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Old 03-03-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
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Default Is Mead Good?

I tried some Cyser, from a local maker, and I kind of liked it. The bottle said something like 80% apple wine, 18% honey wine. My wife did not like it at all, and a friend of mine tried it and said it tastes like wine gone bad to him.

Can I even use this as a basis for liking mead? I have an urge to make some, but I want to make something I'll enjoy drinking. I had no idea that there was so much apple wine when I bought it.

I think it was pretty fresh cyser, because it was made just up the road from wher ei bought it, and the store clerk said they keep a good turnaround on it.

Perhaps I should go back and buy just the straight mead? Or should I try making a cyser/melomel instead?


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Old 03-03-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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I'm very much a newbie at mead, both making it and tasting it.
My experiences so far.
Tried a commercial dry traditional mead: Did not care for it. Could taste some honey but it tasted like a white wine gone bad to me.
Made Joe's Concord Pyment: At bottling tasted way too grapey. Will give it some time.
Made a Cyser with local apple cider and 2# honey per gallon: At bottling it had a nice delicate apple taste complimented with some floral honey flavors. At last something worth while.
I have a traditional mead and a spiced mead in glass jugs and I am planning on a 5gal Pyment made with Pinot Noir concentrate.

So I would suggest trying several different types. Maybe make a few 1 gal batches yourself. I know many people here have stated they have not had a commercial mead they liked but love the ones they make.

Craig


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Old 03-03-2008, 05:55 PM   #3
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Some meads really take a while to get used to...it's an acquired taste so to speak.

I think it's more romanticized than anything else...
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:58 PM   #4
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You can also make a gallon batch to get an idea...just get a gallon winejug and a stopper/airlock to fit it...
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I have no doubt that mead is a romanticized product. But, the cyser I had I liked, even though two others that tried it did not care for it.

I may end up making small batches after all. I've been meaning to do this for about a year now, but have been hesitant based on some of the descriptions I've read. I do have a gallon jug ATM it's being used for some Apfelwein, and needs at least 3 more weeks of ferment.

1 gallon batches would give me a taste, and not require as much honey. And, I can try different recipes to see what I like.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:18 PM   #6
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Take a look at the Basic Brewing V-casts. They do some falvored small batch mead experiments...Some of the flavors sound good.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=video
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:29 PM   #7
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I have had nothing but bad luck with commercial meads. All the ones I've made have been fantastic. Has anyone had a good commercial mead?
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:35 PM   #8
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I've not found a good commercial mead either. local vineyard here makes a 'honey wine' but its simliar to the apple wine blend you mentioned. but its drinkable

Chaucer's Mead...horrid stuff.

Red Stone makes some good mead, so I have heard. no first hand knowledge.

one can always make their own 'house mead'. as long as its honey (or honey and malt from a braggot) you can call it mead.

I only like sweet meads...don't like em dry at all, and cyser's can easily get too dry due to extra sugar from apples.
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:59 PM   #9
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Some of the "Honey Wines" and "Honey Beers" at the local place is wines and beers that have had honey added AFTER they filter out the yeast. So not true meads by any measure.

True meads vary greatly since they are nearly 100% fermentable. Much of the flavor comes from additives (like fruits, spices, apples, grapes, malt, etc). Generally, using the honey will make a very dry version of whatever you add to.

A big problem is it also seems to take a while to balance the flavors. Especially some of the braggots I've made. They were rather course for the first few months.

nick
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:07 PM   #10
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The prez of our brewclub makes mead about half the time and he's won a lot of firsts in comps. The two that he's brought for the flight, Prickly Pear and Coconut flavored were amazing. They were both sweet meads using orange blossom honey. They were much better than any commercial mead I've had, and that is limited.


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