View Full Version : Saltiness... what causes it?

08-14-2005, 10:22 PM
Well, come tasting time as the fermentation is finishing I notice a strong saltiness to the mead. I've noticed this before and I'm curious, what causes this salty flavour? It goes away, obviously, but why is it present?
Has anyone else noticed this, or am I crazy? I noted it in the Acerglyn and Watermelon Melomel both.

08-14-2005, 11:14 PM
In the brewlog you indicate you're adding 2 tablespoons of DAP to your must. That is the reason you're tasting salts. DAP (Ammonia Salts) should be added at a rate of 1 - 2 tsp (teaspoons) per five gallons, you're adding 6 teaspoons in a 7 gallon batch up front. Way too much.

If you add your 2 tsp up front, and then supplement with a 1/2 tsp dose of DAP at the end of the lag phase (6-12 hours) and once a day over the next two days you'll not have the saltiness. Then at the 1/3 sugar depletion (8-10 brix drop in your must) add Fermaid K which is an amino acid rich nutrient.

The reason for doing this is that the yeast adsorb Nitrogen from Ammonia salts more readily during the first portion of the fermentation up until the 1/3 sugar break. At that point they are looking for nitrogen from a different source, namely amino acids as opposed to inorganic nitrogen contained in DAP

Here's a link that Dan McFeeley referenced in another thread:


Here's a link to one of my earlier posts:


Hope that helps,


08-15-2005, 01:58 AM
I seriously doubt that Oskaar. I'm well aware that I should have used Go Ferm and Fermaid K (which I have now, and will change my nutrient procedures in my next batch of mead). I don't think that the 6/7 tsp/gallon is excessive though. The brand I have recommended 1 tsp/gallon (carlson yeast nutrient, urea/diammonium phosphate blend) and I have used the same procedure in other meads and not noticed the saltiness in the must during pitching, or well several months into aging. I didn't taste my earlier meads at the end of fermentation since I had actually forgotten about them (hehehe).

I just did a taste test too. I took a tsp of nutrient and cut it in half 4 times till it was 1/16th of a tsp, and added it to a cup of tap water, stirred well and guzzled it all. I would be hard pressed to tell the difference with an ordinary cup of tap water. I also tasted the dry nutrient and can say that the type of saltiness is different. The saltiness in the mead is more of a sharp, acidic NaCl variety. It tastes like someone mixed sea water with mead and kerosene. Much stronger than the nutrient could possible account for.

I suspect it is some sort of acid produced by the yeast that tastes like salt to me, but I have funny tastes.

I was just thinking... if its from sodium or chloride, where are the ions coming from?
Then I remembered, my tap water is chlorinated and the chlorine might not have completely degassed. Is this a possibility?

2nd edit: I'll note that I also used only 1/4 tsp of nutrient in 4L of the watermelon melomel, and the liquid in that came exclusively from the watermelon, so tapwater nor the nutrient can be the culprit here.

08-15-2005, 03:42 AM
Sounds like you have the answers to your problems.

Best of luck,


08-15-2005, 02:09 PM
Uhm, I don't have the answers yet?
I'm just pointing out that its not the nutrient, nor chlorine in the water.
Both had very fast fermentation times though, comparably.

08-15-2005, 06:30 PM

I've pointed you in the most likely direction which is the ammonia salts you added to your mead in the form of DAP. In my experience that is the most likely culprit. You can check this by doing a search on "salty" in the Mead Lover's Digest. You'll find some interesting information there and a very good article by Ken Schramm and Dan McConnell about not using too much nutrient because of the salty taste it will impart.

I know that JD Carlson recommends 1 tsp/gal for their nutrient, but in my experience that's too much and will definately affect the flavor. If that doesn't seem like it is the right answer to you, I understand. I'm merely pointing out that you have all the information you need (your brew logs, notes, etc.) to figure it out.

Hope that helps,


08-15-2005, 08:11 PM
Hi Fortuna_Wolf,
While I am new to mead I am also a farmer, and can think of two pertinent chemical nutrients sulphur and urea that would lend a salty flavor.

As dry land farmers one of our main concerns is soil salinity, we donít irrigate, and have heavy clay loam soil so anything we put into the earth stays forever it seems, I would be willing to bet it stays in mead as well, although I hope I am wrong (maybe in aging it will settle out), good luck on your mead I will be watching this thread, Cheers...John

09-15-2005, 01:57 PM
Do you use campden tablets for sanitizing? Maybe you arn't rinsing your sanitizer off enough.

09-28-2005, 12:13 AM
Thats really weird. I've never heard of anything like it. So you've had it before and it tends to clear up over time?

also I'd like to learn more about your mellon mel--sounds like a good project.
hmm...a thought--you dont live in the southern united states do you? I've noticed that some people there actually salt their watermellon... ;)

Has anyone else noticed this, or am I crazy?

frankly you must be crazy :-*

good luck in all your endeavors!


edit: by the way, appologies if my initial post seemed rude or mean spirited, I think all brewers are crazy.

09-29-2005, 02:22 AM
Crazy . . .

OK, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me!

. . . whatchyou lookin at????????

09-29-2005, 02:29 AM
I think all brewers are crazy.

I guess that would make Wolfie... CRAZY LIKE A FOX!!! :P