Originally Posted by Weenis
I justed racked it a second time because it is still not clear after four and a half months. This time there was residue at the bottom, but it was not yeast. It was dark brown almost black. I remembered that I used ground cloves and cinnamon. That was a mistake since it is still cloudy.
I can't taste the orange or the spice. The aroma is mostly that of alcohol with a hint of decayed orange. The flavor is sweet nutty honey with a slight alcohol burn. The honey flavor is "big" and it is too sweet for my tastes. My brain is a bit confused ... expecting something with honey flavor to be thick and sticky. I have never tasted mead of any kind before so maybe I just am not a fan.
I tweaked a small glass and found that adding some fresh squeezed lemon juice seemed to help take the edge off the sweetness and a few grains of ground clove made it more interested. I tried heating it but this made the alcohol burn more noticeable. It was better over ice.
I racked it for a third time today at 8 months. It is very dark and somewhat clear. A single glass of it is clear enough but the 5 gallon container looks quite murky. There was another load of dark brown (almost black) spice residue at the bottom. I noticed this was not like compact lees so it was getting sucked into the auto-siphon so I stopped and poured the final quart into a separate container.
It smells like honey now, the odor of alcohol and orange from August is gone. The flavor is just sweet honey with just a little alcohol heat. I can't taste the orange or spice at all. If I was a bee this would be great!
I decided to taste the last quart of cloudy brown sludge stuff. It has more non-honey spice flavor. Almost like mulled cider. I nuked a mug of it for 30 seconds and it was actually better hot, in a mulled cider sort of way. I tried heating the mead (not the sludge) back in August but the "alcohol burn" was too strong back then so that has either mellowed in the last 3.5 month or I am more tolerant of such things when it is 30 degrees out.
At this point I'm fairly sure a good filter could be used to clear the black sludge out of the remaining 4+ gallons to yield clear yellow mead but, at the same time, I'm not sure if I even like mead that way. It is so much sweeter than my usual drinks. I think I will just continue to bulk age it until its 1 year birthday and then bottle it. If the flavor doesnít grow on my by next winter Iíll make this hot wassail drink out of it.