#41  
Old 07-19-2009, 09:10 PM
Mitchamus's Avatar
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

I made some mead about 2 months ago... and it tastes like ****!!!
I think this is may be due to the clearing agents I put in it, but it does have a very yeasty taste. I used a dry wine yeast, It was all my local home brew shop had. I wanted to use a sherry yeast to punch up the sweetness (and alcohol content).. but hey.. I'm impatient.. what can I say!


I'm going to keep it, just in case in 6 months time it tastes better.

personally, I won't make anything with wild yeasts.. why go to all that bother and expense prepping everything, only to get a foul tasting product from a bad yeast strain!.. I mean what a waste!

my preferred source of natural yeast is sultanas,
I use sultana's in my fresh ginger beer, they work great without having to add commercial yeast, I wouldn't waste good ingredients on airborne yeasts, but hey.. that's me.. I guess it adds a certain mystery to it...

My next meade experiment will be a blackberry Melomel, just waiting for summer to come around so I can pick the blackberries!!!

Last edited by Mitchamus; 07-19-2009 at 09:14 PM. Reason: 10 thumbs
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  #42  
Old 08-23-2009, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

Mitch, do give it some time - it may turn out just fine.

I recently uncorked a bottle of now year-old mead, which was a first effort and it is way better now than it was when first made. I still prefer wine or cider but it beats beer in my books! Mine was a honey-orange beginner's recipe that called for bread yeast. It has a nice honey nose to it but I'd prefer not to have citrus in the taste even though it's fairly subdued. Not sure if it's time to tackle a different mead recipe or try making cider instead - neither would work well with pizza but either would be just fine with bread.
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  #43  
Old 08-24-2009, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

I brew cider at least once a week using a product called OZTOPS (google it) It is so easy. I buy 3L of apple juice and add about 1/2 cup of local honey (to supercharge it) then about 1/4 tsp of all purpose wine yeast put the top on and forget about it for a week. When the fermentation has settled and most of the sweetness has gone simply refrigerate the bottle which tells the yeast to go to sleep and you have a delightful, sparkling alcoholic drink. Better still no bottle washing when its finished use the top again for the next brew.
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  #44  
Old 08-24-2009, 07:04 PM
MK1 MK1 is offline
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

I'll throw in my 2 cents, since I am an award winning zymurgist. I entered one contest 3 years ago took a first and a second place, very small obscure contest with maybe only 3 entries but I didn't get a third!
Conventional wisdom in brewing circles is that you can achieve great results with wild yeast on occasion. Most experienced brewers (cheap) don't care to risk valuable ingredients to a hit or miss process. I make cider every year in the fall. I use White Labs sweet mead yeast as it does not attenuate to highly. The sugars in honey and cider are very fermentable and result in a too dry a beverage thus the need to back sweeten.
My cider needs about 4-6 months to smooth out and compares quite well to some of the English ciders like Strongbow. Never add water to any fermenting beverage. Never use a secondary unless you enjoy oxidation and an incomplete fermentation. Let it stay on the yeast until final gravity is achieved. This allows the yeast to clean up undesirable compounds. Never start the ferment at high temps. This produces fusel alcohol (hot tasting) and headaches.
Sorry for the rant, but I think most here want more than a good pizza or decent bread. If we're going to expend the time and effort we want to achieve the best we possibly can.

Mark
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  #45  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

Interesting tips - those OzTops sound like they make the smaller, quicker versions dead easy and those reasons for never using a secondary are good to know. I think I'm gearing up to give cider a go since apple season is approaching and I can likely find an orchard nearby to get fresh-pressed, untreated juice. The problem, though, as I understand it, is that there are specific cider apples, very different from the eating & baking apples sold everywhere, and not readily available on this side of the pond. I've heard though that North American home cider makers compensate for this by using a minor percentage of crabapple juice - or perhaps I need to surround my oven with a cider orchard??
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  #46  
Old 08-25-2009, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah h View Post
perhaps I need to surround my oven with a cider orchard??
I definitely want to do that!... one day...

I think they take 3-5 years to bear fruit though...
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  #47  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

I read somewhere that cider is improved by using a few varieties of apples rather than one only. This was part of my reason for adding the honey. The other reason was to boost the alcohol content. The honey imparts a very nice aftertaste.
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  #48  
Old 08-26-2009, 07:36 PM
MK1 MK1 is offline
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Default Re: Mead made with wild yeast

A famous homebrewer Denny Conn lives in apple country (Oregon) and he is noted for his creativity and empiricism. He says he went to great effort a few times to select varieties for his cider. It made little difference. What makes the difference is the fermentation. Proper temp is a must. My batch from last year is very good. I use Potassium metabisulfite to kill the wild yeast, let it sit for 24 hours (winemakers use this) and it chemically changes into some regular compound and then I add the sweet mead yeast, White Labs WLP720. I don't do it any favors. I try to impede it a little by pitching less yeast than would be proper by beer or wine standards. I want it to ferment a little slow and incompletely leaving some sugars behind.

Mark
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