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Sour smell

Hey all,

I’m new to brewing Mead. Only on my second gallon. I have done two 1 gallon batches.

My first batch was blackberries, a navel oranges, 3lbs wild flower honey, and Red Star Premier Blanc yeast. It was all locally available to me.

It ran for 2 weeks and then the airlock slowed way down. I took the bung out and it has a bit of a sour smell. It is just sitting and relaxing now. I figured it was from the orange rinds or something.

I’m on my second gallon… It has been going for 2.5 weeks and now starting to slow down. It has 2 lbs or wild flower honey red star Premier Blanc yeast in a 1 gallon jug.

I pulled the bung from the bottle today to give it a shot and it has a slightly sour smell but not like my first batch. Not sure if that is the smell of young Mead or both my batches are just bad.

I tasted both batches. They do not have a vinegar flavor. They taste like they have a decent alcohol content.

Just not sure about the smell.

Any help or ideas? I am going to start a 3rd batch of mean next week and want to make sure I’m fixing whatever I may be doing wrong.

Yeasty smell may take some getting used to. Did you add nutrients when making your mead?

I didn’t know about using the nutirents when making Mead. I have them but never used them. I planned on using them on the next batch. I see some people use organic raisins to do the same.

Is there a way to may the yeast smell clear out?

You need to rack it at least once probably twice. Add the nutrients when you rack


I agree

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Sounds like a plan!

Is there anything else that I should add? Any acid blend or anything else?

You really need to let it finish before you make a decision on changes to your process. Are you pasteurizing your fruit? That is important. You don’t need acid blend IMO

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That first batch, I did not pasteurize the fruit. I just washed really well and then cut and pushed into the carboy. :sweat:

The next time I do a batch with fruit, I planned on running anything I put in through the juicer and then pasteurize.

Noted on acid blend! :thumbsup:

I don’t pasteurize my honey but some people do. I guess that depends on your source. If it’s organic you may need to pasteurize it as well

Right now I have been getting store bought organic raw honey. Come spring when the farmers markets open, I will start grabbing up some local honey. We have a lot of local bee keepers. Really wishing we still had the 12 hives at my grandparents farm! Along with their orchard!

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Maybe I’m mistaken but I thought honey by it’s nature didn’t need to be pasteurized. The fruit on the other hand should be. I can’t remember if it was @brew_cat or someone suggested to heat the fruit to 140 degrees F and hold for 20 minutes. It will pasteurize it without driving off too much flavor and aroma as well as not creating “pectin haze”. Another method is to soak it in vodka for awhile prior to adding it.

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I generally do the soak in vodka. Actually I soak in vodka and sugar the pour off the sweet nectar do drink and add the fruit to the Mead


Does soaking the fruit in vodka change the flavor of the mead or fruit?

You can use Camden tablet and probably not compromise from or flavors. Pasteurize or the soak you may lose something so may need to use more

Yeah, I figured if I went either of those routes I would need to pump up the volume of fruit that I am adding to the mix.

Thanks for all the info!

You don’t pasteurize the honey if you want to maintain the honey profile. One doesn’t see bottles of honey on the store shelves self fermenting or going bad.

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I’ve not noticed any difference. My mead overwhelmed any residual vodka on the fruit.

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Honey doesn’t ferment on its own you need to add water. Add a little water and it will. I don’t pasteurize mine but since it’s not organic the hives were sprayed organic I don’t think they do so there may be some wild stuff in there. Nothing bad but may give unwanted flavors.just guessing here.

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I’ve read the mead bible and the author is a proponent of as little heat applied to the honey as possible. I have to be honest in that I have not made a mead that was any good. It is possible that I don’t even like mead. I will keep trying though.

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