View Full Version : Harsh alcohol or CO2?

02-07-2012, 11:05 AM
I bottled my first mead (a JAO), and now that I've opened the first one to drink, I notice a little bit of a bite on the tip of the tongue when I take a sip. I'm not experienced enough to tell, but is likely to be harsh alcohol flavors, or is it some residual carbonation from the ferment? I'm curious if it will diminish over time (alcohol) or if it will always be there (trapped CO2 in bottle).

02-07-2012, 11:10 AM
Could just be too acidic. Can you test pH and/or TA.

02-07-2012, 11:16 AM
I do have some PH test strips that I could try out on it next time I open a bottle. What is a range that would be a concern as "too" acidic?

02-07-2012, 11:39 AM
JAO's are supposed to be drinkable within a couple of months, but are known to be a bit harsh until at least 6 months and turn really awesome apparently at 1 year.

The harsh taste is most likely alcohol or the pith of the orange. it will diminish over time.

A good ph for mead is generally 3.2-3.8 but this is by no means a hard and fast rule. While things ferment better in this range drinkability is entirely in the palette of the drinker. Do what works best for you!

Dan McFeeley
02-07-2012, 01:36 PM
That's the beauty of a JOA -- at first the flavors are distinct, honey and orange pith bitterness. With sufficient aging, usually 9 months to a year, those flavors meld and something wonderful emerges.

It's a great first mead, and has probably converted a lot of first time tasters to mead. ;D


02-07-2012, 01:52 PM
For future reference, I've read some people zest the orange, then discard the skin to avoid it getting too pithy. This is suppose to ensure it is drinkable younger since pithiness can be an unknown if you are unfamiliar with orange.

02-07-2012, 02:15 PM
CO2 won't stay in suspension. Swirl the glass. If bubbles come out it is carbonated. If not, it is not CO2. Swirl a while and let it sit. When it stops letting bubbles out, taste, and then you can eliminate CO2 as the cause.

Chevette Girl
02-13-2012, 05:55 PM
I have a few batches that got bottled without being properly degassed and they don't fizz or anything but if you leave it sitting in the wine glass after a while I'll start seeing bubbles forming on the sides of the glass.