View Full Version : oxidation of mead

11-25-2011, 12:37 AM
So I recently bottled a mead that I had back sweetened and oaked. It was tasting great and was stable. I think I may have oxidized it opened a bottle last night and it tasted great opened another one today and it had a harsh after taste. The only difference is that one was filled with a bottle filler and the other was filled by running down the side of the bottle like you would pour a beer to keep the foam down. the first tasted fine the latter did not. So my question is what do you all fill your bottles with? and does it sound like I oxidized my mead?

Chevette Girl
11-25-2011, 01:26 AM
I find oxidation is a smell more than a taste for me... that sort of sweet smell you get from sherry, that's oxidation. I haven't had anything oxidized go harsh, it's possible they just aged differently in the bottles, I've had inconsistencies like that.

I've poured from one bottle to another while bottling, I've used my little bottle filler wand (my preferred method) and I've also used an automatic filler siphon thing that stops when the bottle's full (hated it), I don't think I've had any taste changes based on the filling method. I don't know if it's even possible to introduce enough oxygen with your bottling technique that it would harm a mead, traditionals are generally pretty resistant to oxidizing anyway. Now, leaving 3 gal in a 5 gal carboy for a week before bottling? THAT will oxidize a wine...

11-25-2011, 12:04 PM
I have had issues with caps/corks not sealing properly.

I also would only fill bottles with a bottle filler.

"phil's philler" is the best device I have used.

11-25-2011, 09:19 PM
Now, leaving 3 gal in a 5 gal carboy for a week before bottling? THAT will oxidize a wine...

In my experience, a wine, yes. Mead, not so much.
I remember reading a thread here where Oscar didn't worry too much about headspace in a finished mead...
Can't find it but maybe someone, even Oscar can chime in.
I find an unfinished bottle of mead reclosed in the fridge is a lot more tolerable as well.

Dan McFeeley
11-26-2011, 05:15 PM
A few of us have made that observation here and there, that mead doesn't seem as susceptible to oxidation as wine, although that should be taken with a cautionary note or two. I would also wait to see if Oskaar chips in with a clarification.

I've had the occasional popped carboy bung and have noticed that some meads would take on a bitter taste that wasn't there before, others showed no change at all. Much seems to depend on the type of varietal honey.

Honey does have anti-oxidant properties -- an old article but take a look here:



11-26-2011, 11:28 PM
on the other hand i've had half empty bottles sitting on the bench for a week that tasted better than an unopened bottle. theres a few comments around that people have found similar things.

11-27-2011, 02:22 AM
Speaking strictly from my memory (which might be a bit hazy from tasting the meads...), one of Oskaar's meads that won a gold medal (and maybe BOS?) at the California State Fair (or O.C. County Fair? Remember when I said my memory was a bit hazy? :p) had been sitting for a long time as ~1 gallon of liquid in a 5 gallon carboy. I think it might've been his mesquite mead recipe in the Patrons section? Maybe Oskaar can chime in on the specifics, and to correct any mistakes in my recollection of this story.

It should be noted that it was a traditional. I'm sure the same can not be said for melomels. ;)