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Old 02-12-2011, 05:06 PM   #1
Q2XL
 
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I started mead making last March and have about 5 meads/melomels in the carboys for long term ageing. I have sampled all of them and they all have the hot alcohol burn. Some more then others. Without getting into the recipes all were fermented in the mid 60's to around 70F.

They all turned out dry. Here are their starting gravities and final gravities.

1.136 1.006----------Made 3-28-2010.......Orange blossom mead
1.120 1.010----------6-6-2010.................Strawberry/banana melomel
1.093 1.003----------8-5-2010.................Peach melomel
1.122 1.010----------9-29-2010...............Multi-berry melomel
1.115 1.000----------11-8-2010...............Schramm's Cyser


I know aging will smooth out most meads, but I am not sure that all of the hot alcohol taste will ever fully disipate. I do want to back sweeten a bit and I am hoping that with that, some of the hotness will diminish.

What do you think?

 
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:24 AM   #2
Sedge
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Unfortunately, there really is nothing you can do about higher alcohol presence in your mead. If your goal is to lend some mouthfeel back to them or change the attack on your palette (acidity/tannin presence) then sweetening or other alterations can be done.

You won't really be able to reduce the hot flavor, but you might be able to mask it a bit. I think aging is your best bet. Maybe try to carbonate a couple bottles and see if that might also change the perception of the meads when drinking.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:38 PM   #3
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Pretty much what Sedge has already pointed out.

With a temp range of mid 60's to 70, there shouldn't be too much fusel, it'll likely be just "alcohol hot" - which normally, is a case of leave it to mellow longer or try and mask it (often extra sweetness/honey, a little tannin and/or acid - I like 2 parts malic to 1 part tartaric mixed).

You can of course, also use fruit juice - chenin blanc grape concentrate is quite good, it can help a little with both body and with sweetness.

regards

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Old 02-14-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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I second (actually, third) the recommendation for aging. It's amazing how much the alcohol dies down and the sweetness returns with a little aging. Letting your mead breathe a little before drinking also helps a lot.

 
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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Ok guys, I will just wait and hope for the best. I knew that I was going to have to age for a long time anyway. I guess I really don't know what fusel alcohols taste like compared to regular "hot" alcohol tastes.

 
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:32 AM   #6
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Not that I don't recommend aging, but backsweetening can definitely hide a fair number of flaws... I think I'm particularly sensitive to sweet though (and I prefer dry and/or *lightly* semi-sweet meads), so this effect may seem more prominent to me....
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #7
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You can cover up a plethora of brewing sins if you use enough honey.

Your batches that are 16-18% are probably going to be "hot" for years. They might need it.

The batches where the alcohol is more modest can be aged and you may find all will work out okay after 18-24 months.

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