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Squatchy
10-06-2016, 11:42 AM
Hi all

So I thought this could be a good topic for discussion.

I have found it hard to make a few different meads. Over time I have tried 3 different peach mels and am still not completely satisfied.

My GF loves Cab Sauv's and I tried to make a "replacement" for that style for her 4-5 times. I was able to turn each of those batches into really great meads. But still never exactly hit the mark.

So I was thinking if we all chimed in and spoke of our own challenges, rescue ideas and community brain forking some of the issues we might help everyone to make a better mouse trap.

So I will start it off.

My peach stuff has been difficult to get enough peach pressence. Even when I have used tons of pounds per gallon. Both up front and in the back side. Or all in after stabilization. As I age them they seem to end up with a slight tick at the very finish. Not sure how to describe the finish. Tart and sharp are not the right description. But if you were to consider "smoothness" as a paved road. This is very smooth until the very last part of the finish when I end up hitting a small speed bump. I'm starting to consider that maybe it's my cinnamon sticks doing something. I also will plan to boil my peaches next time and use the water along with the flesh for my must. I have been told this should help to get the "peach flavor" out of the peaches. and increase the mouthfeel some. I haven't had to much problems with the mouthfeel but more would be better in this case.

With my Cab I have come to the conclusion that I won't get the spicy pepperish finish unless I buy juice with the skins. Or find an different alternative for the tannins and find something else to get the spicy pepper finish. I did try many things for the finish and they turned out good. Or sometimes even great. But still not as close to a traditional Cab finish I have been hunting for.

I tried star anise, licorish root, pepper corns, grains of paridise, fennel seeds, combinations of these and others I can't remember at the moment. As I said above they have ended up very good and/or great but still just not getting what I am looking for. I have tried different oaks and a few tannin additions but it's not as much the tannins I need but the finish. I have also tried several yeast that have been nice not still not hitting my target.

Fire away with ideas for these or list your own specific challenges.

hendenburg2
10-06-2016, 12:17 PM
Hey Squatchy!

My ideas for correcting the peach problem basically stems from a 2-part hypothesis. Part 1 is that peaches have a bit of a mellow flavor, at least compared to sweetness, and so volume ratios might not be working in your favor. Perhaps try to make your own peach concentrate from fresh fruit first? I'm thinking puree and freeze distill. Put the puree in containers in the freezer (or perhaps use dry ice? Baskin-Robbins sells it). As ice forms, it will force the sugary liquid. It's better than using heat because the heat will kill flavors and leave just sugars. Another option that might work is to use more peach skins, in addition to whole peaches. Finally, when and where are you getting peaches? Can't seem to remember how many peaches grow in the Denver area. If they are coming in from far away, I'd say wait to try until they are in season again, that's your best chance of getting fresh fruit that hasn't been kept in a warehouse.

Part #2 is basically that you might be adding the peaches too early and the flavors are being blown out the airlock during fermentation. Maybe starting a bone-dry trad, stabilizing, and then treating the peaches as the back-sweetening agent would work.


As for the Cab, you could POSSIBLY try out this: https://www.amazon.com/WholeVine-Gluten-Grapeskin-Cabernet-Sauvignon/dp/B00CAWZOFM?th=1 . It seems to be grape skins that have been dried and milled.

curgoth
10-07-2016, 12:34 PM
Peaches are a tough one for me, too. I've got my most recent attempt sitting on the counter waiting for me to bottle it and give it a taste.

For the peppery note, if you can't get grape skins maybe try another fruit skin that you can get at more easily?

My personal white whale is making a mead that tastes like a Belgian ale. Might be a lost cause at this point; I've been beer-free long enough that I can't remember the flavour any longer.

loveofrose
10-07-2016, 12:54 PM
What kind of Belgian ale? I can help with that. Message me to avoid hijacking.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Masbustelo
10-07-2016, 09:35 PM
Are you adding water? I would suggest that you not. Are you fermenting on the skins? Also I would ferment on the skins. Did you leave it dry? I think you have to bring it up with sweetness to bring out the peach flavor. What was your final pH and TA?

Squatchy
10-07-2016, 10:02 PM
Hey Squatchy!

My ideas for correcting the peach problem basically stems from a 2-part hypothesis. Part 1 is that peaches have a bit of a mellow flavor, at least compared to sweetness, and so volume ratios might not be working in your favor. Perhaps try to make your own peach concentrate from fresh fruit first? I'm thinking puree and freeze distill. Put the puree in containers in the freezer (or perhaps use dry ice? Baskin-Robbins sells it). As ice forms, it will force the sugary liquid. It's better than using heat because the heat will kill flavors and leave just sugars. Another option that might work is to use more peach skins, in addition to whole peaches. Finally, when and where are you getting peaches? Can't seem to remember how many peaches grow in the Denver area. If they are coming in from far away, I'd say wait to try until they are in season again, that's your best chance of getting fresh fruit that hasn't been kept in a warehouse.

