View Full Version : Need Help changing ingredients in Joe's Ancient Orange Mead

06-02-2006, 03:55 PM

I'm about to make "Joe's Ancient Orange Cinnamon Clove Mead" but there are a couple changes I want to make just because of what I have to work with. Gotta improvise.

Instead of 1 teaspoon of Fleismann's bread yeast can I substitute that for 1 tsp of Lalvin EC-1118?

And I only have 3 lbs of Clover Honey, not 3 1/2 lbs. Should the 3 lbs be fine for this recipe? I'm okay with it not being as sweet as the original recipe.


06-02-2006, 04:12 PM
First of all, welcome to the boards ! :)

If you want your batch to be sucessful, you need to follow the directions EXACTLY as Joe wrote them ! Get another 1/2 pound of honey and 1 pack of Fleischmann's STANDARD dry yeast - NOT the Rapid Rise, and NOT the cake type.

EC-1118 will take your proposed forumla BONE DRY, and I'm going to guess that with the oranges in, it will not be very pleasant to drink. Joe's recipe takes the tartness of the oranges with rind and balances it with a relatively low alcohol tolerant yeast and plenty of sweetness from the honey.

I'm certainly no expert, but I'm going to guess others will agree with what I'm telling you.

Good Luck and HAVE FUN ! ;D

06-02-2006, 04:37 PM

First off, welcome to the Forums!

Secondly, I'm with GrantLee63 on this. Ancient Joe actively discourages tinkering with the recipe for JAO, and anecdotal evidence here seems to bear him out: even minor variations can throw all the elements out of balance. This doesn't mean you can't make a nice mead this way -- only that it oftentimes takes a lot more work than this recipe promises and delivers.

Thirdly, your changes in the recipe are NOT minor. EC-1118 is a very aggressive fermenter, easily reaching 18% alcohol. Fleischmann's seems to reach 12% to, at best, 14%. 1118 would chew through 3 1/2 pounds of honey without a problem, so it would make short work of only 3 pounds. This will leave your mead, not just not as sweet as regular JAO, but actually bone dry. With the amount of pith (which stands in as a bittering agent in this recipe) and acid from the orange, this will seem really harsh. You might have to age it a loooong time before it smooths out -- if it ever does. JAO was specifically designed by Joe, over the course of years, to work as is, with every ingredient lending balance to the whole.

Instead of EC-1118, I'd substitute another type of bread yeast, such as Red Star or even a fresh yeast of some kind, rather than go with such a strong fermenter. Several people here have used other bread yeasts, and have reported nice results.

Either way, good luck with this, and please keep us updated.

Welcome again!


06-02-2006, 06:16 PM
GrantLee63 and David,

Thanks for the quick input. I'll do the 3 1/2 lbs and get the Fleischmann's Standard Dry yeast.

Great forum this is. Fast and very informative responses.


06-02-2006, 09:25 PM

Don't be a stranger .... and let us know how your JAO mead turns out ! I've learned a LOT since discovering this site as I'm sure you will also.

Ancient Orange is good stuff - I made a 5 gallon batch back in February and decided (AFTER racking it off the bread yeast lees) to let it bulk age a few months before bottling. Sure tastes good the way it is now, but everything I've researched about mead indicates that bulk aging will only improve it - in most cases anyway ...

Good Luck !

06-02-2006, 10:32 PM

I absolutely will let you all know how it goes. I've been making beer for a while and want to try something different.

Any idea how many people here also brew beer?

Mead seems easier than making Beer but it also seems like it takes a lot more patience.

Its gotta be amazing drinking some Mead you made yourself after letting it age for a couple years.