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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    86

    Sad Failure

    Hi

    Sooooo..... My very first foray into making alcoholic beverages began with mead on the 18th of this month. Since then I have also brewed 2 batches of beer. I really don't think I "got" the basics of making until my last batch.

    I hate to say it, but I think I reaaaallly messed up my batch of mead. Did a taste test and it tasted VERY medicine-e. It might be because I fed it far more nutrients than needed, or the fact that I may have added far more DAP than needed....or the fact that I didn't understand 101 and pretty much sanitized nothing that the mead is in contact with.

    I'm thinking this batch is a failure. Even with age I don't think it will live up to its potential had I done it correctly. It's also important that I brew an awesome batch of mead, because I'm trying to prove to prove to my family that it can be just as good as wine. This is despite the fact that I haven't had any (only 1 glass) mead that I like yet. I'm kind of a stubborn person like that.

    I'm thinking of starting over. This time diligently following the traditionalmead.com guide to make an excellent off-dry mead. I know its a bit of a crime to throw in the towel so early but it really did not taste good.

    What are your thoughts? Is it worth it to continue? ...I think I have a sore throat from that spoonful...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,393

    Default Re: Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    Did a taste test and it tasted VERY medicine-e.
    All meads I've tasted were medicine-e. Try brewing a honey beer.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #3

    Default Re: Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Try brewing a honey beer.
    I have had some honey beer that I liked......I may give that a try.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4

    Default Re: Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    This is despite the fact that I haven't had any mead that I like yet.
    Me either….and I’ve tasted many. Commercial, blue ribbon winning etc and still no joy. I tell folks that, to me, it tastes as though someone added a bit of diesel fuel. A medicinal flavor might be an improvement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    I'm kind of a stubborn person like that.
    And me as well. I keep making the stuff…convinced that someday I’ll find a recipe that I like. I have a batch of blueberry brewing as we speak. I think it may be the best yet…but I still MUCH prefer a bad merlot or chardonnay.
    PS I’ve had others taste my meads and some like it…a few like it a lot and some put it down after the first sip. I really believe that it is all about how your tastes are tuned.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Failure

    You will need to follow the receipe to the T, if you want it to be good, and definetly sanitize your stuff. Thats like cooking without washing your hands. If you started the mead on the 18th, it is way to early to be tasting. I usually let mine go for at least a year (racking it in the process), before the pooring begins. Don't give up, and don't throw your first batch away. Give it time,,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Forest grove, Ore USA
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Failure

    And it's not for everyone. Seriously.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: Failure

    I'm thinking that adding DAP after the 1/3 break will impart some "tastes" to the mead. Also, fermenting at too high of a temperature can create some nasty fusel alcohols. I'm not sure if these could be imparting bad tastes to your meads. This is coming from a complete newbee mead maker so take it for what it's worth.

    Something you might want to try is some of "Joe's Ancient Orange Mead". This is my first mead and is smelling rather enticing at 16 days old.

    Ed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    webster county Iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Failure

    I really think it has alot to do with individual tastes. I did the joe's ancient orange spice mead awhile ago, thought personally it was a bit strong at about 15% and I have a friend that mixes it but many others think it is great just like it is. Been toying with the idea of doing a batch with a weaker yeast and hitting around 12% and maybe trying a real hard batch at about 18% and seeing if the difference is really all that big to others.
    Made some red wine from grape concentrate that I thought was horrible but one of my friends keeps bugging me for more bottles of the stuff. Made some pumpkin wine that I won't even touch - just friggin horrible but most of the people I have sprung it on thought it wasn't bad at all.
    All in all time has alot to do with the tastes giving time for some things to kind of fade and others to kind of come to the forefront more. The joe's recipe is pretty ok right from the secondary at around the three month mark, only had one person out of 25 or so that really didn't care for it, alot of them thought it was interesting and different in a good way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Failure

    I'm not a mead maker, but I do like mead. If you want to taste very drinkable mead ranging from sweet to flavored to semi-dry, check out the White Winter Winery in Wisconsin: http://whitewinter.com/

    The other thing I'll say, having read this forum for some time and having made fruit cordials and the like, is that aging really does make a difference. What tastes awful at first can really mellow out after 2-3 years, so don't be too quick to judge.

