Originally Posted by Blanchy
How does the first batch taste?
fair question, given the weird changes in flavour that can come from meads until they're ready i.e. fermented, cleared and aged......
The smells worth worrying about are usually the bad ones i.e. sulphur/rotten eggs during ferment (stressed yeast lacking nutrition usually), vinegar (acetobacter contamination, making just that....vinegar). There's a few analogies that come up frequently, but as I say, if the smell is a bad one, then there may be a problem.
Otherwise, weird smells often are less of an issue, as they will age out.
Equally, weird flavours may be a fault, but not fatal. A lot of weirdness ages out over time.
I always plan for at least 6 months ageing for fruit/spice based meads and 12 months for traditionals. that's as a minimum.....