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Cory
07-03-2011, 12:57 PM
Hello all, Im in the process of making my first batch of Ancient Orange and after only one month it looks like its stopped producing gas as far as I can tell. Im not sure if it has fully cleared or not, its still a bit of golden color and I cant quite see through my 3 gal carboy but I can see the bottom clearly. Should I try a taste or am I better off leaving it alone for another month just to be safe? It did take a while to start fermenting in the first place... Im a little worried that I didnt aerate it enough. Anyone have a picture of the clarity of Ancient Orange?

Chevette Girl
07-03-2011, 01:06 PM
It is quite possible that after a month, the yeast have done what they're gonna do, and it might take another month or two before it's completely clear and the fruit has all dropped.

If your fruit's still floating, I'd leave it for a few more weeks at least.

Often for my JAO's, you can start to see a band of clarity at the top which gradually expands to the whole jar/carboy, and about a week after that starts, the fruit starts to drop out.

When people speak of "clearing", they don't mean that it will appear colourless like water, they mean that you should be able to read a newspaper through the carboy. It will retain some honey colour.

And welcome to the addictio-- I mean, wonderful hobby of meadcrafting!!

Cory
07-03-2011, 01:32 PM
Ah... okay ive had some of the raisins drop but not much else, and its not nearly that clear... looks like Ill wait another month. Thanks for the fast reply!

kudapucat
07-03-2011, 06:09 PM
Ah... okay ive had some of the raisins drop but not much else, and its not nearly that clear... looks like Ill wait another month. Thanks for the fast reply!

it can't hurt to wait... (well actually it can psychologically)
Some of my JAO cleared in 15 days. I've left it now another month, and it looks beautiful.
My last meads looked clear last week, but comparing them to the one from a month ago, they're not clear ;-)
JAO will happily sit on the lees for 2 months, so you might as well let it. You'll want to let it age anyhow, so there's no rush.
Mead will go from a nice opaque orangy-brown to a shade much lighter and fully translucent. It will appear like coloured glass, you can see right through it, but it will be all golden.
If in doubt, take a photo in the exact same light every couple of days, you'll see it's changing, just very slowly.
You aught to be able to read a newspaper though it when it's done, but as you're using a larger than the standard 1gal container, that may well be a challenge in itself.
Good luck, and patience.

Echostatic
07-03-2011, 09:31 PM
I can clearly read a newspaper through my 3 gallon carboy when it's clear. Just give it some more time.

Cory
07-04-2011, 03:32 PM
Will do... I compared it to some commercial meads I regularly drink and its nowhere near as clear... Ill give it another month and see what happens.

Cory
07-26-2011, 10:03 PM
Well it cleared up in a hurry. I waited until all the oranges sunk and tried the first glass today... not bad for a first try. Cant say Im a big fan of the orange flavor but Im ready to try something similar with blueberry or maybe just some spices. Any suggestions for better yeast? ...Im thinking I want it a little less sweet.

Chevette Girl
07-26-2011, 11:32 PM
It might be a good idea to get yourself a hydrometer and see how sweet the finished JAO is, that'll give you an idea of where you might be aiming.

You can certainly try different things based on the JAO recipe (search for "JAO variations"), although doing so does void the JAO warranty, as you will be told repeatedly. Or you could try getting into working with wine yeasts, at which point it's DEFINITELY a good idea to get yourself a hydrometer.

Cory
07-28-2011, 10:41 PM
Good idea! I actually just bought a hydrometer... and some different yeast strains for experimentation.

kudapucat
07-29-2011, 05:08 AM
Do yourself a favour and don't drink your JAO for six months, if you don't like the orange or sweetness. My first batch I thought was too sweet, and another too orangy. Bit after 6 months both were much better balanced. Give it a chance.

Cory
07-29-2011, 08:50 PM
Ill try and save some but I didn't make much and I've already promised a few friends a taste or two... its OK tho, the JAO served its purpose. It taught me a lot and gave me confidence and ideas to continue tinkering.

Cory
08-04-2011, 10:33 PM
well it looks like my JAO is still at 1.030!!... im gonna let the rest set a few months and see what happens.

kudapucat
08-05-2011, 05:56 PM
Cory... My JAO stop around 1035-1040. So this is probably done.
Wait for it to clear and the fruit to drop then bottle.

Echostatic
08-05-2011, 11:17 PM
So I'm not the only one with really sweet JAOs. (1.050 and 1.046 respectively.) It's amazing how they can still not only be drinkable, but good.

kudapucat
08-06-2011, 07:50 AM
Give it 6 months. It's much better balanced then. Bursting with flavour.

Chevette Girl
08-07-2011, 01:56 PM
Most of mine (including variations) stop between 1.040 and 1.030 but I did have one that was perfectly drinkable at 1.060 after a little oak and some time.

Cory
08-27-2011, 02:57 PM
Still a little young yet perhaps but I just had a little tasting at work. Everyone seemed to really like the JAO and I got nothing but compliments... even had two offers to buy bottles at 20$ a pop, lol!... Anyway thanks to everyone for giving me such solid advise. ;D

autocat13
08-29-2011, 09:09 PM
Cory thanks for the question now I won't have to ask it in a couple of weeks. I want to thank all those who responded because the answers you gave will now let me know how my JAO is doing. I made it 9 days ago and so far it seems to be following all the guide lines to the letter. I will keep my fingers crossed.:)

Chevette Girl
08-29-2011, 09:52 PM
Welcome to the forum, Autocat!