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The Red Lass
02-22-2012, 09:55 PM
I recently put my mead from it's original bucket into a plastic carboy (5 gallon, basic orange and raisin recipe) and while doing so I noticed a few things, some favorable, some not so much and I need clues as to what to do.

Upon opening my bucket, a lovely citrus alcoholic smell filled the room that gave me high hopes so I sampled a sip. However upon tasting it I discovered the mix to be a VERY distinctively orange tasting level of sour. I am wondering if this will settle out (I added 5 oranges, 1 per gallon). I had shaken up the bucket quite a bit during the transfer and I am wondering if this taste might be due to the yeast being shaken up? Should I sweeten?

Also, I recently (I switched the mead over on the 15th) noticed in the last two days the mead has gone from being slightly opaque and cloudy to quite clear and orangish-yellow in color. Does this mean the yeast has settled or has it died entirely? If it has died, do I still need to add potassium sorbate and sulfite tablets in order to stop the yeast from feeding off the added honey? Any help is very useful to me and will be appreciated!

Chevette Girl
02-22-2012, 11:25 PM
Upon opening my bucket, a lovely citrus alcoholic smell filled the room that gave me high hopes so I sampled a sip. However upon tasting it I discovered the mix to be a VERY distinctively orange tasting level of sour. I am wondering if this will settle out (I added 5 oranges, 1 per gallon). I had shaken up the bucket quite a bit during the transfer and I am wondering if this taste might be due to the yeast being shaken up? Should I sweeten?

Patience, Grasshopper... It is possible that your recipe went dry because the yeast ate all the honey. If it's the Storm The Castle one it's got less honey in it than our traditional JAO recipe here AND it uses a wine yeast instead of bread yeast so it's actually pretty likely it's gone dry. Only measuring with a hyrdometer can tell you for sure.

Should you sweeten it? Well, if you really don't like dry wines you probably will want to. But if you're not sure, well, what it tastes like now after a couple of weeks is NOTHING like what it's going to taste like in a few months or a year so you may want to hold off on making a decision, age it a bit, and see how you like it then. The orange will definitely mellow out.



Also, I recently (I switched the mead over on the 15th) noticed in the last two days the mead has gone from being slightly opaque and cloudy to quite clear and orangish-yellow in color. Does this mean the yeast has settled or has it died entirely? If it has died, do I still need to add potassium sorbate and sulfite tablets in order to stop the yeast from feeding off the added honey? Any help is very useful to me and will be appreciated!

It most likely means the yeast has settled, not died... so yes, you do need to stabilize it before you add more honey or it's just going to kick back up and eat whatever else you feed it. If you take a hydrometer reading and it's well above 1.000 and there's no further change, then maybe it's died, but without a hydrometer reading we can't tell you for sure.

The Red Lass
02-23-2012, 10:43 AM
So it's safe to add the yeast killers regardless of whether or not the yeast has died and I should wait to sweeten anyhow till it is time to bottle. Goods info to know.

Also, the reason I had done wine yeast as opposed to bread yeast was because I had heard bread yeast was insufficient to ferment large amounts like 5 gallons. If this is untrue which breast yeast would you suggest?

Chevette Girl
02-23-2012, 12:53 PM
Check out the recipe for Joe's Ancient Orange, it's a sticky post at the top of one of the forum sections (it's got some 50 pages of posts so just go to the last page, I think it's post #2). It's worth trying it true to the recipe at least once. Fleischmann's is what that recipe was calibrated for but you should get similar results with any non-hyperactive, non-breadmachine plain old bread yeast.

Bread yeast can handle large volumes the same way wine yeast does. It's the alcohol content where you run into bread yeast's limits. JAO uses bread yeast because it poops out around 10-12% alcohol and leaves some residual sugar which makes a sweet, not too alcoholic mead that can be drunk relatively young.

Loadnabox
02-23-2012, 03:27 PM
So it's safe to add the yeast killers regardless of whether or not the yeast has died and I should wait to sweeten anyhow till it is time to bottle. Goods info to know.


Mind you they are not yeast killers, they generally prevent yeast from reproducing. This is why you can't really stop a ferment with stabilizers like sorbate.



Also, the reason I had done wine yeast as opposed to bread yeast was because I had heard bread yeast was insufficient to ferment large amounts like 5 gallons. If this is untrue which breast yeast would you suggest?

now I'm pretty sure you got the recipe from STC :) I saw in their comments where people had made these claims.

This is patently false. The type of yeast is unimportant to the size of the batch (except in terms of heat production in 50+ gallon batches). Pitch rate, or the amount of yeast put into the must at the beginning is more important.

1tsp of Fleischmanns in 1 gallon is plenty. 1tsp in 5 gallons is enough as the colony will grow but another tsp won't hurt. 1 tsp in 50 gallons, it will take a VERY long time for the yeast to grow into a sizable culture sufficient for prompt fermentation. This would risk infection, oxidation and possibly even a stuck fermentation if the yeast never manages to grow the colony enough.