PDA

View Full Version : Really disappointed with my first JAO



McJeff
08-16-2013, 06:42 PM
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm251/yeoson/785504E6-06D7-4411-A86C-F1883FEF7CC6-83218-0000117DD2379E9E_zpsb6ad1eff.jpg

It's very thick, syrupy taste to it. Very one dimensional, flat. Can't taste anything but the honey. Used 18lbs for a 5g batch. Didnt think the extra honey would make that much of a diff. Added a slice of lemon and its slightly better.

So what to do?

mannye
08-16-2013, 08:01 PM
Brew a super dry batch and blend until you get something you like. And next time remember all the warnings about how deviating from the recipe voids the warranty!

But most of all, don't despair! I'm sure you can salvage with some blending.

joemirando
08-16-2013, 08:46 PM
It's very thick, syrupy taste to it. Very one dimensional, flat. Can't taste anything but the honey. Used 18lbs for a 5g batch. Didnt think the extra honey would make that much of a diff. Added a slice of lemon and its slightly better.

So what to do?

I second the idea of making a bone dry batch and blending tiill you like the taste.

It sounds to me like your fermentation stalled. Your mix is only heavy by 0.10 lbs of honey per gallon. That isn't a lot. Less than three percent difference. You said you can taste honey, but do you taste alcohol?

If you have a hydrometer, check it and see what the SG is. If you don't have a hydrometer, get one. ;)

I am probably the cheapest man alive, and I learned quickly that ten bucks for a hydrometer is money well spent. It will tell you how your fermentation is progressing, when it has stopped, and how sweet or dry it is. It truly is the one indispensable item.

Since this is a JAO, I guess you could re-pitch with more bread yeast, but I think it is a better idea to set about fermenting a batch and let it go very dry, let it clear, then blend it with the JAO.

That's just my $0.02, and your mileage may vary.


And smile, dammit, you made mead!

Joe

potato888
08-16-2013, 09:20 PM
Since this is a JAO, I guess you could re-pitch with more bread yeast, but I think it is a better idea to set about fermenting a batch and let it go very dry, let it clear, then blend it with the JAO.

Joe

So to make another batch that is dry, I would duplicate the recipe but use a different yeast like EC-1118 or K1-V1116? and then blend the dry batch with the sweet batch to taste? But wouldn't the blending be adding additional sugar that would restart the fermentation?
or am I missing something?
Maybe it is making a second batch of the same JAO recipe but with less honey to take it dry using bread yeast.

McJeff
08-16-2013, 09:44 PM
I've already started 2 gallons of normal JAO. But will only 2 lb per gallon. So we will see. I bottled the sweet stuff in a panic thinking I had too much air space in my carboy. So I just means more work mixing ever mason jar. I have a hydrometer ill test a mason jar tomorrow.

McJeff
08-16-2013, 09:45 PM
Slightly frustrating when you have to wait so long just to find out it came out bad :(

McJeff
08-16-2013, 09:45 PM
And there is alcohol, a nice kick actually.

joemirando
08-16-2013, 09:48 PM
So to make another batch that is dry, I would duplicate the recipe but use a different yeast like EC-1118 or K1-V1116? and then blend the dry batch with the sweet batch to taste? But wouldn't the blending be adding additional sugar that would restart the fermentation?
or am I missing something?
Maybe it is making a second batch of the same JAO recipe but with less honey to take it dry using bread yeast.

I guess that both are options, and I am sure that someone with more knowledge than I will chime in, but I was thinking about using something like Lalvin 71B on a 1 gallon batch with 2.75 pounds of honey. This yeast is good to about 14%, and it should ferment it dry (13%) if aerated and given nutrients and energizer.

But thinking about it now, I guess you could make a fresh batch of JAO with less honey. But how much you'd have to blend with the first one is impossible to guess at without SG readings.


Joe

Chevette Girl
08-16-2013, 11:45 PM
Unless you use stabilizing chemicals and want to wait a year for everything to age out, I would not recommend mixing a too-sweet JAO with anything made with a different yeast.

