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Old 08-01-2010, 11:00 AM   #11
Kauai_Kahuna
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I have been able to make some quick meads around 12% to 14% that tasted pretty good after a few months. But making a high ABV mead, it taste like rocket fuel to me for at least a year. I just brewed two cysters, one is a little lower in the 12% range, the other is above 16%, I fully expect the higher to taste hot for a year or two.
I just also build into my pipeline the quicker ones to keep me from drinking the good stuff too soon.


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Old 08-01-2010, 12:15 PM   #12
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if it is still in the fermentor, try crash cooling. i started doing that with mead and it seems to speed up the clearing/conditioning process. just put it in the fridge and let it sit for a month before bottling. ---this is not a good idea if you are planning on carbonating your mead.


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Old 12-16-2010, 02:34 PM   #13
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Yep - in general, the higher the abv, the longer it will take to age out.....

At 17% - it will taste like gasoline for a while.... but eventually it will settle down and taste wonderful.... Let it sit - nothing bad will happen....

Slightly sweet Apple cider is my Go-To drink it soon beverage.... but it still needs at least 1-week aging before it's ready to drink..

Thanks
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:44 PM   #14
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Any mead/melomel I make I bulk age for at least 1 year after it drops clear. I may bulk age longer, I may bottle & then let it age more; either way I don't expect any of it to be tasty until at least 1.5 years or more. Regards, GF.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:38 PM   #15
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Does bulk aging (by this I assume you mean aging in a barrel or semijon/carboy) produce different results to aging in the bottle? I've bottled immediately after clearing but don't intend to open them for six months.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCWortHog View Post
We're drinking 2 meads we made in April (about 3.5 months ago) and they're fantastic! While they'll definitely change over time, they are fabulous as they are right now - no need to wait. .
Just curious, but what kind of meads are these?
I won't disagree that some meads are good at 3 1/2 months, but I have not yet made one that wasn't even better at 12-18 months.


Tim, a 17% ABV dry mead is generally going to be unpleasant to drink for about 2 years. Frankly, I don't like 17% ABV dry meads much at any age. For me, the alcohol burn tends to take away from my enjoyment of a dry mead above about 13% ABV or so. One way to make a batch of rocket fuel drinkable sooner is to sweeten it a bit.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCabbage View Post
Does bulk aging (by this I assume you mean aging in a barrel or semijon/carboy) produce different results to aging in the bottle? I've bottled immediately after clearing but don't intend to open them for six months.
There are differing opinions on bulk aging, but the general idea is that as the mead/melomel/wine changes over time, if 6 gallons is all in 1 carbouy it will be consistant. If it's been bottled before those changes happen it could vary from bottle to bottle. Some say that's a load of crap though. I just think it's easier to bulk age for a year or 2 before bottling. So far it works well enough for me, so that's what I do. Regards, GF
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:25 AM   #18
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My mead now is not just "hot" in flavor. It is down right undrinkable. I literally gagged when I tried to taste a sample I think this batch is going down the drain. Hey it's my first brewing failure. I just wish I knew what I did wrong.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tim27 View Post
My mead now is not just "hot" in flavor. It is down right undrinkable. I literally gagged when I tried to taste a sample I think this batch is going down the drain. Hey it's my first brewing failure. I just wish I knew what I did wrong.
There's a few that I've done that have been "failures" Tim, but I never, never throw any away.

It's better to go to the hassle of getting another carboy/demi-john/fermenter etc. Then I just make sure that it's topped up as far as it will go, do the racking/clearing thing and once it's "there" it just goes under the stairs and gets forgotten about. Currently the max is 3 years.

The reason why, is because as some of the others have pointed out, the high alcohol/alcohol hot taste can take a number of years to mellow (think on how long the best whiskies and brandies can spend mellowing...).

There might also be enough tannins to make it unpalletable, and they can also take many years to mellow.

Worse case scenario, well I'd leave it as long as you can (read somewhere that if it's not improved enough in 7 to 8 years then it won't get any better than that), then once at that point, if it's still a bit nasty, just back sweeten it with a nice, flavoursome honey that you like. That will then provide the overriding taste to the brew.

But definitely don't throw it away, you've gone to all this hassle to make it, so why not just add a little more effort, like bulk ageing and then possibly back sweetening.......

Just my 2 cents worth

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Old 12-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim27 View Post
My mead now is not just "hot" in flavor. It is down right undrinkable. I literally gagged when I tried to taste a sample I think this batch is going down the drain.
Tim, can you tell us what tastes bad about it? The more detail you give us the better we can understand what has happened. If you can tell us the details of your recipe (honey, yeast, fermentation temp, nutrients, etc.) we may be able to better predict if this one will improve.

I would never toss a dry mead without aging it for a couple of year. Time may make some VERY dramatic changes. Unless you have some bad sulfur odors or some foul spoilage going on, time is really your friend as a mead maker.

Medsen


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