Need help on my first batch

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Danny_ny

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I have had my first batch sitting now for over a month. It was bubbling regularly and it has now stop bubbling I bought some equipment to test gravity of my must and I am getting a 1.000 which is water and 0% alcohol. The must has a tangy bitter smell to it not sweet at all. It was almost like stale beer

Any advice? Did I goof? Is this batch ruined? Do I need to wait more. Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks in advance
 

fatbloke

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I have had my first batch sitting now for over a month. It was bubbling regularly and it has now stop bubbling I bought some equipment to test gravity of my must and I am getting a 1.000 which is water and 0% alcohol. The must has a tangy bitter smell to it not sweet at all. It was almost like stale beer

Any advice? Did I goof? Is this batch ruined? Do I need to wait more. Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks in advance
It sounds like the hydrometer you got is one of the multi-scale ones. I don't like those, I find them confusing.

So, the alcohol scale, before the mead has had the yeast pitched into it, might show (depending on the ratio of honey to water) something like 16% ABV, but on the gravity scale, it would show something like 1.116

What it's telling you by giving you the 1.000/0% reading, is that the gravity is now the same as distilled water at the calibration temperature for the hydrometer and that there's 0% alcohol left to be made as there's pretty much no sugars left to convert.

Actually, some wines can drop below that to 0.980, but generally meads don't tend to go below 0.990 - this apparent minus number allows for the fact that alcohol has a lower density than water so can cause the hydrometer to drop below the 1.000 reading.

Is it ruined ? probably not. Young meads can taste from weird to the bloody hideous. You still have that "it's made from honey, so it must be sweet" idea in mind.

Honey is sweet, but it can't be once the sugars have been converted to alcohol can they.......

You're tasting a tiny amount of possible sugars remaining, the non-sugars element of the honey, alcohol and water.

Next step, is to get it cleared down. So it will need racking (siphoning) into a different jar/fermenter/whatever, leaving as much sediment as possible in the original jar/fermenter/carboy/etc.

Do you know if you actually like dry meads or not ? Because if you're likely going to be back sweetening it, you will need to rack it onto, or add, 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon and whatever dosage is suggested on a tub of potassium sorbate from the HBS.

If you wanted it to clear quickly you can get some finings from the HBS too. It's up to you whether you use some bentonite, or maybe sparkolloid if they sell it, or superkleer/kwikclear (again depending on which one they stock), then once it's clear it can be racked again, off the remaining sediment.

You can either bottle it or bulk store it. Bulk storage is usually recommended as it enables you to modify it too taste after aging more easily, whereas it's easier to exclude the air better with bottles, unless you have a range of different sized carboys/jugs etc that can be topped up as close to the bottom of the stopper as possible, to minimise airspace.......

You should be considering aging it for at least 6 months, probably longer, like a year.

It will mellow etc, and taste like a completely different drink......
 
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Danny_ny

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Thank you very much for the help. I am alittle put off by the smell. It smells like alcohol and stale at the same time
 
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Danny_ny

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I just racked it, going to see how it goes. Now I just have to let it sit I believe
 
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