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Meadaroo
04-15-2011, 04:45 AM
Hellooo :)

After racking my modified JAO mead I sampled a little & it had a sorta flat after-finish - nt sure how else to describe it - he he!!

Can anyone help? Oxidation maybe?? Will ageing smooth it out??

wayneb
04-15-2011, 08:37 AM
"Flat" usually suggests either oxidation - which can taste in worst case somewhat like wet cardboard, or not enough acidity - that is sometimes also described as "flabby." Do you know the pH of the water that you used? Is there a chance that it was exposed to too much air later in fermentation?

Medsen Fey
04-15-2011, 09:05 AM
And please remind us, what was the "modified" recipe you used. That probably has more to do with it.

Meadaroo
04-15-2011, 09:42 AM
Hey

Not sure wht the PH of the water was since I don't hve a tool to measure tht. During primary fermentation I had very little headspace & basically left it alone unitl my first racking. after the first racking, about a week ago, there was about 3 inches of headspace which I reduced by further racking into a smaller jug. There was a hiss when I opened the bottle.

Medsen, the modified JAO included the juice of half a grapefruit, star anise (was hoping for an aniseedy kind of flavour)

If it is oxidation, should I dump it??

Medsen Fey
04-15-2011, 10:19 AM
Medsen, the modified JAO included the juice of half a grapefruit.

If it is oxidation, should I dump it??

It isn't oxidation. The hissing sound means it is still fermenting and you won't have oxidation while the yeast are still active.

Was this your recipe (from your other thread)

2l water
900g Honey (eucalyptus)
Juice of half an orange
juice of half a grapefruit
1 clove
stick cinnamon
VIN 13
handfull of raisins

Meadaroo
04-15-2011, 10:27 AM
Hi Medsen

Yip, tht's the one, I 4got to mention tht I added 5 star anise's into the mix - 2give it a sorta aniseedy kind of flavour.

The sample smelled gr8, on the pallate it was really gr8 but the taste after i swallowed - sorta like old orange juice - he he

Medsen Fey
04-15-2011, 10:45 AM
Okay, forgive me if I sound harsh, but when somebody requests that your provide the recipe, please provide the recipe. Saying I modified JAO by adding half a grapefruit doesn't even begin to describe this. When we ask for info, it is so that we can try to understand what's going on, not because we want to have you just typing for no purpose. Rarely do I (or anyone else) have the time to try to go look for somebody's recipe in another thread. Please do your part.

If you added 900 g of honey to 2 liters of water, your starting gravity would be 1.108 (or thereabouts). If you added 900 g and enough water to make the total 2 liters the gravity would be closer to the expected starting gravity of JAO. Which was it?

Secondly, you are not using Fleischmann's bread yeast. You are using a wine yeast with an ABV tolerance that is much higher, and using one that is designed for cool ferments in a high temperature setting. The bread yeast is meant to be used a room temps, your wine yeast is most definitely not. What this means it that this yeast is going to dry this mead out. JAO is not meant to be dry - it is a sweet mead recipe. When you dry it out it usually tastes, dry, bitter, phenolic, yeasty, and perhaps a bit flat. The fact that this hasn't even finished fermenting means it is going to taste like crap. Very few dry meads taste good when they are young - they need a year or two of aging for the flavors to develop. Even sweet meads need time to clear.

In addition, by fermenting at too high a temp, you will have created higher-alcohols that may be burning and which may mask good aromas, and you will have scrubbed off good aromatics by the rapid evolution of CO2. I'm surprised it doesn't taste like paint thinner.

You might want to let this finish fermenting under airlock, and then let it clear and age for a good long while.

There are a couple of points to take home:
1. If you want JAO to be good, follow the recipe. Even then, giving it a few months to age helps.
2. Use a yeast that's appropriate for the temperature (or control the temp).
3. If you make something dry, don't try to judge the flavor without giving it a year to age (at a minimum).

Meadaroo
04-15-2011, 11:39 AM
Hi Medsen,

You're rite & I do apologise 4 nt being more thorough.

I was given 40g of this yeast as a sample - don't really want to see it going to waste,

Are there any recipes u can recommend suited to this kind of wine yeast?

I was thinking of doing a show mead using VIN 13 bt after ur post am nt sure confident so as to formulate my own recipes. I think i'm still too fresh as a begginner to experiment

Wht recipes can you recommend more suited to VIN 13?

