My first batch of Simple Mead 1 has been bottled. Here’s an overview:
- 26 January 2014: Pitched
- 14 February 2014: Racked to secondary
- 19 March 2014: Racked to tertiary
- 27 July 2014: Stabilized
- 16 August 2014: Bottled
Stabilization and Back-Sweetening
To stabilize I followed directions and used 1 Campden Tablet and 0.5 Tsp Potassium Sorbate. I decided to let it sit for a while longer before back-Sweetening and bottling.
As an experiment, I only decided to back-Sweeten half of it. I put up two bottles with the wine as it was. Then I added about 1/8th cup of honey dissolved in a little bit of distilled water. I heated this mixture on the stove and then let it cool. When it was cool, I funneled it into the jug and filled the other bottles.
All told, there were 4 full bottles which were corked and a fifth mostly-filled bottle which I put on a tasting cork and stuffed it into the fridge. I expect to be drinking more of that in the coming days.
The good: It has a good amber color reminiscent of the honey that was used to make it. The mead has a strong and pleasant honey flavor and aroma. It tastes better refrigerated than it does at room temperature.
The bad: There are many off-flavors in the final result. There is still some rawness and hotness to the flavor despite the many months spent aging. That’s not even the worst problem. There are off-flavors. The mead got too much air and tastes oxidized and bitter. There are more than a few vinegar notes. Luckily, after this batch I got a lot better about sanitation and being careful when racking back and forth between different jugs.
In the end this was a good experimental batch, and I learned much about technique including stabilization, back-sweetening and bottling. My second batch of mead is going to be much better than this one, so I’ll be able to put those lessons to good use.