What I'd have done is almost exactly what you've already started, I'd have made a gallon or two of JAO with maybe 2 lb honey and only leave it till it goes dry rather than waiting for the fruit to drop, then add some of the too-sweet stuff and see if it kicks back up... if it does, add the rest of the too-sweet batch and see what happens, worst case scenario you're only waiting an additional two months for this to finish up and clear. If it doesn't kick up, then blend according to taste... And hey, at least it's a JAO on a two month timescale rather than a traditional on a 12-month timescale to see if it's any good!

I found when I tried this early on, eliminating just 1/4 lb of honey with a lemon variant made it pretty awful and I had to blend with something that had stuck, but Fatbloke dilutes it more (using imperial rather than US gallon) and likes it that way, so really, it may be your taste.

I've had one JAO get stuck at around 1.060 which really is pretty sweet, most of mine finish between 1.030 and 1.025, which is sweet but not syrupy, to me anyway. Do let us know what you get when you check yours with your hydrometer!

Oh, and I have found that with JAO's you really do NOT need to sweat about headspace. Most other wines, meads and mels, yes. But there's something about JAO that seems resistant to oxidation, maybe it's the sweetness, maybe something else, but I've never had a JAO or variant oxidize from too much headspace even when I've racked them into a carboy with a few inches of space before the shoulders of the carboy narrow...

fatbloke
08-17-2013, 02:59 AM
Of course, you can always fortify it..........

Vodka or everclear. Dryness, reduced body/less syrupy and more alcohol......

Of course, a scalable experiment first........

GntlKnigt1
08-17-2013, 05:12 AM
I would endorse Joes comment about getting a hydometer. I als laughed at the idea of adding everclear to fortify it......thats a GREAT and innovative solution! Alsohonorable mentions for making a very dry batch and blending, and using a different yeast with a known, and higher, tolerance for alcohol. Have fun with it !!

THawk
08-17-2013, 06:55 AM
If it was too syrupy, is it possible that the yeast conked out too early? I don't think the extra 2 oz of honey would make that big a difference.

fatbloke
08-17-2013, 07:36 AM
Joes instructions about not aerating, agitating or otherwise stirring etc may also be something to do with it coming out a bit syrupy.

I've not experienced that, because I screwed up my first ever one ages ago, thinking I was making it as close to benchmark as I could.

I made it to 1 gallon, but 1 imperial gallon, not 1 US gallon a.k.a. 4.55 litres instead of 3.78 litres, so about 20% or so more.

It still came out fine. Sweet enough for my taste etc.

There's also some anecdotal stuff kicking around, about JAO's that have been made on stir plates, where the continuous aeration/degassing/agitiation seem to have encouraged the yeast to ferment dry (bread yeast that is).

That seem to have cleared quicker and then needed some stabilisation and back sweetening.

So whether it is a yeast thing with McJeff's batch, does seem more likely, than not...... but nothing is certain is it............

McJeff
08-17-2013, 09:05 AM
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm251/yeoson/5108E891-FA70-48CD-A435-5737E8DD97CC-11153-000017679A3BD87C_zps5166793f.jpg

Never did a starting SG, but I'd image it was alot higher. Maybe it's just my taste. Side question, was leaving the carboy on the kitchen counter for two months bad? Not direct sunlight but sunny.

McJeff
08-17-2013, 09:29 AM
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm251/yeoson/5108E891-FA70-48CD-A435-5737E8DD97CC-11153-000017679A3BD87C_zps5166793f.jpg

Never did a starting SG, but I'd image it was alot higher. Maybe it's just my taste. Side question, was leaving the carboy on the kitchen counter for two months bad? Not direct sunlight but sunny.

Hmm why does this post not show when I use tapatalk

McJeff
08-17-2013, 09:31 AM
Weird oh well it's 1.029 :(

mannye
08-17-2013, 09:31 AM
I think tapatalk is expired (or at least it keeps telling me) whatever that means...

