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Farmboyc
10-07-2015, 04:21 PM
I recently finished a blueberry melomel. Used step fed nutrient and the fermentation went well.
The finished product has now been in a carboy and off the lees for 3 weeks. It has a nice flavour but has quite a tartness on the finish.

Will this age out?

Is stabilizing and back sweetening a good/better option?

I am in no real hurry to drink this one but I would like to be into this batch by next summer when the weather gets hot. So like 7ish months.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Chevette Girl
10-14-2015, 11:09 AM
Sometimes acids can mellow out a bit with age or undergo malolactic fermentation which changes one acid that's more acidic into another acid that's less acidic, but on the whole, I haven't seen a lot of difference in most of my meads.

The tannins that can cause bitterness, now those can definitely age out.

Backsweetning (after stabilizing) will help soften the blow of either bitterness or excessive acidity.

Did you ever check the pH or specific gravity? Those are helpful things to know when trying to sort out what's going on with your mead.

Farmboyc
10-14-2015, 12:46 PM
I haven't checked pH as strips won't work with the dark purple colour and I don't have any other means.

Initial Gravity 1.095
Final Gravity 0.998

The only tannins would have been from the blueberries themselves.

Mazer828
10-14-2015, 04:12 PM
Another possibility is that there is still a touch of carbon dioxide in solution if your mead is just recently finished. That can often be mistaken for acidic tartness because in solution carbon dioxide is carbonic acid. Maybe try degassing thoroughly?

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Farmboyc
10-14-2015, 09:13 PM
Thanks for that Maze. I did rack from the secondary for aging and it didn't seen gassy but it is definitely a possibility.
I think I will just let it sit for a month and rack to another carboy then see how it is.

McJeff
10-16-2015, 02:28 PM
Can always blend it with another if you don't like the tartness

pokerfacepablo
10-20-2015, 06:56 AM
Can always blend it with another if you don't like the tartness

This is a safe way and my first choice. There's another option. Malolactic yeast that you put in the secondary after you're sure primary fermentation is complete. The yeast need to be stirred up with the lees at least once a week. Make sure there's always a CO2 bed otherwise I hear it leads to off flavors. White labs makes a few cultures but there are some dry yeast cultures. Works really well with cider wines or tart rhubarb. One downside is that you can't control the yeast well. It might take away too much tartness, leaving a cloying sweet mead.

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McJeff
10-20-2015, 09:11 AM
meant to ask, what did you use for blueberries? I pick a lot of high bush blueberries and also get that tartness that you mention, its almost sour. I just learned to work with it. not tried a MLF yet but its on the todo list this winter when I get some more honey.

but like others have said, a bit of backsweetening and acidity control goes a long way. Use it as a learning experience and make sangria's with it.

mannye
10-20-2015, 09:22 AM
Ive been doing a lot of reading on the wine forums and also some trade publications and there seems to be a liberal use of refined cane sugar to sweeten. Enough that I'm going to try it. Supposedly it separates into its simple sugars after a while due to some chemical reaction i cant remember and the strange flavor goes away leaving a smoother wine. I have some that has an unpleasant bitter finish I'm hoping cane sugar will tame.


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McJeff
10-20-2015, 10:01 AM
hmmm refined cane sugar in a mead, sounds so wrong!

mannye
10-20-2015, 11:23 AM
hmmm refined cane sugar in a mead, sounds so wrong!

When sucrose (table sugar) is added to wine, it often produces strange flavors because many weeks may be required before the wine acids can hydrolyze all of the sucrose into glucose and fructose. Even in a warm cellar, the strange flavors can persist for several weeks. However, when all of the sucrose has been hydrolyzed into glucose and fructose, the strange flavor completely disappears, and the wine has a normal taste.

Stasis found a very interesting article with this information. I keep reading that with few exceptions (sweet kosher wines, for example) sugar and corn syrup are not authorized for commercial winemaking, yet here is an article with some pertinent information. Hmmmm :)


This is the article http://www.grapestomper.com/wineacids.html This website is chock full of interesting information that can be translated over to mead. Thanks Stasis!

Farmboyc
10-20-2015, 02:42 PM
meant to ask, what did you use for blueberries? I pick a lot of high bush blueberries and also get that tartness that you mention, its almost sour. I just learned to work with it. not tried a MLF yet but its on the todo list this winter when I get some more honey.

but like others have said, a bit of backsweetening and acidity control goes a long way. Use it as a learning experience and make sangria's with it.
I used organic wild blueberries from Costco. They are very similar to the wild high bush blueberries we used to pick as kids.

Biggest difference is I didn't have to drive a couple hundred kilometers and spend a day picking them.

McJeff
10-20-2015, 03:06 PM
Are the small or big? I only ask because the small ones come from low bushes and tend to be sweeter and have more of a true blueberry flavor. While the high bush berries, still taste like blueberries but a touch less sweet and a bit more astringency to them.

Farmboyc
10-20-2015, 03:18 PM
They are bigger than I remember the low bush being.

It is not a crazy tartness and if I find it too overpowering in a month I will try some bench scale blending with a melon mead I made last year. It might become one of my winter projects.

Farmboyc
01-19-2016, 05:04 PM
Just an update on this one. My pH meter arrived and I was able to do some testing.
pH= 2.96
Did some bench scale testing and at pH 4 - 4.5 the tartness basically disappears.

My question is will a pH of 4-4.5 in a 12ish% ABV mead cause any issues with storage?
I have not yet stabilized and is this best done before or after a pH adjustment?

Farmboyc
03-26-2016, 12:12 AM
Just an update. Life got busy and I have neglected this batch till today when I had some time to do some racking.
Happy to say the batch has clarified well and the sharp tartness has mellowed considerably. I will leave it for another couple of moths then bottle.

Thanks for all the input.