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greebo
12-12-2008, 05:50 AM
Hi all,

I just made my first batch of mead. Joe's Ancient Orange as per instructions. Everything seemed to go smoothly, but I am concerned with the lack of bubbling coming from the airlock.

The air lock is bubbling every 5-8 seconds (probably more towards 8 ) - is this a problem?


I followed the thread instructions as close as I could. I am in New Zealand so I could not choose the exact yeast described in the recipe. (I used a fresh, good standard bread yeast here). Everything else was followed closely, I used last season's honey from my hive.

I have a 5 litre carboy which is a bit bigger than the 1 gallon (~3.8 litre) carboy mentioned in the JAO recipe thread. Is this a potential problem?

-g

Oskaar
12-12-2008, 06:10 AM
Howdy Greebo!

Welcome to Got Mead?

The Biggest and Bestest Mead Resource on the World Wide Web!

Things I'd check:

1. Seal on the airlock - Make sure it's tight, in place and sealed. Many times there can be gaps if the airlock is not sufficiently set into place and the offgassing of the CO2 will slip out of those unplugged gaps so the airlock will look to be sluggish and lazy.

2. Temperature - Depending on your ambient temperature it's a good idea to keep your fermenting JAO in the low 70's F range.

3. Recipe - Did you follow the recipe exactly (except for the yeast as you mentioned)? Even the slightest variation in this recipe can result in "weirdness"

Let us know,

Cheers,

Oskaar

greebo
12-12-2008, 07:10 AM
Thanks Oskaar for your reply and welcome.

1. Seal
I rechecked and it seems fine. There looks to be a bit of residue between the glass and the seal, but it does seem firmly set.

2. Temperature
Has been in the low 70s here since batch. It's sitting in the kitchen cupboard, maybe slightly cooler in the cupboard.

3. Recipe
as far as the ingredients and procedure, yes everything was the same.
25 californian raisins, 1 californian orange, 1 clove, 1 normal sized cinnamon stick, and last year's raw hive honey.

Couple of notes about ingredients:
honey was crystallized
used unboiled tapwater (assume this is ok as searched on forum) tapwater not heavily chlorinated

When i initially shook the carboy I did shake the stuffing out of it which I assume is ok.

greebo
12-12-2008, 07:21 AM
other notes:
There is about 2mm of foam and the concoction seems to be fizzing gently.
It has been 3 days (with same bubbling frequency)

Oskaar
12-12-2008, 07:34 AM
OK, then. Looks to me like you have this one pretty well in hand. I wouldn't be too concerned about the airlock activity (or lack thereof). More than likely you have a yeast that may not be as aggressive as the one specified in the original recipe. Keep an eye on it, and let it do it's thing. I'd say that you probably just want to let it run for a few weeks as is and come back to it.

Maybe a good idea to run another in parallel for a little comparative analysis. Always a good idea in meadmaking when starting out to run parallel batches. This helps to cement your technique, build consistent process and methodologies and generally hone your ability to create batches quickly and consistently.

Keep your notes up to date and share them here with us.

Cheers,

Oskaar

greebo
12-12-2008, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the advice. I will do a couple more batches in parallel. It will probably help offset the waiting for this batch to be done - I'm so impatient. ;D

sandman
12-12-2008, 11:47 PM
I'll echo Pete on this one. Looks like things are going along nice and steady. I had to use a diff yeast once in one of my first batches of JAO. It went really slow, but it finished out nicely in the end.

maenad
12-19-2008, 03:40 AM
I had the exact same issues with my Joe's Ancient Orange. I used a 5 litre carboy and also used different yeast - in my case, wine yeast was all I had. (I live in a place where bread yeast is hard to come by).

Like you, I had a layer of foam on top for a long time but no "first day frenzy of foam".

The mead is only 7 weeks old so I can't say if it works, but I tasted it a few days ago and it tastes like cough syrup. According to other info, this is right and correct and I just have to wait extra time. It''s definitely alcoholic.

Could it (most likely) be the extra air in the carboy?

greebo
01-27-2009, 02:53 AM
Hi, update here:

Fermentation stopped and the mead cleared beautifully after about 5 days ago and I bottled yesterday. Drank about half a beer bottle of mead and it was great. I was expecting cough syrup, but other than the green taste, was really nice - in fact I was severely tempted to open up another bottle. ;D