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Kiba
03-08-2014, 05:54 PM
So I'm just around at the point where my two half-gallon batches of JOA mead are almost ready to be siphoned off the yeast sediment. (I just need to get aquarium tubing from the pet store and clean it before I can start.) As my mead-log states, they both taste really nice now--sweet but not cloying, very refreshing hints of apple or orange depending on which batch, and the alcohol doesn't burn too much.

However, they're not clearing up yet. I'm leaving the cyser alone since it needs another week anyway, but the batch I started in early February is around the same level of clarity (meaning opaque).

I'd like at least one to be done by my birthday party on the 22nd (my actual birthday's on the 20th, but that's Thursday and everyone would either have school or work), so I'm wondering if I should cold-crash it to both clear it up and stop/slow fermentation. The problem is, it seems that EVERYONE uses some form of chemical in addition to cold-crashing, and putting it in the freezer as opposed to the fridge is pretty divisive, so I'm not touching the freezer/fridge debate just yet.

I know using chemicals to clear and stabilize the mead make things easier, but 1) I'm broke, and 2) I prefer to be as organic as possible.

And considering we've been making mead for thousands of years without special yeast, chemicals, and nutrients, I just find it a bit of a stretch that you ABSOLUTELY need modern methods if you don't want a ruined batch or a glass bomb.

Also, the people who cold-crash tend to use the specialized yeast as opposed to bread yeast, so would cold-crashing work better or worse with a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange that uses bread yeast?

MJ7
03-08-2014, 07:01 PM
So I'm just around at the point where my two half-gallon batches of JOA mead are almost ready to be siphoned off the yeast sediment. (I just need to get aquarium tubing from the pet store and clean it before I can start.) As my mead-log states, they both taste really nice now--sweet but not cloying, very refreshing hints of apple or orange depending on which batch, and the alcohol doesn't burn too much.

However, they're not clearing up yet. I'm leaving the cyser alone since it needs another week anyway, but the batch I started in early February is around the same level of clarity (meaning opaque).

I'd like at least one to be done by my birthday party on the 22nd (my actual birthday's on the 20th, but that's Thursday and everyone would either have school or work), so I'm wondering if I should cold-crash it to both clear it up and stop/slow fermentation. The problem is, it seems that EVERYONE uses some form of chemical in addition to cold-crashing, and putting it in the freezer as opposed to the fridge is pretty divisive, so I'm not touching the freezer/fridge debate just yet.

I know using chemicals to clear and stabilize the mead make things easier, but 1) I'm broke, and 2) I prefer to be as organic as possible.

And considering we've been making mead for thousands of years without special yeast, chemicals, and nutrients, I just find it a bit of a stretch that you ABSOLUTELY need modern methods if you don't want a ruined batch or a glass bomb.

Also, the people who cold-crash tend to use the specialized yeast as opposed to bread yeast, so would cold-crashing work better or worse with a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange that uses bread yeast?

With the use of a hydrometer to know what your ABV is you can skip the 'chemicals' if you want. Most people get advice from Home Brewing Stores that tell everyone they need campden and sorbate etc., in reality you are correct for thousands of years these things were not available yet people still were successful in brewing.

In your case all you need to do is know the yeast have died due to alcohol toxicity, this will happen when the yeast is above its ABV tolerance level. Because you are drinking it quickly (half gallon probably won't last the night) you have no need to age it or invest in aging chemicals. Yes, cold crash now, rack it before you drink it and enjoy.

fatbloke
03-08-2014, 08:09 PM
So I'm just around at the point where my two half-gallon batches of JOA mead are almost ready to be siphoned off the yeast sediment. (I just need to get aquarium tubing from the pet store and clean it before I can start.) As my mead-log states, they both taste really nice now--sweet but not cloying, very refreshing hints of apple or orange depending on which batch, and the alcohol doesn't burn too much.
Hard to know when/if the batch is still fermenting......


However, they're not clearing up yet. I'm leaving the cyser alone since it needs another week anyway, but the batch I started in early February is around the same level of clarity (meaning opaque).If they're as close as possible to "benchmark", then it's normally the 8 to 12 week mark, sometimes longer, sometimes quicker when it's cleared as per the recipe.


