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mannye
06-21-2013, 11:36 PM
As I am making my first mead this coming week, I got a few items coming in the mail and now I'm thinking I may have "overdone" some stuff.

I'm not new to fermenting as I've been making beer for ages, so I have some stuff and knowledge a beginning mead maker may not... but I want to make sure I don't fall into the "a little knowledge is dangerous" area.

I got:

6 pounds of Orange Blossom honey from Florida
An Erlenmeyer flask with airlock 2000ml (2liters I guess) for the yeast starter
Lavin D47
IO Star sanitizer because shipping was free
Fermaid K
Yeast energizer
rehydration nutrient

I just bought that stuff, but I also have a mash tun, three fermenters and one "aging" bucket and there's a conical fermenter on the way as well (just trying to decide if I'm getting one stainless or three plastic) as well as a tons of airlocks, a filter and all the other accessories one tends to accumulate over the years...

Now, I do read instructions... and I know what they say... I'm just so sure that using the D47 will make a better tasting mead than the supermarket bread yeast... right?? It's the only variation I am planning! Should I just pitch it into the must dry? Or should I go the Erlenmeyer flask route and do the whole nutrient/energizer shebang?

I've found that yeast is a pretty resilient little bug and as long as the must/wort is cool enough, it'll take off...I've just never worked with this D47 stuff...

joemirando
06-22-2013, 12:36 AM
If you're making JAOM, my recommendation, for what little its actually worth, is to not get fancy, just follow the recipe.

My first fermentation experience was with JAOM, and not that long ago. I used 3 pounds of honey instead of 3.5, with everything else being exactly per instructions. I did it because the honey I bought came in 3 pound bottles and I had no way to weigh out the extra half pound. Preferring dry wines, I figured this wouldn't be an issue.

WRONG!

The first words out of my mouth after tasting it were "Oooooh, you can really taste the pith!" :rolleyes:

Who would have thought that half a pound would make that big of a difference? Oh, yeah. Right. My bad.

I think the best way to look at is like fueling your Volkswagon beetle (original). Sure, jet fuel is higher octane, but it'll ruin that bug sure as shootin'.

Anyway, if you're branching off on your own here, and not intending to make a 'better JAOM', then have at it! I've got a batch fermenting now that's using wine yeast, the 'proper' amount of honey, the juice and zest of an orange and the usual spices. Its not intended to be JAOM, but something that highlights a little more of the things I like, ie higher alcohol content, less residual sweetness and less bitterness (since there's less sweetness to balance it). Its going to require aging, which JAOM does well without, or so I'm told, but that's okay; its an experiment. JAOM gave me a foundation to go on to this one, which will give me a foundation to go on to the next one.

Good luck, keep us informed!


Joe

rj_picou
06-22-2013, 01:14 AM
I'm a week into my 1st. its a JAO knock off...lol...i only used 3# of honey and used 71B. i chose the 71B because i have a fluctuating temp in my home. and, i too was concerned with bread yeast! Also i understand the 71B is good for melomels. wich is a nice option if i need to take some bitterness out. we'll see

mannye
06-22-2013, 10:49 AM
Let's see what happens, I have two one gallon carboys and enough honey to make two batches of JOAM (got another 3 pounds...so I have 9 pounds total) so I should be able to experiment with one exact recipe and one using the LAvin D47.

Pictures and notes will follow.

THawk
06-23-2013, 07:46 AM
Let's see what happens, I have two one gallon carboys and enough honey to make two batches of JOAM (got another 3 pounds...so I have 9 pounds total) so I should be able to experiment with one exact recipe and one using the LAvin D47.

Pictures and notes will follow.

The JAOM is not meant to ferment dry... changing the amount of honey and/or the type of yeast breaks the warranty.

I've tried a JAOM with 3 lbs of honey -- tasted pretty icky even with the rest of the ingredients as it should. Stick with the 3.5 lbs of honey to give yourself a baseline. After that you can mess with it to your hearts desire... ;D

mannye
06-23-2013, 12:49 PM
The JAOM is not meant to ferment dry... changing the amount of honey and/or the type of yeast breaks the warranty.

I've tried a JAOM with 3 lbs of honey -- tasted pretty icky even with the rest of the ingredients as it should. Stick with the 3.5 lbs of honey to give yourself a baseline. After that you can mess with it to your hearts desire... ;D

Oh I am! I will only be changing the yeast in the second batch.

THawk
06-23-2013, 11:41 PM
Oh I am! I will only be changing the yeast in the second batch.

A dry JAOM is basically orange juice on steroids... it's not sweet. Somewhat tart with a kick... Pretty icky...

mannye
06-24-2013, 09:26 AM
A dry JAOM is basically orange juice on steroids... it's not sweet. Somewhat tart with a kick... Pretty icky...

