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Thread: What to do with sour mead

  1. #1

    Default What to do with sour mead

    I recently did a very small test batch of mead. The details are unimportant but sanitation was involved in this test and the test sort of failed. In other words I have a bit of sour mead on my hands and I'd hate to dump it all. Does anybody have any ideas what I might use it for? I was thinking maybe as a marinade or an ingredient in a salad dressing... It tastes like lactic acid to me, not acetic acid. No other real off flavors and the sourness isn't too strong (yet).

  2. Default

    You could try adjusting the pH of it with some calcium carbonate to make it less acidic.
    Sasper
    A ghost of sorts

  3. Default

    I had the same problem with an attempt at sake and decided to make rice wine vinegar: Acetobacter (mother of vinegar) will convert lactic acid into acetic acid (vinegar). You can buy raw vinegar from the health food store and use it as a starter. Honey wine vinegar salad dressing, perhaps? Just keep it away from your mead projects - cross contamination is a pain to clean.
    From the bonny bells of heather
    They brewed a drink long-syne,
    Was sweeter far than honey,
    Was stronger far than wine.

  4. #4

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    DO NOT DUMP IT!!! The best thing (in my opinion) to do with a sour mead is to blend it with a sweet, fruit mead. Try making a very sweet cherry or raspberry mead, then blend the two together. Trust me. You'll thank me later.

    What this will do is give you a mead that is similar to a Belgian style lambic. Which is an aged sour beer that is blended back with a a sweet, young fruit beer. The final result is heavenly and pairs extremely well with food.
    Brad Dahlhofer
    B. Nektar Meadery
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  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Dahlhofer View Post
    DO NOT DUMP IT!!! The best thing (in my opinion) to do with a sour mead is to blend it with a sweet, fruit mead. Try making a very sweet cherry or raspberry mead, then blend the two together. Trust me. You'll thank me later.

    What this will do is give you a mead that is similar to a Belgian style lambic. Which is an aged sour beer that is blended back with a a sweet, young fruit beer. The final result is heavenly and pairs extremely well with food.
    Can this technique be applied to other alcoholic beverages? I have a batch of sake that came out totally lactic. I thought about turning it into rice wine vinegar but I'm scared of bringing an acetobacter culture into my house.
    From the bonny bells of heather
    They brewed a drink long-syne,
    Was sweeter far than honey,
    Was stronger far than wine.

  6. #6

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    Lambics scare me - persistent bacteria! Like kinkajou saliva.
    "There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless." - Sri Sathya Sai Baba

  7. #7
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    Default

    Lambics typically have very low (to no) acetobacter living in them. The lactic acid is produced by other organisms (typically several including lactobacillus). I use lacto quite often (I think, I just toss stuff in but I hear it is "supposed to be" lacto) and so far no cross-contamination of equipment. I do keep separate bottling line stuff but fermenters get cleaned and exchanged without problem.

    Bacteria are your friends! If you're worried about bringing aceto into your house, it's already too late. That stuff is everywhere, which is why we sanitize.
    Want to see something added to the GotMead Glossary? PM me! Didn't know we had a glossary? Check the top row of links.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by akueck View Post
    Bacteria are your friends! If you're worried about bringing aceto into your house, it's already too late. That stuff is everywhere, which is why we sanitize.
    True, but what about Brettanomyces? Isn't that a prominent player in lambics?
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  9. #9
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    What is Kinkajou saliva?
    Is that the name of one of your melomels?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    True, but what about Brettanomyces? Isn't that a prominent player in lambics?
    Yes, Brett is important in lambics but it is not the only major player (the "big 4" you get in lambic bug blends are Brett, Pediococcus, Lactobacillus, and one or more Saccharomyces strains; though traditional lambics will be much more diverse these will get you most of the way there). I also consider Brett to be one of those "it's everywhere" organisms. Sacch. strains will outcompete Brett in the short term since they usually multiply faster, so even if you get a little in your mead you might not notice. I think Brett is pretty hard to kill though....
    Want to see something added to the GotMead Glossary? PM me! Didn't know we had a glossary? Check the top row of links.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenmead View Post
    What is Kinkajou saliva?
    Is that the name of one of your melomels?
    Kinkajou = "honey bear" = little animal.

    Kinkajou saliva will darn sure be the name of one of my products now, though
    "There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless." - Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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