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Inkvine
02-26-2012, 01:41 PM
I have been lurking about for a few weeks trying to learn as much as I can before jumping in. I am experiencing information overload. I think it is time to get my hands dirty. I understand the basics to get started the rest is a little fuzzy. I toyed with the idea of starting with a JAO, but it sounded a little too sweet for me. I found the recipe below while perusing the forums (can't find the thread to give due credit to the creator) I really like the Whole Foods Italian blood orange soda so that is my flavor profile goal. Not too sweet, tart and slightly bitter with a hint of salty-ness. I realize as a NewBee that I will probably fall flat of my goal, but I'm going to try anyway.

1 gallon batch medium sweet orange melomel
2 cups fresh squeezed juice of blood orange, navel and tangelo, (plus zest)
3.75 lbs. Raw clover honey (surprisingly spicy)
1 gallon filtered water (plus extra for rinsing and topping off)
71B yeast
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp yeast energizer

Is pectic enzyme necessary with just juice and zest? Have not worked out SG or PH. I have all the tools and I plan on getting that nailed down before I jump. I want to do a non boil method. I have campden tablets, but could I get away with sanitizing the unprocessed fruit? The original post for the recipe used D47 for the yeast, I thought the 71b description fit this recipe better. (Please feel free to correct me)
I have a 2 gallon fermentation bucket to start the must in, should I be concerned with too much head space. Also I have a 5 week window before I leave town for a week, should I hold of until I get back? I'm sure I have many more questions and concerns that I will bombard you with in the near future.

Thanks in advance *_*Inkvine

Inkvine
02-26-2012, 03:27 PM
I guess I should add that I do have acces to C02 to top off my fermentation bucket if it is neccesary. I assume it should be done every timee the bucket is opened?

triarchy
02-26-2012, 07:26 PM
Welcome to GotMead Inkvine! Ill take a crack at some of your questions.

Pectic enzyme-Probably not necessary for the OJ and zest. Wont hurt if you add it though.

No need for the Campden tablets in my opinion. Just wash/sanitize the fruit good before you zest.

Yeast-71B will take this closer to dry than D47 will. 71B should still leave you with some sweetness though, unless it really does a good job (which it can sometimes do). If you use 71B and it goes dry, you can backsweeten. Make sure you rack off of the lees quickly, 71B can cause off flavors if left too long on them. If you chose D47, make sure to ferment at a cooler temp, like high 50's to low 60's to prevent harsh flavors.

A 2 gallon bucket should give you plenty of head room. No need for the CO2 during primary, the fermentation will be making the CO2 for you. Once you transfer to secondary and age, then you can top off with CO2 to prevent oxidation. I (and many others) leave the primary fermenter uncovered except for a sterile cloth to make stiring and adding nutrients easier. I cover the fermenter with a lid after 1/2 sugar break.

You should be done with primary fermentation well before the 5 weeks are up. Once you rack it to secondary, you will probably want to let it age un-bothered for a while (6-12 months or more). This will have a fairly high alcohol content and the zest might be quite bitter for a while, aging will help a lot.

Good luck!

Chevette Girl
02-26-2012, 08:09 PM
Actually most commercially available pectin is made from citrus fruits, so if you've got it or can get it, you might want to use pectinase, I made a heavy-citrus JAO and had to use pectinase to get it to clear a year later. Since alcohol tends to inhibit its performance, it's best to use it before fermentation rather than after...

With 3.75 lb honey in a gallon, the Mead Calculator estimates a starting gravity of 1.135 which will be increased to more once you add the orange juice... you'll get a pretty high specific gravity to start with. This can lead to ticked-off where they may not start off well, or they may quitt early (or both), leaving you with a VERY Sweet mead. And even if it does finish, at an estimated 18% alcohol it's gonna take a long time to age out to be more than rocket fuel... you may consider starting with 3 lb honey, see where it goes, and then you've got plenty to backsweeten with later.

I always scrub my citrus fruits with hot soapy water (sometimes I throw them in the sink with the dishes) to make sure my zest isn't mostly pesticides.

And yeah, don't sweat about headspace in primary. You WANT some oxygen exposure in the early stages and in the later stages it's making enough CO2 to drive out anything you didn't want in the headspace.

