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o0LuNeStA0o
02-04-2013, 05:02 PM
Hello all! As you can see, I'm new here. However, I have been reading topics off and on for about a month. I just had a question.

I'm currently making it in a plastic jug that a gallon of water came in. I understand that it's preferred to use a glass carboy, however I want to at least try some mead before committing and buying all the equipment you "should" use :D. For the most part I've followed the instructions exactly as Joe wrote the recipe, but I've used only half a stick of Cinnamon since I've not a big fan of the Cinnamon flavour. Since I don't have an airlock, and I currently don't have any balloons on hand, what I have set up right now is a tube going directly from the jug into a mason jar with water in it. Thoughts on this? If I didn't live in the middle of nowhere I would simply drive and get some balloons.

We've made wine before, but this is our first attempt at mead. So I don't really want to mess it up. Thanks in advance!

wintermute2
02-04-2013, 05:13 PM
Sanitize the blowoff tube and add sanitizer to the water in the mason jar

akueck
02-04-2013, 07:33 PM
Tube in water glass is perfectly fine. If there is danger of suck-back, then yes you want some sanitizer in that water. Better yet, keep the water glass low enough (i.e. level with or below the jug) that there isn't a chance for the liquid to travel up the tube and into your mead.

o0LuNeStA0o
02-04-2013, 07:57 PM
Ok, thanks for the input. That's exactly how we have it.

I'm excited. Made 2 batches of JAOM (one with half a stick of cinnamon and the other with a full stick) then we took the leftover honey we had (about 2.75lbs) and made a different batch and some blackberry jelly we had. We used about 4lbs of blackberries. I'm not really sure how that's going to come out...

fatbloke
02-05-2013, 01:21 AM
Ok, thanks for the input. That's exactly how we have it.

I'm excited. Made 2 batches of JAOM (one with half a stick of cinnamon and the other with a full stick) then we took the leftover honey we had (about 2.75lbs) and made a different batch and some blackberry jelly we had. We used about 4lbs of blackberries. I'm not really sure how that's going to come out...
You won't notice a big difference between a half and 1 stick. You would have if it had been a half stick in one and 2 sticks in tother.

Your biggest hazard with JAO spices is the cloves. Its exactly as Joe predicts, and easy to over do it with them.

As for the other batch, depending on the yeast it may finish dry. Wait and see, but with jelly and fruit in it, you will most likely need pectic enzyme otherwise it either won't clear or you'll see a pectin haze. Plus with jelly being a set product there's lots of pectin so if the pectolase pack said 1 teaspoon per gallon for unfermented musts and 2 for fermented musts I'd be thinking in the 3 to 4 tsp per gallon area.

Oh and you may also need stabilising chems (sulphites and sorbate) as, IMO, fruit based brews are usually best when sweet. So you'd likely have to stabilise once the ferment is finished.

o0LuNeStA0o
02-05-2013, 02:32 PM
As for the other batch, depending on the yeast it may finish dry. Wait and see, but with jelly and fruit in it, you will most likely need pectic enzyme otherwise it either won't clear or you'll see a pectin haze. Plus with jelly being a set product there's lots of pectin so if the pectolase pack said 1 teaspoon per gallon for unfermented musts and 2 for fermented musts I'd be thinking in the 3 to 4 tsp per gallon area.

Oh and you may also need stabilising chems (sulphites and sorbate) as, IMO, fruit based brews are usually best when sweet. So you'd likely have to stabilise once the ferment is finished.


Ok, I was thinking about that! When I was preparing the must yesterday I was noticing that it wasn't clear at all. Thanks for the advice! Erm. I have one more question. The two JAOM recipes are going fine, however, the Blackberry batch hasn't seemed to start fermenting yet. It's to my understanding that you shouldn't really until after about 72 hours, but if it hasn't started by then I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do? Just add more yeast?

Chevette Girl
02-05-2013, 10:36 PM
If you used bread yeast and 3.5 lb honey, it should stop sweet and (for me anyway) bread yeast is pretty good about actually being done when it says it's done, out of about 40 batches of JAO-like creations, I've only had two go fizzy in the bottle.

I often use double or triple ply plastic wrap and a rubber band when I'm out of airlocks, even if it fizzes up and hits the plastic, it only gets marginally messy :p

About your blackberry batch, what kind of yeast did you use? And how much jelly to your 2.75 lb of honey? If it was bread yeast, it should've taken off right away... if it's wine yeast, there may be too much sugar if you used more than the equivalent of 3.5 lb of honey, or it might just be laggy...

o0LuNeStA0o
02-05-2013, 10:51 PM
We used bread yeast in the blackberry one as well. It seems to be fermenting now, but we've decided to move it to a different bucket since we had a few doubts about the seal of the bucket it was in at the time. I want to say it was 2.75lb Honey and somewhere around 4lbs of blackberry jelly. Hopefully that's not too overbalanced -_-

Chevette Girl
02-05-2013, 10:54 PM
If that's in a gallon, then yeah, it may be way too sweet, there's a LOT of sugar in most jams and jellies. The good news is that if you only get a few days of sluggish fermentation before the yeast gives up and goes on strike, you can probably assume it was indeed too sweet and just dilute it with water, the yeast might even kick back up on their own but adding more won't hurt anything.

...oh, and you don't really have to worry about your bucket seal during an active ferment, it's only when it stops producing CO2 that you need to make sure it's in a vessel under properly-sealed airlock.

o0LuNeStA0o
02-05-2013, 11:33 PM
Hmmm. Well the good news is that it is fermenting. I do have some wine yeast on the way here. But I don't think I'll be able to use it on this batch since there's already bread yeast in it.

Thanks for all the advice so far everyone, it's been very helpful. I plan to start "Joes Quick Grape Mead' as soon as my yeast gets here :D