THawk
08-17-2013, 10:03 AM
Never did a starting SG, but I'd image it was alot higher. Maybe it's just my taste. Side question, was leaving the carboy on the kitchen counter for two months bad? Not direct sunlight but sunny.

I've left buckets in sunny rooms for longer without any ill effects. I've even left a JAOv (blueberry) under the kitchen sink for 3-5 months... that's how long it normally takes my fruit to go completely under...

Swordnut
08-17-2013, 10:07 AM
JAO starts at like 1.136? And finishes sweet, so above 1.025. Yours is spot on pretty much with sweetness level.

As for the sunlight, warmth can produce fusels which are combination alcohols and are indeed oily. If you fermented very warm (JAO likes a little bit of warmth) all the time, specially in the beginning where most of the alcohol is produced then yes it could contribute to a more syrup like consistency. It's not the sunlight that's problematic with JAO but warmth can be a factor. What was the temperature of the room you left it to ferment in?

McJeff
08-17-2013, 10:58 AM
No idea but AC has been on.

Swordnut
08-17-2013, 11:31 AM
Can you check what temperature it was on? Though if it's AC and you set it at like nice and cool then it's probably not fusels either. :/

Chevette Girl
08-17-2013, 11:38 AM
McJeff, it's possible you just don't like it that sweet. Take a sample and cut it with water or dry wine till it's around 1.020 or so and see if you like it better that way?

And it's possible that extra bit of honey was just that much too much...

Or maybe your orange wasn't pithy or sour enough to give enough bitterness and acidity to balance it? Maybe try it with a squeeze of lemon juice to see if it needs a bit more acidity?

McJeff
08-17-2013, 12:32 PM
Yeah I'm just thinking its sweeter than I like. Would be slightly better if I could taste the other flavors in the mead. Guess we will see how it turns out when the dry JAO finishes.

Fisk Jaegaren
08-17-2013, 01:15 PM
I made a batch of ginger mead I was not impressed with at first, after breaking it down into experimental batches and aging, it has come out stellar and it isn't given away anymore, as it has become stellar!

I would add some dryer mead to it then experiment:

1 Try and add a few cloves to a gallon for a few weeks, I have found others warnings about cloves to be useless, I put 5 whole cloves in a half a gallon and let sit for over 3 months, turned out awesome.

2 Try adding a bit of acid, then let age for a month to another gallon.

3 Like lemon?...put some lemongrass in another gallon for a spell, a different taste than regular lemon and you may want a bit more acid, but still worth trying.

Think of mead/wine making as being a gourmet cook, but in slow motion. you can always experiment, but try it in limited amounts and log everything you have done. Following the words of Ken Schramm, "the mead is yours, don't let anyone tell you how to enjoy it"...can also be applied to making it as well. Furthermore, post secondary additions are much easier to control and manage, all ingredients don't have to go in the primary or secondary stages of fermentation.

McJeff
08-17-2013, 02:48 PM
What would happen if I just combined my new dry JAO and sweet stuff all together right now. The dry stuff was just started on the nineth. Would the new yeast kick in and ferment the sweet stuff?

Fisk Jaegaren
08-17-2013, 03:05 PM
What would happen if I just combined my new dry JAO and sweet stuff all together right now. The dry stuff was just started on the nineth. Would the new yeast kick in and ferment the sweet stuff?

It might, then again it might also just kill the yeast from having the alcohol added to it or just a long slow ferment.....you might be better off step feeding some of the original JAOM into the batch.

McJeff
08-17-2013, 03:11 PM
Back to that ol patience thing /sigh

Chevette Girl
08-17-2013, 06:56 PM
If you're minded to do that, I'd suggest letting it ferment most of the way dry and then adding the sweet stuff, by that point the alcohol content should be similar, and it'll be somewhere between an acclimated starter and step-feeding!

