View Full Version : The Value of Tannin

10-02-2004, 10:34 PM
Adding Tannin to every Mead at Must time provides many benefits. First of all it adds a little needed astringency to mead that provides additional character/complexity. This can also be done with strong brewed tea but is much eaiser to be more consistant with a measure of Grape Tannin (1/2t per gallon). Grape tannin is natural and is not artificially made. It comes from the skins and seeds of grape and is foundd in powdered form. It is believed even to have health benefits by many. It can be added easily by mixing it in 4 oz of hot water to help dissolve it prior to adding to must. The tannin will darken the mead ever so slightly. In addition to the character it adds, tannin most definitely aids in clearing. The tannin will work as a clarifying agent, causing suspended solids to stick to it and slowly settle to the bottom. Of nearly 30 batches only one batch did not naturally clear in a short time.
If you haven't yet tried grape tannin, I would highly recommend 1/2t added to at least your straight meads. I'm sure you will be satisfied with the effects it offers. With this amount it does not add to aging times.
Joe (Member of the Grape Tanners Association) ;D Just Kidding.. No affiliation whatsoever.

10-03-2004, 04:46 AM
I've only just started trying the addition of tannin.

I like the slight (only adding small amounts) complexity it adds to the flavour. Also adds "vinosity" - a slight grape-like flavour.

When drinking over a couple of days, so that there is a partially-full bottle in the fridge, it seems to me to get a sharper taste to it, sort of like wine that is exposed to oxygen. It isn't bad, just something I was aware of.

I don't notice this with an absence of tannin.

Anyone else have this experience?

David Baldwin
10-05-2004, 06:21 AM
I used 1 cup of raisins in a 3 gallon batch of mead.

Should that have enough tannin, or should I yet use it? My batch is now about 12 weeks along - starting to clear - should/can I add powdered grape tannin at this point?

10-05-2004, 07:01 AM
At this point it's probably better to wait until you are going to rack, or before you bottle to add your tannin. That's not to say that you can't add it now, it's just more convinient to add when you rack because you don't have to add an extra step like you would if you did it now.



10-05-2004, 07:08 AM
Personally , I would not add anymore. Raisins do have a good bit of tannin in already so you may not need any. Taste it at bottling time and if it is astringent enough, forget it.

LOW: Flowers, vegetables, grain, bananas, honey,
gooseberries, strawberries, pineapple, rhubarb

MEDIUM: Grapes, apple skins (most varieties), blackberries, cherries, loganberries, raspberries, currants, sultanas

HIGH: Elderberries, crab apples, oak leaves, tea, grape stems, apricots, blackcurrants, plums, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, pears, figs, raisins