Beginning Mead Question about Aging

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Rick_R

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I was reading on the gotmead.com site (tons of information) and one thing caught my eye:

The amount of time needed for the Mead to mature is subjective. Some people enjoy drinking it young, while others prefer to let it sit for many years. A rule of thumb seems to be that at least 1 to 2 years is fine. Sample the Mead every few months or so until you feel that it is at it’s best, then bottle and drink away.
First off, based on the above, I take it that mead is not an instant gratification kind of thing. I'll probably still try making a batch, but is the above accurate? At least a couple of years aging?

Second, I always find this interesting with wine/mead/beer making, just pointing it out as an aside, it's mentioned as advice often, but: by occasional sampling, the only way you can know it is at its best is when it starts getting worse, in which case you know you missed the peak of goodness or, at best, had one sample of the beer/wine/mead at its best. :)

Rick
 

sirsloop

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Depending on what kind of ingredients and techinque you use... you can get very drinkable mead in as little as 4-6 months. Heating up the honey is one technique that can be used to decrease aging time, but some feel heating it will make it lose some of its aroma and flavors. I'd assume something like melomel or cyser would be a good candidate for heating because the fruit flavors will really come out.
 

malkore

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the lighter the honey and the lower the final alcohol content, the more quickly the mead mellows out and becomes 'easy' drinking.

very dark honeys like buckwheat, or very high ABV meads (lots of honey and champagne yeast) will take much much longer to age out the harsh flavors.

beer takes patience....mead takes patience to a whole new level.
 

homebrewer_99

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I can't disagree with any of the above comments.

I have mead that is over 13 years old and one batch that has been in a secondary for over 6 months.

The last one, Papazian's Prickly Pear Mead, has gone through several flavor transformations. My earlier records have me cursing Charlie P to the point of he's out of his F'n mind...now the mead has changed to be very enjoyable.

It's almost a year old and not even in the bottle yet.

The comments from anyone are really subjective. Noone but yourself knows the brewing and storage conditions of your brews. Only you know when it's ready. ;) :D
 
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