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Strange taste in my most recent mead.

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mbrown121500

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So I just tasted my just most recent "experimental" batch of mead. It was suppose to be an orange and vanilla mead, but it tastes nothing like the intended flavors "orange nor vanilla", instead it tasted like straight alcohol (which is expected from a champagne yeast), with no flavors, literally ZERO flavors. The only taste is an acidic taste in the beginning and a slightly earthy aftertaste. Not bad, but unexpected, I can fix the alcohol taste, but confused about the acidic taste.

I have had bacteria infections before and most caused almost an immediate vomiting reaction, this doesn't have that. But it COULD be an infection, but I'm not sure.

Any ideas or thoughts would be a great help.

(rough recipe)
Distilled water
Yeast - Lavin EC-1118
local raw honey (brought up to 130 degrees prior to adding)
Vanilla Bean
Peaches from the local farmer's market (washed/peeled/sliced)
 

bernardsmith

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You say that the mead is orange and vanilla but there appears to be no oranges in the recipe and you have used a single pod of vanilla. Depending on the volume that pod may be enough to give you a hint of vanilla but not much more. You don't say what the starting gravity was - did you use 4 oz of honey in 5 gallons of 5 lbs in one gallon? And you don't say what the ending gravity is.. If it is at 1.000 or lower then that is going to be quite dry and if seriously dry you may not be able to detect a strong flavor of the peaches. But then peaches are not known for their strong flavor. How much did you dilute the juice with distilled water? I would try a second experiment where you press out some juice from peaches and then add about the same amount of distilled water to that juice to create a solution of similar ratios of jucie to water. Then taste that to see how flavor-rich that might be.
That said, the description you provided does not suggest any problem other than a less than good understanding of where flavors come from and how much fruit and spices you might need to use to produce a flavor-rich wine (or mead). Much of what you might think of as "flavor" is really the sweetness and when you ferment out all the sugar you are left with a ghost of the flavor especially if you are also diluting everything with water.
 

Solstice Meadery

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Any type of flavoring in primary is going to give you the 'essence' of what you added because it will ferment, that ghost bernardsmith is talking about. Added to secondary/back sweetened with is going to give you far more 'flavor', doing both will typically give you a more complex or deep flavor. The alcohol extracts the flavors. Usually best to freeze/crush to break cell walls to allow the juice to flow freely.

If you've ever eaten, or tried to eat a 'raw' peach, you know what berbardsmith is talking about. An unripened peach tastes nearly nothing like a juicy, sweet well ripened peach. It's all about the sugars.
 

RPh_Guy

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Couple more questions:

Did you heat the honey just to help it flow better? 130°F won't kill microbes.

Did you do anything to the vanilla bean? Normally you want to open it or cut it up.
 
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