View Full Version : NewBee help JAO Recipe Question

06-23-2010, 10:12 PM
He all.

I've searched the forums, and I didn't find any answers so I'll call upon the experts (to either shun me for search failure, or to bee helpful).

I'm about to start my first ever batch of mead. I have chosen Joe's Ancient Orange recipe because it is fairly quick and simple. I know the recipe says "DO NOT DEVIATE" (multiple times I might add!), but I have a friend who is allergic to tannic acid, or tannon acid or something like that (the pigment in purple grapes) and I would like to leave out the raisins.

I am assuming that the raisins aren't in the mix for any kind of flavor, but for some chemical reason that I am unaware of.

To the experts : Is it safe to simply omit the raisins and still have a nice tasting first batch? The recipe doesn't specify, but could I use white raisins instead of red?

I just don't want my first mead attempt ending with a trip to the hospital LOL


06-23-2010, 10:19 PM
I assume white grape raisins should be fine - they're in there to provide some extra nutrients for the yeast, but I imagine they do have some effect on taste.

06-23-2010, 10:20 PM
As far as I know the raisins are there as a form of nutrient for the yeast. I would assume, possibly incorrectly, that as long as the raisins you are using have not been treated with sulphites then they would be fine to use in the JAO. Another option would be to use actual yeast nutrients instead of the raisins if you have access to any.

EDIT: AToE is a faster typer than me....boooooooo

06-24-2010, 09:07 AM
Raisins contribute a little tannin, but at 25 raisins to the gallon, you'll never perceive it in the finished product. Raisins are used in country wines to add "body" or "vinous quality" to wines such as dandelion wine, which are liable to be somewhat thin and lacking in oomph, but we're usually talking like a half pound to a pound of raisins in a gallon of wine--again, 25 raisins chopped up is going to be about the micronutrients.

I once made a wine out of nothing but raisins--pounds and pounds of them. It's amazing how much like a commercial sherry it came out. We open one bottle a year to see how it ages.

06-26-2010, 05:34 AM
Thanks for the replies!

I talked to my friend, and he gets a shot twice a year, and the raisins won't affect him at all so I'm going to make JAO as written!

Here's hopin' for a good turnout!


06-26-2010, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I talked to my friend, and he gets a shot twice a year, and the raisins won't affect him at all so I'm going to make JAO as written!

Here's hopin' for a good turnout!

Well I was going to add what ckbryant said, but he (she? sorry, don't know) got there first.

If your friend can drink tea then JAO with raisins or sultana's or currants wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

Personally, they tend to label dried white grapes as raisins and red dried grapes as sultana's here......

If it's related to the pigment in red grapes, it might be worth confirming the nature of the sensitivity - as I understood that the pigment in red grape is related to anthocyanins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthocyanin), and not tannins - tea is full of tannin but is green in the leaf form and when it's fermented and ground it's dark brown/black and still full of tannins but zero on the anthocyanins scale (as I understand it)......

After all, such issues are worth checking as in the worst instance there could be the possibility of anaphylactic shock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaphylaxis)



06-26-2010, 05:33 PM
Yes, the recipe says not to deviate. However, due to a combination of being nervous, having my DH (Darling Hubby) hovering in the background and not reading carefully enough, I forgot the raisins on my first batch of JAO. I fretted the whole time it was fermenting. Once it cleared, I bottled it and had some people in the local homebrew club try it 24 hrs later. The reactions were very good and some even asked for seconds. So while I would recommend following the recipe exactly, leaving out the raisins didn't seem to harm anything.

I've got my second (3 gallon) batch under airlock now and followed the directions exactly this time. Should be ready by August sometime and I'll be bottling it for Christmas presents.

Hope my mistake helps you!