Leigh Erwin: Worrying About A Mead

Holding A Glass Of Cloudy MeadHi everyone!
So, I’m a few weeks behind on racking my mead, but there didn’t appear to be anything growing on it, so I figured that was probably OK.
My mead is still very cloudy, which comes as no surprise to me since after doing a little research I read it takes a long time for mead to clear AND I haven’t added any clarifying agents to speed up the process.  At the rate it’s going to clear, I most likely will have to help it along a little with some clarifying agents at some point, because I don’t want to have to run the risk of transporting a carboy full of wine to a new home if we end up moving in a couple of months.
I’m not very confident about this particular batch of mead for a few reasons:

  1. I’ve never made mead before, nor have I tasted anyone else’s developing mead, so I have no frame of reference when it comes to what the wine should taste like during each stage of the process.  I’ll be honest, I don’t like what I taste right now.  Of course, wines take time to develop into themselves, but at least with grape wine, I am more confident in determining whether or not I think it’s in the “right place” at any given time than I am right now with the honey wine.  To me, my mead tastes kind of “off”.  It tastes yeasty and something else I can’t put my finger on.  There doesn’t appear to be any nasty after taste in my mouth after swallowing, so maybe this is what it’s supposed to taste like at this stage?
  2. Shop Wine ClarfiersI have a lot of head space in my carboy (a few inches deep).  I’ll be honest, I’m not putting much effort into this batch of wine as I should be, due to the fact that I am getting married soon and the majority of my energy has been spent preparing for that big day.  I know I could add water or more wine (the latter which I don’t have) to top the carboy off, but I’m really lazy right now and am just doing the bare minimum.  Also, the fact that it’s been sitting in a carboy for 2 months and doesn’t appear to have anything growing on it makes me feel a little bit better about it.

I suppose one good thing is that my fiancé doesn’t think it’s as bad as I think it is.  Then again, my fiancé loves super cheap grocery store boxed wine, so his tolerance for off-wines is pretty high.
Well, I’m hoping that things will change a bit in the sensory department after I clarify and sweeten the wine, but for now, I’m not so sure.  It would be nice to hear from you if you’ve made mead—am I just being crazy and everything is just fine?  We’ll see!

Leigh ErwinMy name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.

0 thoughts on “Leigh Erwin: Worrying About A Mead

  1. Hello Leigh. I have been making mead for several years now. Sometimes it clears, sometimes it is cloudy. I have stopped worrying about it. In fact, I usually find that the cloudier mead has a bolder, fuller taste than the clear mead.

    FYI, I also have several 5 and 6 gallon carboys and sometimes have to use the 6 gallon ones for the 5 gallons of mead. I never bother to top off, just make sure the airlock is good and remains full of water.

    As for the taste, did you let it aerate? I have had several batches with an odd, almost moldy smell when the bottle opens, but after a few minutes of aerating (or using an aerator when I pour), the smell goes away and the taste is fine.

    I usually let my mead sit in the carboy for 8 – 10 months (OK, I do occasionally use a wine thief to "taste" it and 5 gallons is usually down to 4 before I bottle). I have found it ages better all together and more evenly all together than in separate bottles, but that it tastes best after two or more years of aging.

    My suggestion (my recent plan) is to make 2-3 batches of the same mead at the same time (or use the 10 – 15 gallon fermenters) as it is otherwise difficult to have bottles left several years later. 🙂