Shop Bee Folks for your Honey!Shop Bee Folks for your Honey!
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1

    Default Mead came out sour

    So in August I started my first batch of mead. The ingredients I put in were:

    8 lbs honey
    5 gallons of spring water
    Sweet Mead Refrigerated Yeast
    Cloves
    Orange quarters(peel and all)
    raisins
    Rosemary & Chamomille Tea

    Procedure:

    1.Heated up water, honey, cloves, and rosemary chamomille tea in a large pot.
    2. Let it cool.
    3. Transferred to Carboy.
    4. Added raisins and orange slices.
    5. Added yeast with energizer mix.
    6. Shook carboy.
    7. Let sit in dark place.

    However, when I transferred it to a new carboy after 5 months, I noticed it didn't taste "honey-like" at all. Its actually more bitter and sour.

    Anyone have an idea at which point I screwed up?

  2. #2

    Default

    I don't have a great deal of experience, but you started out with a potential ABV of about 7.75% and your yeast (was it the Wyeast Sweet Mead?) should have eaten through every bit of sugar you had. You don't say how many oranges you used, but whole orange quarters would add a bitter component, and after 5 months of them being in there it would be a pretty strong bitter taste with no sweetness at all to balance it with.

    I'm sure if you post a little more information about your recipe you'll get some good suggestions for saving the batch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Evergreen, CO (west of and above the Denver smog!)
    Posts
    5,794

    Default

    Hi, Nineveh! Welcome to the "Gotmead?" community!

    Trennels is right on, both with the potential diagnosis of your situation, and with an appropriate request for a little more information. Even the Sweet Mead yeast strain (available from both Wyeast and White Labs), which can be problematic for most "wine-strength" fermentations, would chew through all the sugar in a recipe so light in honey. You might want to take a look at the Newbee Guide to meadmaking (links are on the left side of this page), and to invest in a hydrometer (an instrument for measuring the amount of sugar dissolved in your must, and one that can also help you to monitor the progress of fermentation as it proceeds), before you try another batch.

    I do strongly suspect that your mead is totally dry (i.e. devoid of any residual sugar), so the acidic components from the oranges and the bitter flavor from the pith are dominating right now. You can improve the overall balance of the batch by a process we call "backsweetening," which is adding a little honey back into the mead after all fermentation has completed, and after you have stabilized the mead so it won't begin refermenation. You can learn more about all this in the Guide, and by searching on the terms backsweetening and stabilizing within the forums using the search tool.

    If you have any questions after you poke around the site a bit more, post them here and we'll be glad to help you further!
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trennels View Post
    I don't have a great deal of experience, but you started out with a potential ABV of about 7.75% and your yeast (was it the Wyeast Sweet Mead?) should have eaten through every bit of sugar you had. You don't say how many oranges you used, but whole orange quarters would add a bitter component, and after 5 months of them being in there it would be a pretty strong bitter taste with no sweetness at all to balance it with.

    I'm sure if you post a little more information about your recipe you'll get some good suggestions for saving the batch.
    I used two small oranges cut up into eighth's. The yeast was White Labs Sweet Mead yeast.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayneb View Post
    Hi, Nineveh! Welcome to the "Gotmead?" community!

    Trennels is right on, both with the potential diagnosis of your situation, and with an appropriate request for a little more information. Even the Sweet Mead yeast strain (available from both Wyeast and White Labs), which can be problematic for most "wine-strength" fermentations, would chew through all the sugar in a recipe so light in honey. You might want to take a look at the Newbee Guide to meadmaking (links are on the left side of this page), and to invest in a hydrometer (an instrument for measuring the amount of sugar dissolved in your must, and one that can also help you to monitor the progress of fermentation as it proceeds), before you try another batch.

    I do strongly suspect that your mead is totally dry (i.e. devoid of any residual sugar), so the acidic components from the oranges and the bitter flavor from the pith are dominating right now. You can improve the overall balance of the batch by a process we call "backsweetening," which is adding a little honey back into the mead after all fermentation has completed, and after you have stabilized the mead so it won't begin refermenation. You can learn more about all this in the Guide, and by searching on the terms backsweetening and stabilizing within the forums using the search tool.

    If you have any questions after you poke around the site a bit more, post them here and we'll be glad to help you further!
    Thanks for the help Wayne, I'll definitely see about backsweetening and stabilizing it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Fusel Shack, in the swamp west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    8,771

    Default

    Welcome to GotMead Nineveh!

    Sweetening this batch may improve the flavor quite a bit, but in this case I don't think I would stabilize it first since the alcohol level is quite low. Unless you were trying to make a really low alcohol mead, I'd add more honey and let the yeast ferment it until it chokes out (with this strain, it shouldn't take too much). Having a little higher amount of alcohol will add sweetness and body to the mead and should help it taste better along with extra residual sugar.

    I'd start with about 2 pounds and see if the yeast chew that up.

    Good luck!

    Medsen
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Medsen Fey View Post
    Welcome to GotMead Nineveh!

    Sweetening this batch may improve the flavor quite a bit, but in this case I don't think I would stabilize it first since the alcohol level is quite low. Unless you were trying to make a really low alcohol mead, I'd add more honey and let the yeast ferment it until it chokes out (with this strain, it shouldn't take too much). Having a little higher amount of alcohol will add sweetness and body to the mead and should help it taste better along with extra residual sugar.

    I'd start with about 2 pounds and see if the yeast chew that up.

    Good luck!

    Medsen
    Thanks for your advice! Do I need to add more yeast into it, or should there be enough residual yeast laying dormant in the liquid to start another fermentation cycle?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Fusel Shack, in the swamp west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    8,771

    Default

    They'll be enough yeast left, so you won't need to add any. They'll probably ferment most of 2 pounds without much trouble and you may need to add more if the yeast chew through it all, but you can follow the progress with a hydrometer (you have one, yes?)

    If the yeast stall out before they finish that honey, then you'll be left with sweet(er) mead. You might need to stabilize afterward just to be sure they won't restart in the bottle, but if you age it long enough, you may not have to.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks again Medsen, I'm glad I asked around here before I decided to dump my batch wholesale and start from scratch

  10. #10

    Default

    If the yeast stall out before they finish that honey, then you'll be left with sweet(er) mead. You might need to stabilize afterward just to be sure they won't restart in the bottle, but if you age it long enough, you may not have to.[/QUOTE]

    HI Medsen

    So, do the yeast die of old age? Do they starve to death if they have no food? What time frame are we talking about here?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Fusel Shack, in the swamp west of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    8,771

    Default

    Eventually yeast pass the way of all living things.

    However, people have reported renewed fermentation as much as 3 years out in unstabilized batches. This is likely to be more of a problem with a mead that has residual sugar, with a high-ABV strain (like Champagne yeast) when the ABV is well below the tolerance level. So if you use EC-1118 and have it stop at 1.010 with 14% ABV, and you decide to bottle without stabilizing, you're begging for a bottle bomb especially if it warms up.

    Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

Similar Threads

  1. What to do with sour mead
    By themoldycow in forum The Hive
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-12-2010, 02:55 PM
  2. Sour taste in mead
    By vahan in forum Troubleshooting your Mead
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-28-2008, 07:06 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •