First mead tastes awful

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How long should I wait before trying my mead? It's been six months and I opened a bottle of blueberry and it doesn't taste good. Wondering how long before I know whether it will amount to anything
 

ArizonaGoalie

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Can you describe the taste?

Six months should be plenty. I mean, you can age it for longer and it will probably get even better, but after six months it should be fine. Now, if the ABV is super high and there wasn't any residual sweetness left, it could be incredibly harsh.
 
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I believe the abv is around 13-14 I wrote it down and of course I can't find it now. Not really sure how to describe the flavor other than it's not like vinegar it's almost like an extremely green taste
 

videojunkie1208

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Do you have any notes on the recipe that you used?

My experience with blueberries is they can be very tannic, and you may need to either be patient, or work on mitigation for it.
 

Toxxyc

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Any berries can turn really tannic, and even sour in a mead if the sweetness is gone. At 14% ABV and if you didn't perhaps follow the best feeding protocol there might be some stressors from the yeast in there as well. Did you backsweeten the mead at all? A bone dry mead, even years down the line, can still be an unpleasant experience for some.
 
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I know I used 3lbs of honey and 3lbs of blueberries and cotes de blanc yeast. Not sure if I out anything else in. Still checking for my notes
 

Toxxyc

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Any yeast nutrients, a feeding schedule, total volume, starting and ending gravities? It's all pretty important, but I can tell you if you put 3lbs of honey and 3lbs of blueberries with just a cotes de blanc yeast into some water and fermented it to a melomel (fruit-mixed mead), it's going to take a long, long time to be ready, if at all. If the yeast lacked nutrients and it was fermented maybe a bit too warm, it'll produce off-flavours that may never age out, or take years to clear from the mead and it becomes drinkable. Nothing to worry about though, I'm sure the next one will then be better. Make sure you do some research and ask a few questions before making your next one. They can be great to drink in less than a month if you do your part!
 

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I believe the abv is around 13-14 I wrote it down and of course I can't find it now. Not really sure how to describe the flavor other than it's not like vinegar it's almost like an extremely green taste
Six months may just be too soon. The only braggot I've made was around 10% and didn't start getting really good until a year went by.
 

bernardsmith

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But not tasting good is very different from a mead tasting awful. The problem MAY BE that it is too dry for the fruit and it wants some back sweetening. Another problem might be that if the mead was made without any added nutrents the yeast return their stress by the bucketful and give you an awful tasting drink.
What kind of honey did you use? For my first mead I used buckewheat and east coast buckwheat does not a good mead make.
 

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I have not made mead in a long time but I can tell you from experience that it can take up to a year or longer to mellow out. I made one and it tasted like formaldehyde (not that I have ever tasted formaldehyde) I put it away and forgot about it for 18 months and when I rediscovered it I was nervous about trying it. It tasted incredible after that. Give it some time.

re notes: I highly recommend keeping detailed notes and a plan.
 

Elmo Peach

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I made a batch of mead 30 years ago I had no real direction other than a pamphlet from The Wine Arts Store. I put raspberries in it. I tasted after 4 months and it tasted like cough syrup. I gave most of it away. I kept 3 bottles 3 years later I tried one it was delightful.

Now 30 years later I have made just Mead again no fruit. I am hoping for the best.
 

videojunkie1208

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See this thread on how to rescue an overly tannic Blueberry mead.

 

Ryue

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Of the six mead recipes I have made, only one needed to be aged out, four of them were delicious immediately after ferment, and they were all high ABV (12-19%) (the sixth one was just horribly executed and after a year was dumbed out.. we don't talk about that one... 🤫)
There are many factors that go into it, and I'm not as knowledgeable as some of these guys/gals, but I will tell you that I go off book quite a bit and haven't had any problems.
I heat my must (prior to honey being added, it cools to 90° or below prior to that addition), I use no nutrients, I only degass maybe a handful of times, etc.
Not saying you shouldn't do all those things, they are good practices, maybe I've just been lucky.

If you are interested, I made a one gallon test batch of this last year, gave pint samplers out to a bunch of people and they all loved it. Feel free to give it a shot 👍🏻

1 gallon water
2 pomegranates (just the arils (juice pods with seeds))
2lbs strawberries, quartered
12oz blackberries, whole

Steep for 1 hour at 120°-140°f
Let cool to 90°
Remove fruit (a sieve is helpful to get the seeds out)
Add 3 cups of honey (about 40oz)
Mix and transfer to carboy/fermenter

Pitch Red Star Premiere Blanc Champagne yeast

SG: 1.090
Pitched 9-29-2020
FG: 0.996 10-18-2020
12.33%ABV

Rack a couple of times to desired clearness, I like a little cloudiness but not too much, unless it's for gifts and I want it crystal clear.

Stabilize
Backsweeten with honey 8oz/gal (or to taste)

8oz/gal put it just on the sweet side, but not too much.

If did my math right (I didn't save my extrapolating notes) that should be .5oz honey to 1 cup of mead if you want to test the sweetness and go from there.
Better to start low and work your way up, you can't take the honey back out lol

Next time I might try cutting back the ABV to maybe 8% so I can drink more in a sitting, but everybody that tried it loved it 👍🏻
 

Toxxyc

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@Ryue that'll work well without nutrients as you have quite a bit of fruit in there. Melomels typically do much better without nutrients than traditionals. If you're making a traditional, it is highly recommended you use nutrients as the honey alone doesn't have what the yeast needs.

And since that looks great, a tip. No need to rack numerous times to get it clear. I tend to cold crash after ferment for at least a week, and then I rack off the lees. This mead is then stabilized and sometimes fined (gelatin does not work) with bentonite. Sometimes I just let it be, it still works. This is then left to sit for a week or 10 to clear out completely, if I want it crystal clear and then either racked for the last time, but for the most part it is bottled straight from here.

Every rack results in volume lost, and maybe it's just me, but I hate discarding booze... :p
 

Ryue

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@Ryue that'll work well without nutrients as you have quite a bit of fruit in there. Melomels typically do much better without nutrients than traditionals. If you're making a traditional, it is highly recommended you use nutrients as the honey alone doesn't have what the yeast needs.

And since that looks great, a tip. No need to rack numerous times to get it clear. I tend to cold crash after ferment for at least a week, and then I rack off the lees. This mead is then stabilized and sometimes fined (gelatin does not work) with bentonite. Sometimes I just let it be, it still works. This is then left to sit for a week or 10 to clear out completely, if I want it crystal clear and then either racked for the last time, but for the most part it is bottled straight from here.

Every rack results in volume lost, and maybe it's just me, but I hate discarding booze... :p
Gotcha, I have yet to make a traditional. Which I really should just for knowledge and experience lol

Unfortunately I don't have a way to cold crash at the moment, unless I was to fill the bathtub up with ice water lol.
I too hate discarding booze, I avoid it as much as possible. Normally I rack twice. If I want it crystal clear, I have a electric pump wine filter I can use. But I rarely feel it necessary.

I'm going to tinker with this recipe a little bit and then if it's worthy I will add it to the recipe database 👍🏼
 
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