View Full Version : first batch-is something wrong?

05-05-2005, 10:37 PM
Hi all,

About a year ago I started making wines. I've been busy trying various flavors, and I thought I would try to make some mead. Well back on the first of January I tried making my first, a strawberry melomel with the following ingredients.

4 lbs frozen strawberries
8 lbs clover honey
3 gallons of water
3 tsp acid blend
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1 tsp pectic enzyme
3/8 tsp grape tannin
1 packet ICV D-47 yeast

I boiled the water then dissolved the honey. Once that cooled I added the rest of the ingredients-just like I usually do when making wine (Except using sugar of course) Original gravity 1.08

The problem is after a couple of weeks it started to smell and taste like liquid cough medicine. It is now the first of May and after two rackings it has cleared nicely, but is still awful

Am I wasting a carboy, or just being impatient?

05-05-2005, 11:17 PM

I think you need to give this time. Meads usually show their youth in dramatic ways, and a year might do wonders for this melomel. Your recipe seems okay, though you went a bit light on the strawberries -- I'd think 4-5 pounds per gallon would be more approprate, but this is a matter of taste. You can add strawberry juice, or other flavoring if you think it needs it, since it's still in the carboy. Despite the cough syrup flavor, can you taste the strawberries at all?


05-06-2005, 12:07 AM
Hey Lostboy,

LNB is right it will need some time to mellow. The amount of acid you added up front is kind of high, as is the amount of nutrient. I generally wait until it's sat around for a while and been racked at least twice before I worry about balancing with acid.

The amount of nutrient you used should have been about half that, so you may have some off tastes as a result, and they'll need to age out.

I've only done one batch of strawberry mead so I don't have the experience with adding grape tannin to strawberry mead, but I know that there is a discernable amount of tannin in the strawberry skin which adds some astringency on it's own.

Hope that helps,


05-06-2005, 03:00 AM
Whats the Final Gravity (residual sugars)? Strawberry flavour will be more prominent with some sweetness.

The tannin will probably mean it drops sediment (I think strawberry is one of those fruits that has unstable colour pigments - IMO).

05-06-2005, 09:04 PM
Thanks all, I knew it would get better with aging, I was just looking for some reassurance I guess. I just started with a recipe I found somewhere, and unfortunately found this site after I started.

The gravity right now is .996. I am intending to stabilize then sweeten it. Would it be better to do it now or when the taste improves a bit?

05-06-2005, 09:58 PM
The gravity right now is .996. I am intending to stabilize then sweeten it. Would it be better to do it now or when the taste improves a bit?


I think I'd wait until it mellows a bit before you back-sweeten; you'll have a better sense of just how you want it to taste -- if you do it now you might end up trying to mask the harshness, which will only end up fading away, leaving more sweetness behind than you originally intended.