View Full Version : Newbee With a Time Conundrum

07-10-2012, 08:33 AM
Hello everyone! I have been perusing the Gotmead site and am very greatful for all of the amazing information all of you have made available for someone like me. So thank you very much for puting as much energy into this as you have!

Now onto the conundrum. I am working in Afghanistan for the time being and would love to start doing some brewing on my next visit home. I will be home for about 4 weeks starting in August and thought I might be able to start my first two batches (simultaneously) while I am home, then let them sit and age until my next visit.

So far what I have been thinking of is doing the JAO and Joe's Grape Mead with some extra spices to make it a festive drink that I might possibly be able to share over the coming holidays. Both can be found in the recipe section of the site.

My question is, do you guys feel that four weeks of watching my new brews would be enough time to get them to the point where I would be able to leave them to their own devices for a few months? And if not, are there any recipes that you might recommend?

Thanks for the help. I'm hoping I can start down this path here in the next month!

07-10-2012, 08:49 AM
I think that 4 weeks should be plenty of time to get the mead to a point where it could sit for several months. The JAO can be set up in an hour and then you can let it sit for a year if you wanted. Joe's quick grape should, in theory, be able to be made and bottled within 4 weeks. At the least you can get to the back sweetening part, and then let it sit in secondary for as long as you like.


07-10-2012, 10:03 AM
Four weeks probably wouldn't be enough time for the JAO to finish as it normally does, but fermentation should be over by that point. Even though it wouldn't have cleared yet, I would suggest racking it over to a new container for bulk aging right before you leave so it can settle and age off of all the junk and fruit. Not exactly the standard method for a JAO, but I think letting it sit on everything just a little less would be better than having it on the leftovers for a really long time.

Chevette Girl
07-10-2012, 10:44 AM
I've done JAO's and variations that sat on the fruit for six months (apparently that's how long it takes cranberries to sink), I don't think there's anything in an orange that won't have already been extracted after a month, so leaving it for several months really shouldn't make much difference.

My opinion is that JAO is the perfect brew-and-forget recipe. Just make sure if you use airlocks that you have someone topping up the water level once a month or so. I recommend against balloons for long-term aging, in my experience, the rubber will degrade and eventually perforate, although if you used those for primary and then switched to something else before you left, it's still feasible.

Youy could also just use plastic wrap, double or quadruple layer with an elastic to hold it in place over the carboy mouth, I've left some things for months at a time like that, since I make most of my JAO's in wide-mouth one-gallon pickle jars that won't take a stopper.

07-10-2012, 11:37 AM
Thank you for the input guys and gal. I'll definitely be giving these a shot when I get home. And Chevette Girl, thank you for the heads up on topping up the water level once a month. I hadn't even thought of that.

I'll post an update when I get these things started!

07-10-2012, 01:21 PM
I have racked all my JOA variations within a months time to secondary and they all taste great. Good luck and have fun!!

07-10-2012, 11:42 PM
I have racked all my JOA variations within a months time to secondary and they all taste great. Good luck and have fun!!

Thank you very much, I am looking forward to it!

07-14-2012, 09:56 AM
As CG says, JAOM is the perfect mead for you: fire and forget, i.e. make it and just leave it.

Joe's Quick Grape is also good, since it ferments dry and fast. If you don't have time to complete it by the time you have to leave, just rack it off the lees and let it sit under airlock.

You would need someone to inspect your airlocks every so often and make sure they don't dry out.

08-19-2012, 01:34 PM
Alright, so I am home now and getting ready to go purchase all my supplies. After having my wife taste some mead, she is completely on board with handling the brewing while I am gone, so we shouldn't have any issues. I'll post an update when I get started with the exact recipe that we used. I believe we are going to be trying a 3 gallon batch of Joe's Grape Mead with some added spices. It'll either be a great success or a nice fail to help us start down our path.

08-21-2012, 11:47 AM
Incase anyone wants to know, I just posted the first batch on the mead log. Hope you guys enjoy. :)