The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Can backsweetening reduce the flavors of fusel alcohols?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-12-2011, 04:06 PM   #1
Q2XL
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eastpointe, Michigan
Posts: 514
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default Can backsweetening reduce the flavors of fusel alcohols?

I started mead making last March and have about 5 meads/melomels in the carboys for long term ageing. I have sampled all of them and they all have the hot alcohol burn. Some more then others. Without getting into the recipes all were fermented in the mid 60's to around 70F.

They all turned out dry. Here are their starting gravities and final gravities.

1.136 1.006----------Made 3-28-2010.......Orange blossom mead
1.120 1.010----------6-6-2010.................Strawberry/banana melomel
1.093 1.003----------8-5-2010.................Peach melomel
1.122 1.010----------9-29-2010...............Multi-berry melomel
1.115 1.000----------11-8-2010...............Schramm's Cyser


I know aging will smooth out most meads, but I am not sure that all of the hot alcohol taste will ever fully disipate. I do want to back sweeten a bit and I am hoping that with that, some of the hotness will diminish.

What do you think?

__________________
Q2XL is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2011, 12:24 AM   #2
Sedge
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 344
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Unfortunately, there really is nothing you can do about higher alcohol presence in your mead. If your goal is to lend some mouthfeel back to them or change the attack on your palette (acidity/tannin presence) then sweetening or other alterations can be done.

You won't really be able to reduce the hot flavor, but you might be able to mask it a bit. I think aging is your best bet. Maybe try to carbonate a couple bottles and see if that might also change the perception of the meads when drinking.

__________________

Fermenting: Flanders Red Ale
Conditioning: Blackberry Mead, Altbier, Cardamom Saison
Kegged: Vanilla Bourbon Porter, Belgian Strong Dark

Sedge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2011, 10:38 PM   #3
fatbloke
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,603
Liked 163 Times on 150 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Pretty much what Sedge has already pointed out.

With a temp range of mid 60's to 70, there shouldn't be too much fusel, it'll likely be just "alcohol hot" - which normally, is a case of leave it to mellow longer or try and mask it (often extra sweetness/honey, a little tannin and/or acid - I like 2 parts malic to 1 part tartaric mixed).

You can of course, also use fruit juice - chenin blanc grape concentrate is quite good, it can help a little with both body and with sweetness.

regards

fatbloke

__________________

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

Oh, and here's some blog stuff!

fatbloke is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-14-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
mccann51
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Somewhere, CA
Posts: 227
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I second (actually, third) the recommendation for aging. It's amazing how much the alcohol dies down and the sweetness returns with a little aging. Letting your mead breathe a little before drinking also helps a lot.

__________________
mccann51 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-14-2011, 06:01 PM   #5
Q2XL
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eastpointe, Michigan
Posts: 514
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Ok guys, I will just wait and hope for the best. I knew that I was going to have to age for a long time anyway. I guess I really don't know what fusel alcohols taste like compared to regular "hot" alcohol tastes.

__________________
Q2XL is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-15-2011, 01:32 AM   #6
biochemedic
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
biochemedic's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Belmont, NC
Posts: 1,785
Liked 72 Times on 64 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Not that I don't recommend aging, but backsweetening can definitely hide a fair number of flaws... I think I'm particularly sensitive to sweet though (and I prefer dry and/or *lightly* semi-sweet meads), so this effect may seem more prominent to me....

__________________
Packaged: Dark Munich Citra SMaSH, Mayan Stout, Caramel Quad, Basic Spiced Cider, Spur of the Moment Graff
Recent Meads: Mead Day '11 Ginger Metheglin, Mead Day '12 Traditional (orange blossom) Mead, Fresh Simple Cyser '12, Cherry Melomel, Belgeglin, Bochet
Primary: Nada!
Secondary: Why do I keep this line here...?
Bulk Aging: Cocobochet
Planned: Hop Metheglin #3 (NZ hops), Trad. Gesho T'ej
biochemedic is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-15-2011, 07:41 PM   #7
MedsenFey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,034
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts

Default

You can cover up a plethora of brewing sins if you use enough honey.

Your batches that are 16-18% are probably going to be "hot" for years. They might need it.

The batches where the alcohol is more modest can be aged and you may find all will work out okay after 18-24 months.

Medsen

__________________
MedsenFey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help backsweetening a blueberry melomel eulipion2 Mead Forum 8 10-18-2010 08:37 PM
Progressive backsweetening for 3 different mead types jamesnsw Mead Forum 6 06-09-2010 03:13 AM
backsweetening lowlife Mead Forum 8 10-08-2009 06:58 PM
Backsweetening Question claphamsa Mead Forum 3 06-05-2009 12:32 PM
Cloudy after backsweetening dqeuvtcxotaa Mead Forum 10 04-12-2008 04:53 PM