View Full Version : Bitter To Better?

09-06-2004, 11:30 AM
I am very new to mead Making. I have made beer and wine for years but started my first batch of mead May/June of 2003.
Its a year later (plus a few months) and although over the past year it has changed from foul and nasty to ehh tasting, it still isnt "right".
The SG is down to just aboit 1.000 and didnt respond to kick starting fermentation so I think its as far as it will get in area. As far as aging I guess it could go a long time B4 it reaches completion. Right now the aroma says some kind of mead, the taste says some kind of alcohol but is bitter to the taste.
Is there a way of toneing down the acidity. I only added Apples and Cinnamon to the original honey and water mix.

09-06-2004, 12:49 PM
Hello Helios,
Can you post the exact recipe with amounts of each ingredients (type and amount of honey, yeast, etc.), starting gravity and any other information so we can give you a more informed opinion. Did you use Apple juice or apples? How much cinammon?

09-06-2004, 12:50 PM
Are we talking bitterness or acidity? To mellow the acidity you could add some calcium or potassium carbonate and test acidity.

To mellow bitterness you can backsweeten and stabilize.


09-06-2004, 01:47 PM
since I am not one for record keeping I can give you an estimation of what I used and did.

15 pounds of clover honey ( i know not very creative)
I stewed about 2-3 pounds of apples and heated them in a pot with 2-3 cinnamon sticks to soften them up and make a solution that would break down easier during fermentation.....removed the cinnamon sticks..put the apple concoction in the blender and hit puree...introduced them into the boiled honey/water mixture into 6 gallon primary fermenter and added 2 packs of what I remember to be ec-1118 champagne yeast.......and let it ferment.....the starting SG was probably high and I cannot seem to find it if I did write it down but it is presently at 1.000

I hope this gives you enough history on the batch to come up with a solution...or any helpful ideas...I would hate to have to start over if this is doable

09-06-2004, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the info. Clover is fine for mead especially when adding apples and cinnamon. I still use it in blends and in many of my melomels. 15lbs of honey with apples should have given you a starting gravity of approximately a bit higher than 1.135 . Ec-1118 is a great yeast for fast and complete fermentations and is nuetral in taste. Your alcohol level is probably now 18% ABV. That is pretty high for your first mead and it will have a pretty good bite for now. The cinnamon is providing some of the bitter taste also since you have very little residual sugar left and the malic acid from the apples is adding to the bitterness for now. A high alcohol content dry mead like that will be bitter and harsh for now but will improve greatly with age. It needs to age at least 6 months and 1 year would be better. It will be a different mead at that point. If your preference is for a dry mead then leave it alone to age and you will be shocked in a year or so how good it is. If you prefer sweeter then add more honey to sweeten and bulk age for 6 months or so. It will balance out the cinnamon bitterness and mellow out the harshness of the alcohol.
Either way, your mead is fine. Not to worry. Just a bit dry and strong for a first mead. Sit back and let it mature and make something lighter that you can drink sooner while you are waiting.
Best of Luck,