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Old 11-26-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
jchildress3
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Hi,

so i took on the challenge of trying a little mead. never tasted it before never been a big wine person so i am curious about the mead taste. so i have made a simple 1 gallon batch thinking it would be simple and taste good..... I'm struggling, it smells like crap. the problem is i have no clue what it should smell like so i have no clue how to determine if that is normal. or what or if it just needs to sit. or age or whatever needs to happen. i essentially need to know if ive somehow screwed up my batch. it isn't moldy or anything like that. if its bad what in the world did i do wrong it dosnt seem like a very difficult thing to do.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:02 PM   #2
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Need a lot more details before we can say if you did something wrong.
But fermenting mead stinks, and young mead tastes horrid.
Mead shouldn't be touched until 6 months minimum, and won't reach it's peak until at least a year.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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I've had very good experiences with mead throughout the process. I sniff every airlock and taste at every racking, and overall I've enjoyed the experience. They have a nuance of their own - it's a little winey mixed with kind-of honey and a little tang. The flavor follows the nose. As mentioned above, they will start off a little harsh and mellow with time. I will typically leave mine in carboys for 5-6 months, and then bottles for another 5-6 months before I'd expect them to be really pleasant.

From my experience, wines have a tendency to not provide enough nutrients for wine yeasts during the fermentation which can lead to stressed yeast and sulphury smell (e.g. rotten eggs). Meads especially don't have enough nutrients for yeast. I've always used nutrients in the meads and wines I've made. If you're getting a sulphury smell then it may be due to a stressed fermenting environment. A lot of that can float away over time if left to bulk age with an airlock. In red grape wine making, you would splash-rack to a secondary after fermentation which helps to drive away some of that sulphury smell but I can't necessarily recommend that for mead because I've never researched it for this style of wine.

Hope this helps a little.

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Old 11-27-2012, 01:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halbrust
Need a lot more details before we can say if you did something wrong.
But fermenting mead stinks, and young mead tastes horrid.
Mead shouldn't be touched until 6 months minimum, and won't reach it's peak until at least a year.
thats not my experience at all... I have mead that I just finished in secondary that im drinking now. Two months from start to finish, super delicious raspberry vanilla mead... mmm

OP, please post more info. How long as this been going, what was OG, current SG, yeast strain, was nutrient used, etc...
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:28 AM   #5
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ok so i used a simple clover honey 3lbs with distilled water. Windsor e11 yeast (British style beer yeast). suggested to me by my local brew shop. with both nutrient and energizer both LD Carlson. its been about 3 weeks now. i tasted it and it had an after taste of honey but it didn't taste good. i cant think of a word to describe the smell though.

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jchildress3 View Post
ok so i used a simple clover honey 3lbs with distilled water. Windsor e11 yeast (British style beer yeast). suggested to me by my local brew shop. with both nutrient and energizer both LD Carlson. its been about 3 weeks now. i tasted it and it had an after taste of honey but it didn't taste good. i cant think of a word to describe the smell though.
Few things I can see right off the bat.

1. It's far too young to judge. At three weeks it's not even an embryo.
2. You used a beer yeast. Most (actually all) mazers I know use premium wine yeast (Lalvin Labs strains) and get great results.

I did a quick google search on the yeast you used. Haven't located any ABV tolerance information on it. Also no idea how much sulfur compounds it could produce when used in a must. That alone is reason to use Lalvin strains.

At 3# of honey in a 1 gallon must, you should be on target for about 14% ABV. It would really help to have your OG and SG numbers. It also sounds like he gave you zero additional advise on HOW to make a mead well. Go over to the Got Mead? forums and read up on how it's done by people there. You'll get a LOT more [quality] information that way.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:43 AM   #7
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i kinda got that from him. dont think he knew much about it. but thank you much sir. all of this was extremely helpful. hopefully ill get it perfect the next batch. honey isn't the cheapest ingredient don't wanna keep screwin up. im going to deffinately read up as much as i can.

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Old 11-27-2012, 03:51 AM   #8
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Find a local apiary and buy it in bulk. Or become friends with a beekeeper and see if he'll give you a break on the cost of the honey. I bought two gallons from one beekeeper over a year ago (mid season harvest, very little flavor to it ) that I turned into a 14% mead (some of it). The rest I've been using in other things since it has so little flavor. I also picked up a 5 gallon bucket of local (central and western MA) honey from the LHBS I used to visit. $165 for all 60 POUNDS of honey. That comes out to $2.75/#. Stuff is like gold too. Strong flavor, nice color (nice dark golden color) and smells wonderful. I've used 14# of that batch so far. Need to make more with it soon.

BTW, mead takes a LOT longer than beer. It's not at all uncommon to have mead ferment for over a month. I had one batch go three months before it finished. That was a 21% mead using the Wyeast Eau de Vie strain (it can go to 21%). I started that almost a year ago. I'll start to do the additional flavor additions to it soon. Planning 18-24 months from mix to bottle on that one.

BTW, the vast majority of people making mead use the no-heat method now. Basically, it means you don't heat the honey above 100-110F at any point. You'll get much more complex flavors and aromas from this method.

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跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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