|This is our new stray cat, Buffy
She looks like I feel.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough,” Albert Einstein
I posed a simple question on Facebook’s Mead Makers page. What should I expect a semi-sweet mead to taste like at the one month racking?
Almost all the answers were the same: “You will get a feel for it over time.”
While this may be true, it is condescending and the most useless answer I can imagine.
In fact it takes me back to when I learned to drive a stick-shift. If anyone ever taught you this, they said the same thing: “You have to push the gas at the exact same time you let off on the clutch… you will get a feel for it over time.”
Well, that’s bull shit! The truth is that you actually give it a little gas before you let off the clutch or it will stale. Sure, over time you “get a feel for it” but that is what is actually taking place.
So if you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t answer it.
All that being said, I want to make a few notes about my first three meads. I have quit using a paper journal to keep these sorts of notes so I now put them here… read at your own risk:
We tasted my first mead after a year of aging last Christmas. It was strong but fairly tasteless. To describe it a little better it was very dry and only had the faintest hint of honey.
Two days ago (after two years) I decided to bottle it and found that the airlock had gone dry. I tasted it. To my surprise it didn’t taste like vinegar. More surprisingly, it didn’t taste like much of anything. The dry tasteless mead now tasted like it had been watered down. It still tasted fairly dry (though not as strong) and tasted as if it had been diluted with at least 3/4 water.
I poured it down the sink.
I just made #2 (#2 hehehehe) mead about two months ago. I racked it at week 4 and tasted it as I did. The alcohol taste was overpowering and I couldn’t taste much else.
Since I had only made 1.5 litters on this one, I decided to put it in two screw top bottles (I later read that screw-tops don’t seal too well). Just the same, I left one bottle as is and added a 1/4 cup of honey to the other bottle.
After two weeks, I again racked the two bottles into fresh ones (they both had a lot of sediment) and I added distilled water to fill them up. I tasted both.
The “as is” bottle tasted sweet and the alcohol taste had gone away. Looks like this one might be good by Christmas.
The one I had back sweetened was too sweet – like drinking pure honey. I don’t think this one will be drinkable.
I corked both.
This mead stopped bubbling after a very vigorous week (I didn’t hydrate my yeast and that may have made it stale). So at a week and a half, I racked it. I did not taste it but I will wrack it again in a couple of weeks and make notes of the taste then.
By all means, if any mead makes read this and have any “actual” answers, please leave a comment.