View Full Version : JOA Revisited - Rack & Sorbate or Not?

11-18-2010, 02:29 PM
Recap: A few months ago I made a gallon of JOA, turned out great in less than 2 months. Lots of compliments, not to mention, "WOW! This stuff is strong!"

On August 28th I mixed up a 5 gallon batch of JOA intended for the December holidays. Visible fermentation stopped awhile back. The yeast sediment and about 3/4 of the orange slices have started to settle and cleared down about 1/2 way down the carboy.

Now, the GF wants to know if she can get some for Thanksgiving. Should I rack off the liquid and sorbate it to hasten the sediment settling, or should I just tell her to go sit on her hands and be patient?

PS: Watch it with those answers, remember, she's The Boss!!! I don't need this = :argue: , LOL.

11-18-2010, 03:05 PM
If it's still in the primary vessel, I would rack it anyway just to get it into secondary. You'll probably end up racking again...and maybe again if you don't use a fining agent.

Unfortunately...I have never used anything other than pectic enzyme to clear my must, but that's another issue altogether. Hopefully someone can post which additives might get this bad boy clear before your boss lady ends up just thiefing some for herself anyway...;)

Medsen Fey
11-18-2010, 04:22 PM
I don't think sorbate will speed the clearing.

Putting it in a fridge might speed it up considerably.

11-18-2010, 08:26 PM
I don't think sorbate will speed the clearing.

Putting it in a fridge might speed it up considerably.Is there anything else that can be added to help speed the clearing, or is cooling it in a fridge pretty much it?

Medsen Fey
11-18-2010, 08:41 PM
Anytime you deviate from Joe's recipe, the warranty is voided, but if you want to use a fining agent, they can help clearing. Bentonite or Spakolloid are the ones I use most frequently, but use them with carefully because if you use too much, they can strip aroma and flavor. It might still take longer than the next week.

Dan McFeeley
11-19-2010, 12:39 PM
I've used both bentonite and sparkaloid, always got consistent results with sparkaloid so I've stuck with that. YMMV. The fining sediment for sparkaloid is light and fluffy, and stirs up with the least disturbance. I let the mead sit for at least a week.

With a five gallon batch, about half of it cleared (?) you might have a couple of gallons. To keep SWMBO happy, you may need to rack the JAO into two separate one gallon containers (jug wine containers work fine, you may find juice containers with openings suitable for air locks), let it sit sufficiently for any remaining stuff to settle out, bottle and there's your Thanksgiving JAO.

Good luck!


11-20-2010, 04:28 AM
Many thanks for all the replies and advice.

This weekend I will rack off about 1 gallon of the clearest stuff, which hopefully will taste OK for Thanksgiving - if not, well... tough.

I will rack off the remainder into separate 1 gallon containers and allow it to settle at its leisure. However, I did obtain some Bentonite; these are the instructions, "Use 3/4 tsp. per gallon. Blenderize very slowly into hottest water until creamy. Mix thoroughly into Wine/Beer/Mead." If anyone has a different/better method, I'd love to hear it, since I've never used a Fining agent before.

To keep SWMBO happy, .....She actually has a coffee mug with that expression printed on it, in full. Just by pure coincidence, I happen to be rereading the book. I still love those old time adventure stories.

11-20-2010, 05:13 AM
Well if you need to rack some off for thanksgiving, then there's plenty of guidance above, but I'd suggest that you get enough containers so you can rack the rest off the sediment as it stands now, because while meads don't suffer oxidation in the same way as wines, there's not point in tempting providence is there.

So if you can get enough containers, it can be racked off in such a way as you having the first amount nice and clear (and available for thanksgiving) while the rest of it can be racked so to have as little airspace as possible and be treated as individual batches until they're all ready, then just re-mix to blend and bottle......

Well that's what I'd do anyway



11-20-2010, 07:18 PM
Well, I racked off the liquid and ended up with less than 3 gallons. Guess next time I'll use smaller oranges or only use 4 instead of 5.

SWMBO will have to make do with a slightly cloudy jug for Thanksgiving. She was expecting at least 4 gallons from this batch, so I guess I'll have to prepare myself for the hot pot! :eek:

The other 2 gallons can settle at their leisure, since they're cloudy as hell. I'll rack them again when the sediment has settled.