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View Full Version : Joe's Ancient Orange -- Need Advice!



Yevgeni
02-07-2008, 03:55 AM
Hello all fellow mead lovers! This is my first of (hopefully) many posts.

I decided to take the plunge back in late November and brewed me up a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange. I followed the recipe to the letter. For my total honey volume I used approx. 3/4 walmart honey and 1/4 ungraded orange blossom. (I don't know if that'll affect the outcome at all...)

So my predicament is this: On Feb 17, it'll have been three months, but my must is still rather cloudy-looking. It looks like it's cleared up a little over the past two weeks, but it refuses to take on that "golden nectar" clarity. From what I understand, if all of your oranges have sunk to the bottom, it should be more than done. Mine have sunk to the bottom. The mead smells amazing, and from what I can tell, fermentation is complete. Maybe I'm a complete n00b, but shouldn't I at least be able to see thru the mead? How should I proceed at this point? It tastes OK from samples I've taken for gravity testing. Should I go ahead and bottle? What should I be looking for in terms of a finished product?

Thanks in advance,
Jon

gbobeck
02-07-2008, 04:26 AM
Welcome to Got Mead! :icon_thumleft:

There are many different ways to approach this.

From my prospective, there are two easy options to choose from: bottle it "as is", or rack it over to another carboy and let it sit longer.

My first batches of mead were made under guidance of a more experienced meadmaker friend. I remember him telling me that a little cloudiness doesn't matter much if you are making mead for your own consumption. If the batch is finished fermenting, it should be ok for bottling. It may drop more sediments in the bottle, though.

If you want a more clarified product, maybe racking it over to another carboy and letting it age longer will help. It should also be possible to add clarifying agents, however I've never used them (or any other brewing chemicals, for that matter) in my meads.

Hope that helps a bit...

Jandra
02-07-2008, 05:47 AM
Hello and Welcome

I'm not a very experienced mead-maker, but in my few batches I've found that racking into a clean carboy really helps with clearing. If you cold-crash the mead in your fridge (or outside if your temps are suitable) for 48 hours before racking it works even better.

Good luck,
Jandra

Teufelhund
02-07-2008, 05:02 PM
Jon,

I'd rack it into another carboy and just let it sit to clear naturally. I'd also suggest taking a SG and Brix measurement. Taste it and see if you'd like more, say, cloves, to suit your taste. Cold crashing will also quicken the clarification process.
Airlock it and test every month or so.
Good luck and definitely keep us up on how it tastes! Mine is almost done too, so hopefully we can compare notes.

:cheers:

DD

Yevgeni
02-08-2008, 12:37 AM
Thanks for all the wonderful advice! I've started my cold-crashing tonight and I'll be bottling on Saturday. I'll definitely let y'all know how it turns out.

Amoryl
02-08-2008, 05:41 PM
the most important question is "How does it taste?"

personally I think a bit of cloudy sometimes lends some character, sets it apart from the bland tasteless commercial garbage, shows that it was homemade. though many don't like this. I say if it tastes good, I'll drink it!

liff
02-08-2008, 09:09 PM
the most important question is "How does it taste?"

personally I think a bit of cloudy sometimes lends some character, sets it apart from the bland tasteless commercial garbage, shows that it was homemade. though many don't like this. I say if it tastes good, I'll drink it!


Great advise always. If you like the end product, than there is none better.

gbobeck
02-11-2008, 04:46 AM
the most important question is "How does it taste?"

personally I think a bit of cloudy sometimes lends some character, sets it apart from the bland tasteless commercial garbage, shows that it was homemade. though many don't like this. I say if it tastes good, I'll drink it!


I totally agree.

When I started out with my first batches, I was more concerned about the taste of my meads than the apperance. Producing something I could be proud of as well as enjoy took significantly higher presidence than clearness of the batch. At that time, I wasn't thinking of entering competitions or selling my meads, so I didn't have to worry about what others think of them. I am still of this mindset today.

Recently, I was able to do a comparison between a (clear) commercian cranberry mead vs. my (slightly cloudy) unfinished batch of cranberry mead. I firmly believe my still cloudy and unaged batch beat the commercial stuff in the taste dept.

David Baldwin
02-12-2008, 02:12 PM
If you want it clear in a hurry. You might try a fining agent. I have used a two part liquid product that worked very well. I have not found that it strips color or flavor from the finished mead.

David Baldwin

Yevgeni
08-28-2008, 11:12 PM
Re-opening a thread I posted months ago!

The mead was a huge hit. You all were right about the cold crashing. I bottled it straight out of the jug and put it in liter bottles. After sitting in the fridge for a couple of days, it cleared up rather nicely.

As for the taste of it, it's a helluva lot better than any of the 2 commercial meads that are available in my area. The flavor is amazing and complex. I did break a tiny rule and use some champagne yeast I had laying around. This definitely made the mead drier and upped the alcohol content. The higher alcohol content made some more of my lighter-drinking friends gag because of the 18% alcohol content, so I think next time I'll stick with the Fleischmann's. The aroma is entirely orange-like. In fact, it smells similar to raw orange peel. The actual flavor definitely has a strong orange note with a slightly musty finish. All in all, I'm extremely happy with how this turned out, but I think the orange is a little overwhelming and it needs a little less alcohol content to bring out the flavors of the honey I used.