accomplish at this stage that would help?

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mannye
10-04-2015, 12:41 AM
@fatbloke really?! Sulfites at this stage? Interesting! Let me in on your thought on this. What would sulfiting accomplish at this stage that would help?

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I would think it provides some protection against oxidation when you rack (if you do) and if you age (which it seems like you should). I'm sure there are other reasons but I know not.

Foothiller
10-04-2015, 11:15 AM
I assume your friend didn't take any gravity measurements. I would be inclined to let the yeast do all they can before adding sulfite. Then preventing oxidation might make sense while chemistry try's to mellow what he has at that point.

I have to think too that if high ABV were the goal, buying a bottle of vodka would be much easier.

Mazer828
10-04-2015, 02:44 PM
You are correct. Despite my best encouragement, he went all "just throw some $#!t in there and see what happens" on me. I'm really a bit frustrated at him because now he's torqued that he may have wasted a bunch of expensive ingredients. But I am having a hard time feeling any pity. Some lessons have more impact when learned the hard way. Nonetheless, there is a learning opportunity here (maybe for both of us, but definitely for me at least) so I'm truly appreciative of whatever my fellow note taking mead nerds can offer.

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mannye
10-04-2015, 10:55 PM
Wait a minute,... how long has it been since he pitched it?

Mazer828
10-05-2015, 04:23 AM
I assume your friend didn't take any gravity measurements. I would be inclined to let the yeast do all they can before adding sulfite. Then preventing oxidation might make sense while chemistry try's to mellow what he has at that point.

I have to think too that if high ABV were the goal, buying a bottle of vodka would be much easier.
Speaking as one who has also done some experimentation with high gravity / high ABV meads, and had some splendid results, yes buying vodka would be easier. But this isn't GotVodka.com. [emoji6]

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Mazer828
10-05-2015, 11:01 AM
Wait a minute,... how long has it been since he pitched it?
It's been a little over 5 weeks.

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