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Old 01-03-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
Bluespark
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Default Bland comercial mead - how to prevent?

I tried a mead ages ago and remember it being delicious, clean tasting with definate notes of honey, a touch of sweetness but still fairly dry. It was fantastic.
I currently have a mead going that I'm pretty excited about. While I'm impatiently waiting I figured I would sample some of the local meaderies products. I found a meadery based a few hundred miles away that sounded good,and picked a bottle of traditional semi sweet. It's AWFUL. Like a watered down white wine. No honey smell or flavour, watery with no body.

How do you avoid producing a mead like this?

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Old 01-03-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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Use good ingredients and good methods. That mead was probably low cost and probably minimally aged. I've had some commercial mead that was still cloudy...

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:12 PM   #3
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Balance between the sweetness and the acid levels goes a long way, good honey and we like to backsweeten with a little honey before bottling to refresh the honey taste a little. So far we have not had a commercial melomel that is nearly as good as ours, something always seems to be out of balance with the bought ones. WVMJ

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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blending is one of the old secerts of the mead makers ......

i agree post sweetening can be a resourceful way to help along a batch that didn't quite hit expectations.

myself i'm laid back with my mead making and like to let nature do it's magic.

my first attempts back in the 90s were truely awful.

everyone has their favorite style......i have found it very difficult to make a really good weak clear mead.

melomels & spiced or a combo of the two is about all I vint.

maybe one day i'll do a cyser....... i find the sack meads to be easier to make than a clear delicate plain weak mead.

my experience, never to have found a commerical mead worth a hoot!

i have some spiced mead that has been aging for well over ten years.


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Old 01-04-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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The funny thing is, it's not cheap. I could see through the tinted bottle it was perfectly clear.
I opened the bottle and took a smell - no honey smell at all.
I poured some in a glass - very pale, almost no color.
Taste as I said was bland and watery. A bit of acidity, a tiny bit of alcohol taste. No body, not the faintest hint of honey. A cheap white wine watered down. Flat and flavourless.

If this is what's on the market, no wonder its not gaining popularity!

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Old 01-05-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluespark View Post
The funny thing is, it's not cheap. I could see through the tinted bottle it was perfectly clear.
I opened the bottle and took a smell - no honey smell at all.
I poured some in a glass - very pale, almost no color.
Taste as I said was bland and watery. A bit of acidity, a tiny bit of alcohol taste. No body, not the faintest hint of honey. A cheap white wine watered down. Flat and flavourless.
If this is what's on the market, no wonder its not gaining popularity!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
i tried some a friend purchased from world market. this venue usually has a great selection of craft beers & wines. at the time i remember he paid $18.00 for a 750ml bottle. it tasted just as you described, no character or taste.

with all the problems bee keepers have been having the cost of U.S. honey has skyrocked! no wonder the commerical product is so lame.

when i bought my honey decades ago i paid 60 cents a pound for 60 lb containers.

GD
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluespark
If this is what's on the market, no wonder its not gaining popularity!
The biggest challenge is that a really good mead can take years to become good. To be commercially viable you need thousands of bottles to really sell to the mass market. Storage time costs money. A commercial meadery trying to make a real go of the mass market would have to invest massive amounts of capital upfront, like millions of dollars, before the started seeing the money come back in.

So you are left with quicky meads for sale, which means either sickeningly sweet, really weak, or underaged and bad.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitack View Post
The biggest challenge is that a really good mead can take years to become good. To be commercially viable you need thousands of bottles to really sell to the mass market. Storage time costs money. A commercial meadery trying to make a real go of the mass market would have to invest massive amounts of capital upfront, like millions of dollars, before the started seeing the money come back in.

So you are left with quicky meads for sale, which means either sickeningly sweet, really weak, or underaged and bad.
there are a couple meaderies that are doing amazing that didnt invest millions up front and their mead is awesome...the thing is that they are soley meaderies. Look into Moonlight Meadery or B. Nektar.


The issue with a lot of commercial mead on the market is that they are made by wineries or even some breweries that just want to be able to have an offering on the market, basically just to say that the do....the mead is made in bulk and fast, usually don't use a high quality varietal honey, are fermented quick with a turbo style yeast, have minimal temperature control and even less attention given to yeast health, aged long enough to move through production, stabilized at a relatively high gravity, hit with clarifying agents, dumped into bottles and sent to market...I've read that in some occurences they hit the shelfs at a whopping 2 months old...hell that almost beats jaom which as we all know can be drank at 2 months but even that benefits from a little time.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrewingMedic

there are a couple meaderies that are doing amazing that didnt invest millions up front and their mead is awesome...the thing is that they are soley meaderies. Look into Moonlight Meadery or B. Nektar.

The issue with a lot of commercial mead on the market is that they are made by wineries or even some breweries that just want to be able to have an offering on the market, basically just to say that the do....the mead is made in bulk and fast, usually don't use a high quality varietal honey, are fermented quick with a turbo style yeast, have minimal temperature control and even less attention given to yeast health, aged long enough to move through production, stabilized at a relatively high gravity, hit with clarifying agents, dumped into bottles and sent to market...I've read that in some occurences they hit the shelfs at a whopping 2 months old...hell that almost beats jaom which as we all know can be drank at 2 months but even that benefits from a little time.
Did you see the part where I said "mass market"? As in widely available and able to be purchased at any specialty wine shop and even in some grocery chains. Special order or only available in a few stores or very localized is not the mass market. To do over ten thousand bottles for a single run the meadery would need to purchase enough of the same varietal honey for all that mead at the same time, have brewing equipment to ferment it all, and storage space for all of it for at least a year, maybe more. Yes, that would require a million or more in capital. The meaderies you mention may do a few hundred or even a couple thousand bottles a year, but that is not a commercial mass market mead.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitack View Post

Did you see the part where I said "mass market"? As in widely available and able to be purchased at any specialty wine shop and even in some grocery chains. Special order or only available in a few stores or very localized is not the mass market. To do over ten thousand bottles for a single run the meadery would need to purchase enough of the same varietal honey for all that mead at the same time, have brewing equipment to ferment it all, and storage space for all of it for at least a year, maybe more. Yes, that would require a million or more in capital. The meaderies you mention may do a few hundred or even a couple thousand bottles a year, but that is not a commercial mass market mead.
One of the ones i mentioned has preorders of just one of their speciality meads of 2000 gallons a month
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