View Full Version : HELP. Harsh tasting mead

07-16-2007, 10:35 AM

Have 2 separate 5 gallon batches of mead, the first has a very harsh taste with little sweetness. the Second is sweet but also has a harsh taste to it. Recipes and techniques I got from a "Brew it Yourself article" and from the Joy of homebrewing.
I don't know if itís the brand of Honey used or if I can add something to save them. I've been making beer (extract with grains) for about 3 years and wine (from kits) for about 2 years. I've used the same honey in my beer with great results.

Any help would be great.

#1 09/29/06
1. 15 lbs Honey (price rite store brand) Full boil 15 minutes
2. 5 Tsp Acid blend
3. 1/2 tsp. Wyeast Nutrient
4. 4 tsp Yeast Nutrient
5. White labs Sweet mead

12/14/06 into glass secondary carboy

#2 12/14/2006
1. 12 lbs Orange Blossom Honey
2. 31/2 lbs Honey (price rite store brand) Full boil 15 minutes
3. 5 Tsp Acid blend
4. 1/2 tsp. Wyeast Nutrient
5. 4 tsp Yeast Nutrient
6. White labs Sweet mead

3/15/2007 into glass secondary carboy

07-16-2007, 12:09 PM
dont boil your honey and dont use acid. when you boil the honey you destroy some of its flavor and some of its aroma. nasties cant grow in honey so thats not an issue. if anything, boil your water, let it cool and then add your honey. mead gets to be a pretty low ph all by itself by end of fermentation, you dont need to add to it, often this will make the ph to low which will either stop your yeast in its tracks or it will make your yeast make harsh/funky flavors in your mead. just age it longer and start another batch! or spice the hell out of it........and start another batch.

07-16-2007, 02:25 PM
My .02:

Don't boil/heat your honey unless you are married in to a style of meadmaking that calls for it. There is no need to do so.

Acid is also unnecessary as an addition up front, you may add it at the end if you feel there's not enough just prior to bottling or kegging.

Lose (my opinion) the Wyeast sweet mead and use Lallemand 71B-1122 rehydrated with Go-Ferm and then add Fermaid-K to your must during active fermentation. Aerate twice daily for the first few days, and then airlock it and monitor until it's at about 1 pop per minute. Check your gravity every other day. I have a strong opinion on Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast (I think it sucks out loud)



07-17-2007, 11:07 AM
Thanx for the future help, but I Still need to know some method to save these 2 current 5 gallon batches

07-17-2007, 01:58 PM
Starting gravity and current gravity please.

If they're harsh generally aging will take care of it uless it's really harsh. Set them aside and give them some time (try them again in a year, or two years)

If you don't have a starting gravity, the get a current gravity, if you don't have a hydrometer get one so we can help you.



07-17-2007, 02:46 PM
Thanx, I don't have a starting gravity (laziness) but when I'm home on thursday I get a reading on both of them.

08-11-2007, 11:19 AM
current gravity on #1 is 1.000

current gravity on #2 is 1.030

Any more ideas about what I should do?

08-11-2007, 11:26 AM
Well, that acid in my opinion is the harsh flavor, so I'd recommend just giving it some time. You may backsweeten by adding some honey, but I'd suggest that you let the mead clear and rack it a couple of times before you do any backsweetening. There have been some posts on backsweetening by WayneB so I'd also suggest that you use the Forum Search Tool and use "backsweeten" (without the double quotes) as your search criteria and read up on what has been posted. That should give you a good idea of what to do.

Best of luck,


08-26-2007, 07:38 PM
Your first mead is at 1.000 gravity with 5 tsp of acid. Its probably just dry and dry meads take a lot longer to mellow out. They dont have sugar in them to mask other flavors. Backsweeten will add some sweetness and help but I agree with Oskaar. Read the backsweetening threads going on, there are two.

The second one has 1.030 gravity and is harsh tasting? What was its starting gravity? Unless it was really high there shouldnt be too much alcohol harshness yet to overpower that much sweetness. Does it have any funny smells.

How are your meads turning out now that its been a couple weeks?