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THawk
03-29-2011, 01:05 AM
Racked my first batch of mead over the weekend. It was a variation of JAO:

2 lbs Sue Bee Raw honey
25 Sun-Maid Raisins
Distilled water (balance of 1 gallon)
1 Navel Orange

Yeast: Red Star Active Dry (5g)

Started: 2/27/11
Racked: 3/26/11

Took a month to rack because it took that long for my equipment to get here. I couldn't find food-grade tubing to siphon here in the Philippines (can I use any tubing as long as I sterilize it)?

It tasted kinda like fizzy orange juice. I could feel the alcohol burn/bite on my tongue. I know that from the amount of honey it'll turn out to be fairly dry. Is that normal after a first ferment?

I'm planning to make a fruit mead and I'm also going to be using yeast nutrient and energizer. When the instructions say 1 tsp/gallon, is this one heaping teaspoon or leveled off like a measuring spoon (or does it matter)?

fatbloke
03-29-2011, 02:21 AM
Sorry to say, but I suspect that you're just gonna find out what the rest of us who've varied the JAO recipe have learned..........

That its best to keep to the original recipe, because it doesn't make for a nice dry melomel.

regards

fatbloke

THawk
03-29-2011, 02:44 AM
well, I didn't get the recipe from here... I got it from another site and found that it was similar to the JAO... I originally had 3 lbs of honey but when I went to make the mead I discovered that someone used the other pound...


Sorry to say, but I suspect that you're just gonna find out what the rest of us who've varied the JAO recipe have learned..........

That its best to keep to the original recipe, because it doesn't make for a nice dry melomel.

regards

fatbloke

Medsen Fey
03-29-2011, 04:34 PM
You may be okay with this being dry. It only used 1 orange and you didn't spice it which adds a lot of phenolic elements. If you had juiced the orange rather than putting it in with all the albedo (the bitter white pithy stuff) it would probably be smoother much sooner. As a dry batch, it may take several months for the pithy bitterness to fade, but try to give it time (or you can stabilize and backsweeten).

When measurements are given in tsp, usually it should be a level tsp, but that kind of inaccuracy is why I recommend using a scale and going by weight. It is much easier to be consistent in grams.

THawk
03-30-2011, 11:18 PM
I just checked my jar this morning. I'm seeing condensation forming on the inside of the jar. Is this normal?

It's not full (i.e. it's about half a gallon) -- since I wasn't planning to include the fruit and the sediment in the secondary ferment...

THawk
03-31-2011, 12:16 AM
Since a photo is worth a thousand words, I think it's best if I just show what's going on. It's the photos in the gallon jar I'm referring to. As you can see, it's only about half full. I found condensation on the sides of the jar this morning. Should I transfer this to smaller containers?

Airlock is completely dead.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=291164&id=505932751&l=3d899d232f

Apologies in advance if I'm not supposed to post links to other sites here... You can make me drink it later... :-)

AToE
03-31-2011, 12:51 AM
I'd get that racked into a smaller container or top it up, having headspace after primary is done is a bad thing, mead with fruit in it can oxidize easily (think about how bad wine is the next day after having been open).

Headspace in primary is very good, after that it''s best to have as little as is possible.

THawk
03-31-2011, 01:09 AM
Great! That'll free up another jug... Since there's no activity in the airlock would I still need the airlock (or do I risk a bottle bomb if I don't)?

As an aside, I lived in Toronto for about 5 years or so... Never been to Calgary, but I've been to Edmonton and Hinton (for fishing) :)

AToE
03-31-2011, 02:04 AM
Yes, airlock is a must.

THawk
03-31-2011, 01:13 PM
Racked it to 2 1-liter water bottles (brand new) and 1 500-ml bottle (also brand new). Had a small taste as well.

When I first racked (3/26/11), it tasted like fizzy OJ.

Now, the fizz is gone. It also didn't taste like anything but it KICKED LIKE A MULE. Got hot all the way down... Will this mellow out or would I need to sweeten it later? It's almost a cheap vodka now...

I suppose I can put it in my car and see if it runs more efficiently... :eek:

Medsen Fey
03-31-2011, 02:00 PM
Let it clear, and let it age, but you may like it better sweetened a bit in the long run.

THawk
04-04-2011, 02:20 AM
just as an experiment I added honey to the bottom of one bottle and put an airlock (well, a balloon) on it. After a few days, the balloon was limp. I transferred it to another bottle and had a taste. Surprisingly, the honey took a lot of the bite out. For some reason, though, the liquid cleared to a golden semi-transparent liquid (though the honey sank to the bottom of the bottle).

The other 1500ml remained cloudy... Not sure why this is so.

The recipe is isn't JAO, but the one from the stormthecastle site (with 2 lbs of honey)...

THawk
04-08-2011, 12:18 AM
Just tested the SG and ph of my first batch today:

SG - 0.987
ph - 3.4 at 29 degrees C

It's cleared a lot more now. Tastes like bland unsweetened orange juice... then your stomach gets warm... :)

Dreaming_Requiems
04-08-2011, 07:14 PM
Hi I have made my first batch of mead and I was wondering is it suppose to kinda smell like beer? It has been fermenting for like 3 weeks and the balloon wasn't all the way full for the first 2 weeks but now it is standing upright. Could there be a problem happening with the fermentation? Here is the recipe I used. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mClSA1LZPIs just 3 pounds of honey 25 raisins 1 orange and a gallon of water

THawk
04-08-2011, 09:31 PM
Hi I have made my first batch of mead and I was wondering is it suppose to kinda smell like beer? It has been fermenting for like 3 weeks and the balloon wasn't all the way full for the first 2 weeks but now it is standing upright. Could there be a problem happening with the fermentation? Here is the recipe I used. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mClSA1LZPIs just 3 pounds of honey 25 raisins 1 orange and a gallon of water

Welcome to the boards!

It'll smell yeasty... and the balloon won't inflate like the way it would if you blew into it.

Dreaming_Requiems
04-14-2011, 05:42 PM
Yea I know the balloon isn't supposed to be like that and it wasn't but I did find out why it was doing that, there was more moisture in the air then before since it got warmer out. The gasses weren't releasing as fast so I just put a dehumidifier in the room and now it seems to be fine. I was wondering when or if I should taste the mead to see if it is fermenting okay.

TheAlchemist
04-14-2011, 11:33 PM
Hi I have made my first batch of mead...

I like anyone who is called anything that has anything to do with "Dreaming."

Welcome to GotMead!