View Full Version : Ancient orange pithy problem

05-17-2011, 04:29 AM
Hey Guys,

"Gotmead.Com" is such a fantastic site - so much useful info on mead-making. I am a noob when it comes to mead & i stumbled across "Joe's fool proof ancient orange mead recipe.

I also read that some guys complain about the "pithy" taste from the orange & i was wondering if one can avoid this by cutting the orange pulp from the peal & using that instead of throwing everything in as per the recipe.

Will it still taste fine? Hve no idea wht Joe's ancient is suppossed to taste like but i don't wanna goof up the recipe either - he he


05-17-2011, 08:37 AM
Welcome to GotMead!! :) ;D

There won't be a problem with the pith if you follow the recipe to the letter. I just bottled my JAO after 5 weeks (I just waited until the fruit all sank) and there was no bitterness (in fact, it was quite sweet). None of the other people who tried it tasted anything bitter.

05-17-2011, 08:42 AM
Some people indeed make it with less pith, however very few people will make it with -no- pith.

If you let it age long enough the pithy taste goes away supposedly, I haven't let one go that long yet :P just 'cause my wife and I are impatient and want to drink it young I plan on making the next batch with about half the oranges peeled and the other half leave the peel on.

05-17-2011, 08:47 AM
The idea, would appear to be about balancing the taste. The recipe without it, is likely to be cloyingly sweet. The biggest error that can be made, is usually too heavy a use of the spices, especially the clove.

Sticking to the recipe, but depending one the containers you can get/have, it can be up to 5 litres total and still comes out good........usually.

05-17-2011, 09:54 AM
Oaking can help smooth out some of the pithyness while still young.

05-17-2011, 09:59 AM
Thx Guys -

This has been super helpfull :D

After all the advice I'd rather follow the recipe to the letter & nt worry about the pithyness :)

Chevette Girl
05-17-2011, 10:05 AM
Doing a gallon of Joe's won't break the bank even if it turns out the pith is too much for you, hey, at least you will know something... and you won't have waited a year to find out, you can just start another batch :)

I discovered early on that if I drink Joe's where I used pith, it gives me mild heartburn even though the taste is OK for me, so ever since that, I only use the fruit and zest (which I remove with a rasp) and I find it tastes just fine like that, there's enough acid in the juice and bitterness in the zest to cut the cloying tendency...

05-17-2011, 11:36 AM
I had the same fear when I made mine, so I added the orange skin and fruit, leaving the pith out. It turned out very well. I would imagine yours would too.

Chevette Girl
05-17-2011, 11:40 AM
I found the taste with pith included was just fine... my body just had its own complaint...

Dan McFeeley
05-17-2011, 12:58 PM
A lot of the fun of making Joe's Ancient Orange is following the recipe to specifics, with maybe a minimum of tinkering. There's a couple of things you can do to reduce pithy taste while still staying true to the original.

Cut off the ends of the orange before slicing it up. There's a lot of thick pith there which can be disposed of. You can also cut out the pithy white veins on the inside of the orange.

Aging helps a great deal with pithy taste. Try a minimim of nine months aging and you'll find that the pith melds and blends with the sweetness of the orange and honey, giving a true JAO its unique taste.


05-17-2011, 04:53 PM
I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not, but I generally use thin-skinned juice oranges in my JAO on the theory that there's less pith.

05-17-2011, 05:03 PM
Aging helps a great deal with pithy taste... --

Tho thorry I've gone off topic, but I jutht read thith and thought of Ethyl Thayer(On Golden Pond)'s lithp ...pithy tathte...eeww..