View Full Version : chemical taste to raspberry melomel

07-26-2012, 09:56 AM
I made a JAOV raspberry melomel, starting it on May 25th with 250g of normal (non-frozen) raspberries. I didn't realise at this point that frozen were better for the release of the juice. Within two hours it had frothed up so much I had to throw some away to stop it from crawling into the airlock, but the next day while it had frothed back up, it was staying put.

The raspberries gave a slight pink haze to the mead but then they started to look off so I racked them off on the 3rd of June. Fermenting stalled but I figured adding more fruit would give it a kick and add the colour and flavour I was looking for so I added 600g of defrosted raspberries and floated them in a sanitised stocking with a weight to keep them down, fermentation picked right up and they started going crazy, much stronger than the mead I made before.

I racked them again on the 19th of June (The fruit at this point has been in for a little over a week) and waited for the melomel to clear. At this point I tasted it and it had a powerful kick, but tasted really good and fruity, if the chemical taste was present, niether me nor my fiance tasted it, or recognised it at the time. My notes in my notebook says "it is still v. yeasty but as it has not cleared this is to be expected. It has a lovely fruity after taste that I think will take precedence after the yeast clears."

On the 19th of July there airlock is still releasing bubbles, about one every three or four minutes and the melomel is beginning to clear, but is still pretty cloudy. My fiance and I decided to taste it the kick had turned into a full blown chemical taste.

Today I decided to give it another little taste to see if the problem had resolved itself, the chemical taste is less than it was, but it smells and tastes almost like pure alcohol, it numbs my tongue!

Is the dog dying? Should I shoot it or is there a way to rescue this? It's still not fully clear so I don't know if this is normal because of the strength of the melomel, as I've said the strong chemical taste has lessened.

This is my second mead, my first melomel so I really have no clue... Help!

07-26-2012, 10:28 AM
okay, a quick addendum to this. I syphoned off a glasses worth and let it get some air, after about 20 minutes the chemical taste had gone and it was extremely dry so I'm guessing the second ferment ate all the sugar. Do I need to kill the yeast (How is it you do this again?) and then add more honey?

07-26-2012, 10:37 AM
okay, a little more time now and it's actually tasting quite nice. I've had about three sips and am getting drunk already! This is really strong and I only used a basic bread yeast, so I can only figure adding the raspberries in secondary has done this. I have so much to learn about mead!

07-26-2012, 10:39 AM
Okay, I'm not going to post anymore on this thread or it'll descend into a drunken mead gabfest! Move along! Nothing to see here but a mead lush!

07-27-2012, 11:55 PM
lol, sounds like you've answered your own concerns. I think some of those chemical flavors will age off after a while. Apparently you're happy to drink it after it breaths a while so there's probably nothing too seriously wrong with it.

Cheers, I have yet to try a batch of JAO but I hear that it's fool proof so I would guess you have nothing to worry about.

07-28-2012, 06:23 AM
Ah ha! a nice lesson there eh ?

While "proper" JAO's tend to be made initially with some airspace to allow for foaming etc, you now know that (as it often the case) fruit based meads/mels/cyser/pyment/etc etc are best started in a bucket - like a 1 gallon batch in a 2 gallon bucket, etc to allow for plenty of head space.

We've all done things like this and learned that it can be a bit of a pain (in my case, scrapping and washing splatters of banana off the dining room ceiling ;D ).

The allusion to JAO, is that you start it with the ingredients as suggested, then once the ferment has died down a bit, it's topped off and left to finish.

With other types, I've found that it depends on what you're actually aiming for, as to when you add some, if not all of the fruit. I like to add most of mine to secondary, as I want a more natural, fruity flavour, which is often lost of the fruit has been in primary fermentation.

As for using fresh fruit ? You've learned about that obviously. That if it's frozen then thawed before any fermentation process, it allows quicker access for the yeast, too the fruit sugars. Did you also correlate the difference between the fruit flavour that you know and enjoy, and the difference once the sugars have been fermented ? Raspberries are wonderful, but when they've had the sugars fermented out, can become quite a dominant, acidic sort of taste, that (IMO) need a bit of back sweetening, not necessarily to become pleasant as that's relative, but to make the flavour/taste more familiar to what we understand as raspberry.

Actually, they can often be nicer when mixed with other fruit. A mix that seems to go together very well, is raspberry and peach (shame we can't grow much in the way of peaches here isn't it ;D)

Chevette Girl
08-04-2012, 10:41 PM
Sometimes you get a stink that just needs agitation and it'll blow off, I've had a few different ones, some more persistent than others. And yes, posting drunk can lead to trouble :D

Oh, and with raspberries in a JAO-like concoction, it is actually safe to leave them in till they all turn grey and sink...