    Case in point, I was not impressed with some peach cordial that my husband made from ripe Missouri peaches in 2010. Right after decanting, it was medicinal and harsh and you'd never guess it was made from melt-in-your-mouth ripe peaches. Ugh. Two years later it has changed radically. It now has a mellow true peach flavor with just the right sweetness.

    So ... maybe your mead is truly a failure ... but maybe you are being too quick to judge. Unless you don't have any room for storage, finish the mead, set it aside, and forget about it for a few years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sumner county, TN
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    You will need to follow the receipe to the T, if you want it to be good, and definetly sanitize your stuff. Thats like cooking without washing your hands. If you started the mead on the 18th, it is way to early to be tasting. I usually let mine go for at least a year (racking it in the process), before the pooring begins. Don't give up, and don't throw your first batch away. Give it time,,
    Excatly! I missed that it had been made on the 18th before I replied. A year is how long we wait before trying anything more than a taste as we rack ours. For us, the longer we wait the better t gets.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Failure

    We went to a honey tasting and one of the guys there had mead. So we decided to try our hand. Went to the local wine suppy and bought all the equipment. They also sold us Champane yeast. First batch was very dry and had a really high alcohol content. Left a hell of a hangover. Since then we have used bread yeast (3lbs of honey to a gallon). All our meads since then have been slightly sweet the way we like them and very tasty. One recipe called for Orange sections (peel and all) that one tasted a little musty (sort of moldy orange peel). So all of our other batches have used pulp free orange juice and various other fruit juices. Keep experimenting. you will find one you like.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Failure

    A buddy and I used a recipe from VanceG and it is turning out awesome already! We used 4 gallons of apple cider and 16 pounds of my honey along with some dates and raisins. I can't remember the yeast we used but another thing my buddy did during the first few days was he tubed in oxygen for about a minute each day to help the yeast out. We just racked the mead a couple weeks ago and it has a red tint to it and cleared up a lot. Will rack one more time as the yeast has settled to the bottom, about a quarter inch layer in the car boy.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,393

    Default Re: Failure

    16 pounds of honey! Either overly sweet or very high ABV!
    Regards, Barry

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Failure

    Barry,

    No such thing as too sweet in my vocabulary! LOL
    As for ABV...........sittin at a wonderful 21% right now!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,393

    Default Re: Failure

    I think that's my problem. I keep thinking of mead as a honey wine when I should be thinking of it as a honey liqueur!
    Regards, Barry

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sumner county, TN
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    Hi

    Sooooo..... My very first foray into making alcoholic beverages began with mead on the 18th of this month. Since then I have also brewed 2 batches of beer. I really don't think I "got" the basics of making until my last batch.

    I hate to say it, but I think I reaaaallly messed up my batch of mead. Did a taste test and it tasted VERY medicine-e. It might be because I fed it far more nutrients than needed, or the fact that I may have added far more DAP than needed....or the fact that I didn't understand 101 and pretty much sanitized nothing that the mead is in contact with.

    I'm thinking this batch is a failure. Even with age I don't think it will live up to its potential had I done it correctly. It's also important that I brew an awesome batch of mead, because I'm trying to prove to prove to my family that it can be just as good as wine. This is despite the fact that I haven't had any (only 1 glass) mead that I like yet. I'm kind of a stubborn person like that.

    I'm thinking of starting over. This time diligently following the traditionalmead.com guide to make an excellent off-dry mead. I know its a bit of a crime to throw in the towel so early but it really did not taste good.

    What are your thoughts? Is it worth it to continue? ...I think I have a sore throat from that spoonful...
    I have made several batches of mead both dry and sweet. They all taste terrible for more than a year but then get amazingly better after than. I use mild honey (mostly clover) and when fully matured they have a taste similar ot lemonade with a very fragarant floral bouquet. It is one of our most popular wines. I will say nothing like what I have bought from commercial sources. I do however make a very heavy must using a lot of honey about 4lb/gal I would say just be patient and try tasting your Mead again in 6 months or so.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Maplewood, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    Hi

    I hate to say it, but I think I reaaaallly messed up my batch of mead. Did a taste test and it tasted VERY medicine-e. It might be because I fed it far more nutrients than needed, or the fact that I may have added far more DAP than needed....or the fact that I didn't understand 101 and pretty much sanitized nothing that the mead is in contact with.

    I'm thinking this batch is a failure.
    Mead must age for at least 9 months before it become drinkable, unlike beer which is ready much sooner.

    Give your mead a year and revisit it.

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