I'd like at least one to be done by my birthday party on the 22nd (my actual birthday's on the 20th, but that's Thursday and everyone would either have school or work), so I'm wondering if I should cold-crash it to both clear it up and stop/slow fermentation. The problem is, it seems that EVERYONE uses some form of chemical in addition to cold-crashing, and putting it in the freezer as opposed to the fridge is pretty divisive, so I'm not touching the freezer/fridge debate just yet.Not correct. The usually chemical additions at the end of the ferment are to do with making sure that the yeast won't restart fermentation, if further fermentable sugars are added, which is often the case with back sweetening. It can be a problem if the yeast still have some tolerance left i.e. you made the batch and it's at, say, 14% ABV, but you've used an 18% yeast. You stabilise i.e. add sulphites which is partly as an anti-oxidant and preservative but also because while it's produced naturally during the ferment (in small quantity), we add it at levels where it stuns the yeast. Then sorbate (potassium sorbate) is added which prevents the yeast from multiplying further (if it can).

You're aiming to try something a little different. Cold crashing will sedate the yeast with temperature and if you cold crash, 1 to 4C for about a week, then not only will it sedate the yeast but it can help much of it drop out of suspension as well.

I've only made JAO type batches pretty close, well as close as I can to the original recipe, which allows it to finish it's fermenting capability i.e. bread yeast are tolerant to about the 12% ABV mark, which is why you end up with some residual sugars for sweetness - it also balances any bitterness that comes from the orange pith.....


I know using chemicals to clear and stabilize the mead make things easier, but 1) I'm broke, and 2) I prefer to be as organic as possible.

And considering we've been making mead for thousands of years without special yeast, chemicals, and nutrients, I just find it a bit of a stretch that you ABSOLUTELY need modern methods if you don't want a ruined batch or a glass bomb.

Also, the people who cold-crash tend to use the specialized yeast as opposed to bread yeast, so would cold-crashing work better or worse with a batch of Joe's Ancient Orange that uses bread yeast?You could try it too see if it will help any of the yeast to drop out, but you'd need to be thinking of at least a week.

Now while most of the yeast may indeed, drop out of suspension, there will still be some yeast cells in the (possibly) cleared liquid. Enough so that if/when it was warmed back up, it would likely start to referment if it hasn't already reached tolerance.

You can sort of negate some of the hazard of bottle bombs by using pop/soda bottles to put it in, but in any case, I'd still say you'd want to keep it chilled as close to drinking as possible - and yes, while you don't get the lacerations with plastic, like you would/could with glass, it still stings like hell - been there, done that etc......

IMO, you're just cutting it too fine. If you want to go ahead and try it,then WTF, cold crash for about a week, using the 1 to 4 C temp range, at least a week, then siphon into the plastic pop bottles.

Be aware, that one of the reasons that it's normally better leaving it till clear and the fruit dropped, is because bread yeast doesn't flocculate (settle out/compact) very well. You can have a JAO batch that's clear with all the fruit dropped and as soon as you move it, even slightly, some of the sediment will stir up and come back into suspension. I move my JAO's to where I'm actually gonna conduct the racking up to a week before, and even then I'm still very careful with the siphoning.

Hence, it's up to you if you want to try it - oh and any fruit still floating will likely have a fine layer of yeast on it, so as soon as you move any of it, that yeast re-combines to make the batch cloudy if it's already clear.....

Alcohol hot (burn) isn't generally an issue with JAO type recipes, any fusels or alcohol imbalance are often masked by residual sugars......

bernardsmith
03-08-2014, 10:17 PM
Not made a JOAM but wines won't clear if there is a quantity of CO2 in the liquid. Given the fact that the yeast you use for JOAM does not flocculate well and given the fact that the idea is not to age the mead then it is possible that the lack of clarity is caused by the amount of carbon dioxide trapped in the mead. Looks like people say that if the fruit falls to the bottom then there is not enough CO2 in the mead to support the fruit but if the fruit is cut large enough it may drop out of suspension simply because of its weight and not because of the loss of CO2.
I know nothing about JOAM and make no representation about whatever "warranties" are supposed to come with following the recipe and what I say may be anathema to the people in this forum but what you might want to do is carefully siphon the mead into another carboy leaving behind the lees and either whip the mead using a bent rod and a drill or if you have access to one - hook the carboy to a small pump and pull a vacuum of about 25 inches to remove the remaining CO2. Absent the carbon dioxide your mead should clear.

mannye
03-08-2014, 11:27 PM
JAOM made to the letter will clear. It takes at least 8 weeks for the fruit to start dropping/lava lamping. Lava lamping is where it's in a different position every time you remember to look...no noticeable movement in "real time." Once it starts dropping you should have a relatively clear mead. Meaning you can see your hand through the carboy.

