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machalel
02-02-2012, 04:26 AM
Hello All,

I just brewed up my first mead last week using the JAO recipe, but I have this character flaw where I can't help but experiment, so I've kinda invalidated the warranty on this one!

I actually bought a homebrew beer kit and had just finished making my second batch, when I stumbled upon the JAO recipe. Being a fan of Mead, I had a bolt of inspiration and rushed out to get ingredients. Because of where I live (and the fact that I was impatient), I had to make do with what I could find.

Having done a lot of reading and research and completing 2 beers I was feeling pretty confident in making some modifications, but accidentally misread my own handwriting and added a tad more honey than I had planned for! I guess time will tell how it turns out. I'm aiming for a sweet mead, around 4L worth in total:

1.5kg Beechworth Honey
100g Tasmanian Natural Bush Honey
100g Raisins
175g Black Flame Grapes
3 Cloves
1 Vanilla Bean (dried / sliced)
1 Orange (Sliced)
25g Black Strap Molasses
2g Cinnamon
2g Cardamom
3L Water (top up)
5g Diamminium Phosphate
W-yeast 2046

From this, I ended up with an O.G. of 1.129

Initially pitched on the 22nd Jan, I have oxygenated by vigorous stirring and sloshing each day for the first 3 days, and then "swirled" the mixture for the following 3 days to disperse/mix the fruit. It has been bubbling nicely, but has slowed down a lot in the last couple of days.

I can't find any info on the net for this particular strain of yeast (W-Yeast 2049), but my HBS recommended it and apparently is good for about 15%. I have found a single reference that claims it might be a Fermentis SC-22 (http://www.fermentis.com/SHARED/DocProd_164172.pdf), but no idea if that is true.

The BeerSmith2 program estimates that there is enough sugars to reach a final ABV of 19%, so I'm thinking that the yeast should reach saturation point before sugars are used up. The only thing is that it also estimated an OG of 1.118, which is obviously below actual, so maybe theoretical 20%?

Am I correct in thinking that this might take a while to age properly and smooth out? :P

machalel
02-02-2012, 05:11 AM
Well I just solved that problem :mad:

I was going to take a gravity reading (and a small taste test), but when i picked up the glass demijohn, the bottom just fell off. Luckily it was in the laundry sink at the time, but it means that everything just went down the drain... so sad! :(

fatbloke
02-02-2012, 06:30 AM
Back to square one then ? I'd actually suggest you make one as close as possible to the recipe (allowing for variation with local products) so you've got a benchmark batch. Then have a play.....

It doesn't IMO, make a good dry recipe as the clove and pithy bitterness seems to amplify under dryness.....

triarchy
02-02-2012, 09:15 AM
Damn, what a shame. Im sorry to hear about that, and you have no ready to drink mead to drown your sorrows either! I thought it sounded like a good variation, with the exception of yeast.

I think your "character flaw" is an awesome trait, shared by many here Id bet including myself. However, it can bite you on occasion. An example would be in using a higher alcohol tolerance yeast in a JAO. Bread yeast is key because it ensures the final product will be sweet. The one you chose would have brought the mead dry. As Fatbloke says, JAO doesnt do as good dry due to the spice and bitter components not being balanced by the sweetness.

I hope you try it again and have better luck with the demijohn, good luck!

Chevette Girl
02-02-2012, 03:05 PM
I think your "character flaw" is an awesome trait, shared by many here Id bet including myself.

Also guilty as charged ;D

I second what Triarchy said, I further submit that (after lots and lots of dicking around with the JAO recipe), the important bits are honey:water ratio and use of bread yeast. I also second what Fatbloke suggests, just once, do it according to the recipe... 3.5 lb honey, bread yeast, orange, cinnamon stick, a clove or two and a handful of raisins. THEN mess with it and see how things affect it...

And also, my sincerest condolences on the loss of your batch, may the lack of mess comfort you in your time of loss. :(