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Thread: Medicinal flavor

  1. Default Medicinal flavor

    Hey guys,

    So I bottled a batch yesterday of a plum spiced variety. It's very tasty and looks beautiful. It's 3 1/2 months old so yes it needs some time to age and mull the flavors but there is a telltale sign of a medicinal aftertaste. Normal? Insights?

    I can provide more detail if necessary.


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  2. #2

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    i've got a damson plum that tastes like cough medicine! give it a year or two and see what its like.

  3. Default

    So perhaps its just the mixture of the herbs I used and the plum that's giving this cough syrup taste to it?

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  4. #4
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    Ken mentions in his book, about when young meads can taste a little like listerine, and I think he was alluding to an "alcohol hot" flavour.

    Yet some combinations can also taste rather like cough medicine, cherry being one that comes to mind, though there's others that can seem like that too.

    Or the other one that comes to mind is the presence of fusels - the obvious one being when D47 yeast was used and it was fermented too warm i.e. its got a narrow temperature range and is known to produce fusels if fermented above 70F.

    The only thing I known of, that you can do, is age it. Hence I'd age it for 6 months in bulk, then taste it, if the flavour is still present, bottle it in varying sized bottles, and every couple of months, taste a small one.

    If its alcohol hot it should age out, if its fusels, it might age/mellow, but its possible it might never age/mellow so all you can do is to see.........
    here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
    and don't forget
    What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....

  5. #5

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    If it doesn't make you shudder when you drink it I would say that given some time it will come around. Perhaps it will never be a gold medal winner, but you'd probably open a bottle from time to time.

    I recently made an orange zest traditional mead that I described on my blog as...

    "The taste of this batch has turned ugly. It is slightly sweet and there is a lot of honey essence. With these qualities it is a nice mead, but there is this BRUTAL bitterness to it. I don't think it is the orange zest, I was careful not to add the pith. Whatever the cause of this flavor, I would only drink a glass if you paid me to. Perhaps a bit of acid would help to balance the sweetness. But the bitter flavor is the killer. I'll add some acid here in the next few weeks and bottle it in a few months. I don't have much hope but who knows."

    This was using 71B, hot fermentation, and bad nutrient plan. (I was trying on some advice from my brew-store's resident mead "expert")

    Regardless, give it some time and let us all know what happens.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, you never know what aging can do, I do have one that was so tannic and bitter I'd reflexively spit it out every time I'd try a sip, but it's getting better with age. Going on six years in the carboy, but though it's not yet pleasant, it's drinkable. So maybe six more years and it will taste as good as it smells!

    Hey Valhalla, what herbs did you use in this?
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  7. #7

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    I have a raspberry mead that was medicinal at first, but a year of aging fixed it.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post


    Hey Valhalla, what herbs did you use in this?
    When I get home ill look in my brewing book to see the exact mix.



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  9. #9
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    Valhalla,
    If you give us the full recipe details we may be able to give more insight.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  10. Default

    18lbs dark wildflower
    7 plums
    1 lemon whole
    A special mix of:
    Hibiscus
    Rosehips
    Roasted chicory
    Orange peel
    Raspberries
    cinnamon


    OG: 1.120
    FG: 1.008
    ABV: 14%


    I just added 2 tbs of tannin and its been sitting for a bit. It taste so much better and the medicinal aftertaste is gone.

    It was my first time using plum so I think I was just over worrying.....something I do with every batch lol.





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    Last edited by Valhalla Mead; 05-28-2012 at 04:26 PM.

  11. #11
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    Hey Valhalla.

    What temperature was your mead fermented at? I may have overlooked something but I did not see it mentioned.

  12. Default

    I was using lalvin 1118 @ a constant 72 degrees.

    Perhaps it was just some fusels?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla Mead View Post
    I was using lalvin 1118 @ a constant 72 degrees.

    Perhaps it was just some fusels?
    It could have been. 72 degrees is a bit high. I fermented one batch in the 70s range and ended up with band-aid mead. It is nearly 2 years old now and although much of the medicinal/band-aid flavor has aged out, it is still slightly there. I no longer brew mead unless I am committed to keep the temps under 70 and better yet, near 65. Right now I put my fermentor in a large yard bucket filled with water and throw in a frozen water bottle a few times a day.

    It is a beautiful mead though! I like the tint that the plums added!

  14. Default

    Thanks for the reply. After looking at the diagrams I think I found the correct temperature ranges. I think I've also found a way to correctly hold the right temperatures that I need. The water evaporation method is a great way to keep something cool I appreciate the tip!

    Yeah I'm very pleased with the color and aroma. I think with some more time it'll taste even better.

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  15. #15

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    Medicinal flavor, I know what you mean.
    Made this Traditional two gallon batch February 7, 2012 (my third batch of mead) :
    • 6 lbs Clover Honey (Walmart brand)
    • Spring Water to two gallons
    • 5 grams Lalvin EC-1118 dry yeast (rehydrated in ~1/4 cup Spring Water @ 104*F for ~15-20 minutes)
    • 2 t yeast nutrient (DAP)
    • 1 t yeast energizer

    OG: ~1.1060
    FG: ~1.000
    I racked it 10 days later on 2-17-12. (It tasted like Listerene mouthwash, not good)
    Added bentonite 3-18-12. And it tasted alot better.
    Racked and stabilized 4-5-12.
    Bottled 4-7-12 (eight 750ml bottles).

    So it's about 4 months old and has been in the bottle 58 days.
    Well, I decided to open a bottle of it tonight and it is so good I can't believe it!!! But, mine too, still has just a feint hint of that medicinal aftertaste, on the first sip or two. But I can't believe how much this has mellowed. I hope any trace of the medicinal taste will be gone in six months so def plan to sit on the remaining 7 bottles until the end of the year.

    So I'll bet yours will taste much better after more aging. Cheers.

    Almost forgot to mention the swamp cooler works great. Been using it on my last five batches. Def recommend it.
    Last edited by hepcat; 06-04-2012 at 07:05 PM.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat View Post
    Medicinal flavor, I know what you mean.
    Made this Traditional two gallon batch February 7, 2012 (my third batch of mead) :
    • 6 lbs Clover Honey (Walmart brand)
    • Spring Water to two gallons
    • 5 grams Lalvin EC-1118 dry yeast (rehydrated in ~1/4 cup Spring Water @ 104*F for ~15-20 minutes)
    • 2 t yeast nutrient (DAP)
    • 1 t yeast energizer

    OG: ~1.1060
    FG: ~1.000
    Are you sure about that OG? 3 lbs of Honey per gallon usually equates to somewhere around 1.110.
    " ...no sense hauling empty carboys around when full ones take up just as much space. " -TheFlyingBeer (on HomeBrewTalk)

  17. #17

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    I could def be off since I had not yet used the hydrometer much. Which is why I include ~.

  18. #18
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    Could have been undissolved honey or miscalibrated scale...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

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