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Old 12-07-2012, 02:59 AM   #1
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Default Recipe shmecipe...

N00b with n00b mead problems....

I started my first mead as the following recipe: Syr Michael of York Mead
http://www.greydragon.org/brewing/mead.html#York

"Ingredients:
1 Gallon Water
2 1/2 lbs Honey
1 Lemon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 pkg Ale or Champagne yeast

Boil the water and honey. Add the juice of the lemon and the nutmeg. Boil, skimming the foam that rises to the surface, until it stops foaming. Let cool to blood temperature, actually under 90 degrees F, then pitch the yeast.

Let it work two and a half weeks, bottle it and let it age two weeks."

The must had SG of 1.075. Using Lalvin D-47 and sanitizing everything with One-Step, I followed all instructions.... until the two and a half week mark hit and the instructions called for bottling.

Instead, I racked into a secondary and let sit for two months, when the SG was 0.99. It smelled terrible, so backsweetening seemed like a good idea. I racked again adding potassium sorbate (1 crushed tablet) and potassium metabisulfite (1/2 tsp).

I let sit for two days, and while the fermentation seems to be clearly over. The pH is around 3.0 and it tastes so, so, so terrible.

Tasting it, I know I made a huge mistake by not following the original recipe, especially since it was meant to be a short mead. I just wanted to keep brewing! What a waste.

My question is: Is it time to give up and try a better recipe? Can this be saved? What, specifically, is making it suck SO MUCH? Bacteria? My impatience?

Much thanks for any help/direction to where I could find answers. My google-fu is strong, but I decided it was time to reach out myself.

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:07 AM   #2
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Hmm. The recipe isn't great, but it shouldn't "taste terrible"!

What's the bad flavor like? Meaty? Sulfury? "Hot"? "Sour"? "Geraniums"? If you can give us a couple of descriptors, we can help!

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Old 12-27-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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Sorry for the delay, Yooper! The flavor was sour, bitter, acidic, and felt carbonated to my tongue, though there were no bubbles. It was a pretty weird experience.

I've been told by a few people on another forum that it's supposed to be bizarre and undrinkable until about 6 months in, so I'm waiting until February or March-ish.
*fingers crossed*

In the meantime, I'll keep making more mead - Juuuust in case I have this whole mead process right.

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:24 AM   #4
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Dont boil your honey would be a good start to making it taste better, and the nutmeg might not be setting well with your taste buds and need time to mellow out a bit. WVMJ

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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You used D47, do you know the temp range you fermented at? D47 seriously does not do well outside of its preferred range of 59-68F.
Did you happen to use whole nutmeg that you grated yourself? The canned stuff is known to impart almost a tannic taste.

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Old 01-02-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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Thanks, WVMJ! I'll avoid boiling honey in the future. The nutmeg may definitely be a cause to the taste...

Saramc, I fermented in my basement, which sits between 65 - 70, so it very well may have fermented a little warmer than it should have... As for the nutmeg, it was pre-ground. These are all great things for me to avoid in future batches. My first was likely won't turn out too nicely! Oh, well. *runs to the shop for more honey*

Thanks everyone for your information!

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