Inkvine
02-27-2012, 11:43 AM
Triarchy Thanks very much for the welcome and the help, I will take your suggestion and use D47 instead. The Contributes tropical-fruit esters and softens acidity perception description for the 71-B caught my eye.

Yikes I see my error now. I downsized the numbers from a 3 gallon recipe and I made a mistake, the amount of honey should have read 2.75 lbs. (math skills I has them) Thanks for talking me off the ledge Chevette Girl. That would have been a hot mess. I would hope:rolleyes:that once I plugged the numbers in to the mead calculator I would have figured it out.

So if I used the mead calculator right 2.75 lbs. honey would have an SG. of 1.106/ABV% of 13.9 and 3.00 lbs. honey would be SG.1.115/ABV% of 14.96%? Both amounts have the 2 cups O.J. pluged in as well. Is there any way to calculate what the Final Specific Gravity will be?

yes I was concerned about pesticides as well so the orange to be zested is organic. I don't want to over do it so I figured half a tablespoon in the primary, and if needed add a little to the second and taste till desired effect.
Thanks again for the help it is much appreciated.<3

Chevette Girl
02-27-2012, 04:35 PM
So if I used the mead calculator right 2.75 lbs. honey would have an SG. of 1.106/ABV% of 13.9 and 3.00 lbs. honey would be SG.1.115/ABV% of 14.96%? Both amounts have the 2 cups O.J. pluged in as well. Is there any way to calculate what the Final Specific Gravity will be?

Sounds about right.

Generally we assume it goes to 1.000 or a little lower but lots of different things could cause it to stop earlier - pH too low, your yeast aren't rated for it (sorry I don't know off the top of my head what 71B or D47's tolerances are, it's probably on the Yeast Table over there under the Mead Calculator), you didn't aerate or feed your yeast colony adequately during its early stages... all kinds of things can cause it to not finish. And then sometimes you mistreat yeast horribly and it still eats everything in sight and blows way past its rated alcohol tolerance...

I find zest without pith imparts flavour without too much bitterness, but it does definitely round out nicely with some age. I've used the juice and zest of three or four lemons per gallon and not tasted a predominant citrus flavour in the finished product. And organic citrus is a seasonal thing here, I can't always get it, but the dish soap method hasn't left enough pesticides in my brews to kill me yet :)

TAKeyser
03-05-2012, 02:23 AM
Both D47 and 71B are good for a 1.105 drop in gravity if everything goes as it could, but with a lot of stuff when making mead those estimates aren't always accurate yeast strains can exceed the % abv that they say and stuck fermentations and such can cause it to end early.

Inkvine
03-05-2012, 11:28 AM
Thanks for the info TAKeyser. I went ahead and used the D47, it seems to be chugging along quite nice on its second day. I will try the 71B in my next batch (cherry I think) and compare the results.

Inkvine
03-05-2012, 05:47 PM
Started this batch yesterday she is looking good. I think I need to strain out some of the pulp so I can get a decent gravity reading. My question is when I rack this to the secondary will it be o.k. to add more blood orange juice to boost the color? I see that people add fruit to the secondary, but will the juice throw things off?

The girl at the brew store suggested the iodine based sanitizer. I used it but it smells like a hospital :p I see as well that it is not so environmentally friendly. She was very adamant about me not using bleach (which is also not very environmentally friendly) especially on my plastics. Why? So I was curious about what works for you?

wildoates
03-05-2012, 06:12 PM
I use Star San. Works great and not too expensive.

Chevette Girl
03-06-2012, 01:40 PM
Started this batch yesterday she is looking good. I think I need to strain out some of the pulp so I can get a decent gravity reading. My question is when I rack this to the secondary will it be o.k. to add more blood orange juice to boost the color? I see that people add fruit to the secondary, but will the juice throw things off?

It shouldn't be a problem. Just be aware that it'll dilute your must a little so you won't get quite the alcohol level you calculated.


The girl at the brew store suggested the iodine based sanitizer. I used it but it smells like a hospital :p I see as well that it is not so environmentally friendly. She was very adamant about me not using bleach (which is also not very environmentally friendly) especially on my plastics. Why? So I was curious about what works for you?