It night be just the ticket to blend with oversweet cloying commercial meads or my own "by the book" JOAM if it comes out too sweet for my taste. I really don't like things too sweet.

But I have yet to try a variety of meads and so have an uneducated palate. After I get out there and do some tastings I'll know more what you guys mean by sweet/semi-sweet/dry.

joemirando
06-24-2013, 10:37 AM
It night be just the ticket to blend with oversweet cloying commercial meads or my own "by the book" JOAM if it comes out too sweet for my taste. I really don't like things too sweet.

But I have yet to try a variety of meads and so have an uneducated palate. After I get out there and do some tastings I'll know more what you guys mean by sweet/semi-sweet/dry.
THAT sounds like a plan!

Just remember the words of the Teacher.

Confucius say:
"A wise man tries all things three times;
Once to see if he likes it.
Again to see if he was mistaken.
And a third time to see if he will tire of it quickly."

And don't try driving home after. ;)


Joe

ambloplites
06-25-2013, 11:40 PM
What THawk has written is the absolute truth!

I've done the JAOM recipe exactly as written, and it's damn good! Very well balanced, and not too sweet or dry ... Joe got it just right!!!! And my friends literally beg me to make more (I shall never show them how easy it is!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!) Sorry, the evil side of me showing through.

However, then, I made the mistake of doing a couple of JAOM exactly, but with only 3.0 lbs honey ... by complete accident ... they turned out dry (pithy/bitter?) and hot! Not the best. Drinkable if you're a desperate viking or pirate. But not what we all envision as MEAD. I'm hoping they mellow with age.

Tonight I just started two new batches ... one follows the JAOM recipe exactly (and my girlfriend also started an exact JAOM - except she used Red Star yeast ... I used Fleischman's), and in my other I substituted a double handful of thinly sliced strawberries and a handful of frozen and thawed blackberries, for the orange (no orange), and the Lalvin D-47 yeast ... just to see what happens. I know, I tossed the warranty out in the bathwater with the baby ... I care not.

Mannye, I'd like to trade notes with you about the Lalvin D-47 result at a later date!

Phil

Chevette Girl
06-25-2013, 11:59 PM
Who would have thought that half a pound would make that big of a difference? Oh, yeah. Right. My bad.

I once tried dropping just 1/4 lb of honey from a JAO and regretted it. Two things not to mess with when it comes to messing with JAO - the honey amount per gallon, and the use of bread yeast.



However, then, I made the mistake of doing a couple of JAOM exactly, but with only 3.0 lbs honey ... by complete accident ... they turned out dry (pithy/bitter?) and hot! Not the best. Drinkable if you're a desperate viking or pirate. But not what we all envision as MEAD. I'm hoping they mellow with age.


Ambloplites, if your desparate pirate fuel is still in a carboy, just backsweeten it, half a pound would make sense but if you're worried about it being too sweet, start with 1/4 lb and see how it goes. It should mellow but the drier it is, the longer that seems to take.

mannye
06-26-2013, 09:49 AM
What THawk has written is the absolute truth!

I've done the JAOM recipe exactly as written, and it's damn good! Very well balanced, and not too sweet or dry ... Joe got it just right!!!! And my friends literally beg me to make more (I shall never show them how easy it is!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!) Sorry, the evil side of me showing through.

However, then, I made the mistake of doing a couple of JAOM exactly, but with only 3.0 lbs honey ... by complete accident ... they turned out dry (pithy/bitter?) and hot! Not the best. Drinkable if you're a desperate viking or pirate. But not what we all envision as MEAD. I'm hoping they mellow with age.

Tonight I just started two new batches ... one follows the JAOM recipe exactly (and my girlfriend also started an exact JAOM - except she used Red Star yeast ... I used Fleischman's), and in my other I substituted a double handful of thinly sliced strawberries and a handful of frozen and thawed blackberries, for the orange (no orange), and the Lalvin D-47 yeast ... just to see what happens. I know, I tossed the warranty out in the bathwater with the baby ... I care not.

Mannye, I'd like to trade notes with you about the Lalvin D-47 result at a later date!

Phil

Two questions:

How long did you ferment? I didn't take a reading before I pitched and shook it up and now I don't want to move it.

And... how long after you started did you drink? If this batch comes out nice, I'm going to quintuple to 5 gallons in one of my beer fermenters.

I'm a little nervous about the temp in my house as it's between 74-78 during the day, my fridge is currently aging a batch of lager that needs to stay cold.

And yes indeed.. I'll be making the D-47 JOAM this weekend if all goes well, so I'll try to keep detailed notes and a few pics.

THawk
06-26-2013, 12:23 PM
Two questions:

How long did you ferment? I didn't take a reading before I pitched and shook it up and now I don't want to move it.

