About 7 months ago I started the following Cyser.
5 Gallons Cider
7 Cinnamon Sticks
When I racked to secondary on 10/8/2011 I noted a "Odd off flavor" it wasn't bad, it was hard to put a word on. Milky came to mind, like lactose, but I don't have that great of a palette so I don't know.
On 2/9/2012 I racked again and noted that it was "Super Sour" like a sour patch kid or one of those Sour Atomic Warheads.
Anyway, I decided to give it some more time as I have plenty of carboy space (a sin on here I know).
Today (3/24/2012) I was working with another cider and it reminded me about this one, so I decided I was going to dump it. First I took a sample, and I am back to a dry flavor with no real apple or spice. The sour is 95% gone, it is just there a little in the back.
Has anyone ever had Sour just age out in a few months? My other cider has a the same flavor at 1.5 months as this one does now (minus the sour). Could it be the store bought Cinnamon Sticks and Cloves? Those are the only thing the two have in common.
I originally thought that the Cinnamon and Cloves might have had something on them because I didn't sanitize them before they went in, but I did boil them for the second one and it is very similar.
I have done a lot of mead before but these are only my second and third cysers, trying to match a batch from years ago that I neglected to document (another sin).
Anyone have any Ideas what is going on here? Not sure if I suspect infection or not, it did have a little ring around the top of the carboy but I thought it was yeast as I have heard that infections will grow legs down into the carboy. I didn't use any nutrients as I didn't have any on hand, could that be the issue? I am thinking I might bottle it and let it age there and see what happens. Could filtering help? I don't have a filter setup but I do want to get one at some point.
You didn't mention the FG, but I'll guess this mead ended up very dry. It's not uncommon for a mead to have a strong unbalanced flavor right after fermentation, especially if it is a dry mead with no sugar to cover it up. Balance tends to return in time, which seems to be what you've got here. If it were an infection, the off-flavor would tend to only get worse with time.
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Yeah, seems like something you should just sit on. It'll either get really sour and/or funky with age, which could be a good or bad thing, OR it'll just mellow out with a bit of age. The fact that the sour has died down would give weight to the latter.
After yesterdays experience, I don't intend to dump it unless it goes seriously wrong. However, I have never heard of sourness going away, off flavors sure, but never sour, that is what has me really scratching my head.
Guess I'll take the wait and see approach and go make some other mead to distract me.
Well, in theory, it could have undergone a malolactic reaction where some of the more acidic acids are transformed into less acidic ones.
And I'm really not trying to suggest anything derogatory about your palate, but are you sure it's acidic you tasted, and not bitter? I don't know how to explain the difference (and my husband always describes acidic things as bitter), but bitterness CAN age out, it does with JAO and I've got one batch that's about 6 years old now that is just starting to be palatable, it was spit-it-out-now bitter when I first made it, maybe another 5 years it'll be good (Patient? Lazy? I'll never tell!)
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