Mead Lover's Digest #1549 Sun 23 October 2011


Mead Discussion Forum



How much vanilla ("Wout Klingens")


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Subject: How much vanilla
From: "Wout Klingens" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 10:47:59 +0200

So I have made a showmead, about 5 USG. Orchard honey only and an
all-purpose yeast (don't ask). Acid balance it good. FG 1.040.
Taste is good. But then all sweet meads taste good. I found it lacking
complexity. Very one-dimensional and no wow-factor. 1 year in the carboy so
sufficiently long enough to evaluate.
I considered this batch a failure. I could bottle it and enjoy it, but I was
sure I would not be very enthusiastic.
Reading about vanilla which is said to have one of the most complex flavors
with about 250 flavor descriptors I thought I'd give it a try.
So I added a vanilla bean. Split and cut to pieces of 0,5 inch.
First day: WOW! It makes an amazing difference. Not much vanilla, but what a
difference in complexity! It turned into a very interesting mead indeed.
Second day: a lot of vanilla.
Third day: racked off the vanilla to prevent too much flavor.

3 weeks later: the vanilla blended in, but it is clearly there. So far it is
one of the best meads I ever made in terms of complexity and acid balance.
I can't wait until it's ready to bottle.

Things learned: listen to the people who have experience: put that kind of
spices into some teabag and taste every day. Take out the teabag when flavor
is up to your taste.

Now for my questions: I read a lot of recipes which call for 5 beans or so
and leave it on for the duration until ranking/bottling.
1. I now have experience with leaving 1 bean on the mead for only 2 days in
a 5 gallon batch. What happens to the flavor when leaving it to age for 3
years or so?

2. What does a mead taste like in terms of complexity, which was made with a
few beans and left a few weeks to macerate?

Thanks for any answers.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1549