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Old 10-19-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
Zymurgrafi
 
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okay, kidding aside.

I guess water quality is of an even greater importance to making mead than it is to beer?

I have never tasted mead. Only what I have tried to make. My first mead was last November. I have yet to try it. Bottled it in May. However the results of hydrometer samples along the way have been less than encouraging shall we say. Very harsh alcohol, yes I know time heals that...

But also band-aid(tm) flavors. I have made, hmmm let's see...

First one ginger mead, then a cyser, heather mead, traditional dry mead, heather braggot (heather was blossoming) and a barleywine braggot. All one gallon batches since this is quite experimental to me.

The ginger mead and cyser and heather mead are bottled. All were harsh and a bit band-aid(tm)y. The heather braggot was made I believe about the beginning of August (don't have my notes handy) I racked it once to get it of the blossoms and it was like AMBROSIA! I reracked today to get it of the remaining sediment and it tastes a bit sour. Had that problem once with heather ale as well. Perhaps it is the heather. The traditional dry mead and Barley wine braggot I also reracked today. The plain mead is similar with that bandage flavor, plus it has not cleared like the others, but that is another topic... The barleywine which was racked once before tasted nasty and not at all hoppy the first time. Now it is tasting better but super fruity?

Okay, thanks for reading all that. Guess I just need to be patient and make some more.

Here is the actual question...

Should I use another water source? I never use bleach, so the chlorophenols (which is what I believe I am tasting) must be from my water source?

I could buy bottled or I have discovered a natural spring I have access to.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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Boy, I don't know why you have the band aid smell. What kind of yeast did you use? Is the water heavily chlorinated? I'm at a loss. Usually water is not all that important in mead and wine making. Sure, it has to be good water, but very little affects it. I mean, in beer we have to think about hardness, softness, carbonates, etc. In mead, it's just like "oh, this water tastes good- let use it!".
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:43 PM   #3
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I will have to go back and look at my notes. It was a variety of yeasts for each. I believe I have used champagne, SafAle so-04 and US-05 and possibly Montrachet?
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymurgrafi View Post
I will have to go back and look at my notes. It was a variety of yeasts for each. I believe I have used champagne, SafAle so-04 and US-05 and possibly Montrachet?
I've used all those yeasts in various brews/meads/wines, with no issues. Is the water heavy with chlorine, or chloramines?
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:33 PM   #5
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Hi Zymugrafi: Did you use the same type/brand of honey for all your batches? I've gotten "rubber stopper" tastes & aromas from several batches, but only batches I used honey in. Even my cysers, which contain no water at all, only juice from the apples. I've found that these problems do diminish & go away entirely with time, but it takes quite a while. Not sure if that's the source of your off flavours or not, but it's certainly a possibility. I guess you could always change your honey type/brand & use the same water to see if that's it, and maybe another experiment with the same type/brand honey with different water. Hope you find some of this info useful. Regards, GF.

 
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:16 AM   #6
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hmmm, good point.

I was not even thinking of that. My cyser did not include water. As to the honey, I was getting local repacked clover honey (bulk) from my food coop. So, I will presume the source varied.

Yooper, I do not know how high the chlorine levels are in my tap water but I do have an under the faucet carbon filter set-up. I do know without the filter it tastes pretty bad.
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
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Did it get infected? Band-aids don't help infected mead, just infected sores on people.

 
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:43 PM   #8
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Montrachet made my mead taste like bandaids. It's still conditioning so I hope the yeasties clear and so too the bandaid taste....We'll find out in a year or so.

 
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:18 PM   #9

I can think of a couple of possible sources:

1. Improper fermentation management. Did you notice any sulfur smells during fermentation? Did the ambient temperature ever aproach the upper 80s? Did your primaries take much longer than a week?

2.Oxidation. Did you rack immediately when your primary fermentation was complete? Did you always keep your secondary completely topped?

3. Very dark strong flavored honey.

 
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
I can think of a couple of possible sources:

1. Improper fermentation management. Did you notice any sulfur smells during fermentation? Did the ambient temperature ever aproach the upper 80s? Did your primaries take much longer than a week?

2.Oxidation. Did you rack immediately when your primary fermentation was complete? Did you always keep your secondary completely topped?

3. Very dark strong flavored honey.
Hmmm, well I am not very educated on Mead making.

Let me see.

1. No, no sulfur. No low seventies max in my basement (northern VT) Primary, well yes longer than a week. I thought you should leave it a few weeks at least considering the high gravity. That is what I would do for a high gravity beer. That could be where I went wrong

2. Again, perhaps too long in primary. Never topped anything. Airspace bad eh? What do you top with? Boiled/cooled water? More honey?

3. No, just locally made clover honey.

Guess I have much too learn. Thanks for the help folks. I'll stay tuned for the answers...
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