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View Full Version : First time brewer, Question about clearing JAOM



Bibliophile
01-20-2012, 12:01 PM
Hi there, this is the first time I've brewed anything ever. I've tried searching the forums for answers to these questions, and I've read most every JAOM post over the last couple of months, but I think I'm just so new, I don't know what the search terms are to get the results I'm looking for.

I made a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange, as recommended by the Newbie guide. It cleared beautifully, but the fruit hasn't dropped. I moved it a bit on the counter, to be able to get at it for bottling, and now it's all cloudy again. Do I wait for it to clear again before trying to bottle? How long should that take? Would I stir up the crud at the bottom again, as soon as I put the siphon in? Or should I rack it to a different jug, and then wait for it to clear in that one, and then try bottling it? How long would it take to clear out? I have a couple of empty rye bottles with push in corks. Would that work for bottling it?

Chevette Girl
01-20-2012, 12:06 PM
I usually find that with JAO's the fruit drops one to three weeks after it goes clear. And if you move it while the fruit's still at the top, all the yeast and stuff that's stuck to the fruit gets stirred back in and will cloud things up again. The good news is that a few hours or a day or two should have it as clear as it was, but you'd probably do better if you gave it another week or two for the fruit to drop before you consider bottling it.

I myself like to let everything settle and then rack it to another jug about a week before I bottle. And your rye bottles sound like they'd work fine, I use push-in cork or screw-top liquor bottles for a lot of my JAO's too.

And welcome to the forum! (and the addiction ;D )

Bibliophile
01-20-2012, 03:18 PM
Yep, that's pretty much exactly what happened. I got so happy it cleared & then moved it. I'll leave it be until the fruit drops. OK. I can *try* & be patient for a couple of more weeks. I guess I'll have to finish emptying that other bottle of rye in the meantime, so I can have another bottle to put my mead in. Thanks for the reassurance. I really appreciate it, since I haven't done this before.

fatbloke
01-21-2012, 06:17 AM
I usually find that with JAO's the fruit drops one to three weeks after it goes clear. And if you move it while the fruit's still at the top, all the yeast and stuff that's stuck to the fruit gets stirred back in and will cloud things up again. The good news is that a few hours or a day or two should have it as clear as it was, but you'd probably do better if you gave it another week or two for the fruit to drop before you consider bottling it.

-----%<-----
+1 on that.....

Bread yeast doesn't flocculate very well and movement is one of the easiest ways of bringing some of the yeast debris back into suspension.

I'd suggest, that if you can, you put the fermenter roughly where it will be when you want to rack it. It should, as CG mentions, settle out in a day or two (maybe a little longer YMMV). Then once it's clear, carefully rack what you can without going too close to the sediment and submerged fruit (which will hold a little sediment that can be easily disturbed).

Then once the cleared bit has been removed, you can go for the rest of the liquid, into a container that will allow you to use the racking syphon through the top, racking it right down to the sediment.

This container is then placed in the fridge for a day or two, and when cleared again, carefully rack off the last of the cleared liquid.

That way, you will minimize your racking loses.....

Bibliophile
01-23-2012, 12:55 AM
I theived a bit out of the jug tonight for a taste & SG measurement. It was quite sweet, nice amount of orange and just a hint of spices. Original hydrometer measurement was 1.12? Tonights was 1.050. According to my mom's Vinometer says that the mead is about 18% - 20%, stirred things up a bit more while theiving, but I can wait a bit easier now that I've had a taste.

Chevette Girl
01-23-2012, 02:03 AM
I wouldn't trust the vinometer, those things are notorious for being inaccurate... if you take your starting gravity 1.120 and plug that with your finishing gravity 1.050, into the Mead Calculator over at the side, you'll get about 9.5% alcohol. Even if you pretend it had finished completely (set the finishing gravity to 1.000), there's only enough sugar in your initial must to make it up to about 16% alcohol.

For the record, your starting gravity is perfectly reasonable for a JAO, mine are usually between 1.120 and 1.135 depending on how much headspace you leave and on your honey's sugar content.

Mine usually finish around 1.030 (around 12%) but now and then there's a batch that stays a little sweeter for no particular reason, so your 1.050 is still within acceptable outcomes.


...and if you're this excited about getting into it, maybe you'd better start a new batch as soon as you get this one bottled! :) Join the dark side, never have carboy space again...

Loadnabox
01-23-2012, 05:36 PM
...
...and if you're this excited about getting into it, maybe you'd better start a new batch as soon as you get this one bottled! :) Join the dark side, never have carboy space again...

Dear lord yes... er no... I mean....I have three more large batches planned and I'm not sure anymore where I'm going to put them :P

I have some beer I'm about to move into a plastic jug instead, that'll free up a 6.5 gallon carboy. I have a 5 gallon carboy that's unused in the garage. Trying to figure out where the third one will come from, but if a deal from craigslist works out that'll at least get me another 5.5 gallon container.

Chevette Girl
01-23-2012, 06:59 PM
Dear lord yes... er no... I mean....I have three more large batches planned and I'm not sure anymore where I'm going to put them :P

I have some beer I'm about to move into a plastic jug instead, that'll free up a 6.5 gallon carboy.

...all my plastic jugs are full now too... I'm getting to the point where I need to drink more so I have room to put away bottles so I can bottle more... honestly I don't know if we're cautionary tales or something to aspire to...;D

Soyala_Amaya
01-23-2012, 10:34 PM
Wait...you're SUPPOSED to have empty carboys? I'm confused...I don't think that's happened to me yet! What a strange concept, empty carboys...

Jas53
01-23-2012, 11:57 PM
Made 4 batches of JOAM last year and none of the fruit fell. In another posting someone mentioned that potentially due to the amount of CO2 in/on the fruit keeps it from dropping. When totally clear - I bottled. Used a french press for some of the dregs near the bottom when racking.

Chevette Girl
01-24-2012, 12:43 AM
I do kind of cheat, as soon as it clears I give it a swirl to help dislodge the CO2, eventually the fruit does fall but sometimes it takes a couple weeks. But hey, do the best you can and don't fret about it too much, there is no one way.

Loadnabox
01-24-2012, 03:44 PM
Wait...you're SUPPOSED to have empty carboys? I'm confused...I don't think that's happened to me yet! What a strange concept, empty carboys...

It's not that I'm out of carboys, it's that I don't have the money to buy more. There's always more carboys in the world :)

Penguinetti
01-26-2012, 11:08 AM
It's not that I'm out of carboys, it's that I don't have the money to buy more. There's always more carboys in the world :)

+1 on this. Just waiting to have enough money to buy more carboys, lol. ;D

Soyala_Amaya
01-26-2012, 11:11 AM
Oh, well, that I DO understand. Am playing carboy shuffle myself tomorrow since I got my new honey order in and I want things to start going!