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Old 11-02-2012, 01:31 AM   #1
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Default How long before mead stops tasting like cough syrup?

I have a batch of mead I started the first week of June. Five months later it still tastes antiseptic, like medicine. I know mead takes a long time, but when can I expect it to be drinkable, and is there anything I can do to speed the process up?



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Old 11-02-2012, 03:55 AM   #2
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I hate to say it but your mead may never get any better. I have a friend who brews meads more often than me but sometimes his mead never quits tasting like cough syrup. Sometimes they are amazing in 6 months, I don't know what he does different between batches. When he brings me bottles of his bad mead I stick them in the closet to let them sit for years(literally)
I've now made 3 batches of mead, 1996, 2002 and 2006 I think, but none of them ever tasted like medicine.



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Old 11-02-2012, 04:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ThorGodOfThunder View Post
I have a batch of mead I started the first week of June. Five months later it still tastes antiseptic, like medicine. I know mead takes a long time, but when can I expect it to be drinkable, and is there anything I can do to speed the process up?
1st mead I made I used D-47 yeast & fermented it in the upper end of the temp range, I didn't know any better. As a result, it was FULL of fusels & tasted like fuel & rubber stopper for about 2 years; then it started getting better. Every 4 months or so I'd taste it & it just kept getting better.

After 4 years of aging (and learning) it was incredibly tasty! It even looked pretty in the glass. My point is: If I hadn't waited for the mead to work its magic, I would've lost all that time, effort & money, been very discouraged & very unhappy. But I waited, I waited a long time; but it was well worth it.

Most mead doesn't even start to get good until it's about a year old, the higher the ABV, the longer it takes. Oftentimes the only thing you need do for a mead is just give it time & it will fix itself. You need to think about mead in terms of years, not months.

There are some recipes out there that claim to be good in just a few months, you can try one of those (JOAM comes to mind), many have tried it & liked it. I'd set that "cough medicine mead" in the basement or closet, make sure to check the liquid level in the airlock from time to time & taste it every few months. Might take a while, but you might just have a very tasty drink as your reward. In the meantime, you can make things that don't take quite as long like cider, beer & wine.
Regards, GF.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:03 AM   #4
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Hey Thor. There is no hope for your cough syurp. It's as good as it will ever be. Tell ya what, I'll come up to Lancaster and take that ol nasty stuff off your hands an dispose of it proper for you.

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Old 11-07-2012, 01:10 AM   #5
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It will be fine after 1 year.
My mead was bottled about 8 months ago but its age was 1 year already (from fermentation begin)
It's getting better and would be better in two more years I beleive that.
That because the time that I bottled it the taste was really like medicine but the last week I was opened one bottle and tasted it's surprise me It's very improve so I plan to keep it age for long. Mead is very time consuming so you need to be patient with it.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
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give it atleast a year. I made a very sweet metheglin a little over a year ago and the cough syrup tasted has all faded and it's very tasty. It just needs time, just put it in the closet and forget about it for a while.

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:03 PM   #7
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I just racked this mead again and I thought I'd update this thread.

Its about 1.5 years old now, and it still tastes a little cough-syrupy. I have a strawberry mead that is only 10 months old that is a lot more mellow. I'm sure the fruit makes a huge difference.

I'm just going to let it age for another few months and test it again.

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:48 PM   #8
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Honey is a terrible environment for yeast. Too much sugar, not enough nitrogen, and very little to buffer massive pH swings. Throw some yeast in honey plus water (which further dilutes all the stuff above), and you get some really pissed off yeast that are stressed to the max. This is why you have off flavors. Add high temperature and you have a trifecta of bad flavors.

So, how do I fix it? Baby the yeast by adding DAP (diammonium phosphate, a free nitrogen source) and Fermaid K (Trace minerals and vitamins).

So that fixes trace nutrients, now you have to prevent pH swings. Add K2CO3 (potassium bicarbonate). This will add another trace nutrient potassium while also buffering the must to avoid pH swings.

Lastly, some yeast are more happy go lucky than others. As far as clean wine yeast, KIV-1116, DV10, EC1118 are nice. At temperatures below 70 F, 71B and D47 can be nice, but temperature must be low and you better rack frequently.

Recently, I've found Wyeast 1388 can produce a wonderful Mead very fast. Check out Bray's One Month Mead post for that info.

Hope that helps!

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Old 03-16-2014, 07:11 PM   #9
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I'm looking for the "Brays One Month Mead" recipe mentioned in this thread...no luck. Can anyone help?


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Seeking peace through mead.

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Old 03-16-2014, 07:25 PM   #10
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I'm looking for the "Brays One Month Mead" recipe mentioned in this thread...no luck. Can anyone help?


American by Birth
Viking by the grace of Odin

Seeking peace through mead.

Search "Bray's One Month Mead" apostrophe included and it pops right up.


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew


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