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View Full Version : Backsweetening: Honey/water mix to 1 gallon of jao?



Cundog
03-30-2010, 02:43 PM
How much of honey/water mixture would you add to 1 gallon of JAO? Mine finished very dry and a little bitter from, I'm assuming the peel. I want to backsweeten and have the sorbate and such to do so. I'm not sure how much honey to add to water, or how much honey/water to add to the must. Thanks.

meadiac
04-02-2010, 02:05 AM
my best advise would be to "add to taste!" perhaps 1/2 cup at a time.

fatbloke
04-02-2010, 03:54 AM
How much of honey/water mixture would you add to 1 gallon of JAO? Mine finished very dry and a little bitter from, I'm assuming the peel. I want to backsweeten and have the sorbate and such to do so. I'm not sure how much honey to add to water, or how much honey/water to add to the must. Thanks.
I'd suggest that you go for equal quantities i.e. a 1lb jar of honey and the same volume of water, warmed very gently just to allow it to be mixed by stirring.

How much ? well initially I'd be taking a hydrometer reading and add the honey/water syrup a small amount at a time, up to something like 1010 or 1015. Then do a taste test, if it needs more, then great, add some more to a small increment above what it's already at, say something like 1020 to 1025.

I "tested" (guestimate, hydrometer reading and tasting) 4 different commercial meads here about 2 years ago. They were all "cloyingly" sweet dessert meads (too sweet for my taste) and they were all between 1038 and 1045 gravity reading.

Hence I'd suggest that you think about the taste at the 1010 to 1015 mark and then bottle it for ageing. Or if you want to drink it straight away then it's up to you what you get it to.

Don't forget, too much will reduce the %ABV of it.

regards

fatbloke

p.s. I find that if you use a wine yeast with JAO it does tend to make it very dry (and IMO not very nice). If you stick religiously to the recipe, but to try and prevent bitterness, use a knife to peel the orange skin, not cutting too far into the white pith, that goes into the mix. Then also segment the orange out of it's skins and just the flesh goes into the batch. Oh and only use the bread yeast. which normally leaves it sweet.

Cundog
04-02-2010, 09:34 AM
I ended up using Nottingham beer yeast. that may be one reason it didn't turn out as sweet. And yes, I put the unpeeled orange sliced into 1/8ths. thanks for the advice. I never considered using gravity reading to judge the level of sweetness! Awesome. It will be for drinking through a period from May through September for this batch.

fatbloke
04-02-2010, 10:42 AM
I ended up using Nottingham beer yeast. that may be one reason it didn't turn out as sweet. And yes, I put the unpeeled orange sliced into 1/8ths. thanks for the advice. I never considered using gravity reading to judge the level of sweetness! Awesome. It will be for drinking through a period from May through September for this batch.
Ah! well the Nottingham beer yeast is probably why it fermented dry.....

After all, gravity is basically a measure of sugar content, the same, yet different to brix measurements.

As for making it but using just the orange part of the peal and the flesh of the segments ? Well there's any number of posts here about how some have found it to have a slightly bitter after taste and I'm suspecting the pith. So by just using the carefully peeled outer skin (where the "orange oil" and aromatic elements are) and the flesh of the segments, you're getting all the benefits of the orange without the pitfalls.

I'd also guess that's why it was added but the yeast suggested was bread yeast. So it would leave residual sweetness, enough so that it masks the potential bitterness.

If you think about it, it's a very well thought out recipe. Very smart to have come up with one like that, was Joe. Because all the elements are there for specific reasons, but making it easy to make, and an easily followed recipe.....

If yours works with a bit of back sweetening then that's totally brilliant.

regards

fatbloke

Cundog
04-02-2010, 10:56 AM
thanks for the info, Fatbloke. I took the suggestion of a local brew store going with the Nottingham. I should have stuck with the original recipe. It'll be good. Have to learn things as I go.

Cundog
04-30-2010, 01:32 PM
Well, I bottled 2 gallons of my JAO with beer yeast. The bitterness was almost completely gone from sitting. It still has a yeasty taste like that of beer. will that, too, go away with age?