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Old 07-30-2010, 11:31 PM   #1
Tim27
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Default Mead still tastes bad.

Hello all, I started a mead 14Nov2009. It has been eight months and it is still undrinkable based on my my hydrometer samples. Four weeks ago it finally started to clear. It did ferment out more than I thought, from 1.120 to .998 so maybe this has something to to do with it. Should I keep waiting, or is it a lost cause?

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Old 07-30-2010, 11:40 PM   #2
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Well, based on your readings your mead is something around 17% ABV? The higher the alcohol content (in general) the longer it will take to mellow out once bottled. I'd say you want to bottle it once it clears and let it age 1 year minimum and even go 2 to 2 1/2 years. Of course if you want to stablize and back sweeten a sweet mead may be drinkable a little sooner.

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Old 07-31-2010, 12:24 AM   #3
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I guess I will bottle in a month and go from there. I knew mead would be a test in patience just not this much patience. Oh well. Plenty of other stuff I can brew and drink in the meantime.

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Old 07-31-2010, 01:52 AM   #4
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how is it "undrinkable"? Acidic? Sour? Hot? Insipid?

With <1 FG it might just need a little TLC, not necessarily aging. Think about what could be done with it. Would some tannin help? Acid? backsweetening? Maybe consider adding oak, acid blend, or some additional honey (after sorbating).

If it's hot, there's not a lot you can do there, but if it's something else you certainly have options.

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Old 07-31-2010, 01:52 AM   #5
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I had some that wasn't any good for about 8 years or so. I have one bottle left it is almost 20 years old now.

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:01 AM   #6
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Hot is a good descriptor. I would go with rocket fuel. It is not even close to the Redstone that I had which is the only mead that I have tried other than my own nasty swill. Maybe I just need to do a bit more research before I try mead making again.

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:02 PM   #7
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Check this out:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/terr...-years-188593/

Probably just need to tuck it away somewhere cool, dark, and quite for a while and forget about it.

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:05 PM   #8
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you need AT LEAST a year from start to cracking a bottle. If it cleared, I would bottle and leave it for another year.

Making good wine takes a lot of patience. You will be absolutely amazed how good it is if you give it the time to age.

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Old 07-31-2010, 04:01 PM   #9
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My mead is 14%, also 8 months old, and still tastes too hot for me. I am waiting at least until January to try another. Do you like beer? Brewing beer has been the main thing keeping myself from messing with my mead. Otherwise maybe some quicker recipes like JAO or Joe's Pyment or a hydromel might keep you entertained.

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Old 07-31-2010, 04:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Gordon_Freeman View Post
you need AT LEAST a year from start to cracking a bottle. If it cleared, I would bottle and leave it for another year.

Making good wine takes a lot of patience. You will be absolutely amazed how good it is if you give it the time to age.
I don't mean to be a PITA (or a broken record), but it is absolutely NOT true that, in general, you "need" over a year before you can start drinking homemade mead. I keep seeing that sentiment all over the place here and I think it's a myth that needs to die a quick, painless death. We're drinking 2 meads we made in April (about 3.5 months ago) and they're fantastic! While they'll definitely change over time, they are fabulous as they are right now - no need to wait. Some meads might be made for aging (say a barrel-aged sack mead) but my point is that it's not some hard & fast rule that you have to age mead for at least a year before you can touch it.

Now, in the context of this thread, I agree - tuck it away somewhere and go dig it out a year from now and see how it is. If it's still undrinkable, put it away for another year & repeat. But you can totally avoid having to do this by managing your fermentation. Cool fermentation temps and proper yeast health (via nutrients, pH management, and degassing): those two variables are, IMO, what typically make or break a mead.
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