My first batch of mead is a off tasting because I tried
a more natural approach of using tea. I think I over did
it by using one cup of strong steeped tea in one gallon.
I think I can actually taste the tea which I don't consider
nice with the mead. I'm ready to give up my natural kick
and switch to grape tannin.
Anyone know about the proper amount of grape tannin in
a gallon of mead and whether you really need the tannin
to offset the honey? I'm fermenting dry btw.
You seem to do some/alot of mead, what are your favourites?
I tried my first about a year ago. It has too much tea flavour
and is also a bit weak. I'm thinking about using fruit in
place of water in order to strengthen it up so I was going
to consider adding some fruit juice such as mango or peach.
Do you add 1/4 tsp per gallon of grape tannin to nearly all
of your meads? How do you decide if to add?
On 2/9/04 6:29 AM, in article
I will generally add 1/4 tsp per gallon of tannin to anything I make that
doesn't have much tannin naturally in the fruit. At this level, you can't
really taste the astringency but I think it does add something to the mouth
feel. I do like meads. I made a couple early on that were really nice - one
with fresh mango fruit and one with blueberries. I like my cranberry melomel
very much. All of those had a bit of residual sweetness added back, so they
were off dry. I have an orange melomel going now that is dry and really
tastes good. Can't wait for this one! I think it will be one of my better
honey wines. By the way, I made it using frozen orange concentrate. It
fermented well and cleared beautifully by itself. I really need to get my
recent wine logs put on-line. One of these days real soon.
Since I don't want to fool around with sorbate at this
point I'd like to stick with fermenting dry. What was
your favourite dry melomel other than the orange which
isn't finished? Do you have the recipes online as well?
On 2/10/04 11:30 AM, in article
To be honest, I haven't made that many dry melomels. The one apricot melomel
was pretty good, but I used sulfured dried apricots, and it had a lingering
sulfur taste that spoiled it. One of the best dry honey wines I have tasted
was made by a winery in North Dakota (Pointe of View Winery). They added
dried elderflowers (just a bit) and aged it in oak barrels. It has to be the
nicest dry mead ever.
My older logs/recipes are on-line, but I don't have the 2003 and 2004
bottlings put up yet.
On 2/10/04 7:50 PM, in article
I will always add some acid blend or lemon juice. First, because I like my
wines tart, and second, most fruits at the levels we are adding them, don't
provide enough acid. If you have an acid testing kit, that is the best way
to know if you need acid and approximately how much. If you are following
basic wine recipes for the amount of acid, it may be too much. Honey tends
to have a significant amount of acid in it. I just checked my orange melomel
log and I did add 8 tsp of tartaric acid to it for 5 gallons. (I copied my
log below). One thing about honey is the acid profiles tend to be quite
different than other wines. There is often less buffering from other
dissolved salts and pH can swing a lot during fermentation. This is the
cause of a lot of the stuck fermentations that is observed with meads. Some
of the acids in honey tend to get metabolized by the yeast leading to too
low acid. Usually with fruits added, this is less of a problem because
there's more "stuff" there. Mead is a complicated beast as acids go. If all
else fails, go by the taste! If it stops fermenting, add a little acid.
Thanks for all of your replies, I appreciate the
informative answers. I think I'll be starting another
mead this weekend and am going to stay away from the
tea and go with slightly less than 1/4 tsp of grape
tannin per gallon. The reply on mead acid profiles
had some items I hadn't thought about. Thanks again.