Thx 4 the advice btw - i'm very open to learning :):)

THawk
04-15-2011, 11:56 AM
You and I have the same problem -- we're both from very warm climates.

I would suggest using a yeast with a higher temp tolerance than what you have -- e.g. Lalvin EC-1118.

Much as I'd like to use Lalvin D-47, I can't - and it can tolerate higher temperatures than VIN 13 (not much higher, but still above 16C). Average temperature where I am is in the 20's, which is the upper limit of D-47...

Meadaroo
04-15-2011, 12:19 PM
You and I have the same problem -- we're both from very warm climates.

I would suggest using a yeast with a higher temp tolerance than what you have -- e.g. Lalvin EC-1118.

Much as I'd like to use Lalvin D-47, I can't - and it can tolerate higher temperatures than VIN 13 (not much higher, but still above 16C). Average temperature where I am is in the 20's, which is the upper limit of D-47...

Hi Thawk

Nice to meet u :)

My problem was tht i didn't follow the manufacturer's instructions. I've since corrected this by putting my mead in the fridge & it's maintaining the manufacture's recomendations nicely bt it does mean tht i'll hve 2 let this mead age 4 quite awhile - patience is the key i guess

I'll also hve to do sum investigating as to other yeasts to try. We don't get Lalvin EC-1118 or D-47 here in South Africa so i'll need to source other alternatives :( or do my homework as far as the different yeast strains available in my country.

oh well, the joy of being a begginner hey!

THawk
04-15-2011, 12:31 PM
I'll also hve to do sum investigating as to other yeasts to try. We don't get Lalvin EC-1118 or D-47 here in South Africa so i'll need to source other alternatives :( or do my homework as far as the different yeast strains available in my country.

How about just regular bread yeast? I'm sure you can get that there... you can also try to order it in from the outside -- unless there are specific restrictions about importing yeast from the outside...

I can't use a fridge as power rates are quite high here...

Meadaroo
04-15-2011, 12:39 PM
He he!

Yes, we definatly hve bread yeast here & perhaps i shud perfect my mead skills by following Joe's ancient orange recipe ( to the letter this time - ;D) b4 attempting more complicated recipes

Mars Colonist
04-15-2011, 03:05 PM
Have you guys thought about putting your fermenter in a water bath and controlling the water bath temperature with frozen water bottles? Beats warm ambient air temps any day (it gets hot here in Texas, too).

Chevette Girl
04-15-2011, 04:17 PM
He he!

Yes, we definatly hve bread yeast here & perhaps i shud perfect my mead skills by following Joe's ancient orange recipe ( to the letter this time - ;D) b4 attempting more complicated recipes

Highly recommended!! And the nice thing is you don't have to wait a year to find out if you did it right ;D

THawk
04-15-2011, 09:45 PM
Have you guys thought about putting your fermenter in a water bath and controlling the water bath temperature with frozen water bottles? Beats warm ambient air temps any day (it gets hot here in Texas, too).

I never thought of that! The only reason why I never use water is because it could breed mosquitoes (dengue fever is a real danger here). But the standing water can be treated with bleach to keep the mozzies away...

Oldonehundredth
04-16-2011, 11:21 AM
What you're sensing as "flat" can also possibly be attributed to another thing -- your decision to use star anise as well as grapefruit. I have found star anise to be one of those spices that has the ability to take something from the "tang" end of the spectrum over to the "flat" end. It can almost do this unnoticeably, as you incrementallyy increase its presence in a gruet mix, to where it is just kind of neutralizing other spices before you even notice the presence of the licorice-like attributes of the star anise proper. Grapefruit (juice, yes, but even more so the peel) has some of the some properties, so you're kind of accelerating it by using both grapefruit and star anise in this recipe. Just my 2 cents! Good luck.

Meadaroo
04-16-2011, 11:29 AM
Actually, wht ur saying does make sense 2 me since i've used star anise in most of my batches - they all seem "flat" in the after-taste - coupled with Medsen's feedback, it wud seem as tho i've created a bit of a dillema - i guess ageing it out 4 awhile hopefully will blend all the flavours 2gether.

After all, wht i sampled was clouded secondary - i haven't even given it a chance 2 clear yet:)

AToE
04-16-2011, 12:55 PM
I wouldn't make any serious judgements until at least after 8 months, and even then it won't be close to what it'll turn into after 1-1.5 years. :)