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Old 08-03-2009, 03:42 AM   #1
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Default Off-flavors: will they go away?

Hello,
I just transferred my AHA Conference '08 recipe Fireball Mead to tertiary and added cinnamon oil. It had a rough fermentation, had to repitch, might have been lacking nutrients. Finally cleared about 2-3 weeks ago. My hydrometer sample tasted pretty rough: very alcholic, fruity esters (???), a little cloying, a bit nasty.

Will this age out? Will the cinnamon cover up nastiness?

Made on January 12, 2009
Transferred to tertiary August 2, 2009

OG: 1.130
FG: 1.044 (target 1.030-1.060)

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-03-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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Stash it somewhere cool for 2-3 years.

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Old 08-03-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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David's right- it'll be a totally different mead in a couple of years. That's a high alcohol, sweet mead that will take a while to mellow out. It'll go from "rocket fuel" to "wonderful" in two-three (or maybe five) years.

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Old 08-03-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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1.044 is always going to stay cloying though. That's a LOT of residual sugar.

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Old 08-03-2009, 10:45 PM   #5
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1.044 is always going to stay cloying though. That's a LOT of residual sugar.
I wondered about that. The recipe from Zymurgy said anywhere between 1.030 and 1.060. It stopped at 1.044, and since I've had so much trouble with the fermentation I decided to say "good enough" and get on with it. I think the cinnamon will help to balance out the sweet though. I put in 1 tablespoon of cinnamon oil, which is the upper limit of what the recipe says (anywhere from 0.5-3.0 teaspoons), but if it's still really sweet I may add more. My primary concern is the harshness and excessive fruity esters of in the flavor.

Now that I've added potassium sorbate I don't guess there's any way to dry it out, is there? It is supposed to be a dessert mead, so I don't want to dry it out too far.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eulipion2 View Post
I wondered about that. The recipe from Zymurgy said anywhere between 1.030 and 1.060. It stopped at 1.044, and since I've had so much trouble with the fermentation I decided to say "good enough" and get on with it. I think the cinnamon will help to balance out the sweet though. I put in 1 tablespoon of cinnamon oil, which is the upper limit of what the recipe says (anywhere from 0.5-3.0 teaspoons), but if it's still really sweet I may add more. My primary concern is the harshness and excessive fruity esters of in the flavor.

Now that I've added potassium sorbate I don't guess there's any way to dry it out, is there? It is supposed to be a dessert mead, so I don't want to dry it out too far.
No, if you added sorbate, and the fermentation was finished, it's done. Sorbate doesn't go away.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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My raspberry melomel ended up at 1.024 and its pretty darn sweet. I carb'd it in a keg and the carbonic acid helped balance it out.

it almost sounds more like a liquer/cordial at that FG /shrugs

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Old 08-05-2009, 01:15 AM   #8
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So, is Zymurgy usually fairly accurate with their gravities and other recipe info? Based on the responses here it seems like this one's way off. I've had a sample of this mead that they handed out at the conference, but I don't know the specifics of it, so I can't say how close mine is to theirs.

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Old 08-05-2009, 01:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by eulipion2 View Post
So, is Zymurgy usually fairly accurate with their gravities and other recipe info? Based on the responses here it seems like this one's way off. I've had a sample of this mead that they handed out at the conference, but I don't know the specifics of it, so I can't say how close mine is to theirs.
I don't think I've ever made a Zymurgy recipe, but since it was the official mead of the conference, I bet it's fine.

I wasn't too crazy about this mead, and thought it was both too hot and too sweet. I didn't think it was 1.044 sweet, but still pretty sweet. I would have guessed 1.030 or so. It'll definitely be a dessert mead, and it should be good (if you liked the sample you had). To me, it tasted like sweetened cinnamon "red hots".

Were you at the conference? If you were, I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to meet you.
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:26 AM   #10
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No, sadly. The conference (in Cincinnati) was very close to where I lived at the time (Huntington, WV), but I wasn't able to make it. My club did a "Deadliest Batch" theme and got their picture in Zymurgy. Someday National Conference will come back this way and I'll be able to go.

At the next month's meeting my club had "Mead Night," and it was one of the meads we tried. I thought it tasted fairly close to Atomic Fireball candies, and I couldn't get enough (which sucked because we only had two bottles).

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