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Thread: Smelly blackberry mead

  1. Default Smelly blackberry mead

    1 gallon blackberry Recipe:

    3 lbs blackberry (frozen, thawed, mashed in cheese cloth in primary)
    3 lbs orange blossom honey
    water
    D47 Lavlin yeast
    starting gravity 1.010

    This mead was accidentally fermented in summer heat for multiple days roughly 80+ degrees. Gravity was measured after 12 days of fermentation and the gravity as 1.00. The mead has a "funky" smell and taste about it. I don't think it smells like Sulphur or skunk, but it is hard to tell. The smell is sort of sour and I was wondering if the blackberries could have spoiled in the heat. overall it tastes okay, I taste strong alcohol, fermented blackberry and hints of the honey and I feel like if the bad smell/taste goes away then it will be quite good. I plan on waiting it out and racking off the blackberries after 3 weeks. What could the smell be and how would I know if the mead is infected or has spoiled fruit in it?

    Any suggestions would be helpful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
    Posts
    385

    Default

    Did you mean a starting gravity of 1.100?

    Did you do anything (Campden tablets) in regards to sanitizing the fruit before use?

    Did you occasionally punch down the fruit, keeping it moist and cool, so that it wouldn't turn moldy?

    Also, I believe, that D47 likes to stay in the range of 59-68F degrees. If you don't have temperature control, you should have used a different yeast. Actually, if you are seeing temperatures in the 80's, you need to come up with some sort of temperature control regardless.
    Last edited by darigoni; 07-27-2017 at 06:08 PM.

  3. Default

    Yes I did mean a starting gravity of 1.100.

    No I did not metabisulfite the fruit, how should I have done this. In the past I have not done this step and as long as I punched the cap regularly it has not been a problem.

    That being said, on this mead I did not punch the cap daily.

    Mistakes are adding up on this one, assuming the fruit is bad, should the mead be thrown out?

    What should I do at this point?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Brookline, NH
    Posts
    385

    Default

    Check out week 8 of the Meadology series, on Youtbe:

    https://youtu.be/Zf5A4is65a4

    He actually talks about moldy and what to do with a moldy tasting Blackberry Melomel. Starts at around minute 13:00.

    Also, check out chapter 19 of the NewBee Guide (top of this webpage).

    Don't throw it out!

    As for using Campden tablets. You'll need to do a search on this forum, but this will get you started:

    http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...aking-melomels
    Last edited by darigoni; 07-27-2017 at 07:09 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    Don't pitch it. That yeast will have made a lot of fussells at your temps. Some or most of that can age out over time. I always freeze my fruit first. And secondly, I wait until ferment is really going strong before I add it. Let it thaw first of course. If your ferment is vigorous and you have frozen your fruit. Any bad guys that might be left will get overtaken by the yeast.

    There are better yeast to use that can handle summer heat. D47 is probably the most finicky and really needs to stay below 65 or so.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. Default

    the video and guide were helpful! Thank you! What do fussells smell like, could I be smelling extreme fussells do to bad fermentation temperature instead of bad fruit?

    Since my mead is close enough to done at 13.7 ABV my plan of attack is this:
    1) Rack immediately off of the potentially bad fruit to stop the bleeding
    2) inspect fruit for obvious mold or rotting
    3) Allow fermentation to continue until complete, I was considering adding more honey to up the ABV to get closer to 15%

    Does this approach make sense or should I add metabisulfite ASAP? If I did, I am close enough to done that I probably would not add more yeast to continue ferment.

  7. #7

    Default

    Fusels smell like very strong alcohol. You can have slight fusels with vodka notes in your mead. I already consider this bad. Or you can have high fusels which burn your nostrils, make you cough and are more like surgical spirit
    Too many things can be wrong. This is why we suggest the newbee guide and other guides plus I would suggest seeking a good recipe with detailed method for your first meads. You can also post your chosen recipe and method here before making the attempt so maybe we catch any flaws before it's too late.
    Adding metabusulphite now is useless. Metabisulphite is only useful when there is no active fermentation going on. It affects both contaminants and your yeast. I don't know why you would take a perfectly respectable 13% abv mead and up it to 15% especially when you might end up tossing it away if it never turns out right
    Maybe your best bet would be to leave everything as it is, age it for a year or two and cross your fingers it's drinkable in the end.
    Read the guides
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

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