When I went over to my brothers the other weekend, I decided to take a bottle of my first mead.
I remembered what it was like when I was bottling it (still a bit "raw"). I'd also been reading about "de-gassing" - as residual CO2 can affect the flavour.
I bought myself a "vacuvin wine saver". You can use it to keep opened bottles a bit fresher by sucking out some of the air (it is a little vacuum pump and a couple of special stoppers). It will also remove some of the residual CO2 with the vacuum. So I de-gassed the bottle of mead and tried it.
Bloody hell, it wasn't exactly the same as a commercial mead, but it was definitely drinkable. I did stick about half a teaspoon of lactose in it, but it didn't make much difference.
I was just really surprised that it didn't "taste half bad at all". I can't wait to start bottling some of the other meads that I've made, so I can finally get round to judging which recipe really is the best (well to me anyway).
Once I've managed to narrow down the recipe a bit I can then start experimenting with the actual honey I use. Tesco have a reasonable range for me to try, plus I can trawl about the net to see what else I can lay my hands on. Then I can make and age to my hearts content.
Obviously I'll try to keep this updated on how things are getting along.