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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Mead: never again
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:06 AM   #1
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Default Mead: never again

There should be a big sign on the side of the highway to warn people about mead. About how it tastes like sugar water prison liquor junk. I would pay tax dollars for that.

I've never bought mead so i don't know what it's supposed to taste like. I've had plenty of beer and the beer I've brewed is reasonably acceptable or better. Same with apple cider. I've had wine but I would never attempt to make it.

But when I tasted mead I made from a "ez" recipe I found on these forums, I could not imagine drinking another sip. It was strong and it tasted like.... if McDonald's made liquor, it would taste like this.... soulless, no character, junk. A cheeseburger has more character. In theory it sounds nice but it lacks complexity. I dumped that batch without a second thought and I have no regrets.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:11 AM   #2
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I have no experience with mead but from what I have read about it, it gets better with time, and when I say time I mean years.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:14 AM   #3
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I've never had mead either. Every recipe I see makes me think it doesn't taste so great...

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:16 AM   #4
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Shoulda concentrated it and seen if it was worth your time then....

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:17 AM   #5
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I have tasted mead and yes it isnt great, however I wouldnt compare it to anything made in prison... I have tasted "Pruno" its fruit cocktail with bread thrown in that has been fermented in a bag or another container that sits in a toilet until it ferments... I think sipping on mead would be like sipping a fine wine compared to pruno...

But dont let the taste of mead hinder you from brewing other things such as beer or sake. Even with beer there is unfavorable piss water and then there is finely crafted brews that makes you appreciate the taste again. Maybe the recipe you tried wasnt good? Who knows?

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:27 AM   #6
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When it's done RIGHT, it's beyond great. If you rush it though, or don't use quality ingredients, you'll get something piss-poor. Mead takes MUCH longer than beer to go from pitching of the yeast to bottle, or glass. IMO, you should plan a year for anything up to about 14%, 16-18 months for up to 18% and longer if you go above 18%.

Lumping all mead into your category, since you made an 'ez' recipe (post it up) is just foolish. It's like someone getting a poorly made steak and then saying all beef is crap.

BTW, I made my first mead in 2010. I still have a decent amount in bottles. Most of what's left wasn't bottled for a full year. I also have batches made last December that are not yet bottled. I have no worries about these being great batches (from what I've sampled so far, they're on track for greatness).

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:29 AM   #7
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Let's just hang on a minute here.

"I have tasted mead" is not the same thing as "I have tasted good mead".


I have tasted good mead, and good mead is definitely worth drinking. In fact a brewer in my homebrew club is an accomplished mead maker and brought his multiple gold-medal winning traditional mead, along with his runner-up BOS peach melomel, to our last meeting. They were both fantastic, and both scored extremely well in the competition. The traditional mead was something like 41, and the peach mead was 44.5, which is possibly the highest score I've ever seen in a competition. The peach mead was so good that I can't imagine how good the beer was that actually beat it for BOS. As soon as I tasted it I thought, "there's been some kind of mistake...this should have won."

And these are not the first good meads I've had...simply the most recent. There is another semi-local brewer who makes lots of meads, and he was at NHC last year pouring several. They were all fantastic. His "date rape melomel" was my favorite homebrew of the entire conference, out of the hundreds that I tried throughout.

So please don't give up on mead just because you haven't had a good one yet.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:36 AM   #8
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I was hesitant to tie up a carboy in something I've never tasted. My daughter who is a big renaissance fair gal was lobbying big for this. I stopped into BevMo & picked up a bottle. I'm glad I did.

I took one swig from the glass & threw it out. Poured out the whole bottle, and it wasn't cheap! I think I paid $30 for it.

I will never brew this ever.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:40 AM   #9
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I remember my first mead attempt. I made 12 bottles and had planned to have one a month after 3 months from its birth. Rocket fuel or paint remover would best described the taste when it was younger then 6 months old. At 8 or 9 months something magical happened and it shifted into something fantastic. Those remaining bottles were gone shortly after.

I think its rather unfair to claim all mead is terrible and souless. Which recipe did you use? How long did you age it for? And probably most importantly; what kind of Honey did you use? Cheap-o megamart stuff that may not even be real honey? Or did you get honey from a bee farm or reputable seller? The quality of the honey is as important if not more important then aging it.

Not saying that mead is your thing, but whenever I get a bottle from the local meadary I simply cannot get over how fantastic it is. Better then any fine wine I have ever had.

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Old 10-16-2012, 04:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyko View Post
I was hesitant to tie up a carboy in something I've never tasted. My daughter who is a big renaissance fair gal was lobbying big for this. I stopped into BevMo & picked up a bottle. I'm glad I did.

I took one swig from the glass & threw it out. Poured out the whole bottle, and it wasn't cheap!

I will never brew this ever.
I've never bought mead, but I did try a bit from one of the people from the LHBS I used to visit. That's what drew me to make my own.

No idea what you bought, but (like most things) you can easily buy crap as not. I've had many people tell me how they also tried store bought mead and didn't like it at all. But, they really, really like mine.

I've had best results, so far, with my traditional mead batches. Simply made with good regional/local wildflower honey, quality yeast, treated right and given the time needed to clear/age and become great. From what I've been told, most commercial meaderies pump out their mead fast. IMO, that's probably half the issue with the meads in bottles now.

Also, not sure what you consider 'not cheap' but that's also very subjective. I have zero issue paying $25-$50 (or more) for a bottle of wine. I also know that the chances of that $10 bottle of wine being the same quality is minimal (at best).
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
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K2: Epic mead
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