Sunday, August 29, 2010

Will it taste like shit ?

Raspberry Melomel
Ok, so I've just racked the raspberry melomel that I mentioned in an earlier post. I'd been a bit lazy, but also a bit pressed for time recently and it was left in the bucket with too much air space, though in truth most of that air space will have been CO2, not just air.....

So, from memory, it was initially 1.3kg of blended Polish honey, some steam extracted raspberry juice and some red grape juice. The yeast ? from memory it was Lalvins 71B.

Now when it was nearly finished, I added about another 600 to 700 grammes of honey (actually what was left in a jar that I'd been using for other stuff - about half a jar).

That went in and I left it, then when I tested it to see if it was finished, it was just below 1.000, about 0.998 or something like that. So then I thought about making it a bit more "raspberryish" as the whole point of the exercise was so that it didn't taste so much of the blended honey.

So I pinched a bag of frozen raspberries out of the freezer and chucked them in too.

Now as I already said I want it more raspberryish tasting. I finally found a few minutes to get it racked, not really to remove all the yeast etc, but to get it off the fruit and start it clearing. With that in mind, I did rack it reasonably carefully but it's still very cloudy as you can see. I got that gallon in the picture and another 750ml wine bottle full (the wine bottle full is in the fridge - because when I checked it - it was showing a gravity of about 1.005 which is where I want it but in a wine bottle I don't want it starting to re-ferment if it should warm up a little.

I did take a taste of the little bit that was left in the bottom of the test/sample jar - hard to tell how it's gonna finish really as it's very yeasty tasting etc.

The gallon in the picture was racked onto a half teaspoon of stabiliser/sorbate and 1 crushed campden tablet.

Why I've posed the question of "will it taste like shit", I know that I haven't made many fruit meads/melomels and those I have done haven't in my view been that successful. Well, Ok, maybe they were, but they didn't come out how I expected them too - I haven't managed to find any commercially made fruit meads/melomels to compare to so I really don't know. Hence not knowing whether they're any good or not .............

One thing I did do, was before flushing all the pulp/fruit, was to pick out a raspberry and taste it. I now understand what is meant by seed bitterness. There was a bit of raspberry taste left, but not much, but I got a distinct bitterness taste as I squashed the fruit in my mouth. Strange, as I'd never associated raspberries with being bitter. Sharp and/or acid yes, but not bitter.

I only knew of that from reading stuff.

I'm thinking that if it stays tasting like it does now (not the yeast element, but the rest staying the same) what will it taste like after it's aged ? Should I just say bollocks to it and back sweeten it once it's clear ? I'm quite happy to do that with honey as any tiny amount of yeast sediment that continues to drop out is gonna be 71B which is, as I understand it, Ok for ageing a wine/mead on.

After all, I won't be drinking it for a while anyway. Maybe I should just stick a couple of teaspoons of malt extract into it ? Or sugar syrup ?

It doesn't taste very acidic as the yeast metabolises some of the malic acid in the raspberry, so it's possible that I might still need to add a little of that as well.

Hum ? still a bit of a quandary eh! Maybe I'll just see if the bottle full in the fridge has dropped most of it's sediment and then experiment a bit with it, even though it's really there for topping up........

It's supposed to be 6 bottles to the gallon so if I started with pouring off the mead once it's cleared/cold crashed a bit, then I might just try 1/8th teaspoon of acid and then about the same of malt extract to see how that works. If it gives some sort of improvement (well to my taste anyway) that'll do.

I really don't understand why it is that I "don't get" this mead making with fruit etc, it just seems wrong to my way of thinking. Sure I know that lots of people make them like that and I have to presume successfully as well - it's just that I don't get it.........

Right, off to put some more thought into this......

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Novelty Air Lock.......

One of the newer members over at gotmead obviously decided to make a batch of "JAO" and then took the "use a balloon with a pinhole in it for the airlock" just a little further than normal.

Hence my thread title of "novelty airlock". If it works, then WTF! eh ?