Jim H
08-17-2013, 07:59 PM
Back to that ol patience thing /sigh

Brew 1 gallon batches of beer in the meantime, McJeff. It has a much shorter cycle time, and you'll keep yourself in a good sanitation habit.

mannye
08-17-2013, 10:55 PM
Brew 1 gallon batches of beer in the meantime, McJeff. It has a much shorter cycle time, and you'll keep yourself in a good sanitation habit.

Getting used to beer sanitation rituals means you will never ruin a batch of mead! Beer requires almost fanatical cleanliness that mead simply does not need, but that I believe benefits the beginner.

PLus if you can relax and have a homebrew you won't be so antsy about drinking your mead!

fatbloke
08-18-2013, 04:12 AM
Getting used to beer sanitation rituals means you will never ruin a batch of mead! Beer requires almost fanatical cleanliness that mead simply does not need, but that I believe benefits the beginner.

PLus if you can relax and have a homebrew you won't be so antsy about drinking your mead!
Yes, that is indeed a fine suggestion, just don't get too hung up with beer methodology.

Some things we do with meads are virtual sacrilege in the beer world (early stage aeration etc, or even opening a fermenter before it's finished, come to mind).

McJeff
08-18-2013, 08:09 AM
hah was sharing some of my JAO with a friend that home brews beer, which he loved, and he was very fascinated about home simple the process was and what it produced.

mannye
08-18-2013, 11:15 AM
hah was sharing some of my JAO with a friend that home brews beer, which he loved, and he was very fascinated about home simple the process was and what it produced.

Once i finish drinking the last batch of beer I made I doubt I will start another for a very long time.

Mead is so delicious and so much easier to produce that I can't see going back.

Like beer, I imagine it will be easy to learn but difficult to perfect. That's fine. I have plenty of JAOM and Trappist experimental to drink while I learn!

If you have a "Total Wine" or similar liquor superstore near you, you can find literally hundreds of craft brew beers that will satisfy that homebrew itch (somewhat..there really isn't anything better than your own beer) or go to a brewpub.

Once I get that garage free of muscle car it will soon be making tons of mead and mash for rum!

McJeff
08-18-2013, 02:38 PM
The one advantage of beer is the drinkable time frame. Take do much longer for the mead, but I just need to get alot of batches goin and should be good. 5 goin need more!

McJeff
08-18-2013, 03:19 PM
What Is a normal alcohol amount in a JAO?

fatbloke
08-18-2013, 03:30 PM
What Is a normal alcohol amount in a JAO?
I've never bothered to check myself, but from memory, CG posted about it working out in the 12% ABV area.....

McJeff
08-18-2013, 03:35 PM
Cool thank you

mannye
08-18-2013, 05:40 PM
The one advantage of beer is the drinkable time frame. Take do much longer for the mead, but I just need to get alot of batches goin and should be good. 5 goin need more!

Yes and no... most beers need about 10 to 15 days to ferment out on the short end, more if you're working under 70F. Then you have to bottle or keg and wait AT LEAST month. If you're waiting less to drink most beers, you're probably making an ale and if you can stomach an ale before it's really ready (4 weeks IMO) then you can truly enjoy a JAOM within almost the same time frame.

Lagers will take just as long as a mead to ferment at an average 44F and at least 8 weeks and probably more at 45-60F to age and be at their best.

With that math, most JAO meads are right there with good beer. ;D

Chevette Girl
08-18-2013, 09:01 PM
Once I get that garage free of muscle car it will soon be making tons of mead and mash for rum!

<perks up> Muscle car??

mannye
08-18-2013, 11:07 PM
<perks up> Muscle car??

1969 Road Runner convertible. It's taking up all my mead space.

Chevette Girl
08-19-2013, 12:18 AM
1969 Road Runner convertible. It's taking up all my mead space.

<swoon> I hope it's going to an appropriate new home!! I'm still giddy from my ride yesterday in a 68 Dodge Charger... although maybe we should take this over to the cars discussion (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18374) before I derail yet another thread when someone mentions a car :rolleyes:...

mannye
08-19-2013, 06:03 AM
I didn't even know there was a car section! Ill go and post a pic there.