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Old 09-26-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
ohad
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Default First taste of my 4yr old mead

Hi,

I started brewing in July 2007. My brew log tells me that I made the only mead I ever tried on Oct 4th 2007. It was a simple mead. a small batch:
1kg honey
3L mineral water
black tea and fresh lemon juice (not sure what amount these were).
OG = 1.100
I was new to brewing and didn't even log the yeast strain, but I think it was Munton's gold.

I bottled it while it was still murky, when the fermentation almost stopped. It finished sweet and highly carbonated.

Along the years I tasted a few bottles, and found it unpleasant and plain.

Since then, I got many beer batches under my belt (and into my belly).
In the last few months I was so busy I didn't have time to brew, so I ran low on beer. I went through the bottle boxes and found these babies. After cooling, I opened one with my dad, and we were amazed!
The look was already there 3 years ago, but now it had a delicate honey and white wine aroma. My dad said something like "Why isn't this one of the best selling drinks in the country??"

The sad part is that I only have about 5 bottles left.
I think 3 will remain to be tasted each fall.


So now I think I'll make 2 or 3 batches of 10L mead.
I have a few questions , after all I'm a still a beginner in mead.

  • Is 4 years a normal minimal period for mead to mature?
  • I used "weak" beer yeast here, so I guess that's why it turned out sweet. Can I do the same recipe, but with wine yeast and get a sparkly dry mead?
  • How long before I should bottle?

Thanks !
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
MedsenFey
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Usually it doesn't take 4 years for meads to mature to the point where they are delicious, but it can easily take 2 depending on the honey and the recipe.

You can use wine/Champagne yeast to make delicious dry sparkling meads.

Typically you make the mead and let it clear completely before bottling with the sugar to prime it for carbonation. And do be careful because you must make sure it is fully fermented (and bone dry) before you do it or you can create excessive pressure that can create bottle bombs.

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Old 09-27-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
ohad
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Yeah, I figured that out after bottling this batch. I had to bleed gas out several times. Also, it has an easily disturbed yeast cake on the bottom.

thanks

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:14 PM   #4
Matrix4b
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I personally like Lavin D-47. There are many Wine Strains that will help.

Basically it sounds like you have bottled it before it cleared out enough and still had a decent amount of yeast in it.

Most times The reason for the plain taste is that a poor honey has been used. If you use just the grocery store honey..well it would be like buying your grains in the grocery store. Like Beer, quality of ingredients is important.

That said, I personally like using alfalfa honey, it has a nice robust taste and can make a good base for fruits and some spices.

Varietal honey's are great too. What you are looking for is an unfiltered honey from a honey distribuitor that is local or directly from an apiary (bee Keeper).

Many people also use a bit of Tannin and a bit of acid blend to bring a bit more to the taste of it.

Ultimately, Once the fermentation slows down to about 1 bubble a min out of the carboy, you want to rack it off of the lees. You may need to rack it again as well. There are also some clearing agents available after it settles from the first racking, Like Sparkloid. Great stuff.

Once you are done with it, You also may want to oak it with an oz of oak cubes, light or medium toast level. I would oak it for no more than a month. This will help it age quicker or become more palletable quicker.

Not sure if Beer is oaked.

Anyway, hope it helps, don't forget to check out the sticky. Should help out too.

Matrix (Simple yet Complex)

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