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Old 09-13-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
dasBuhbuh
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Default plastic taste in 2 of 3 meads

so I have made 3 meads over the past year, all from Northern Brewer. the first was their artisinal semi-sweet. It tastes thin and plastic-y - nothing like commerical meads i have tried. the second was their raspberry melomel which is just fine. the third was their hydromel, but that tastes just like the first one. the first mead was made (accidentally - forgot about the chloramine) with Philadelphia city tap water. The other two were made with bottled spring water from a place in NE Pennsylvania. Each one spent about a month in a plastic primary and a few months in a glass carboy. i figure the melomel doesnt have the taste since the raspberry is masking it enough. as they age (as MONTHS pass, not just weeks), the plastic taste just gets stronger. i mean even my ex-roommate who would drink anything including outright infected beer wont drink it. its incredibly depressing to be spending this much money for undrinkable mead...

so what do you guys think? any idea on the cause? i had heard chlorine and chloramine could cause that kind of flavor but ive never been sure.

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:02 PM   #2
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Montrochet yeast? Some people claim a plastic taste of that yeast. I personally like it, it's what they use at Red Stone Meadery.

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #3
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Rudesheimer, Narbonne, and Wyeast Sweet Mead respectively.

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Old 09-13-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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There are several things that can cause plastic odors.

1. High fermentation temps - upper 70s F or higher can produce some plastic Band-Aid smells.

2. Sulfide production - some sulfur compounds can smell like burnt rubber or medicinal compounds (perhaps from too much time sitting on lees), though usually I'd expect some obvious sulfur odors. You can always test with a copper penny.

3. Brettanomyces - been doing any lambics? Brett can produce various phenols that can smell like medicine/plastic. Treating with Sulfites will usually keep the Brett away.

4. Some yeast strains - Montrachet (as mentioned above) is classic, especially with temperature stress.

Your problem likely stems from one of these issues, unless your plastic fermentation container was not food grade.

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Old 09-13-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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1) I made it them during the colder months and they were kept consistently in the mid 60s.
2) Its more like I'm chewing on the Ale Pail bucket - less like rubber/medicinal and more like the taste of the bucket.
3) Nothing in that apartment (brett is reserved for back home haha).
4) And yea, unless Rudesheimer and Sweet Mead are known for it as well...

Regardless, thanks for the suggestions... I don't want to seem ungrateful or anything.

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:07 PM   #6
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There are a couple of types of honey that can have phenolic odors/flavors - basswood and eucalyptus come to mind. I doubt those were in your kit.

Did these kits include KMeta? If they weren't sulfited, contamination would be the number 1 suspect.

Medsen

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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So, all 3 meads have been aged less than 12 months?

judging a green mead could be the problem here. There are ways to make meads that are peak flavor at 4 months...but those are new techniques that these kits won't be implementing...and it takes a specific yeast.

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Old 09-14-2010, 12:43 AM   #8
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Malkore,

Please do share these new techniques with us. I just bought a 5 gallon bucket of honey and am ready to experiment!

Thanks,
Jarret

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Old 09-14-2010, 01:14 AM   #9
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well, why would "plastic" be a flavor prevalent in a green mead? the first one is going on....11 months of aging now? almost a year and it just seems to taste worse. i realize that when you brew, things change A LOT with time but this is...a bit over the top for something at like 11%.... i'd expect more alcohol burn or something rather than....weird. but hey, if thats just what tends to happen, then to the closet for 2 years haha.

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Old 09-14-2010, 01:33 AM   #10
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If it is something other than a contaminant, it will improve over time. If it is a contaminant, you're out of luck.

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