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View Full Version : Time.. Oak... Acid... and Mead



Jmattioli
08-11-2004, 03:01 AM
Just tried a glass of mead that was bulk aging going on a year now. I left it age in bulk cause I had put too much acid in it and after tasteing thought it was undrinkable. It was a light clover mead with heavy tartaric and malic acid that I added from a formula in Action and Ducans book "Making Mead". Their advanced English mead makers additives called for 10.5gms Malic, 6.5gms Tartaric and 3.5gms Citric. All this for 1 gallon. (Thats a lot of acid) The catch was this was for 1 Imperial gallon not US which I did not know at the time and I forgot to multiply by .8326 for my 1 gallon batch. Needless to say it was highly acidic after its long slow fermentation. I put in 2 medium toasted oak chips and sweetened it up a bit and let it sit for a year. Today , it was very pleasant with strong oak aftertastes and the acid turned from harsh to delightfully refreshing. By the way, I had used bakers yeast contrary to all recommendations. My conclusion is that time, acid and oak can do wonders with a an ordinary mead. Ever since I started that batch I have for the most part added acid at the finish to taste but now I find the taste at the finish is much different a year later. I also find that the English and their heavy use of acid and oak make for a really fine mead if you will WAIT for it to mellow into a golden nectar even with a mild honey. It will be interesting to see what my last English mead with buckwheat that I posted here will taste like in a couple years. It was already pretty good.
Joe

Norskersword
08-11-2004, 03:41 AM
Sounds like what you've learned is valuable knowledge in your quest to find the perfect English Mead recipe. ;)

WikdWaze
08-11-2004, 03:54 AM
...I also find that the English and their heavy use of acid and oak make for a really fine mead if you will WAIT for it to mellow into a golden nectar even with a mild honey. ...
Joe

"Wait" is a four-letter word ;) I have to admire your patience. It does sound tastey, has that "old-world" feel to it.

Norskersword
08-11-2004, 03:59 AM
I admire it as well. I'm not to the point yet where I can wait two full years to taste my mead. I'm a newbie and I find it hard enough to wait a few months! ;D

Jmattioli
08-11-2004, 04:27 AM
I admire it as well. I'm not to the point yet where I can wait two full years to taste my mead. I'm a newbie and I find it hard enough to wait a few months! ;D
I know what you mean. That 's why I make so many batches so some can age and others I can have right away. I am a firm believer in lower alcohol content for a quick mead. I don't believe the ancient ones had all that high an alcohol content. Mead was probably more like a very strong beer is now since they hadn't developed a lot of high alcohol tolerant yeast back then. Just my guess.... and they probably used big mugs to drink out of instead of little wine glasses.
Joe

Norskersword
08-11-2004, 06:05 AM
Then I guess I'll have to break out the ol drinkin horn! ;)

WikdWaze
08-11-2004, 03:41 PM
I know what you mean. That 's why I make so many batches so some can age and others I can have right away. I am a firm believer in lower alcohol content for a quick mead. I don't believe the ancient ones had all that high an alcohol content. Mead was probably more like a very strong beer is now since they hadn't developed a lot of high alcohol tolerant yeast back then. Just my guess.... and they probably used big mugs to drink out of instead of little wine glasses.
JoeAmen to the mug! The only thing more pathetic than a wine glass is any glass with an umbrella in it.

Multiple batches is a good idea, I'll have to see if I can get permission for that ;D

Oskaar
08-14-2004, 01:30 PM
I like the multiple batches approach too.

My biggest problem is keeping it around! A lot of my family and friends, neighbors and hangers-on love the stuff so they usually finance the honey expenses, and help with the meadmaking. I'm always happy for an extra pair of hands when it comes to sanitizing and moving the fermentors up on to the countertops.

Oskaar

David Baldwin
09-07-2004, 06:55 AM
Wait!?!?!?!? ??? ??? ???

I have a 3.5 gallon carboy of mead about 6 weeks along in the process. My best friend is betting that it won't even make it to the bottles :o :o

About 3 weeks into it, and I tasted the hydrometer sample, I was really wondering what I'd done to $25 worth of honey :-[ :-[ :-[

It's starting to mellow already and I'll have to bury a bottle or two if it's going to last a full year.


To misquote Simon and Garfunkle,

If I could save time in a bottle.. it still wouldn't taste sweet as mead...

Oskaar
09-07-2004, 09:22 AM
Isn't that Jim Croce??

Oskaar