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How Long Does Mead Mix Last? Can It Go Bad?

How Long Does Mead Mix Last? Can It Go Bad?

This delicious honey-based drink is a great addition to your wine collection and your kitchen. Apart from being a beverage, you can add mead to several meals and pastries. It can be used to marinate chicken, bake cakes, and used to add flavor to many beef dishes. Any dish that is made with wine can be made with mead.

Because of its likeness to wine, people often ask, Does mead get bad? Or Does it get better with age like wine? Mead usually has some alcohol content in it. Because of this it has a very long shelf life and can remain good for more than 5 years if it is stored properly. Sometimes it even tastes better with age.

Continue reading to find out how long you can keep your mead for and to recognize when it is going bad.

Can Mead Go Bad

Because of its taste, mead has gained a lot of fancy names over the years including “drink of the gods”. It can be difficult to finish a whole bottle of mead all by yourself, and you can have it sitting in your home for longer than necessary. You need to store it properly to continue enjoying its goodness for as long as possible.

There are two types of Mead, this is classified according to the amount of alcohol they contain. Classic meads are usually higher in alcohol content, they contain between 14 to 19 percent of alcohol. Then there are the lighter meads that contain between 5 to 12 percent of alcohol.

The mead with more alcohol content will last for longer than those with less. If the mead is kept for too long or not stored properly, it can begin to lose taste and flavor.

There are many desserts and dishes that you can make with mead, a little research will go a long way and bring out your creative side while you explore the different ways you can use mead.

How To Store Mead

Storing mead is quite easy, it is advised that you treat your bottle of mead the same way you treat wine. If you have a wine cellar, you can include your bottle of mead to your collection.

For an unopened bottle of mead it is best to store in a cool dry place, preferably dark and away from any direct sunlight or heat. You should not keep it in a cupboard that is above your oven or cooker in order to prolong its life.

If you are not going to finish the entire bottle of mead after opening, remember to close the bottle tightly to prevent oxygen from seeping in. Oxygen is the reason why most meads get bad. If the bottle is closed with a cork, consider storing the wine in a sideways position, this keeps the cork wet and makes it last longer.

Because there are two types of mead, they are stored differently when opened. After you have opened the classic mead, seal it tightly and store it in a cool dry place. Because of its high alcohol content, it will remain fresh for a long time even without a refrigerator.

The lighter mead is more fragile than the classic one. You should cover it tightly whenever it is not in use and it should be refrigerated at all times. Some light mead brands will write on the packaging that you do not need to store it in the refrigerator all the time, if you do not see this instruction on your mead please put it in the refrigerator once opened.

Can You Refrigerate or Freeze Mead

As said earlier, for the lighter variation of mead, you are to refrigerate it after opening because of its low alcohol content. For the classic mead which has a higher quantity of alcohol, you do not have to refrigerate it if you know the bottle will be empty within a few months. But if you want to store it for a longer time or you just want to enjoy some cold mead, there is nothing wrong with refrigerating the stronger mead.

There is no need to freeze your mead. If you accidentally freeze it, just let it thaw out naturally. The taste or flavor might be slightly different but it will be good anyway.

How Long Can Mead Last?

If you store your mead properly, an unopened bottle can last for up to 5 years. The best before date on your mead does not matter. Most mead is made out of honey and natural honey does not expire. This, together with its alcohol content will make unopened mead last longer than its best before date.

For an open bottle, you have to consider the alcohol content in it too. Because of the high alcohol content in the classic mead, it is more stable and can last up to 3 to 6 months after opening.

Just like many other alcoholic beverages, it might not get spoilt after 6 months but the flavor might not be the same as when you just opened the bottle but it will still be good.

Lighter mead is more fragile than classic mead. Once open, in order to get the best out of it you are advised to finish it within a few weeks even if you keep it refrigerated constantly. For the lighter mead, the flavor will remain intact from 24 hours to a few days after opening. Just like the classic mead, it will not go bad but you might not enjoy it as much.

If you have mead with a lower alcohol percentage, you can consume it within a few months after its best before date but the classic mead can be kept for years after its best before date.

How Can You Tell if Mead Has Gone Bad?

Mead hardly gets bad enough to cause any medical issue. Most time the worst you can get from bad mead is reduced taste and quality. If your mead has been in your possession for a long time and you would like to find out if it is still good for consumption, you can check for the following

If your bottle is transparent, you can hold it up and look at the color of the drink. If you notice a change from the original color then your mead might be spoiled.

While your bottle is up, you can also check for signs of cloudiness then pour out a little and taste it. If it has a bitter taste then it might be time to throw it out.

Another thing that might be off with bad mead is the smell, if you notice a bad smell coming from your mead you can toss that bottle and enjoy another drink.

There might be particles at the bottom of your mead if it has been in one position for a while, this does not mean the mead is bad. Just filter off the sediments and your mead is ready to be served.

Is It Okay to Use Expired Mead?

As mentioned earlier, the expiry dates with mead do not really matter. You can enjoy your mead for up to one year after expiry if you have the classic variety and if it is stored properly. While you can use the lighter mead up to 6 months after expiry. The ingredients and alcohol in mead make it safe to use even after best before dates.

Can I Make Homemade Mead

Homemade mead is very popular all over the world. Mead is mostly made with honey, water, and wheat. Some people include various herbs and fruits. There are many recipes to make mead, you can find the one that suits you best and begin to make mead at home.

It is best to sanitize your tools when making mead at home in order to prevent it from getting infected and turning poisonous.

Can I Still Use My Mead That Has Gone Bad?

Mead does not usually get bad to the extent that it has to be thrown away, you can still enjoy it after a long time. But if it has become bitter, smells bad, or changes color it is best to throw it.

Most of the time it is homemade mead that gets infected, if you notice that your mead has gone bad, unfortunately, you cannot use it for anything else just throw it away.



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