Part #2 is basically that you might be adding the peaches too early and the flavors are being blown out the airlock during fermentation. Maybe starting a bone-dry trad, stabilizing, and then treating the peaches as the back-sweetening agent would work.


As for the Cab, you could POSSIBLY try out this: https://www.amazon.com/WholeVine-Gluten-Grapeskin-Cabernet-Sauvignon/dp/B00CAWZOFM?th=1 . It seems to be grape skins that have been dried and milled.

Thanks for your ideas. We have a great peach harvest on the western slope where the landscape is lower in elevation, warmer and drier than on this side of the hills. I but them in Palasade, where the orchards are occasionally and if I want I can get the same peaches from vendors selling boxes here in Denver. So ya,,, all of my attemps have been with fresh picked in thier prime. I have tried adding them once I'm done stabilizing.

I just happened to drink a blueberry mel I have had sitting around for a good while. It had some cinnamon in it as well and had the same finish so I am now fairly certain it's the cinnamon that is giving me the tail I'm not diggin. I will have to look into the milled skins. Thaks for the link. :)

Squatchy
10-07-2016, 10:12 PM
Are you adding water? I would suggest that you not. Are you fermenting on the skins? Also I would ferment on the skins. Did you leave it dry? I think you have to bring it up with sweetness to bring out the peach flavor. What was your final pH and TA?

Hey bud. Thanks for checking in. I will try the skins in my next attempt. I have been making it semi sweet. Just went and measured some and it came in at,, 1012. So,, a little drier than I realized. I have purchased peach cider and used it as my base. At other times I used spring water.

Until you gave us the info you did on the thread you started after I asked to I never really bothered to measure those things. SO I don't know,,, but I will measure the pH tomorrow. I have yet to purchase equipment to get my TA.

Masbustelo
10-07-2016, 11:17 PM
I would take a look at Cotes des Blancs and QA23, thirdly KV1-1116. It would be interesting to run a side by side test on peaches with them. On the objective side, versus subjective, there are very few hard quantitative tests we can determine. The only three determinates I can think of are gravity, pH, and titrateable acid. Am I overlooking any others?

Squatchy
12-10-2016, 08:51 PM
I would take a look at Cotes des Blancs and QA23, thirdly KV1-1116. It would be interesting to run a side by side test on peaches with them. On the objective side, versus subjective, there are very few hard quantitative tests we can determine. The only three determinates I can think of are gravity, pH, and titrateable acid. Am I overlooking any others?

Hey there Mas :)

I hadn't realized you were left hanging. I will do a side by with those 3 yeast when peach season arrives. I will now be able to tast for TA and free SO2 and of course pH. I'm looking forward to check some of my "lesser" batches to see if they could be improved "by the numbers".

I'll keep you posted once I find some time to test some things.

Masbustelo
12-10-2016, 09:10 PM
I think QA23 is an underutilized yeast with lots of promise.

Squatchy
12-10-2016, 09:34 PM
That yeast is my favorite for dark grape pyments

Clwurster
12-10-2016, 10:51 PM
QA23 is awesome for any ferment you are wanting to preserve those hard to capture aromas. I use it on traditional wildfloweres & acacia. Gewerztraminer & peach is excellent also. Peach & pear are delicate flavors to capture. I usually keep back a gallon of pure juice frozen & when ferment stabilized, thaw half of gallon & add the concentrate back to mead. As to the cab, we r in same boat. My wife loves a dry napa valley cab as do I. I am unable to duplicate as a mead variation. The honey notes in the background fundamentally change it's base structure. However, I've found great results with Cabernet Sauvignon with the. Skins, d254 & a darker blend of honey. Age on medium oak a year & while close to a traditional cab, my wife will usually send me to the cellar to bring up a bottle of my "Catch that Cab! Honey". Point in case, we just finished off a bottle as I type. Time to brew more. Note to self- get more bottles

WVMJack
12-11-2016, 07:03 PM
So peaches picked in their prime, does that mean nice and soft and you can really smell their perfume, they are not ripe enough to make into a mead unless you can easily squish them in your hands into the primary, no water added, add some pectinase, make a lot more in the primary than you plan on the final volume, use good honey and fingers crossed:) 2 years ago we made our best peach mead, this spring all the buds froze at the orchard we got them from, next harvest I am going to try a repeat. We sometimes would get kind of a school paste taste in it, sort of a weird description I know, but we only see that in peaches. WVMJ