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Unexplained flavor improvement

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Clifton

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I've made two 1 gallon batches of mead. I just opened my last bottle recently that I started last January. I've enjoyed them but others said they tasted "skunky," "metallic," and "I just don't like it."

I recently purchased a bottle of Kenco Farms mead as a commercial example because I've never had mead and needed some sort of reference point. It tasted similar but with a delightful tartness, I thought maybe they added acid blend.

I decanted my mead from the bottle into a glass pitcher and tasted them side by side. My wife really liked the Kenco and gave the "ick" to my mead. After a few days sitting in the pitcher in the fridge I poured myself a glass of the last of my mead.

It tasted soo much better. The tartness that was in the Kenco mead was starting to show in mine. Was there some sulphur or something trapped in my bottles that exposure to the air relieved? Why did my mead get better.
 

fatbloke

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I've made two 1 gallon batches of mead. I just opened my last bottle recently that I started last January. I've enjoyed them but others said they tasted "skunky," "metallic," and "I just don't like it."

I recently purchased a bottle of Kenco Farms mead as a commercial example because I've never had mead and needed some sort of reference point. It tasted similar but with a delightful tartness, I thought maybe they added acid blend.

I decanted my mead from the bottle into a glass pitcher and tasted them side by side. My wife really liked the Kenco and gave the "ick" to my mead. After a few days sitting in the pitcher in the fridge I poured myself a glass of the last of my mead.

It tasted soo much better. The tartness that was in the Kenco mead was starting to show in mine. Was there some sulphur or something trapped in my bottles that exposure to the air relieved? Why did my mead get better.
Could it have been something daft, like the time in the pitcher/fridge allowed it to free up some residual gas/CO2 ?

regards

fatbloke
 
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Clifton

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Residual gas, maybe but I don't think it was CO2 gas. That's why I was thinking maybe sulphur (ie. sulphur dioxide).
 

jguy898

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I've made two 1 gallon batches of mead. I just opened my last bottle recently that I started last January. I've enjoyed them but others said they tasted "skunky," "metallic," and "I just don't like it."

I recently purchased a bottle of Kenco Farms mead as a commercial example because I've never had mead and needed some sort of reference point. It tasted similar but with a delightful tartness, I thought maybe they added acid blend.

I decanted my mead from the bottle into a glass pitcher and tasted them side by side. My wife really liked the Kenco and gave the "ick" to my mead. After a few days sitting in the pitcher in the fridge I poured myself a glass of the last of my mead.

It tasted soo much better. The tartness that was in the Kenco mead was starting to show in mine. Was there some sulphur or something trapped in my bottles that exposure to the air relieved? Why did my mead get better.
I've been thinking about this for a while, and this is the only theory I can formulate, due to my lack of experience.

It has been sitting in a fridge for a few days, so that may be just long enough to cause a slight cold-crashing, dropping something out of suspension that has been skewing the taste. What I would do is cold crash ALL of it and see what happens. Just leave it in the fridge for about a week, maybe more.

It sounds like too much of one chemical was added post fermentation, maybe even a little residual yeast?

Jonas
 

fatbloke

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Residual gas, maybe but I don't think it was CO2 gas. That's why I was thinking maybe sulphur (ie. sulphur dioxide).
Possibly both, if it wasn't degassed completely before bottling and of course your point about sulphur, especially if you used a little too much sulphite in the preparation of bottling.

So that might make sense as it does mainly come out in the air if not sealed too tightly. You did say that it was in a pitcher so it wouldn't suprise me if that were the case.....

Either way, well done for accidentally finding a solution to improving the flavour...... If it makes it all worth drinking then that's brilliant....
 

gratus fermentatio

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Only a year old? I think it might've just been young. My mead tends to be nasty tasting till at least the 2 year mark. Regards, GF.
 
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Clifton

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Yep, 1 year old. Opened the bottle and decanted it into the pitcher. First glass tasted like the all the previous ones. The last of it was much closer to my commercial example. Sadly, that was the last bottle (only a 1 gallon batch).
 

PBruske234

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I think it was because it was cold. Lol may sound stupid but the colder the mead, the better it tastes to me. I put mine in the freezer one hour before I drink it.
 

truckjohn

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LOL... it could also be a result of the fact that alcohol numbs the taste buds... so the first glass tastes awful... and then the 15% alcohol knocks the taste buds around a bit and you no longer taste the "Awful" part....

Thanks
 

malkore

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Only a year old? I think it might've just been young. My mead tends to be nasty tasting till at least the 2 year mark. Regards, GF.
/off topic

you should really look into the NHC info from last year
- degassing primary daily during week 1
- staggered additions of nutrients
- Narbone 71-B yeast

I took a 2.5 month old pyment (pitched early november) to the brew club meeting 3 days ago and knocked their socks off.
smooth, delicate, grapey yet honey-laced...I'll be lucky if I can hold onto a bottle for 2 years for comparison.

And like you, my previous meads always needed 12+ months to mature and mellow. this was my first mead done the 'new way' and I tell you I'll NEVER touch another pack of Sweet Mead yeast.

/on topic
 
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Clifton

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LOL... it could also be a result of the fact that alcohol numbs the taste buds... so the first glass tastes awful... and then the 15% alcohol knocks the taste buds around a bit and you no longer taste the "Awful" part....

Thanks
Re-read my original post. I had ONE glass several days after opening the bottle.
 

gratus fermentatio

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/off topic

you should really look into the NHC info from last year
- degassing primary daily during week 1
- staggered additions of nutrients
- Narbone 71-B yeast

I took a 2.5 month old pyment (pitched early november) to the brew club meeting 3 days ago and knocked their socks off.
smooth, delicate, grapey yet honey-laced...I'll be lucky if I can hold onto a bottle for 2 years for comparison.

And like you, my previous meads always needed 12+ months to mature and mellow. this was my first mead done the 'new way' and I tell you I'll NEVER touch another pack of Sweet Mead yeast.

/on topic
Interesting, I'll have to give this a shot when I mix up my acacia show mead & see how it turns out. Thanks for the heads-up on this Malkore. Regards, GF.
 

Robusto

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Could be oxidation that you introduced by decanting.

From Epicurean:

“Like a prized rose, a fine wine sometimes needs a little finesse to blossom. A young red may resemble a tight bud, its full flavor and aroma waiting to be released. An older vintage may have bloomed to its fullest splendor but carry with it unwanted sediment. In rare cases, young whites may contain an excess of free sulfur dioxide and thus give off a slight odor. And certainly both mature whites and reds may suffer from a lack of oxygen. The ritual of decanting can address all of these problems”
 

Insomniac

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I recently bought a "Vucuvin" wine saver on advise from some of the guys here. And this week I opened the first bottle of my first ever batch of mead (~3 - 4 months old). Before pouring it I used the vacuvin a couple of times and saw some bubbles come up, so it's a nice cheap way of quickely de-gassing a bit after opening a bottle.
Despite tasting of arse at bottling time (3 weeks ago), it tasted a lot better got pretty favourable comments from my friends.

I will be doing this before corking on all my furture batches which will hopefully help a lot.
 
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Clifton

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Excellent info guys. Thanks for posting.
 
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