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View Full Version : Two questions about Joe's Ancient Orange Mead



srkaeppler
11-08-2011, 02:41 PM
Hey All-

First, is there a question and answer post regarding Joe's Ancient Orange Mead? I found something that looked similar, but it was a template, I believe. I also found this monstrous post of 1041 posts.. which I do not want to read. :) So just wondering if there is a place that has the information more succinctly posted. I am wondering what type of yeast I should get?

Second, do you rack into bottles and cork? This might be silly, but reading the recipe, there was not explicit mention of it.

Thanks!

Steve

Guinlilly
11-08-2011, 03:08 PM
Hey All-

First, is there a question and answer post regarding Joe's Ancient Orange Mead? I found something that looked similar, but it was a template, I believe. I also found this monstrous post of 1041 posts.. which I do not want to read. :) So just wondering if there is a place that has the information more succinctly posted. I am wondering what type of yeast I should get?

Second, do you rack into bottles and cork? This might be silly, but reading the recipe, there was not explicit mention of it.

Thanks!

Steve


Yeast type is right in the recipe, you want to use Fleishmann's bread yeast. Once our JAO is clear we'll rack it into a secondary, sulfite, usually filter (but you don't have to) and then into corked bottles - we also make 5-10 gallons of it at a time.

Chevette Girl
11-08-2011, 03:25 PM
And there's a lot of good info in that ridiculously long thread, that IS the question and answer post. I suggest starting at post #1 (the original recipe) work your way back, and see how far you can get through it.

I usually rack it, let it sit a few more months to clear, then bottle it in something with either screw tops or replaceable corks because that way I can check every few weeks to see if it's started back up again (out of almost 30 JAO-based batches I've only had one single batch start up again after bottling, even without stabilizing) and don't waste a whole bunch of corks if it DOES start up again. Stabilizing is the smart way to go though, sulphites and potassium sorbate. :)

calicojack
11-08-2011, 03:54 PM
i will third racking it and letting it settle. my second batch (my first 5 gallon batch) i followed the recipe and DIDN'T rack it. big mistake. HUGE mistake.

Loadnabox
11-08-2011, 05:28 PM
That big long JAO thread even mentions that the spirits of the ancients won't haunt you for racking :)

It is assumed that AFTER it goes clear, you will rack to help get rid of lees etc. The no racking rule really applies to while fermentation is still ongoing (not cleared yet)

srkaeppler
11-09-2011, 05:06 PM
Hey All-

Thank you all for the return responses. So let me also just admit my ignorance right now - I am a fairly experienced beer brewer who is thinking about giving this mead a shot as the first one. It seems like it is pretty quick, so it will give me an idea about hopefully what I am doing. I HAVE NOT READ THE NEWBEES GUIDE (yet). So forgive me if I may not know exactly what you're talking about with respect to sulfate and sorbate. I thought the sulfate was basically to stop fermentation and the sorbate was to clear the mead or wine...? Also do I need to add any additional nutrients to this mead? Wayne told me a while ago that mead making isn't a whole lot different than brewing, except for some of the first steps (such as vigorous aeration early in the process) and nutrition management.

Other questions. I am sure this is a common one, but what type of yeast is recommended? Does Red Star work? I have a bunch of Red Star active bread yeast at home. I am not sure where around town I could get Fleischman's yeast, that is why I ask. At that point, I would almost be shipping out for the yeast strain.

As for bottling equipment... I do not have a corker. I understand though that you can get corks that you would put on my hand (or maybe hammer...? :) ) Do those work pretty well for something simple like this.

Overall, this seems like an easy, fairly fast mead to field test out the procedure and have something which hopefully tastes good when it is done!

Thanks again all, I am looking forward to the responses.

Steve

Chevette Girl
11-09-2011, 05:26 PM
Nothing says you can't crown cap your meads in beer bottles if that's what you have. But my corker only cost me $15 and it's done at least 500 bottles by now. You can also get reuseable corks like you get with some liqueurs, plastic cap with a cork attached, they go in easily by hand. I prefer to use those or screw caps for anything that I haven't stabilized with sulphites and sorbate so that I can check on them to make sure they're not bottle-carbing from continued fermentation.

Sulphites knock out the yeast, sorbate prevents any that recover from that from multiplying.

Read the Newbee guide, it will clear a lot up about meadmaking. There are a number of folks around here who also make beer so once you've read it, if you have specific beer vs. mead process questions, this is the right place to ask :)

Making a JAO is kind of like a kit wine, they don't take a lot of thought, the procedure is very simplified, they're dead easy, and it's easy to get consistent results so long as you follow the directions to the letter. If you read that whole long ridiculous thread, you will see that the JAO recipe was formulated using Fleishmann's, so using another bread yeast will probably work just fine, but you'll hear if you ask around that any deviation (especially including yeast substitutions) will void the warranty on the recipe. So for JAO you don't need nutrients, the raisins are included to give the yeasties some nourishment.

mmclean
11-09-2011, 07:17 PM
Just follow the recipe to the letter.

Make enough to taste test over a period time. Say 3 months to 1+ years. Beer bottles work great for this.

Just my 2 pence.

wayneb
11-09-2011, 11:58 PM
I HAVE NOT READ THE NEWBEES GUIDE (yet).

