Overboard as usual
- Jul 15, 2012
- Reaction score
This is from store bought honey, plus an old bottle I’ve had for years that why it has that beautiful amber color. Slightly sweet, but not too sweet. Not bad for my first try.I'm a newbie at wine/mead making, but am thoroughly enjoying the process! That looks like a delicious traditional you have there. So far I've made two different ones from honey out of my own hives--one a light and sweet and the other a dark and dry (but with great mouthfeel!).
My neighbor brought me a bottle that was bottled in 1989. It was ok but was not stored correctly and had oxidized.Looks good to me, I've been told that it must age for 1 to 3 years for it to be at it's best. Good at one year, better in 2 years, and excellent at 3 years. I have several batches going, some with
fruit in them, and some plain.
The idea that mead needs to age to be drinkable is a myth that has arisen because of poor wine making protocol. Sure you can age a good mead to make it incredible, but a badly made mead that is aged is unlikely to even marginally improve. Honey has none of the nutrients that yeast need and so to make a mead without adding nutrients results in stressed yeast. Stressed yeast don't make wonderful alcohol. To make a high ABV mead requires a large colony of viable yeast and so those attempting to make a large volume (relatively speaking) with a large amount of honey with a single packet of wine yeast create stressed yeast.. Like wines from fruit mead is all about balance and high ABV meads are more likely to be out of balance - so again, aging for a few months does not remove faults. Fermenting at higher temperatures results in fusel alcohols rather than ethanol and again, such meads cannot be enjoyed a few months after they are made.. and all of these faults fed into the mythos that a mead needs years of aging before it can be enjoyed. IMO, a session mead can be enjoyed after the same amount of aging a good IPA or stout needs, and a higher ABV mead (12%) can be enjoyed after the same amount of aging you might provide a country (fruit or berry) wine. I routinely make t'ej (an indigenous Ethiopian mead) and t'ej is made to be drunk perhaps 8 weeks after pitching the yeast.
Mine was made with store bought honey. The 3 lb 10 oz was older honey and it was dark and had to actually heat it to get it out of the bottle. I’ll be making this again.I started my first two traditionals back in December, each made from a different honey, one a light-colored, sweet honey I harvested from one of my hives and the other a dark, very flavorful honey I extracted from a colony I cut out of my neighbor's ceiling. I was really hopeful about the dark mead, but by March, it was a disappointment, flabby and boring, while the light mead was delicious. And then the magic happened sometime this month, and now the dark mead has this wonderful, almost sweet beer-like flavor while the other is more like sweet wine. The differences are so striking I would never have guessed they would turn out like that.
Only major difference is that you need to add nutrients (FermaidO is my choice) to mead since honey doesn't have enough to support healthy yeast. Check out TOSNA2 for how much and when to add. Otherwise, mead and wine are virtually the same.It's only 7:30 AM and I already want some! I'm really thinking about trying my hand at mead while my wine is bulk aging. Is there any major difference between the two?