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Old 07-20-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
aardvark
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Default What should a fermenting mead taste like?

My mead has been fermenting for 2 weeks and I just went to take a gravity reading. The good news is that the gravity is down to 1.030 from an OG of 1.080. The thing that concerned me was that when I tasted it, along with the alcohol, honey and yeast flavors, there was a sourness to it. Since I know people talk about acidifying mead I assume that this isn't normal and this is my first mead so I have nothing to compare it to.

Is this normal or a possible sign of infection?

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:18 AM   #2
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What was your recipe? This can change all sorts of things.

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:41 AM   #3
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12 lbs honey
Water to 5 gallons

I added nutrient at day 3 and 5.

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Old 07-21-2009, 03:05 AM   #4
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fermenting mead is like fermenting beer. tasting it mid-stream may be nothing like what the end product tastes like.

honestly, I wouldn't even consider anything until it had reached FG, and even then it's suspect because of the potential flavors that haven't really melded together.

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:47 AM   #5
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so you are saying rdwhahb?

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:50 AM   #6
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yes - mead will taste really bad as it's fermenting IMO.

give it a year or two

seriously though, even at bottling time, your mead probably won't taste very good.

<------------- I had a raspberry melamel that tasted like cough syrup from 1st racking to bottling - now after almost 6 months it's starting to taste pretty good; I can only imagine after a year or so.

what kind of yeast did you use?

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:11 PM   #7
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D-47 at the suggestion of the guy at my LHBS

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Old 07-22-2009, 04:34 PM   #8
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I started two meads on the same day, with the same base honey. To one I added just the nutrients recommended in the "Complete Mead Maker" recipe I used as a base. To the other, I also added a few kumquats during the boil and skim, which were then included in the primary fermenter.

When I racked to secondary, both meads had a sour bite I'd previously encountered in the hard ciders and apple wines I'd made the year before. The bite aged out of the cider after about nine months and has already aged out of the gallon batch of Kumquat mead. The five gallon batch of show mead however still has a fair amount of that sour bite.

I've only been brewing for a little over a year and these are my first meads, but from what I can gather a mead as young as two weeks can be expected to be a rather discouraging beverage. Give it time. As long as the sourness isn't from bacterial contamination it should age out eventually. If it doesn't, you can always add some spices, or use it as the "sour" component in a sour beer. Be sure to flash pasteurize if you're going to use it in beer, or that bacteria will follow through into the beer. If it IS from contamination and you want to salvage it by adding spices, you might want to stabilize it with sulfides first.

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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I make dry meads that have a surprising amount of tartness to them, rather like a fruit wine. Honey is fairly acidic, and I live in a place with very clean tap water that only happens to be a little hard and very acidic. I imagine the slight tartness is normal, considering the water and the honey I use. Maybe check the PH of the water you use.

Like everybody said before, though: give it some time.

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aardvark View Post
so you are saying rdwhahb?
YES.
Need I say more?

As an example, I am now tasting my "Somebody slap me" mead. Made a major mistake, kept taking care of the mead, at bottling it tasted like kerosene mixed with something really nasty I hope I never taste again.
I made a few meads from Kiawi (key-ah-vey) honey, otherwise known as Mesquite was initially over powering. Extremely, choking for air over powering. After a year it is still a strong and dominant flavour, but it is mellowing out to a fantastic drink given another year or two.
Meads take time, lots of it, and then add some more. Your be happy you did.
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