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First mead: Super dry and a bit funky tasting?

CamilaPerez-Gavilan

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 20, 2019
1
0
0
I attempted to make a short mead for the first time. After one month of fermentation, there are no more bubbles in the airlock. I decided to try it, and it is VERY dry, not sweet at ALL and smells a bit alcoholic and tastes a little funky (like a bit like kombucha?). I can't say I like the taste... I decided to rack it (There was like 1 cm of lees at the bottom of the carboy) and add some honey water to backsweeten. The airlock looks dead and I can't see any activity. This was supposed to be a short mead so I'm not sure whether to just wait longer or.. add more yeast, or just bottle it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The hydrometer reading is 1.0 now, but I didn't take one before fermentation.


Recipe:
2.3 kg wildflower honey
13L filtered water
6 tbsp wild yeast (from an apple + peach starter I made)
24 organic raisins
juice of 1 orange

1 month later:
added 600gr of honey

To be clear it doesn't taste gross or anything and is definitely drinkable, just a little funky (wild yeast to blame?)
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,204
26
48
Denver
Well, you did a bunch of things wrong. First off you need to feed your yeast nitrogen if you want to avoid off-flavors. I wouldn't ever use a wold yeast as most are failures. The funk could be from starving your yeast. If you're going to backsweeten a mead you should stabilize it.
 

Seána

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 24, 2020
5
2
3
Brighton, Britain
Hi.
I'm new here but have made a few meads since this time last year and most of mine go very dry... So I backsweeten them..
When they "go dry" it means all the sugars have been used up by the yeast, going from a very sweet liquid at first, to an extremely dry liquid after initial fermentation has stopped. (It stops because no more sugar is available).
So.... I then stabilise the dry Mead with K-sorb AND K-meta and then backsweeten to taste...

So as far as I know, there are 2 definate ways to kill yeast and a "maybe" way too.
Stabilising with K-sorb and K-meta,
Pasteurising
Or adding so much sugar it kills the yeast toward the end of the brew....
But unless you do kill the yeast in some way, it may start up again when you backsweeten, and then explosions followed by cleaning, followed by crying and cursing may ensue...
Good luck.
Let me know what you decide..
X
 

Laura_Tallo

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Aug 24, 2020
22
3
3
Independence, Louisiana
Mine is just a few weeks old, and it is running clear. I used the TOSNA step method, fed my yeast nutrients, and today it tasted a little funky. It is definitely in its last 1/3, so I hesitate to feed it again. I was thinking that I would rack it into a carboy tomorrow to get it off that lees. It is still bubbling. It is at 1.002.
 
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Seána

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 24, 2020
5
2
3
Brighton, Britain
Mine is just a few weeks old, and it is running clear. I used the TOSNA step method, fed my yeast nutrients, and today it tasted a little funky. It is definitely in its last 1/3, so I hesitate to feed it again. I was thinking that I would rack it into a carboy tomorrow to get it off that lees. It is still bubbling. It is at 1.002.
I don’t know what you mean by “funky”... do you mean “off” smells, Acidic?
Bitter?
Rotten?
With bubbles in the airlock it is probably still fermenting...
It can go lower than 1:000 I had a greengage go to 0:964!!!
Extremely dry and bitter tasting...
But after stabilising and backsweetening it’s amazing!!
X
 

Laura_Tallo

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Registered Member
Aug 24, 2020
22
3
3
Independence, Louisiana
It smells like dirty socks. It does still produce bubbles. If I racked it into a carboy, could it still continue to ferment better (like work smarter, not harder), or should I add just a tad more nutrient to keep the yeast happy.
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
377
10
18
Pretoria, South Africa
Don't rack off until fermentation is complete. There's no benefit and a lot of risk in taking the yeast away from it's buddies in the middle of a fermentation. Give it time, let it finish, and then you can rack.
 
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