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Did I break it?

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EricHartman

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
281
4
0
Indiana
I hate to ask a question that time may answer but if I've destroyed this ferment I'd just as soon as start over now rather than waiting for something to improve that isn't going to get better. The problem I'm concerned about is a metallic taste. With that in mind here is the process so far:

1 gallon fermenter - boiled tap water, cooled then:
Mezquite honey 1362g (48oz)
Lavin D21 - 4g I'm pretty sure (possibly 2 g... I know, I know; if necessary I can weigh the remainder I've kept due to this unknown)
Go-Ferm 5g
Opti-white 1.9g in primary
O2 bubbled in at 0, 6h (best I could do for 12h addition), and 24h

Fermaid-O additions
24h 1.2g
48h 0.9g
72h 1g
1/3 break 96h 0.94g

SG:
0: 1.078
24: 1.072
48: 1.069
3d: 1.062
4d: 1.056
9d: 1.056
15d: 1.018
21d: 0.999 - fermenter placed in fridge
has stirring over my maelstrom stir plate since the beginning until "cold crash"

25d: racked into carboy - sulfite and sorbate added. was not truly clear but I was becoming concerned about oxidization being responsible for my metallic taste at this point and the fermenter had a lot of airspace

55d: poured into two separate 1/2 gallon jars: 1 with 0.2g Tannin FT Blanc Soft, 1 with medium-heavy roast American oak

should be around 10% ABV per calculators

Thus far there is a dominating metallic taste that I don't know is going to go away. Initially I wondered if this was just acidic tartness; however, I'm concerned that I've oxidized my fermentation by the aggressive stirring throughout or if I'm tasting excessive nitrogen products. I had initially wrote down numbers for my TOSNA using the MMR calculator. Early along in my process I went to double check and it seemed like the numbers changed on me so clearly I screwed something up.

I guess I need some experienced eyes for reassurance that the metallic taste, in an early dry traditional mead, is OK...
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,160
13
38
Denver
Unfortunately, we can't tell you one way or another. That's not typical. But neither is it typical to use a stir plate in this fashion. Yeast only use the O2 until they go anaerobic. After that, the stir plate is only oxidizing your mead. Usually, oxidation presents as a wet cardboard smell and taste. And then later it browns and tastes old and stale. It can change the fruit to a cooked fruit taste. I realize this is a trad. But I am arming you with information so you can decide for yourself if the stir plate is something you want to employ in future batches.
 

EricHartman

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Mar 4, 2019
281
4
0
Indiana
thanks for the quick reply Squatchy. I made an assumption after listening to the podcast. back in my chemistry/biology undergrad if you wanted to keep something in suspension you did it with a stir plate. Thus when I heard folks talking about keeping the lees up in suspension I simply filled in the blanks... inaccurately! I will say that it was under an airlock, now of questionable quality, at all times other than when testing SG. It was when pouring over the forums, for input on my mead & process, that I didn't find any stir plates & I started wondering if this is responsible.

thanks for the sensory description of oxidized mead; it is information, of obvious concern, that I've been missing.

I think I'll give it some time with the oak, back sweeten, & then age it out... a lesson in bad has value.

I may yet return to the stir plate, with extra safeguards, but not until I've built a solid base in what's normal and how to achieve it.
 
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