I put 5 oranges into my first 5 gallon mead and after 3 weeks it tastes overpoweringly like grapefruit. I don't like grapefruit.

At 10 days, I racked 2 gallons into a carboy with 2 lb of mulberry (no acid in mulberry) and that batch is very much drinkable now. The other 3 gallons was racked to a separate carboy where it now has an inch of sediment, plus powerful grapefruit aroma.

Will the citrusy batch get less acid over time, or can I do something to it? Could I add honey without the yeast eating it all? I'd like it to be sweeter, to mask or neutralize the citrus, but not as fruity as the mulberry.

The yeast was 5 mg Red Star Cote des Blancs and it worked fast (5 days.)

The pH of each batch is now 3.5 or 4, and SG is 1.00.

  • I for one don't really believe you can "fix" any of these types of issues whether in mead, cider or beer. Its best, IMO to simply take good notes and move on. Next time you know to use 3 oranges instead of 5. It sounds like you have a solution with blending with your mulberry. Or make a neutral mead and blend with that in the glass. Its all a learning experience that makes you a better "Meader".
    – brewchez
    Sep 16, 2011 at 11:52
  • Do you know someone who likes grapefruit and has a brew they'd be willing to trade? That doesn't fix the mead but if you can trade you'd at least have something you enjoy drinking. Also, this sounds tasty (I like grapefruit flavour)! What kind of oranges were these? Does it even matter? Sep 16, 2011 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


Time is your friend. The flavor will never go away completely but it will mellow a bit with age.

Adding honey as you suggest could possibly balance out the grapefruit with more sweetness but it will not get rid of the grapefruit flavor. If you still have viable yeast they will go to work on the new sugars and assuming they have enough O2 they will propagate. You can sorbate to prevent that. Or you can keep adding honey over time until the alcohol content has outstripped your yeast's ability to survive. Cote des Blancs can survive up to 14% ABV. When I add honey to my mead to back sweeten I usually age for at least 6 months after the addition to allow time for the flavors to blend and even out.

  • IMHO - fruit meads need months (6-12) to rest to clear out the "hot" favors
    – BozoJoe
    Apr 27, 2020 at 17:44

Probably the best thing to do now is to blend it against a neutral/standard mead to your tastes. You can't really fix these things once they are made, IMO.

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