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Mead faults

4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
Hey - I wasn't sure where to post this question, so thought this category was the best spot...

I was looking at mead faults today:

https://www.bjcp.org/meadfaults.php

I thought it was interesting the "Fruity" was listed as a fault. I have a Trad right now that I've done before, but I was able to keep this one about 5 degrees cooler during fermentation. One of the differences this time is that it has a fruity aroma to it - more of a sweet fruity aroma, and quite pleasant IMO. It has had that aroma since nearly the end of fermentation, so I'm not sure what this 'fault' on the BJCP site is really saying.

I mean, wouldn't it be desirable for a melomel to be fruity???

Any thoughts?

I'm more curious than anything else as I'm not planning on competing, and I really only care if it tastes good to me and is shareable with friends/family.
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
I have never considered "fruity" esters to be a problem in a mead. I suppose if you are making certain styles such as a braggot, or if you are trying to appreciate the floral notes of a honey made as a traditional, if there are fruity esters overpowering the honey florals that could be looked upon unfavorably. And if you are trying to make a blueberry melomel, having a bunch of banana esters might or might not go well. Saying that, I'm thinking to myself that my next strawberry melomel might be interesting if I used a hefeweizen yeast to create a Strawberry-Banana profile. :rolleyes: In any case, I personally like estery, fruity and floral meads.

Even in competitions, if it smells and tastes good, they probably won't judge it harshly. So have fun, and don't worry too much about esters - it's the solvent, phenolic, fusel, band-aid, barnyard nastiness you want to avoid, though even some of those have their place such as seriously oxidized "rancio" character that I treasure in my Meadeira batches.

Bottom Line - as long as you get something that you and your kith and kin enjoy, that is really all that is important.
 
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4give

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Jan 1, 2018
284
3
18
Montrose, CO
Thanks Medsen. I'm thinking similarly. The batch I have is a Trad, and one characteristic of the honey I used (wildflower from my own apiary) is a fruity note to the aroma and flavor - likely due to the various orchards and berries around.
 

bernardsmith

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Sep 1, 2013
1,611
18
38
Saratoga Springs , NY
But this thread raises the perennial question about the value of competition feedback. I certainly enter competitions less with the hope of winning a good medal and more about getting useful feedback but often the feedback is less than useful and sometimes the three judges are all over the place. In my opinion it would be so much better to be able to enter into a conversation or an interaction with the judges to glean more about what exactly they mean when they highight a fault or a strength - and by entering into a conversation I mean only to ask for further clarification and not to engage in any debate with them. But all that said, perhaps the better way to obtain good feedback is with a mead makers club (or wine makers club). The problem is at least where I live, the brewing clubs I attend are able to discuss very ably member shared brews but by their own admission their knowledge of mead is incredibly limited.
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
. The problem is at least where I live, the brewing clubs I attend are able to discuss very ably member shared brews but by their own admission their knowledge of mead is incredibly limited.
I think this is true for most folks, but I’ve found that experienced brewers often are really good at identifying off-flavors and odors. A lot of that is easily transferable to meads, and if we bring them more samples to taste, they get much better at assessing them quickly. So make and share more mead with your local brew club!