Originally Posted by xilosen
I'm a mead noob. I've had some local that tasted great so thought I'd start with a batch of JAOM.
I took a sample of 3 month old JAOM from the carboy and I can honestly say it tastes disgusting. I like sweeter drinks, but this stuff is like syrup. I'm pretty disappointed as I've read tons of people say JAOM was great.
Will this get any better? I made 9 gallons of it (original and some recommended variants). I would hate to have to dump it all.
Did it finish fermenting ? Had the fruit dropped ?
I know that Joes instructions say it's ready for drinking once the fruit has dropped and it's gone clear, but I've never found it like that. I always age it for at least 6 months.
To start with, the yeast is a US brand, we can't get it here, so I just use a local equivalent.
I also, by accident on my first batch, I just made it up to "a gallon"..... being in the UK, that'd be an imperial gallon or 4.55 litres, not the US gallon or 3.78 litres. So mine don't tend to be quite as sweet, still sweet though.
What I'd suggest, is that you leave it all, until it's definitely finished fermenting etc, then "water it down", but with vodka, or if you can get it, everclear.
Yes, it will make it much stronger, but it will make it taste dryer, it will remove a lot of the "syrupy" texture, etc.
The downside is that it will give it a slightly harsh "alcohol hot" flavour. So you just age it, to allow that to mellow into the flavours.
Remember, that all you need to do, is to add enough to remove the syrupy consistency a bit. Don't keep chucking spirit in it until it's a similar consistency as, say, wine, just dilute it to cut the syrupy apperance by between 1/3 and 1/2.
The end result should be like a "sack" mead, but with some fruit and spice hints to it.
I've done that before and it's worked fine.
Of course, there's other ways. Like blending the whole lot, then making a starter with a robust wine yeast, something like K1V-1116, then following the instructions for restarting a stuck ferment and adding some of the brew to the starter, a bit at a time, doubling the volume each time, until you've got say, 2 or 3 gallons that seem to be fermenting, then adding it to the main batch, as the yeast will have acclimatised to the presence of already existing alcohol (have a search for "proper" instruction how it's done - I've just explained it in a basic way, from memory - but it's another method of sorting this out).
The problem with JAO, especially if made using US measurements is that it can end up quite syrupy, like a "dessert" mead (for drinking after a meal, like a port). There's a number of commercial ones like that available here, and when I've tried them, I've also measured the gravity, and they tend to be about 1.040 - which is way to sweet for my taste. Yes, the actual flavour is fine, but the cloyingly sweet, syrup texture, is something I don't enjoy.
I like my meads as "medium" about 1.010 to 1.015
Dunno if that lot is of any help or use !