PDA

View Full Version : Mead in Saudi?



Bigdurian
09-20-2014, 02:40 PM
Hi there, I'm new to the forum and this is my first post and I'm looking for some advice. I've been making beer, wine, and cider for a couple of years now with good results. As you might have guessed from the thread title I live in Saudi so my set-up is very basic, no flash equipment, no funky yeasts. I just use a big plastic water bottle and bread yeast. I want to give mead a go so does anyone have any tips? I have some 100% honey, bread yeast and a water bottle. Anybody done it in a similar way? Everything else I've brewed has turned out very well.

Honeyhog
09-20-2014, 03:09 PM
Search for Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (JAOM) it uses bread yeast and everything else you need can be obtained from a local market, eg. Orange, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins. Follow the recipe and you will have a drinkable beverage in 8-9 weeks and if you leave it longer it gets better. Now I don't particularly like fermented orange and there are many variations that use other fruits but most suggest to make the JAOM first strictly according to the recipe and they are for the most part very pleased with the results.

kudapucat
09-21-2014, 06:38 AM
JAO is your best bet.
Warning, it packs a punch, not the sort of drink if you plan on going out after.
The bread yeast will serve you well, and the water bottle will be fine.
I assume you crack it just a little to allow the gas out? Or maybe use a ballon?
The process is similar to wine, so following the recipe, it will be pretty simple for you.
Good luck.

Bigdurian
09-21-2014, 01:49 PM
I normally leave the cap a third of a screw undone, a lot of people here just put a condom over the top. I prefer the cap because when I shake I really do shake and with the condom you would have to take it off and put a cap on. With me, the cap never comes off completely till I rack it off. Don't know what difference it makes but I've never had a bad batch yet apart from my first two.
I had a look at the JAOM recipe and it looks fairly straightforward, I'm not sure about the orange flavour though, don't know if that's what I want. Does it really mess it up if you change things around that much? I would like to try an unflavoured mead first to see what it tastes like on it's own, seeing how this is my first time and all. I'll probably try 3 or four different ways, and play around with the honey water ratio to see what I like.
Don't think I'll be going out after anyway. Saudi Arabia isn't exactly known for its wild nightlife, it does have a very strong brewing community though for obvious reasons!;D
Thanks for your suggestions and help.

Bee Serious
09-21-2014, 02:32 PM
We need to do a USAFREEDOM drop with an assortment of wine yeasts and airlocks. And StarSan.

joemirando
09-21-2014, 03:40 PM
... I had a look at the JAOM recipe and it looks fairly straightforward, I'm not sure about the orange flavour though, don't know if that's what I want. Does it really mess it up if you change things around that much?

It can. It depends upon WHAT you change. See, it's designed as a beginner's mead. Something to give you confidence.

It is a simple recipe, but it's designed to be foolproof... quite a task, since we fools can be so ingenious. If you use less honey, it can ferment dry, and the bitterness of the orange pith takes over. If you use just the orange zest and not the pith, it comes out with nothing to balance the sweetness. So, yeah, it can effect the outcome.

You've made mead before, so you probably dont need the 'confidence' part. What you NEED is the nutrients and a couple of pieces of equipment...

I'd recommend, at a minimum, that you get a couple of glass 1 gallon or 4L jugs, an airlock and drilled stopper (or you an use a balloon with a pinhole in it), a hydrometer and maybe a pH meter. Bread yeast is not optimum, but it will work if you want a 12% alch brew maximum. Raisins and boiled bread yeast will replace nutrients, and above all, patience should be added in liberal doses all along the way.

Good luck,
Joe

Honeyhog
09-21-2014, 06:18 PM
If you can get frozen raspberries I think it would be a good substitute. The seeds in the raspberries will give you the tannins that will replace the bitterness of the orange pith to balance out the sweetness. I think on this site Chevette Girl has done the most extensive variety of JAOM variations and I'm sure she'll have a raspberry recipe around here somewhere. I was checking over my notes and I did a raspberry melomel that ended up at 1.002 and it was wickedly tart, and I don't mind that, but it would have been better at JAOM levels of sweetness of 1.020 or so.

mannye
09-21-2014, 07:21 PM
The orange flavor in JAOM isn't overpowering. Since it finishes sweet, you're really getting the flavor of whatever varietal honey you use, not to mention the cinnamon and cloves. I made mine with ornage blossom honey and even then, the flavor wasn't "orange."

Bigdurian
09-22-2014, 05:51 AM
We need to do a USAFREEDOM drop with an assortment of wine yeasts and airlocks. And StarSan.

Just let me know when and where, the desert is a big open place!

Bigdurian
09-22-2014, 05:53 AM
Any equipment that is any good is virtually impossible to get and must be smuggled in to the country. A friend had his yeast confiscated off him at the airport upon arrival. Things are very basic here.

Bigdurian
09-22-2014, 05:55 AM
If you can get frozen raspberries I think it would be a good substitute. The seeds in the raspberries will give you the tannins that will replace the bitterness of the orange pith to balance out the sweetness. I think on this site Chevette Girl has done the most extensive variety of JAOM variations and I'm sure she'll have a raspberry recipe around here somewhere. I was checking over my notes and I did a raspberry melomel that ended up at 1.002 and it was wickedly tart, and I don't mind that, but it would have been better at JAOM levels of sweetness of 1.020 or so.

Would strawberries work? they're coming into season soon. Don't really get raspberries here and if you do they cost an absolute fortune, more than the honey!

Bigdurian
09-22-2014, 05:57 AM
It can. It depends upon WHAT you change. See, it's designed as a beginner's mead. Something to give you confidence.

It is a simple recipe, but it's designed to be foolproof... quite a task, since we fools can be so ingenious. If you use less honey, it can ferment dry, and the bitterness of the orange pith takes over. If you use just the orange zest and not the pith, it comes out with nothing to balance the sweetness. So, yeah, it can effect the outcome.

You've made mead before, so you probably dont need the 'confidence' part. What you NEED is the nutrients and a couple of pieces of equipment...

I'd recommend, at a minimum, that you get a couple of glass 1 gallon or 4L jugs, an airlock and drilled stopper (or you an use a balloon with a pinhole in it), a hydrometer and maybe a pH meter. Bread yeast is not optimum, but it will work if you want a 12% alch brew maximum. Raisins and boiled bread yeast will replace nutrients, and above all, patience should be added in liberal doses all along the way.

Good luck,
Joe
First time meader but a lot of experience with other things. Working on lychee wine at the moment.

Bigdurian
09-22-2014, 05:58 AM
The orange flavor in JAOM isn't overpowering. Since it finishes sweet, you're really getting the flavor of whatever varietal honey you use, not to mention the cinnamon and cloves. I made mine with ornage blossom honey and even then, the flavor wasn't "orange."

I like the sound of the cinnamon.

EJM3
09-29-2014, 05:48 PM
Hmm, lychee wine you say?? I LOVE lychee, but never thought of making a wine out of them. OK you convinced me to add that to my to-brew list (drags out a tome the size of an entire encyclopedia set and makes notes using a feather quill from a Roc). But seriously that sounds so yummy!

Bigdurian
10-08-2014, 09:46 AM
tried the lychee today and it didn't turn out that well IMO, it might get better with age though, who knows.

Bigdurian
10-08-2014, 09:55 AM
So I started on the mead about 3 weeks ago, maybe a bit more. I decided to go my own way and just make it the same way that I would make wine, beer, or cider. Remember I'm in Saudi so my starting base is low. Anyway, I normally shake vigorously every day until there is no more gas released and then put it back down to brew. I was doing this until I went to the beach on the Persian Gulf for a few days. I got back late last night and didn't have a look till today. I had two lots on the go, one at a 1:2 ratio and one at a 1:3 ratio. While I was away they had both totally cleared so I racked it off and had a tester. The 1:3 was a bit dry but still tasted good but the 1:2 was lovely. So on the whole I'm pretty pleased. I know a bit more now about how to approach doing larger quantities, and I know I can get something drinkable in a month. I'll probably put them away for a while and see how they improve with age. No idea about alcohol content but there was a warm glow inside so I'm guessing at 12%. So if anyone reading this, is as lacking in facilities as I am then there is hope.

mannye
10-09-2014, 07:57 AM
Congratulations. I really think that if you try the JAOM you will be very happy with the result. It does not need any special ingredients (honey, water, raisins, oranges, clove and cinnamon) and it uses regular bread yeast. It finishes in about 10 weeks and you don't have to shake it or move it or even touch it until it's done. Just keep it dark and cool.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.

GntlKnigt1
10-11-2014, 10:50 AM
Dark and cool is probably a challenge in Saudi Arabia.....

mannye
10-11-2014, 10:31 PM
Dark and cool is probably a challenge in Saudi Arabia..... Meh... with all the silver plated Audi's running around I bet there's a fridge or two in operation. :)

Robusto
10-16-2014, 01:54 PM
Being in the middle east, you probably have access to some great figs! I made a mead with figs that tasted amazing.

Chevette Girl
10-16-2014, 09:57 PM
tried the lychee today and it didn't turn out that well IMO, it might get better with age though, who knows.

I've made a lot of wines myself, and sometimes age really does make a difference... I think we have the same problems with lychee here as you have with raspberries there!

I've used fresh figs before and they were pretty nice, I used some starfruit in that batch too I think, and it was a JAO-based experiment. You have to be careful of the seeds though, sometimes they get all caught up in foam and can make a mess... I made that batch in a 1-gal jar and had to keep the jar in a bucket because it kept overflowing.

If you're going to try a mead, I heartily suggest a JAO at some point in the proceedings. Make it according to the recipe once, get a feel for how the acidity from the juice and bitterness from the orange peel balances the sweetness... THEN you can try messing with it, we'll all have plenty of suggestions for you! I suggest if you try the fig idea with the JAO base (3.5 lb honey per gallon, use bread yeast) you use the juice of one lemon per gallon or it'll come out too syrupy.

If you're going to do a traditional mead without adding fruit for flavour, I would suggest you add a handful of raisins per gallon as nutrients. Making wines is usually easier than making meads because the honey doesn't have a lot of nutrients to offer the yeast, whereas fruit wines definitely do.

Bigdurian
10-20-2014, 01:45 PM
Dark and cool is probably a challenge in Saudi Arabia.....

Not too bad actually, although I'm in the capital Riyadh which is right in the middle of the desert we do have A/C at home and a big wardrobe. It gets surprisingly cold here in winter too.

Bigdurian
10-20-2014, 01:47 PM
Being in the middle east, you probably have access to some great figs! I made a mead with figs that tasted amazing.

Have seen them in the supermarket, what about dates though? They are in abundance here and very cheap, also very high in sugar content too.

Bigdurian
10-20-2014, 01:48 PM
I've made a lot of wines myself, and sometimes age really does make a difference... I think we have the same problems with lychee here as you have with raspberries there!

I've used fresh figs before and they were pretty nice, I used some starfruit in that batch too I think, and it was a JAO-based experiment. You have to be careful of the seeds though, sometimes they get all caught up in foam and can make a mess... I made that batch in a 1-gal jar and had to keep the jar in a bucket because it kept overflowing.

If you're going to try a mead, I heartily suggest a JAO at some point in the proceedings. Make it according to the recipe once, get a feel for how the acidity from the juice and bitterness from the orange peel balances the sweetness... THEN you can try messing with it, we'll all have plenty of suggestions for you! I suggest if you try the fig idea with the JAO base (3.5 lb honey per gallon, use bread yeast) you use the juice of one lemon per gallon or it'll come out too syrupy.

If you're going to do a traditional mead without adding fruit for flavour, I would suggest you add a handful of raisins per gallon as nutrients. Making wines is usually easier than making meads because the honey doesn't have a lot of nutrients to offer the yeast, whereas fruit wines definitely do.

any idea about dates? They're similar to raisins but a lot bigger and sweeter.

Chevette Girl
10-20-2014, 02:03 PM
Actually one of my favourite JAO variants used lemon and dates (most of the time we get them so dried they're hard here), it turned out quite well! I think I just chopped up a big handful and used them in place of the raisins.

GntlKnigt1
10-20-2014, 02:09 PM
Found a thread about dates, but it seems I remember a recipe more recently that used them, but can't find it now..
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/13835-Date-mead?highlight=dates

http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/12718-Date-and-Fig-Melomel?highlight=dates

Bigdurian
12-03-2014, 12:37 AM
So here's a quick update. I can make basic meads okay and I've played around with the ratios of honey to water to find out what I like. I then started making some with dates. The first lot was 3kg of honey, 1 kg of dates and about 7 litres of water, amd I would say that the taste of the dates was too strong. I've only just done the first siphon but it tasted that way anyway. The second lot was as above but with 1/2kg of dates and 8 litres of water, and the taste was a lot better, more subtle, I think 1/3 kg of dates might be about right so that will be then next try.

Chevette Girl
12-03-2014, 11:27 AM
Huh, I never thought you could get _too much_ flavour from a date :) But good job on figuring it out! How sweet does this recipe turn out for you, with 3 kg honey and 7-8 litres water (which strikes me as approximately correct ratio for JAO)

Bigdurian
12-04-2014, 12:22 AM
Guess they're pretty potent dates. They are probably the next biggest thing after oil here. The trees are everywhere and are well suited to the extreme heat in summer, as in they don't die! LOL. The ones I used are also the really dark sticky ones. I chose them because they are the sweetest and I was looking for the sugar content. 3kg to 7-8 litres is about right for me. I found when I did a 1:2 ratio it was too sweet, but a 1:3 ratio was too dry. It was quite interesting seeing the difference between the two and their clarity. As for using the dates, the batch with 1 kg had such a strong taste of dates that it was hard to get any kind of feeling for sweetness. I've only racked it off once though so I'll see how it ages, the taste might mellow. I'm looking forward to trying the 1/3 kg date batch, hopefully the taste of dates will be a subtle addition to the mead. They all taste strong so far though. Don't have a hydrometer so I've no idea about %.

On a side note, the lychee has aged well. Maybe I'll have to try lychee mead!

Honeyhog
12-04-2014, 10:11 AM
You could make a home made hydrometer. Take something skinny, like a chopstick and hot glue a steel nut on the bottom. Put it in a vessel of distilled water and mark that level as 1.000 then you need a liquid of known gravity, let's say coca cola and mark it's gravity and then extrapolate from that how far apart to put the gravity points and ouila, home made hydrometer.

kudapucat
12-04-2014, 04:50 PM
It would be easier to make a sugar solution.
Careful measuring equipment will allow calculation of gravity.
Simply divide the weight by the volume.