Rack it. Rack it like you stole it. Don't get greedy. Rack it until the tube (aquarium or otherwise as long as it's sanitary) JUST starts to pick up a little lees. Then stop. Then take the "clear mead" (it's not really) you have in the carboy or whatever container you just racked to, and put it in the fridge. If you have room, put the airlock back on. No room? Saran wrap, balloon with a pin prick (I said prick) whatever.. just keep it away from crazy air.

THEN...go back to that abomination with all the yeast and fruit. Take a cheesecloth, sanitize it then strain the rest though it into a tall narrow or thin bottle. There will be plenty of nasty ugly yeast clouding it up but most everything else (cinnamon, clove, whatever orange slice) will be in the cloth or in the old carboy/jug /whatever.

Put the abomination in the fridge next to the ambrosia and wait one week. Both will have a layer of clear golden sweet mead above the new lees. CAREFULLY rack as much of the new layers off into another container, then take the old lees and put both into the narrow/thin container.

If you haven't consumed at least half a gallon by this point, I'm coming over to drink it for you. This shouldn't stick around long enough to worry about stabilizing. So don't stress about sulfites or Camden tablets. Just drink it!

loveofrose
03-08-2014, 11:48 PM
Or you can just drink it cloudy. Think wheat beer and man up. Just sayin' that's what I do. Yeast are friends AND food!

Seriously, humans didn't care if was clear until the invention of glassware (which is very recent ). If it had alcohol, they drank it!


Better brewing through science!

mannye
03-08-2014, 11:53 PM
Or you can just drink it cloudy. Think wheat beer and man up. Just sayin' that's what I do. Yeast are friends AND food!

Seriously, humans didn't care if was clear until the invention of glassware (which is very recent ). If it had alcohol, they drank it!


Better brewing through science!

LOL Jeez... let the man at least see though it! Although... you do have a point. ANCIENT is right there in the name...

Get a large animal thigh bone while you're at it and once you eat the delicious marrow, fill it with mead and drink up! ;D

Kiba
03-09-2014, 02:15 AM
With the use of a hydrometer to know what your ABV is you can skip the 'chemicals' if you want. Most people get advice from Home Brewing Stores that tell everyone they need campden and sorbate etc., in reality you are correct for thousands of years these things were not available yet people still were successful in brewing.

In your case all you need to do is know the yeast have died due to alcohol toxicity, this will happen when the yeast is above its ABV tolerance level. Because you are drinking it quickly (half gallon probably won't last the night) you have no need to age it or invest in aging chemicals. Yes, cold crash now, rack it before you drink it and enjoy.

Oh, that DEFINITELY explains things. And since mead's only made a very recent renaissance, of course most people wouldn't be familiar with more traditional methods. So yay, I'll cold crash it for a week before I rack it!


Or you can just drink it cloudy. Think wheat beer and man up. Just sayin' that's what I do. Yeast are friends AND food!

Seriously, humans didn't care if was clear until the invention of glassware (which is very recent ). If it had alcohol, they drank it!

Glassware is actually pretty old, but RELIABLE clear glass is certainly recent. I always wondered why my mead tasted and looked perfectly fine, despite being opaque. I thought there was going to be some sort of grit or weird texture/appearance from the yeast, and that the little test sips I've gotten so far weren't enough to notice. Nice to know that the clearing-up custom is due to aesthetics.

Also, no worries about me not finishing two half-gallon batches of mead.


LOL Jeez... let the man at least see though it! Although... you do have a point. ANCIENT is right there in the name...

Get a large animal thigh bone while you're at it and once you eat the delicious marrow, fill it with mead and drink up! ;D

Not a man. Also, marrow is delicious. (Filipino-American, natch.)

