Did you find an old stored bottle of mead in your storage and are now confused that can I use it?
Then you think that do mead go bad or what is its shelf life?
Some people believe that mead is liquor and, thus, it cannot go bad, but that is not true.
Because after a specific period of time, the drink tends to lose its quality and goes bad if the storing conditions are not appropriate.
Therefore one needs to focus more on better storage if they want their mead to last longer.
What is Mead?
It is a fermented drink that is made with honey, water, and some yeast.
This has been consumed and cultivated everywhere around the world for hundreds of years, but it was more common in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The beverage is also called honey wine in some places.
As the beverage’s primary fermentation is honey, it does not fall in the category of beer, cider, or wine.
Besides its main content, ingredients such as fruits, herbs, grains, roots, and spices are often included in the drink.
The alcohol content in mead can be between 5 to 20%.
These are available in two versions that are still and sparkling.
This drink has a flavor that can range from very sweet to very dry.
The beverage is also popular as a health tonic because of the probiotics content present in it.
How Long Does Mead Last? Does Mead Go Bad?
Mead do go bad over time, but that does not mean that you cannot use them once they are opened.
The drink’s shelf life does not last long if opened, but if you are considering the best-by date as its shelf life, then you are wrong.
Best-by dates are an expected period given by the manufacturer until they ensure that the mead bottle will serve you.
The quality of the drink will be at its peak until that date and will begin to decline after that period.
However, except for taste, the beverage will be completely fine to have.
If we talk about the shelf life of mead, then classic mead can serve you for five years or more.
But once you open the bottle, then this period will not be extended anymore.
That is because the drink will only be good for 3 to 6 months.
But you can increase this life by storing the bottle in the fridge.
But the shelf life of lighter mead will only be up to 6 months in the pantry until the bottle is unopened.
If the drink is opened, then you can only use it for one week.
How to Tell if Mead Has Gone Bad?
- Change in Color.
One must know about the signs from which they can find bad mead.
They are essential to figuring out which bottle is safe to drink and which one you should throw out.
Thus a sign that is easy to notice is a change in the beverage’s color.
Mead does not change its color over time until it has gone bad.
Therefore, if the color of your mead is not similar to before, you must throw it immediately.
- Bitter Flavor.
As the beverage includes honey, the texture will offer you a sweet taste, but this taste will degrade over time.
Therefore you will not get this flavorful taste forever, and once the drink goes bad, the sweet taste will turn bitter.
Thus when you find a bottle, you can take a little sip, and if it offers a bitter taste, it’s time to discard the bottle.
- Rancid Odor.
Fresh mead offers an aroma that is hard to resist, but as time passes, this aroma fades away.
But if the drink gives a rancid odor instead of a good smell, then you need to beware and avoid it.
Odor or bad smell will develop only when the drink is infested with bacteria.
How to Store Mead?
- Selection of the Right Place.
When storing mead, you need to look for a place that is not too exposed to heat and light.
That is because the drink will not be able to last long in a warm temperature.
Thus it will be best if you store it in a cool and dry place.
Excess heat leads the mead to oxidize faster and reduces its shelf life.
- Seal the Bottle.
One should seal the bottle entirely, so it does not react with the outer elements.
That is because if the surroundings have a strong smell, there are higher chances that your mead will go bad earlier than expected.
It would be best to consider its type when you want to preserve your mead bottle for a long time.
That is because storage also depends on the variation of mead you are holding.
They contain different alcohol content, which affects their life, and they need distinct storage facilities.
An open bottle of mead must be kept in the fridge as in the pantry; it will go bad in no time.
You can also see a cloudy texture in the drink if the bottle is stored for longer.
If you can notice cloudiness in your bottle, then be sure to throw it as the beverage has gone bad.
One can use the earlier provided storage measures to keep their mead bottle safe for extended periods.
Avoid storage on kitchen shelves as the area has a higher temperature.
How Long Does Mead Last? Does it Go Bad?
- Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
- Labels and markers
- Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
- If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
- Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.