STEVE! What??!!?? Ahem... you of course realize that anyone I introduce to the site should avail themselves of ALL the site's resources before asking questions that may already have been answered. :rolleyes: ;)

Seriously, as CG mentioned if you drill down to the very beginning of the JAO thread and read forward from that point, you'll get not only the recipe but also lots of suggestions applicable specifically to that mead. And reading the Newbee Guide is, well, expected.... ;D

Anyway, the short answer to your yeast question is that yes, you can use Red Star. As long as it isn't the Rapid Rise variety, your results with Red Star will be similar to Fleischmann's. But can't you find Fleischmann's at the local HyVee? Seems to me I could get it there when we lived in South Dakota.

As far as corks vs crown caps vs other closures go, you can get a hand corker, although they tend to be difficult to use if you want to use longer lasting #9 corks. As CG said, you can certainly bottle JAO in beer bottles that are then crown capped. And you might also want to consider Zork closures, which can be inserted into standard 750ml wine bottles by hand, but have the staying power of cork. They tend to be a bit on the expensive side though.

Hope that helps!

srkaeppler
11-10-2011, 12:06 AM
Thank you all for the replies. The red star is really the big question. I have a bunch of red star active yeast in my freezer for making bread, so I am sure I could use some of that. I will check the local grocery store or walmart they might sell fleischman's.

As for the newbees guide, I will read that, very soon. One quick suggestion, I noticed that you can make pages into pdfs, but it would be nice if you could just download a single pdf to read(or print - yeah I still do that). Maybe you can do that and I haven't looked hard enough...

Oh and just a little comment for Wayne - just remember, that reading list from Craig and conferences just seems to get bigger and bigger all the time (another aside, I just submitted my first paper a couple of days ago!). So don't totally hate on me for not having read this yet :)

Thank you all again, I hope to give this a shot fairly soon! I have some orange blossom honey just waiting for this mead!

Steve

wayneb
11-10-2011, 12:08 PM
Just yankin' your chain a bit, Steve! ;D

But seriously, there is a vast amount of information contained in the threads that are preserved within the Gotmead forums (not to mention the Newbee Guide and all the other documents posted on the main Gotmead site), so it is always best to dig a bit before asking a question. Many have been answered already. And in fact, a quick search with the right key words can often get you an authoritative answer to your question before we would have a chance to post a reply to anything you might post directly.

fatbloke
11-12-2011, 06:39 AM
Well, I know that there's invariably someone who mentions "voiding the warranty" if you use something different from the recipe, but as the Fleischmanns is a US brand, it's not available here.

So all the batches of JAO I've made have been with a locally available brand of bread yeast, and they've come out fine.

Plus despite what any Texans might say, "my gallon is bigger than your gallon" (4.55 litres as opposed to 3.78 litres). Hence I automatically make it to Imp gallon sizes, using local yeast and honey (not orange blossom or clover) and it still turns out excellent, so the redstar bread yeast should work out fine.

Hell, start a batch with that and then try to find some Fleischmanns and make another batch with that, then compare them......

Loadnabox
11-14-2011, 10:03 AM
Well, I know that there's invariably someone who mentions "voiding the warranty" if you use something different from the recipe, but as the Fleischmanns is a US brand, it's not available here.

So all the batches of JAO I've made have been with a locally available brand of bread yeast, and they've come out fine.

Plus despite what any Texans might say, "my gallon is bigger than your gallon" (4.55 litres as opposed to 3.78 litres). Hence I automatically make it to Imp gallon sizes, using local yeast and honey (not orange blossom or clover) and it still turns out excellent, so the redstar bread yeast should work out fine.

Hell, start a batch with that and then try to find some Fleischmanns and make another batch with that, then compare them......

I'd love to work a swap to test some time :)

fatbloke
11-14-2011, 12:10 PM
I'd love to work a swap to test some time :)
Ha ha ! You'd have to wait some as all I have "in stock" at the moment is about 18 gallons of various traditionals that are waiting for blending and back sweetening :-D

Another batch of JAO is on the cards though........

huesmann
11-16-2011, 09:55 AM
It seems like it is pretty quick
I wouldn't call it quick. It is easy, but IME not quick. My first attempt is still waiting to clear, at 3 months after pitching. Meanwhile, I've made three batches of other meads (staggered, of course), one of them already bottled.

Loadnabox
11-16-2011, 10:21 AM
Ha ha ! You'd have to wait some as all I have "in stock" at the moment is about 18 gallons of various traditionals that are waiting for blending and back sweetening :-D

Another batch of JAO is on the cards though........

The problem is it wouldn't be consistant.

I meant swap some yeast, send me some of what you use from your area and I'll send you some fleischmanns :)

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 01:15 PM
I wouldn't call it quick. It is easy, but IME not quick. My first attempt is still waiting to clear, at 3 months after pitching. Meanwhile, I've made three batches of other meads (staggered, of course), one of them already bottled.

I've never had a true JAO fail to clear up within two or three months, usually it starts clearing about a week before the fruit starts to drop. And the quick part is that it's drinkable as soon as it clears, whereas most traditional meads do require some age. But of course, your mileage may vary :)