Also, have you seen the stuff that the Norse/Celts hammered out to drink mead? They did not mess around when pimping out their drink-ware. XD

Kiba
03-10-2014, 01:45 PM
So I stuck the orange mead in the fridge yesterday afternoon. All fruit but a couple of raisins dropped as of this morning. It's not clear yet, obviously, but I noticed it went from plain opaque to this almost gemlike glow. Plus I can see a murky silhouette of my hand even with the fridge condensation, where previously I couldn't see anything at room temperature. Whoo, gradual success!

mannye
03-10-2014, 02:33 PM
I think you're rushing it a bit. Early Feb start on a JAOM means it's more likely only about half done. You're going to have a really sweet (too sweet IMO) mead there. Unless the yeast really took off. JAOM is usually only "done" in more like 8 weeks. But hey...whatever gets you to make another batch!

Kiba
03-10-2014, 07:11 PM
Actually, I mentioned I'm doing two different half- gallon variants and the original maker said that this recipe finishes in about three weeks. My third full gallon batch of JOA (also started early Feb) is sooooo not ready, ha.

MJ7
03-10-2014, 08:24 PM
Cold crashing tends to work to a point, you'll end up with sediment, but it still may be murky. If murky add some Super Kleer to clear it up even more. Good luck. The taste might not be all that great though, if you used a wine yeast. Wine yeast tends to need some aging, not always though, I've made 30 day mead with wine yeast and it was good after that.

Kiba
03-11-2014, 12:05 AM
I used bread yeast since it's based of a JOA recipe, and I did mention it tasted really nice. I'm pretty sure it can be drunk even without clearing up, since there's no weird taste or grit--I just want to at least give it a shot of clearing up on its own before I stick some nylon on the end of my siphoning tube and filter it that way.

mannye
03-11-2014, 07:11 AM
If you like the flavor then all is well. Drink and be happy! The cold crash should get a lot of the yeast out of suspension.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

joemirando
03-12-2014, 12:00 AM
I used bread yeast since it's based of a JOA recipe, and I did mention it tasted really nice. I'm pretty sure it can be drunk even without clearing up, since there's no weird taste or grit--I just want to at least give it a shot of clearing up on its own before I stick some nylon on the end of my siphoning tube and filter it that way.

Cold crashing will settle a lot of the yeast out. More cold crashing, to a point, will get even more to settle out. I've cold crashed for 2 weeks and gotten a much clearer mead than crashing for only one week. Crashing for 3 weeks yielded no improvements (for me) than cold crashing for 2 weeks.

After the cold crashing, I siphon into a new carboy/container as others have outlined, stuck it back in the fridge and waited to see what happens.

I've got 2 JAOs in gallon carboys right now, made a few days apart with exactly the same ingredients. One is clear and has that amazing 'gem like' quality you mentioned (great way to describe it, btw), the other is still cloudy (I think that's because I froze the oranges to see if it was better or worse... "worse" is my opinion). The fruit has dropped in neither of them, and these were made between Christmas and the new year.

I noticed as recently as a week ago that there are still bubbles escaping from the lees in the clear one. I'm in no hurry with these, so I'll let them sit till the fruit drops.

As far as taste of cloudy mead goes, there IS a difference between a cloudy mead and the same mead once completely clear. Better or worse? Not necessarily. Just different. If you like the cloudy mead, drink it up. There's nothing there that'll hurt you. I DO find that bread yeast tends to leave a more noticeable yeasty taste, which the orange and spices.... not so much 'cover', but... meld with. It really is an amazing recipe. I mean, exactly HOW often do you come across something that's easier than the norm, almost foolproof (we fools tend to be quite ingenious), and satisfying on several levels? Tap that sucker and get another batch started!

Joe

Kiba
03-12-2014, 03:50 PM
So we officially have (some) clearing in my orange mead! About a finger-width (a third to half-inch) is ridiculously clear, while the rest of it is still cloudy. (But I may have muddied it up a little by moving it so I could do the "see your hand" test. :P )

Stuck the apple mead into the fridge as well today. Is it normal that there's nowhere near as much visible sediment in the apple mead than in my orange-flavored batches? The cyser's sediment just about lines the bottom, but there's at least a solid inch of sediment on both of the orange batches.