View Full Version : Saving a burnt mead

12-11-2007, 07:37 PM
Ok, not sure if burnt is the right word, but volks, this stuff'll clean out yer drains! Here's the situations on 2 batches of mead, made with same ingredients:

Batch 1: 10/28/06
Montrachet yeast, 1 gal honey, 6 lemon peels, 5 tbsp dark tea, 1 pkt Red Star Montrachet, heated to 170*, racked out several times, had fish bladder added 3 wks ago, still cloudy, has harsh bite on sides of tongue and is just, well, basically a 6 gallon jug of gasoline. Ask Oskaar. And yes, Oskaar, feel free to pass that review out as a lesson on what NOT to do! I have! :laughing7:

Batch 2- started 9/19/07. Same recipe, still fermenting. Rough start, had nutrients added to it, racked 10/17 already. What can I do to keep this batch from turning into the same abortion?

Now, before I get myself ripped a new one, all this was BEFORE I met all you kind and warm-hearted and compassionate folks. So please remember that. :notworthy:


12-11-2007, 10:10 PM
What temperature do you ferment at?

What kind of honey and what was the source? How does the honey taste before you make the mead?

Ever try one without lemon peel?

Yo momma
12-11-2007, 11:02 PM
You will probably do better by putting up your recipe in full detail withthe temps and ph of your must upon yeast innoculation. The only reason that I can think of, for the burn, is PH and temp. Usually my batches burn a little for about 2-3 months depending on how much acid I have in them.

12-12-2007, 12:55 AM
Often a "gasoline" burn in a mead is an indication of fusels in the brew. Fusel alcohols are often produced when a fermentation takes place at too high a temperature. Also, Montrachet has a reputation for throwing phenolics in a stressed fermentation. The phenolic compounds lend a "plastic" or "medicinal" character to the mead, and can be present in addition to the fusels when a fermentation takes place too warm.

12-12-2007, 02:01 AM
You've got tannin in there, so give it 3 years to settle down. Maybe a little bit of back-sweetening (SG range of 1.005 to 1.010).

Don't throw it away until its had some aging.

Yo momma
12-12-2007, 07:26 AM
I did not know that Wayne thanks for the info.

Dan McFeeley
12-12-2007, 02:19 PM
The nutrients in the second batch should help -- I didn't see any in the recipe for the first batch.

Montrachet has high nitrogen needs, without sufficient nutrients and what may have been too high a pH, depending on how much lemon pulp and juice was present with the peel, this could account for much. The lack of nutrients alone could be the main reason for the harsh aftertastes in the mead.

What did you use for nutrients, and how much?

12-12-2007, 03:41 PM
OK ssteufelhund,

As per your request I am attaching the sensory, recipe analysis I performed on your mead. I have omitted personal information about you, and my personal comments that don't relate to the mead analysis.

Click here (http://www.cyberclan.net/brew/ssteufelhund 20071115.pdf) to view the *.PDF file.


12-12-2007, 04:27 PM
Very thorough analysis, and though it was not about a mead that I had made, I did learn some great things from reading it!

Thanks for posting it

12-12-2007, 10:10 PM
Hey volks!

Thanks Oskaar! This way they will see what I'm up against i.e. my bad recipe. Did you leave in the part about me almost blowing your hand off? :cheers: You know, that single report gave me the insight into what it takes to make a great mead. The details of tastes, aromas, colors are something that I hope to aquire with some degree of proficiency. Sending you that mead was the smartest thing I've done in a long time. :laughing7: Not for you, but hey! That's why they pay you the big 'Big Bucks'! :icon_thumright:
Temp definitely has definitely affected the taste and yes, the gasoline taste, hot on the sides of the tongue, burning, etc... during the summer, temps probably hit 75* -80* . There wasn't really much lees to speak of and I racked it off after a week or two of inactivity.
But is there a way to save it into something somewhat palatable? Some additions of honey or ?
The second batch is young enough to perhaps salvage as it's been in 65* -70* but I still only added about 1/2 the honey amount I needed according to Oskaar. Can I add more honey now and a new yeast infusion or is it too late.
As it is, this recipe produces a VERY dry mead and perhaps I could turn it into a sparkling mead at the end? Just tossing out ideas. :BangHead:

More details on the meads from my notes:

#1- started 10/28/06 First rack 1/4/07 2nd 2/7/07 Added yeast nutrient (Carlsons) + 1 gal h2O. 3rd 5/2/07 4th rack 10/31/07 On 4/5/07 I added yeast nutrient (Carlsons) for 5 gals. Almost no activity for 1 month. Smells OK, somewhat yeasty, heavy alcohol. On 3rd rack there was still absolutely no activity. Tasted OK, well, obviously not, but it was still very "raw", which is what I called it at the time.

#2 started 9/19/07 1st rack 10/17 No activity Now has stopped bubbling. 10/1/07 Went dead. No real smells but possibly soap? Hmmm.... 10/7/07 Added yeast nutrient for 5 gals. And as I wrote, it's now sitting dead in the closet.

12-14-2007, 08:27 PM
A dumb question...

How to access ssteufelhund 20071115.pdf attached in Oskaar's email? Clicking on it takes me to the got mead site map.

12-14-2007, 09:04 PM
Forum re-directs for some reason are overrideing the attachment. I changed the attachment path to a URL in my original post.

Try the link now.


Yo momma
12-15-2007, 08:13 PM
On a personal note, how do I send you a bottle of my Strawberry Mel for review, Oskaar?

12-15-2007, 08:55 PM
Check your personal message box on Got Mead. Looking forward to the samples.



05-15-2008, 10:19 PM
I know it's an older thread. Was there ever a consensus on how to save a burnt mead such as these? I am faced with 2 of my 5 gallon batches smelling similarly burnt.

05-16-2008, 08:12 PM
teufelhund what did i tell you about the mont yeast

oskaar i'm going to have to drop by on friday one of these days with some samples of mine
maybe some time next month after i've worked on clarification

05-18-2008, 09:31 PM
Hey guys! To answer the question, I just added more honey, citrus zest from a lemon, orange and grapefruit, some oak and just let it sit in it's sh*t for a while. It's still very thin tasting but at least now it's sweeter and has a slight tang as well. Nothing at all to serve to guests that you like.
IMHO, my batches are FUBAR and I'm just dealing with it. I'll either drink it myself or toss it down the toilet so I can use the carboy. :icon_thumright: