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mcrow24
09-16-2014, 12:27 PM
Just thought I'd stop in and say hello!

Just finished getting my first batch in the carboy/jug:

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/mcrow24/IMG_20140916_104238098_zps41f16294.jpg

I got turned on to mead at the Ren fest here in Minnesota, but really got into it when I found out I had Celiac Disease and can't drink most beers anymore. Also, it is very expensive to buy ingredients to brew gluten-beer. So, I decided why not go with mead? By nature it is gluten-free in it's most basic form in most common additives are as well.

So here I am.

Anyway, my batch is simple:
1 gallon batch
3lbs Orange Blossom Honey from local farm
1 large orange
a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
Lalvin D-47 yeast, most of a packet (activated with warm water before pitching )
1 teaspoon of energizer and nutrient

Sterilized everything with a left over packet from a Mr. Beer kit.


Not bad, bought two airlocks, two drilled stoppers, one solid stopper, two 1 gallon jugs, orange water, honey and yeast for less than $40.

Honeyhog
09-16-2014, 04:14 PM
Welcome to the obsession! If you used the whole orange, pith and all, the D-47 has a high enough alcohol tolerance and will take it to dry. It will be quite bitter from the pith so it will need to be stabilized and then backsweetened to counteract the bitterness or you step feed the must until the D-47 poops out and you reach your desired level of sweetness. A common recipe here is Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (JAOM), which uses 3.5 lbs. of honey per gal., whole orange, spices and bread yeast that poops out at about 12% ABV leaving the mead quite sweet to offset the bitterness of the pith.

mcrow24
09-16-2014, 04:20 PM
So to step feed, do I just add more nutrient later on in the process?

Honeyhog
09-16-2014, 08:23 PM
So to step feed, do I just add more nutrient later on in the process?

When it goes dry, add honey to your desired sweetness level then leave it to ferment. If it goes dry again add more and so on until, when you add honey, the gravity doesn't drop and stays stable for a long period of time.

curgoth
09-16-2014, 10:23 PM
Welcome to the post-beer world! I started making mead a few months ago for similar gluten-based reasons. I've had some luck with hopped mead, if you're missing the hops. As far as recipes go, I have become a convert to the BOMM recipe (search on BOMM 1 gallon here), which produces a mead in the general alcohol level of a strong beer.

mannye
09-17-2014, 08:21 AM
Step Feed can be a confusing term. It does not mean adding nutrient. It means adding more honey in steps. You use your hydrometer to determine when the sugar content is getting low (1.020 .010and then you add enough honey to bring it back up to 1.040 or thereabouts and let it go back down. Eventually, the yeast will not be able to eat any more and will stop lowering the sugar content of the must and you're done! This often helps the yeast go beyond the advertised tolerance. In some cases FAR beyond.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

skunkboy
09-17-2014, 09:10 AM
Howdy, looks good, but next time you might want to cut the orange into smaller bits, to make them easier to get back out... :)

pokerfacepablo
09-17-2014, 10:49 AM
Always nice to meet another Minnesotan. Maybe we can trade sometime.

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pokerfacepablo
09-17-2014, 10:53 AM
Might want to ferment well under 70 degrees with the D 47. Otherwise you might have to age out some fusels.

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mcrow24
09-17-2014, 12:29 PM
Step Feed can be a confusing term. It does not mean adding nutrient. It means adding more honey in steps. You use your hydrometer to determine when the sugar content is getting low (1.020 .010and then you add enough honey to bring it back up to 1.040 or thereabouts and let it go back down. Eventually, the yeast will not be able to eat any more and will stop lowering the sugar content of the must and you're done! This often helps the yeast go beyond the advertised tolerance. In some cases FAR beyond.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
Thanks, I will try that. Do you have to shake it or stir after you add honey? How often should you check after adding honey?

mcrow24
09-17-2014, 12:30 PM
Welcome to the post-beer world! I started making mead a few months ago for similar gluten-based reasons. I've had some luck with hopped mead, if you're missing the hops. As far as recipes go, I have become a convert to the BOMM recipe (search on BOMM 1 gallon here), which produces a mead in the general alcohol level of a strong beer.

I might try that one next time around.

I also tossed another batch of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead this morning, exactly as the instructions say.

mcrow24
09-17-2014, 12:32 PM
Might want to ferment well under 70 degrees with the D 47. Otherwise you might have to age out some fusels.

Sent from my KFSOWI using Tapatalk

Yeah, once I make something that's drinkable and that you'd want to trade for, I'd be up for that. I go through St. Cloud several times during the summer/fall, so we could probably work out a swap.

I have it in my basement right now and it gets down to about 65ish right now and in the winter maybe 63 if we don't use the fireplace.

Chevette Girl
09-17-2014, 12:50 PM
Welcome, mcrow24!

You gluten-free folks, if you miss the hops, the low alcohol content and the carbonation, like Curgoth suggests, hopped meads are neat but you can also do some fun things with hydromels, they ferment quick and clean and don't need a whole lot of fussing with... I made a hopped pumpkin hydromel a couple years ago that ended up tasting pretty good, in a beerlike way. I often do that kind of thing with once-used fruit bags when I make melomels.

Typically the way I step feed is with my hydrometer, like Mannye. I let it go down to my dry tolerance (1.005) and then boost it up to my sweet tolerance (usually around 1.020) until it quits.

Sometimes if I'm feeling lazy and I already know how much honey I need to boost it (ie, I've done it already a couple of times) I won't stir, the honey will eventually dissolve, have no doubt, the yeast will find it! You do have to stir it in to get an accurate SG reading though, so you either have to have done it before with that batch or be reasonably confident in what the Mead Calculator suggests you add.

I usually check every day or two, if you leave it alone for a week it should still kick back up but you don't want to leave it too long without sugar or it'll think it's done.

Oh, and if you have trouble getting the orange bits out again? Crochet hook or chunk of bent wire, they get mushy after a while so they're more flexible to squeeze through the carboy opening.

mannye
09-17-2014, 01:46 PM
X2 on the oranges. The first time I made JAO I was worried about the oranges and getting them out. Turns out they get really mushy and pop out no problem.

I have heard rumors that JAOM gets really good after 6months/a year but I have never kept it around longer thAn a few weeks after the initial 90-100 day ferment.

It's too good!


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

mcrow24
09-17-2014, 02:04 PM
X2 on the oranges. The first time I made JAO I was worried about the oranges and getting them out. Turns out they get really mushy and pop out no problem.

I have heard rumors that JAOM gets really good after 6months/a year but I have never kept it around longer thAn a few weeks after the initial 90-100 day ferment.

It's too good!


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
I was wondering about that, if it was going to be good after only 3-4 months.

mannye
09-17-2014, 02:20 PM
It will be yummy. Keeps getting better.


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mcrow24
09-17-2014, 03:09 PM
It will be yummy. Keeps getting better.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

Good! Looking forward to trying it.

I have been drinking J Bird Mead at the Ren Fest for a while, just tried some B Nektar Black Fang and Necromangocon and those are pretty darn good. Don't expect mine to be that good but if it is tastes good, it will be great.

mcrow24
09-18-2014, 01:02 PM
So far so good.

the JAOM batch started bubbling in the airlock about 2hrs after I pitched the yeast, bubbles probably every 5 seconds or so. The other batch with the D-47, nutrient and energizer is bubbling probably every 2-3 seconds.

mannye
09-18-2014, 01:20 PM
Don't freak out when you taste the d-47. It will be nasty when it goes dry. Just rack it off the lees into a second carboy, put an airlock on it and let it sit for 12 months in a cool dark place. You will be surprised how much it will change (for the better) in that time. Your by-the-book JAOM will be good right out of primary but it too will improve A LOT with just a few more weeks once you take it out of primary. Just keep both away from excess oxygen and you will be happy.

And don't forget to start another batch!


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

mcrow24
09-18-2014, 01:27 PM
Don't freak out when you taste the d-47. It will be nasty when it goes dry. Just rack it off the lees into a second carboy, put an airlock on it and let it sit for 12 months in a cool dark place. You will be surprised how much it will change (for the better) in that time. Your by-the-book JAOM will be good right out of primary but it too will improve A LOT with just a few more weeks once you take it out of primary. Just keep both away from excess oxygen and you will be happy.

And don't forget to start another batch!


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

How do I know when it is ready to add honey to the D-47 batch? Should I check it after a couple of weeks or when the bubbling slows or a month down the road? I know people have been saying when it "goes dry" but at what point should I start checking to see if it is dry.

mannye
09-18-2014, 01:39 PM
You need to get a hydrometer right away. It's the only way. Amazon has them cheap.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

mcrow24
09-18-2014, 02:12 PM
You need to get a hydrometer right away. It's the only way. Amazon has them cheap.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

I have one, the OG of the JAOM was 1.141-2. So at what SG should I check to see if it needs honey? When it gets all the way to FG? Is that ~1.030-1.040 or so?

I see that in the previous post you said look for 1.010-1.020., is that correct? Then you want to keep going until it stays around 1.040 or so?

mannye
09-18-2014, 05:51 PM
Well, JAOM is different. If you're talking about the traditional JAOM using Fleishmans bread yeast, there's nothing to do. It's a set it and forget it type of thing. You know it's done because the fruit drops to the bottom and the mead is clear.




Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

pokerfacepablo
09-18-2014, 07:19 PM
Good! Looking forward to trying it.

I have been drinking J Bird Mead at the Ren Fest for a while, just tried some B Nektar Black Fang and Necromangocon and those are pretty darn good. Don't expect mine to be that good but if it is tastes good, it will be great.
Ive been to the Renfest and thought most of them were alright... the one you make is always the best. Though their Egyptian style is awesome.

I've also had B Nektar and like as well. Susan Rudd is opening her meadery this fall in Fargo. Go to Facebook and check out Prairie Rose meadary. Another local is Winehaven in Detroit Lakes which distributes in the cities. Their stinger mead is awesome.

mcrow24
11-25-2014, 12:17 PM
So, it's been 2 months. I checked on the JAOM and the SG is about 1.032 or so. The other batch went all the way to 1.004, is that even fixable?

Does the SG for the JAOM look right? It''s a little turbid but I tasted it and it tastes OK.

mannye
11-25-2014, 02:54 PM
SG looks ok. It will get much better once it goes clear. The dry one probably needs to age out and back sweetening.


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U g

mcrow24
11-25-2014, 02:57 PM
SG looks ok. It will get much better once it goes clear. The dry one probably needs to age out and back sweetening.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g
Cool, thanks!

Yeah, the JAOM is ~14% ABV if I calculated it right, so that would be pretty good for a mead.

JAOM has good potential, probably needs more time. Should I put it into a secondary or just leave it?

I put the drier one in a secondary and figure to leave it for a good long while.

mcrow24
11-25-2014, 03:57 PM
I couldn't take it anymore and poured me a small glass of the JAOM. Put it in the fridge for a few hours...............mmmmmmmmmmm.....pretty good as is....:cool:

EJM3
11-25-2014, 08:56 PM
Looks like we made JAOM on almost the same day! Pretty tasty, but mine was drier at 1.028, and had a few options. I'm not sure about anyone else, but I plan to try and heat some like a mulled mead minus mulling (say that 3 times, after a horn full from mannye). Enjoy! And welcome to got mead and the addictive brewing habit!! Dang, now I'm trying to find something to ferment now, pineapple looks good!

Wolfie
12-03-2014, 03:26 AM
Hey just droppin a line as a fellow Minnesotan. That makes 3 of us at least. I started brewing same as you - GF beer was a very complicated prospect at the time, sorghum malt extract wasn't readily available. Since brewing for a while I've begun to tinker back into the realm of a gf braggot. There are a few recipes of interest in the beer section of the forum if you ever feel like trying your hand.

Welcome to the forum!

/Z

Chevette Girl
12-03-2014, 11:55 AM
So you asked about the D-47 batch which has gone to 1.004, is it fixable :) Of course it is, almost anything is! It just depends on whether you want it as sweet as the JAO or not. If you want to keep it dry, let it age. If you want it sweet, add some honey and let it age. If it has stopped around 1.004 and stayed there for two months, then it's likely about done and _probably_ won't eat any more honey you dump in there so you might only have to backsweeten the once. But if you like drier wines, there's no reason you can't leave it the way it is and try it when it's a little more mature.

Glad your JAO turned out tasty. Mine usually start at SG 1.130 (I use a Canadian gallon :p) and finish around 1.030 so if yours dropped 0.100 then that's right about what you'd expect for a JAO to do. As mentioned before, you don't need to add any honey to JAO (unless it went down to 1.000!), it's designed for the yeast to give up before they've eaten all the sugars. If the fruit's all sunk and you want to let it age or clear a bit more, go ahead and rack it, I think Joe allows for some flexibility once the fruit's sunk and will not call you out on having broken the warranty at that point :)

Oh, and EJM3? Warmed JAO is AWESOME.

Wolfie
12-03-2014, 07:35 PM
another note with dry-er meads. In my experience if you added enough honey to max out the yeast (as you did with the D47) and you let it age a good long time (maybe a year or two) I've found that the honey returns in aroma and flavor in some very surprising ways. It will never be sweet but I have had them leave a strong impression of sweetness. I had this happen with Oskaars Dry mead recipe.