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Old 12-15-2010, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default my mead tastes bad, will it get better?

hey. this was/is my first mead attempt. usually i brew beer, but i wanted to try the prickly pear recipe from the joy of home brewing. he said use 20 lbs. of honey and if too sweet make a batch with 14 and blend. i wanted it to not be too sweet so i just used 16lbs. it fermented for a few months before it stopped bubbling then i cleared it with sparkalloid. and bottled. now i know he said to age it, but i tasted it when i bottled and it sucked. im wondering if it will get better after a year.(and how much better) it didn't seem to be infected.nothing weird looking. its really clear, and has a beautiful pinky orangeish color. it doesnt taste like it has any nasty bacteria in it. it just tastes like fermentation. not in a good way. its not undrinkable, but its also not fun to drink. i was bummed because he made it sound delicious. will aging it take out the harsh fermentation flavors? thanks

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Old 12-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #2
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I'm a noob, so you want to take this with a grain of salt.

My understanding is meads NEED a looong time to condition. I did a batch back in May, and when I bottled it this fall it was still VERY hot and alcohol burn/taste was way up front. My friend brought over a 2 year old bottle, and it was smooth and mellow, a kin to a very decent white wine. Age makes all the difference IMO.

These flavors need time to mollow and blend, I bet after a year you wont believe it was from the same batch.

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Old 12-15-2010, 06:46 PM   #3
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I'm no exper, but I've done meads using a staggered nutrient addition that were drinkable at bottling time. Two or three months improved them and at a year they were even better. Time can help quite a bit with meads.

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Old 12-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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thank you thank you. yeah. i knew that people aged them a long time. i just haven't done any mead yet so i wasn't sure how much it would help. i guess i don't really have anything to loose by waiting. i dont have to do anything. theyre just sitting there. it just was disappointing when it didnt really taste good at all at bottling time. since they're ageing in wine bottles should they be kept on they're side like wine? so the liquid keeps the cork wet?

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Old 12-15-2010, 07:21 PM   #5
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need more info.

recipe, starting gravity, final gravity, yeast used, dates between pitching and bottling, fermenting temps, any nutrients added, when it was racked, etc.

With 16# of honey, this thing could taste like diesel fuel.

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Old 12-16-2010, 02:08 AM   #6
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I agree w/ jezter that there are a *lot* of variables that influence taste, and can cause some off flavors...Bottom line though: Yes, aging mead is a very good way to smooth out off flavors, although some can take quite a while. (As I recall, Papazian talks about burying bottles of his prickly pear mead to age for 10 years or more!) But what Shooter says is equally true...with good nutrient additions, proper pitch rates and control of fermentation temps, a mead can be very good pretty early on (something I didn't fully believe until I finally was talked into trying SNA!)

Whatever you do, don't dump it...put it in the corner of the basement and forget it for a good long while.

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:05 AM   #7
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Mead needs time. Mine was terrible at 6 months, but very tasty at 1 year. I'm saving one bottle to try at the 2-year mark.

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:26 AM   #8
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it's been a long time, but you might be of another class... those of us who don't like mead, it would be good for you if you do, but there is that possibility

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Old 12-16-2010, 06:37 AM   #9
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Once I go above 14% or so I don't even think about tasting it until a year at least.
Usually two years with a good seal on the cork, will produce something fantastic, when it tasted like rocket fuel at bottling.

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Old 12-16-2010, 12:14 PM   #10
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Mead takes time, a lot of time, to be tasty. My meads/melomels usually taste terrible for 1.5 yrs, but then they start to get good; some take even longer. The higher the ABV, the longer it needs to age. Regards, GF.

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