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Medicinal Taste

Hi guys,
I’m still pretty new to making mead. The few that I’ve made, both from kits and from home recipes (using local honey from an apiary), have generally tasted somewhat medicinal. Just a bit harsh. I love mead and generally the professional meads I enjoy all taste smooth and clean. I don’t prefer dry or sweet. All I know is that I need my meads to come out smoother and less harsh. What am I doing wrong? I’ve followed strict instructions with adding nutrients, etc. Is it the fermentation temp? The conditioning temp? The yeast? Do I need additional ingredients? Do I need to back sweeten? Help!

Mike

Who’s “strict instructions”??

What temps are you fermenting at???

What temp are you conditioning at???

What yeast are you using???

What ingredients are you using???

Why would you want to back sweeten???

???

Yikes! Didn’t expect that, but I suppose I should come with more info with my questions, huh. Well, some of that I’ll need to go back and research. The strict instructions referred to those that I received with the Curt and Kathy’s Sweet Mead Orange Blossom kit. I don’t have great control over my fermenting and conditioning temps. Therefore, I’m usually doing both at the same temp (room temp). I do know that when I made one of my meads it was during the summer so the temps were likely warmer, like higher 70s. I believe I’ve used wine yeasts (dry) but I can double check. I’ll check back to my recipes to get specific ingredients. Generally I’ve made simple meads with wildflower honey (10-15 lbs per 5 gallon batch) and no additional ingredients other than yeast nutrients. I’ve attempted a few cysers and fruit meads. The cyser, which is currently conditioning, is alright but still harsh. I believe in that one I used 4 gallons apple cider from an orchard and 15 lbs wildflower honey from apiary, used no heat method. Some people have recommended backsweetening to some of the melomels to help get more of the fruit flavor to shine through.

Sorry for some of my choppy info. I’m really curious to see if this harshness is common and a result of a particular brewing technique flaw. I can try to get more specific info if needed.

Mike

Just responding to your call for " Help!" You’re not the only one, or the last one, that asked the doctor why you don’t feel good. Have him run dozens of test, tells you nothing is wrong with you. Then you show him your ingrown toe nail. :wink:

NB doesn’t list any instruction/ingredients on that kits page. Can’t help you there.

This is a great site on meads.

http://home.comcast.net/~mzapx1/

Fermenting in the 70’s isn’t helping.

How old are the meads? Primary, tertiary, bottle times.

[quote=“BostonMike”]Hi guys,
I’m still pretty new to making mead. The few that I’ve made, both from kits and from home recipes (using local honey from an apiary), have generally tasted somewhat medicinal. Just a bit harsh. I love mead and generally the professional meads I enjoy all taste smooth and clean. I don’t prefer dry or sweet. All I know is that I need my meads to come out smoother and less harsh. What am I doing wrong? I’ve followed strict instructions with adding nutrients, etc. Is it the fermentation temp? The conditioning temp? The yeast? Do I need additional ingredients? Do I need to back sweeten? Help!

Mike[/quote]

How long did you age it? Some meads need a loooooong time. I brewed a 9% braggot a few years ago that took a year to get really good. Last year I tasted an 18% mead that I brewed 10 years ago; it was great.

Hi again,
Thanks for feedback. I must say again that I have terrible control over my temperatures, so it all depends on the season. Right now I’ve had a cyser and a few small batches of melomel conditioning for quite a while (like a year or more) in a dark closet. But, the temp in the room has likely fluctuated between 65 and 80 depending on the season. One question I have as I move forward is, what would the ideal temp be for fermenting and for conditioning? Are there ideal temps? If I am able to gain more control, I will make sure to be more careful.

Mike

Mike,

Did you ever figure out the issue? I have similar experiences and the best solution I have found to date is to be disciplined about the ambient temperature during the primary fermentation.

My initial batches were done at 75+ degrees which may cause the yeast to give off fusil oils, which give it a harsh medicinal flavor.

This is my best explanation but there may be more to it than that. I am still a novice.

My latest, untested batches, are now strictly fermented at 65 to 70 degrees during primary fermentation.

  • James
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