View Full Version : Ancient Orange

02-04-2010, 04:19 AM
Hi, I started a batch of ancient orange at the beginning of January. I just checked it and the oranges and the raisons I can see have a white growth on them.??? Is this mold and should I toss the batch and start over again? I do not have a camera to take a picture with.

Thank you for your help


Edit: I should add that it seems to smell okay, but the oranges are right at the bottle neck. No liquid on top of them and the raisons. Kinda like a spicy orange or almost like a christmas pudding. Could it just be the foam from the fermentation? When the frenzy died down I topped it up with water.

02-04-2010, 04:59 AM
If you cant take pictures it would really help out the nice folks here if you explained a little bit of your brewing process and equipment you used. A little bit of description can go a long way to help them figure out if you have a problem or not. Wish I could help, but I'm a newbee myself.

I hope everything is ok with your mead!

02-04-2010, 12:22 PM
3 and a bit lbs Amber honey
1 Large orange cut into pieces
1 small handful of raisins, 25
1 stick of cinnamon
1 whole clove

1 teaspoon of Fleishmann’s bread yeast
Balance water to one gallon

I sanitized with a bleach rinse. Shock the hell out of it. I'm wondering if I didn't rinse enough with the bleach or enough bleach in the rinse. I also shock it a bit 3 weeks in.

02-04-2010, 12:31 PM
As Asator says, it is difficult to diagnose from a distance without pictures, but from your description I don't think you automatically have a problem. Any "floaties" in any recipe can attract and hold onto small bubbles from the liquid, and many of the melomels that I've made have had frothy fringes around floating fruit bits. (Say that three times, fast, if you can!)

If it doesn't smell "off" and the whitish gunk isn't growing tendrils that descend down into the must, then I wouldn't worry about it. However a quick shake to get everything wetted well (to use the developing alcohol as a natural antibiotic) wouldn't hurt anything, even though it is a violation of the "traditional" JAO instructions.

Oh, and Welcome to "Gotmead?" by the way!!

02-04-2010, 12:48 PM
Ok, I've shock it and the raisons at least seem not have the white stuff on them anymore. I can't tell with the oranges yet. there were no tendrils coming off anything that I could see. I got a fair amount of bubbles, and when I took the cap off that I used when I shock it there was some pressure built up. Hopefully your right and it's only the small pieces finding somewhere to accumulate.

thanks for the advice.

edit: the house temp is in the high sixties, roughly 68degrees. Will this make a difference?

02-04-2010, 01:31 PM
A couple of degrees cooler than Joe's recommendation won't make any difference. It might ferment a bit more slowly, and might finish ever so slightly sweeter (bread yeast really like working at 72-80F), but that will be OK.

02-07-2010, 10:33 AM
I used this recipe as my first attempt at mead making. It looked fairly simple to do so I figured what the heck. Today I am 2 full weeks into the fermentation process and it still has plenty of activity. I increased the recipe to be a 3 gallon batch and seeing that I didn't have enough room in the cupboard for my 3 gallon carboy its down with beer batches. I've kept it covered with a paper bag (with a hole cut in the top for the bubbler), sweat shirt, and towels to keep it warm. I also run a small heater down there for my other brews. I didn't take a OG reading (I tend to forget this alot with my brews, I get in a hurry and well you know) so what would be a "normal" orginal gravity reading be for this? And when this is all done what do you reccomend for bottling? Wine & cork, Bottle & cap, Jugs & screw on lids? Oh and 1 more question, do you carbonate this when it's bottle time?

02-07-2010, 01:34 PM
Hi, sporr! Welcome to "Gotmead" and the meadmaking side of brewing!! The typical starting gravity for a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange is in the neighborhood of 1.100, and they usually ferment down to anywhere between 1.025 (very sweet) and 1.005 (a hint of sweetness).

Bottle conditioning isn't advised for a sweet mead, since there's no way to predict how much of the remaining sugar will be consumed by your yeast in addition to any charging sugar that you add, so the risk of bottle bombs is high. One key difference between meads and beer, is that the sugars in honey are all fermentable, so 100% attenuation is possible. Even when your yeast appear to have given up the ghost, slight changes in environmental conditions (warming slightly, stirring up the lees a bit, etc.) can get them going again. So if you do bottle anything with residual sweetness to it, I always recommend stabilizing using potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate.

Finally, since Joe's is meant to be drunk relatively young, any bottling scheme that you might want to use is perfectly fine. The only problem that I seem to have in bottling JAO, is that it never sticks around long - too many cellar rats around here, I guess! ;D

02-07-2010, 09:36 PM
I always seem to get yeast attaching itself to the fruit. It's disappointing when it looks really clear to move it and have white chunks falling off the fruit and it getting cloudy again. Someday I might be patient enough to let the fruit fall, but it hasn't happened yet!