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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > French vs. American vs. Hungarian Oak
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:55 AM   #1
Sir Humpsalot
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Default French vs. American vs. Hungarian Oak

So I made a batch of mead, I don't recall the specifics. It came out to around 8%ABV, finished dry. I used Wyeast Dry Mead Yeast and 100% clover honey. I held it at 160 or 180 degrees with some water for some period of time, cooled it, then pitched the yeast.

Once fermented, I put it in 8 separate containers, each with a different type of oak. Here are my thoughts.

Finding #1. I am not impressed with the yeast. It's been about 4 months now and I know these things get much better with age, but it still definitely has quite a bit of yeastiness that I was not expecting for such a small mead after 4 months.

Finding #2. At this two month interval, I found all of the heavy toasts preferable to the Medium toasts. All of the heavy toasts seemed to have a certain amount of additional smoothness to them. I would like to try charring the oak next to see what that is like!

Finding #3. The Hungarian is the mellowest, sort of a smooth flabby oak flavor- of the three, it tastes the best when cold. The French is the most complex and spicy. The American is the smoothest with a quite a bit more structure than the Hungarian, but not nearly as spicy as the French.


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Old 06-08-2008, 12:56 AM   #2
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Oh... the other two were my control mead (nothing added) and my American Medium Oak with a few splashes of bourbon.

I think the medium oak with a few splashes of bourbon was my favorite. After that, it was a toss up between the American and the Hungarian Heavy oaks.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:10 AM   #3
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I'm very glad to see this.
I did a VERY small batch of Mead, secondaries on Vanilla, then into Oak Barrel for a few weeks.
TOO MUCH OAK!. I'm hoping it'll mellow a bit next year.
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