I use potassium metabisulphite, in a mason jar for dipping and pouring, and a spray bottle for spritzing things too big to soak.

Inkvine
03-06-2012, 11:39 PM
I use Star San. Works great and not too expensive.

Thanks i'm going to the brew store tomorrow to see what their selection is.


It shouldn't be a problem. Just be aware that it'll dilute your must a little so you won't get quite the alcohol level you calculated.



I use potassium metabisulphite, in a mason jar for dipping and pouring, and a spray bottle for spritzing things too big to soak.

I'm not to worried about having ABV that will knock me on my rump, but I guess if you tweak things too much you lose the delicate balance. It is a very nice spring pink at the moment perhaps I will let it be.

Do you dissolve campden tabs and make your own?

TAKeyser
03-06-2012, 11:43 PM
My LHBS carries an 8 oz jar of powdered Potassium Metabisulfite that makes things go very smoothly. 8 oz for $2

Chevette Girl
03-07-2012, 12:40 AM
Do you dissolve campden tabs and make your own?


My LHBS carries an 8 oz jar of powdered Potassium Metabisulfite that makes things go very smoothly. 8 oz for $2

That's what I use too, but I think Fatbloke uses campden tablets with some citric acid for his sanitizing solution. The campden tabs I get are actually soduim meta, not potassium, and it's vastly more cost-effective to get the cleanser-grade jar of potassium metabisulphite, I've been using the same $4 jar since I started winemaking in 2004 and I've still got 1/4 jar left...

TAKeyser
03-07-2012, 12:47 AM
I do have a package of actual Campden Tablets and they are Sodium Metabisulphite. Don't use the tablets so they've been sitting here since 2002 and half the package is still full, wonder if they have a shelf life?

Sadie Lady
03-07-2012, 06:35 AM
I use potassium metabisulphite, in a mason jar for dipping and pouring, and a spray bottle for spritzing things too big to soak.

I have potassium meta and some One Step. Both say you don't have to rinse, I keep wondering about that every time I stir my must with a spoon that's been dipped in one or the other. I have a tall Rubbermaid type container, filled it up with One Step solution. I've been keeping my hydrometer, baster etc. in the solution while I'm in the primary fermentation phase.

TAKeyser
03-07-2012, 12:51 PM
I do the same thing with the one step during fermentation. I feel safer just pulling it out and doing what I have to with it than rinsing it off with who knows what comes out of the faucet. Basically "no rinse" means that there is nothing that is going to harm your Mead unlike some of the other sanitizers.

Chevette Girl
03-08-2012, 11:45 AM
Exactly, a very small amount of potassium metabisulphite isn't going to hurt your must, you'd have to spill quite a bit of sanitizing solution into the must for it to have an appreciable effect. And yeah, there ARE bacteria in municipal and well water, just not ones that are harmful to us. I shake off the excess before I stick anything sanitized into my must but that's about it.

TAKeyser
03-08-2012, 01:41 PM
That's all I do, shake it off and then do what I have to do with it. After I'm done wash it and stick it back in the jar of sanitizer.

Sadie Lady
03-10-2012, 01:12 PM
Thanks, not going to worry about that anymore. Also, I don't know about our tap water here either. Sometimes I think I smell chlorine in it even though they say they don't chlorinate it, so I've never used it to make any mead.

Inkvine
03-10-2012, 01:27 PM
I have potassium meta and some One Step. Both say you don't have to rinse, I keep wondering about that every time I stir my must with a spoon that's been dipped in one or the other.

I agree I have wondered about that as well. Now I know. I think I have settled on the one step, so now I have to track some down.


Thanks, not going to worry about that anymore. Also, I don't know about our tap water here either. Sometimes I think I smell chlorine in it even though they say they don't chlorinate it, so I've never used it to make any mead.

I filter my tap water. I swear I smell chlorine in our water too, and my husband assures me it's not there.

Chevette Girl
03-11-2012, 02:55 AM
Thanks, not going to worry about that anymore. Also, I don't know about our tap water here either. Sometimes I think I smell chlorine in it even though they say they don't chlorinate it, so I've never used it to make any mead.

I, on the other hand, know full well I have chloramine in my tap water and use the stuff straight out of the tap. No problems I can attribute to it so far...