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Strange transformation?

African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members

Kveld-Ulf

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 1, 2007
4
0
0
First off, I'm new here (been lurking around for a while though), so greeting ;D :wave:

I've just bottled my first batch of mead, and while there were some problems leading up to this point, it seemed I had made a decent first attempt.
I used:
13 pounds clover/alfalfa honey (locally produced)
3 pounds elderberries
The honey was mixed with the water and heated (not boiled), then, the same process was used for the berries. I don't remember the yeast brand. It came with my equipment, but I remember reading that it wasn't a low quality yeast(not very helpful, I know). Fermentation went smoothly.

As I was bottling (1 gallon jugs, as I wanted to go somewhere between bulk aging and small bottles), I set aside some for tasting. This was very alcoholic, with the elderberry acidity overpowering the honey a little. Not what I planned, but not bad either. My brother later wanted to taste some, so we opened the set aside bottle.... he was less impressed than I thought he'd be. Upon tasting it myself, I realized it's taste had drastically changed over just a few hours. Its much more watery...far less 'kick' and flavour. It still smells fine, and otherwise there is nothing I can see wrong with it.
Is this a common occurence, or did something go wrong? Keep in mind this hasn't aged at all.
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
Administrator
Dec 26, 2004
7,874
5
0
31
The OC
OK,

Welcome to Gotmead.com!

I didn't see any dates or gravity readings in your post. We'll need to know several things:

1. Starting Gravity
2. Ending Gravity
3. How long did you let it age before bottling?
4. Are the 1 gallon jugs sealed or airlocked?
5. What was the original total volume of the must?

If you didn't take a gravity reading to start with we can kind of estimate what it may be based on the volume if the honey and an assumption that you're making a five gallon batch. With that in mind 13 lbs hone, 4 lbs elderberries and water to 5 gallons will give you a starting gravity somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.098 with a PABV (potential alcohol by volume) of about 13%

Given the alcohol tolerance of most wine yeasts I'd say you have a dry mead in the area of 12-14% ABV

Question is how old is it, and has it cleared yet?

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

Kveld-Ulf

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 1, 2007
4
0
0
1. Starting SG was about 1.066, but further examination showed that this number was inaccurate. The density of the must was not uniform.

2. SG at bottling was 1.000

3. As mentioned, not at all. I'm trying to see if this will be a bad batch, or if aging will improve it. It just seems strange that such a sudden change would occur.

4. Sealed.

5. 7 gallons, transfered to 6 gallon carboy.

The tolerance of the yeast is 18%. The total time from opening the honey to bottling was almost 1 month (thats when fermentation ceased). I'm intending to bottle age it. I've seen recently that bulk aging is recommended, but I don't have another carboy (primary was a bucket). It has not quite cleared.
 

Kveld-Ulf

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 1, 2007
4
0
0
New info... upon washing out the 'test' bottle, with just hot water, the water turned dark blue. The must is pink, until adding hot water... is this a bad thing?
 
African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members