View Full Version : Yuck! What do I do?

09-12-2006, 12:09 PM
I made some JAO (followed to the 'T'(yup, another JAO problem)) that had refused to clear, so I added some potassium sorbate poison. Amazingly, it started fermenting again, so I threw in some sugar and it bottled with a nice carbonation.


Point is, I don't like it. It's very bitter and even a 1/3 ratio of JAO to OJ is still overwhelmingly pungent. :icon_puke_r: Is this what they call "green"? Is there any way to dilute or sweeten it?

I'm keeping a majority in the other container for aging, and I'm clearing out some IBC rootbeer bottles to siphon the rest out so I can try a braggot.

09-12-2006, 12:44 PM
When did you start the batch?

09-12-2006, 01:22 PM
Around mid-May, 15th or 16th, can't remember exactly. It stopped fermenting around the 10th of August, and I got fed up and added potassium sorbate on the 25th. The fruit had already fallen by then. Cleared immediately, but I didn't bother it until three days ago.

09-12-2006, 01:44 PM
You had an unusually long fermentation for a JAO.

In your first post you mention you followed the recipe to the T. What specific yeast did you use? Sometimes folks use the Red Star or Rapid Rise yeast without considering it a departure from the exact recipe.

Also, why the sorbate? Sorbate will not stop an active fermentation, and should be used in conjunction with sulfites in order to keep Acetobacter sp infections from arising.

Lemme know,


09-12-2006, 02:31 PM
The sorbate had little to do with it clearing. The pugency can come from the cloves - how many did you add?

Some have traced their bitterness to the oranges used.

How much sorbate did you add?
What was the room temp for those three months?

It shouldn't be green. My gallon of JAO was excellent at 3-1/2 months.

09-12-2006, 02:40 PM
Does what you are describing as pugency or bitterness taste like you are chewing on the rinds of the oranges? This taste is very common with the Ancient Orange recipe...

If not, could you maybe compare the taste to something else we could relate to?

09-12-2006, 04:15 PM
The taste does feel close to chewing on pith and rinds. It's just so powerful that it is hard to tell. The smell is that of a rotting orange. Is that bad? I kinda like that smell. LOL

I added only about 1/16 tsp. sorbate for clearing. Whether it worked or not, it was completely clear in almost two weeks. Used Fleischmann's Active Dry bread yeast and made sure it wasn't rapid-rising as I have read about in the forums. Room temp was 75 degrees constant.

I used a weak-tasting valencia orange (curse you Publix! Selling dozen bags only), and two very old cloves that taste no more powerful than a dead stick fresh off a tree. Literally no potency in the cloves, that's for sure.

09-12-2006, 04:23 PM
The pith and rind taste is the weakness in the recipe and something that some of us are exerimenting to try and improve upon. It will mellow out a little over time but not a lot. Some people like that taste, some of us do not...

It was recommended to me to leave the oranges out and juct use the juice from them so I have a batch in process to do just that...

The rotten orange taste confuses me a little bit so I can't help you there. Like spoiled orange juice?

09-12-2006, 04:36 PM
I wouldn't say it's spoiled juice, but just hard to swallow. :P

Maybe I'll just add peeled orange slices or packaged slices (like Craisins) next time. But yeah, the rind and pith part is probably not my favorite taste either. The stuff in the container will age, the rest I'll slowly get rid of by adding tiny bits in food and drink. Just wanted to make sure that this wasn't the actual "taste" or JAO.

09-12-2006, 11:46 PM
There is a technique some may want to try sometime, and that I may try next time, called 'supreming' the orange, that might solve this pithy problem.

I plan to use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove just the orange part of the peel, which I want to use. Then, I'll supreme the orange which will give me the inside meaty part of the orange without the white part of the pith.

Hard to describe how to do this with words, but basically what you do is carve off the outside of the orange, then carve out the inner segments one at a time by slicing toward the center and freeing them individually.

Nothing to it! :laughing4:

That would give me the zest and the supremes, but not the bitter pith. Now, being a health nut, I would go on to consume the pith afterward since it is LOADED with antioxidants and such, but that's just the sort of beat-me-over-the-head-with-a-granola-bar kinda gal I am. :tongue1:

09-15-2006, 10:49 AM
I'm trying JAO again, but this time I'm supreming the orange like you suggested, then blanching the individual pieces (that is, throwing them in boiling water then quickly transferring to icewater) just before I put them in the carboy. Of course I'll eat the piths and zest the rinds for future cooking. I miss my orange grove. :'(

Putting my braggot attempt on hold until I get this right. :P

09-16-2006, 10:48 PM
The taste does feel close to chewing on pith and rinds. It's just so powerful that it is hard to tell. The smell is that of a rotting orange. Is that bad? I kinda like that smell. LOL

From living in Florida and having a lot of oranges from different trees, oranges can have a huge taste difference, some make great juice, while others don't, even if they are from the same tree. But I don't know how you can stand the rotten orange smell, when I mowed over a pile of rotten ones someone left in the yard and I almost chucked up my lunch.

09-17-2006, 01:41 PM
I live in Florida, too. All of my orange trees were removed in 2004, for suspected citrus canker (test was negative, had to take the contractor to court, long story).

Oranges aren't in season right now, and ones being sold usually rot from three days to a single night. I'll resort to the three week CW mead until then.

09-17-2006, 03:11 PM
Where would you be located in florida?