And... how long after you started did you drink? If this batch comes out nice, I'm going to quintuple to 5 gallons in one of my beer fermenters.


Where I am, it takes about 5-8 weeks for the entire process to complete (i.e. from pitch to all the fruit at the bottom). It will vary from place to place...

If you're going to scale up, it's linear except for the yeast. 1 tsp (or 1 5g packet) is good enough for 5 gallons.

It's drinkable straight out of primary. But age it for about 6 months (yes, I know, easier said than done!) and you'll have something delicious!

Well, I don't advise scaling up the number of cloves you toss into the mix unless you're planning to compete with Novocaine for the market of dental anesthetics... :eek:

Chevette Girl
06-26-2013, 11:42 PM
My JAO's and variants usually start between 1.130 and 1.125 (standard orange starts at 1.125, sometimes fruit volume messes with it though) and finish around 1.025 or so, if you're curious and forgot to get a SG reading...

mannye
06-27-2013, 09:38 AM
My JAO's and variants usually start between 1.130 and 1.125 (standard orange starts at 1.125, sometimes fruit volume messes with it though) and finish around 1.025 or so, if you're curious and forgot to get a SG reading...

Thanks! I was! That helps because at one gallon just taking the measurement uses about 5 ounces that I would rather drink! But then again,,,this ain't beer so I can probably just pour it back in...

joemirando
06-27-2013, 10:57 AM
My JAO's and variants usually start between 1.130 and 1.125 (standard orange starts at 1.125, sometimes fruit volume messes with it though) and finish around 1.025 or so, if you're curious and forgot to get a SG reading...
I've always been curious... If you add oranges so as not to 'void the warranty' for JAOM, how much does it throw off the SG reading? I mean, all that orangy goodness is locked in that nasty cellular structure, not to mention the oils and the 'debris' from the orange itself.

Has anyone done any kind of test to see how it affects the SG of the must?

I know its not "a big deal" with JAOM, since you're basically gonna get what you're gonna get, but inquiring minds.... well, THEY probably have better things to wonder about, but I would like to know. ;)


Maze on,

Joe

mannye
06-27-2013, 01:21 PM
I've always been curious... If you add oranges so as not to 'void the warranty' for JAOM, how much does it throw off the SG reading? I mean, all that orangy goodness is locked in that nasty cellular structure, not to mention the oils and the 'debris' from the orange itself.

Has anyone done any kind of test to see how it affects the SG of the must?

I know its not "a big deal" with JAOM, since you're basically gonna get what you're gonna get, but inquiring minds.... well, THEY probably have better things to wonder about, but I would like to know. ;)


Maze on,

Joe

It can't really be all that much and hard to quantify as each orange will be different, but at 9.2 grams of sugars per hundred grams average with a total metabolic fructose number of 4.6 grams (there's a chart that used the Nutritionist V software here: http://thepaleodiet.com/fruits-and-sugars/) I doubt its going to affect the numbers much when you consider 3 and 1/4 pounds of honey are in there....

But I could be wrong...

Chevette Girl
07-07-2013, 11:53 AM
1.125 - 1.135 are measurements after adding the orange so I just apply that logic to variations and aim for an initial gravity in that range. And I squash the orange pieces, so there's not much liquid trapped anyway.

And yeah, orange juice will be around 1.050 or so and there's like, a half a cup or so in a gallon (depending on the size and sweetness of your orange), not going to have that large an effect. Go play with the mead calculator, adding 1 cup of honey to a finished 5 gal batch (what you'd use to prime if you were going to bottle-carbonate) doesn't affect the SG much, I don't imagine that one orange's juice will have any more effect than that.

And oils and particulate don't affect SG, only things dissolved in the must do, like sugar, or salt for that matter. Otherwise we'd never get a good reading during fermentation with all that yeast in suspension.

ScotRob
07-08-2013, 02:43 PM
Mannye- you should be aware that meads with a below zero gravity are almost NEVER pleasant to drink (unlike, say, bone dry Fino sherries which are lovely)...i don't know why this is, but even the tiniest bit of sweetness makes mead a MUCH better drink...too dry and you will lose all the flavour and bouquet of the honey with which you made the mead.

THawk
07-08-2013, 10:43 PM
Mannye- you should be aware that meads with a below zero gravity are almost NEVER pleasant to drink (unlike, say, bone dry Fino sherries which are lovely)...i don't know why this is, but even the tiniest bit of sweetness makes mead a MUCH better drink...too dry and you will lose all the flavour and bouquet of the honey with which you made the mead.

below 0 or below 1? ;D

ScotRob
07-09-2013, 04:26 AM
sorry- typo there- as pointed out by THawk it should have been "below 1" not below zero....i.e. mead with SG of 1.005 would be great, mead with SG of 0.998 would not (IMO)