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Safe to consume?

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Dusty Trail

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 11, 2022
4
0
1
Texas
Hello all. I have a couple bottles of mead I made with dewberries two years ago that have been sitting in my wine cellar…aka a bedroom closet..for two years. For those that don’t know, dewberries are basically wild blackberries. Very tasty and they grow in my area. I only do gallon batches, two bottles were consumed at the end of one year and were good and these two were put away. The ABV is 11%. In time the color went from a beautiful red blush hue to a golden amber. Still pretty and clear. Since this is only 11% ABV is it still good after two years? I’ve read that lower alcohol content meads don’t have a very good shelf life. Sorry but I don’t know what would be considered a low ABV. I have other bottles that are 14% from different batches. Also, if it’s still consumable, once opened will it need to be refrigerated? The last time I had an opened bottle of dewberry mead sitting around it didn’t llast long enough to need refrigeration. Lol.
Thanks to all,
Dusty
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,427
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48
Ottawa, ON
Should be fine. I've had lower ABV stuff sit around longer. Much longer. <looks at the half-empty bottle of sweet tangelo vanilla mead that's been sitting out in daylight since the last Gotmead Live episode... from...2007... at 9%... that's frigging delicious> And if it's not, take note of how it's not and be as descriptive as possible, maybe we can help you figure out what happened.
 
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Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,493
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Denver
I'm betting you didn't stabilize with sulfites and sorbate to the proper amounts and it's oxidized now. Rusting, if you will. How much sulfites did you add over time? Did you oak it at all?
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
Hi Dusty,
Even with sulfites losing blush berry color with some darkening is typical and, in my experience, hard to prevent. Perhaps having good cellaring conditions helps but I don't have that so I cannot say. I have aged some 11% ABV meads for over 10 years and they do well even with crappy storage. If the meads get overheated that can lead to darkening and sherry-like aroma but even then, it may still be quite tasty.

I'd guess your 2-year-old mead probably tastes better now that it did back then. A year or 2 of aging tends to bring out the best in meads.
Let's us know how it tastes.
-Medsen
 

Dusty Trail

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 11, 2022
4
0
1
Texas
Thanks for the replies everyone! We didn’t turn green, or pass out and we did wake up the next morning so I’m guessing it’s safe to consume. It’s smoother now than I remember it being a year earlier but it is somewhat like a sherry. Still very tasty. The berry and honey notes are more noticeable now. Heat is a problem here but that’s just the way it is. In this batch, no, I didn’t use sorbate or sulphite but in a couple later batches I did at a rate of one campden tab and 1/2 tsp sorbate per gallon and it didn’t seem to make a difference color or taste wise. I don’t know, I’ve read different opinions on using those. I’m very much a dabbler in the craft at this point and only make one gallon batches. As far as oak I’ve never added it to anything but my grill. Lol. Thanks again for the replies. Your opinions and comments are very much appreciated.
 
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