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Old 10-30-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
Steve-n-Son
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Default Yeasty smell/taste and clearing agents

I'm normally a beer brewer but I've been experimenting with things like hard cider and lemonade (I also have some Arizona iced tea that I fermented, just to see what happened). Most recently I made a 1 gallon batch of mead. The recipe is very simple:

3 lbs of unprocessed clover honey
a bit shy of 1 gallon of water (~1 gallon with honey)
1 satchet of lavlin EC-1118 (with yeast starter)
1 tsp of yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp of yeast energizer

Basically, as simple a mead as you can possibly make.

The starter was a cup and a half of water with a few generous spoon fulls of the honey. I added yeast to that and gave it a swirl every time I walked by my desk. Only left it for about a day before pitching, but a gallon of must probably doesn't even need a starter. I figure this is my first mead and I hear honey is hard to ferment, so why take chances?

So I did the brewing and everything, put it in the fermentor, a 1 gallon glass carboy, let it do its things, no problems. OG was 1.080 at about 100 degrees, which I believe calculates to 1.086. Fermentation started just a couple hours after pitching, which the starter definitely helped. After that first aggressive, who's-your-daddy fermentation period (1 week), I take a gravity reading. It's at 1.000! I thought this was hard to believe so i stirred the whole thing up real well (it was still quite cloudy) and took another reading. Still 1.000, so I guess that's right.

It starts to get clear in a matter of couple days and the yeast cake is very definite. At this point I siphon into secondary and take a reading, which is a little lower than 1.000, I think .999. After racking I add some potassium sorbate so the yeast doesn't repopulate.

It's been another week and looks great. I took a little taste today and it tastes like straight up bread. Smells yeasty too, but the flavor is just disgusting. I know, it's been only 2 weeks and 2 days since brew day, but I'm wondering if maybe sparkolloid or some other clearing agent would be a good idea. I have zero experience with any of these chemicals.

So my question is, which one should I use? do I need one? what else could do it? or should I just let it sit a couple months? I adapted this recipe from a short mead recipe designed to take a month.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 10-30-2012, 04:55 AM   #2
bconstant
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You are worrying about this far, far too soon. It's been two weeks. Don't add anything to it. Just let it do it's thing. My first batch took 8 months to clear on its own, and it started with a horrible flavor and has already transformed into something nice.

Quit stirring it up, keep racking it off the lees when they collect sufficiently, and have some patience.

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Old 10-30-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
fatbloke
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At this stage, it doesn't really matter whether it's cleared or not.

Yes, you could hit it with sparkolloid or something, but you'd just remove the yeasty taste. The rest would still taste pretty hideous.

That's quite normal i.e. for a young mead to taste horrible. Of course, you could experiment with it to mask some of the young taste. Back sweetening and/or acid additions etc, but I suspect you'd be better placed just to leave it be for a couple more weeks to see if it starts clearing and dropping a sediment.

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Old 11-05-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
Steve-n-Son
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Hmm, ok. Thanks for the advice.

I think I'm going to let it sit then. It hasn't moved since I've posted, though there''s been little build up of lees. Anyone have an idea how long his would take to clear/age? And, once aging is complete, is there anything else I should do to it before I drink it (I don't plan on bottling)?

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