Slow Mead

In May of 2012 we started trying to make our own mead. We made three separate batches, all done around the same time, but done differently — different types of honey, different additives, slightly different overall process.

Letting it sit for a while and tasting it at various stages, we FINALLY bottled it today. Talk about taking our time! Mead takes a long time, so maybe this is somewhat appropriate.

The clarity of the mead has been quite good for a while, and we’ve been meaning to bottle it. I think I purchased the bottles over a year ago. I may have left some of the mead on some of the lees (yeast carcasses at the bottom) too long, but we’ll see. I wouldn’t say that any of the batches are fantastic yet, but they say some stronger meads can take 2-3 years and up before they’re really good …

At an earlier taste test one of the batches had a distinct sort of rubber aroma which was quite yucky. I’m pleased to say that wackiness has aged out completely. Whew! Just goes to show how important it is to age mead.

One of the batches, batch #1 as it would happen, was pretty good at the six month mark, but we decided to let it go longer as mead is supposed to take a while to age properly. At that time I made some cyser because I wanted to try something that was quicker. The cyser was not bad. I still have one bottle of it. I kind of wish I saved two. Oh well.

Mead batch #1, the one that was a fairly nice at six months, has lost nearly all of its sweetness now. In fact, I’d have to say the same for all three batches — all dry and not really sweet at all. I guess that’s somewhat to be expected. Maybe.

Two of the batches taste fairly strong now. As I didn’t own a hydrometer when I started the mead (kicking myself), I don’t know the actual alcohol content. I can guess, however, and if I compare to other known beverages, I’d guess these are the high end of what the yeast tolerated, maybe 14%? Maybe 16%? 18%? Ack.

I REALLY wish I could find my notes. I HAVE them. Somewhere. That would tell my the exact type of yeast I used and the recipe for each of these batches.

I don’t mind the dryer mead. It’s has a beautiful aroma. One of the batches tastes close to a dry white wine. Not bad, but it’s not really the traditional mead that I was going for either. Two of the batches seem a little strong, a bit like firewater. So maybe this stuff is good for dry mead that just needs to age a bit more. Um, don’t know.

I think I’ll leave all to age longer except for the two bottles that didn’t get filled all the way. Those are free game for experimentation! I’ll get out my mad scientist/mixologist hat. I may try back sweetening a bit to get more of the sweeter honey-mead flavor that I’m used to. Maybe I’ll add a bit of acid to one of the batches as it seems a little flat. And I need to find those notes.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. eve1ynaster
    Oct 12, 2014 @ 18:13:38

    Quite a process! Keep us posted if you add sweetner back in to your experiments and if it works.


  2. alightningbug
    Oct 12, 2014 @ 18:56:27

    Thank you for visiting! Indeed, it is quite a process. Mead is not quick — although we could have consumed batch #1 a few months out and been perfectly happy with it. The others, no. I will experiment and update!


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