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lukus135
11-16-2014, 02:16 PM
Hi all, This is the first time that i have ventured into the world of mead and something has already happened to my first mead.
After adding the pastured honey and water mixture with some tannin (replacing the raisins) to my demijohn and filling, i added some chopped orange and mixed the around. then when looking at the must again it had turned a very dark brown colour which struck me as odd. I guess the acid in the oranged has oxidised something within the must.

So my question is has this happened to anyone else and if so does it affect the overall flavour?

Thanks
Lukus135

Honeyhog
11-16-2014, 06:31 PM
The raisins add more than just tannins, they also supply nutrients to the yeast. I'm thinking the tannins and the orange pieces are reacting with each other like you said. As long as it smells good I say let it ride. If your orange pieces still have the peel on them it will need to be sweet to counteract the bitterness of the pith. What's the recipe, is it supposed to be a Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (JAOM)? How much honey did you use, what was the original specific gravity? What yeast did you use. All questions that need answers to give proper advice. Oh, welcome to gotmead and the obsession.

lukus135
11-16-2014, 07:27 PM
Oh I added yeast nutrients as well. I used a general recipe of 1-3 lbs of honey, yeast and an orange. I used 1.3Kg of honey as I wanted a strong but still sweet/medium mead, 1g of tannin, 2g of nutrient and an orange sliced into 8ths. Also the yeast is CL23 which is similar to the lalvin generally used. The SG was 1104 which when brewed to about 1003 will be around 13-14% depending on the calculation you use.
Thanks for the quick reply
Lukus135

Honeyhog
11-16-2014, 10:13 PM
You might want to sweeten it up a bit as it will be very bitter if it's that dry unless you let the bitterness age out.

lukus135
11-17-2014, 04:13 AM
Ok I wasn't aware of the bitterness. Would you recommend not letting it brew as far as 1002 then rather than back sweetening?

lukus135
11-17-2014, 04:25 AM
And a quick update on the brew. It seems to have become lighter now that it's started brewing so either the oxidised whatever has been reduced or its settled? And the air locking is ticking away nicely :)

EJM3
11-17-2014, 07:39 AM
It was most likely the tannin added that did the weird browning effect. I added some tannin to a batch of cider one time and that made it a slightly murky brown until the ferment was finished. Then it was just perfect dry bliss after the ferment and quite clear if left to flocculate (settle), which it rarely was!


Also: Did you increase the gravity a bit to counteract the bitterness of the pith?

lukus135
11-17-2014, 03:02 PM
Seems like this won't be an issue then, couldn't find anything about it online though. Or maybe I didn't search the right thing.
Anyway, I didn't really consider the bitterness for some reason so could I remedy this by cutting the brew short for what would be a sweeter mead?

EJM3
11-17-2014, 04:46 PM
It's pretty hard to stop there where you want sometimes. I just made a JAOM that turned out a little too sweet (1.028 to be exact). I may end up blending it with a drier one that I have in bulk (.990) when I get near to bottling time.

Usually you try and stop them to make it sweet and they just keep going to bone dry. Next try and get it dry and it will turn out like syrup. There are so many variables that go into things and the yeasties are the most fickle of all of the variables. They will do what they will do and you just go along for the ride. Just make sure you raise them right (re-hydrate properly or make a starter), give them a good home with healthy food (high quality honey and the right balance of the correct nutrients), and watch them grow up strong and do their job well (watch the pretty bubbles and relish in the lack of fusel alcohols (undesirable higher alcohols)).

There are ways to do that more reliably. You can just let it go bone dry, rack onto K-Meta & K-Sorbate to firstly knock them out at their most vulnerable, then make them unable to reproduce. You can then backsweeten to the desired level of sweetness, clarify (by age or chemistry), then bottle and enjoy in a year or two. Meanwhile there are the JAOM and the BOMM to consider for drink me now ones. There are limitless ways to make mead as there are no fast and hard rules. No one has continuously made mead except in the Polish, Croatian, Russian and African areas (roughly anyway!). So it's Wild West and your imagination that are the limits here. Just dictated a bit by the yeastie beasties.

That is my experience YMMV.

mannye
11-23-2014, 03:42 AM
Lucus if this is your first time making mead you should read the newbie guide.

It will set you on the right path and answer many questions as well as allay many fears.


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

McJeff
11-23-2014, 09:45 AM
A pic would be cool, could be as simple as the honey settling to the bottom.

mannye
11-23-2014, 01:01 PM
Also the first issue is pasteurized must. No need to do that. Adds an extra step that destroys flavor b


Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now.
U g

lukus135
11-24-2014, 06:18 PM
Cheers for the replies. The colour is a lot lighter now that it's started fermenting, it's reached a nice 7% so far, so a picture is not possible unfortunately.
Thanks for the tips also. I did do a fair amount of reading before I embarked on my first mead but the only thing I couldn't find was why it had become so discoloured.
I had a little taste and so far the bitterness is not over whelming but then there is a lot of sugar left to brew out. Also I used tangerines which are slightly sweeter than their larger counterparts. If it turns out well though I may repeat then get a picture up of what happens when adding the oranges.

joemirando
11-24-2014, 06:48 PM
And a quick update on the brew. It seems to have become lighter now that it's started brewing so either the oxidised whatever has been reduced or its settled? And the air locking is ticking away nicely :)

I have noticed this when adding tea to my must. Upon pitching, it is quiet ugly. It's hard to imagine it will make anything enjoyable. A dark, nasty off shade of dirty khaki. But after a couple of days, you would not be able to distinguish between this batch (1 cup strong brewed tea... this one was Darjeeling... per gallon of must) and a batch made without the tea. Now whether its the same process as what's going on in your batch or not, I cannot say. But it's interesting that both contain tannins.

Be well,
Joe

lukus135
12-08-2014, 04:33 AM
A little update on the mead. It has stopped brewing vigorously and is ticking away VERY slowly. I don't think I have a stuck brew though which is good. But i think it's going to take well over into January to finish brewing maybe longer. It took 6 days to increase by 0.6%, is this a bad sign or just the ol mead doing what it does?

Cheers
Lukus135

EJM3
12-08-2014, 07:42 PM
Near the end of my ferments they always slow down considerably. But then again I am using mostly "Organic" processes that take ~1 month to finish up. The stuff that I added fermaid k and energizer to are going a lot faster, BUT have a lot more of that fusel alcohol/rocket fuel burn to them.

lukus135
03-09-2015, 02:26 PM
A quick update on how the mead has turned out. It stopped at 1016 with a final ABV of 11.8%. And it tastes really good. The bitterness left by the orange has totally dissapeared, and it went down an absolute treat. I think next time a little less sugar so I can brew a slightly drier mead. I would show a picture of the final product but we accidentally drank it all :)

Cheers
Lukus135

Medsen Fey
03-09-2015, 11:23 PM
Congrats on the success!

Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

EJM3
03-10-2015, 02:24 PM
Nice! Glad your first went so well for you & wishing you many happy years of mazing!!

mannye
03-10-2015, 04:42 PM
Fantastic! Did anyone notice a headache the next day?


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lukus135
03-11-2015, 02:31 PM
Cheers. No, nobody did thankfully. And this was coupled with a potent lager/ale homebrew too!

mannye
03-12-2015, 02:10 PM
There's a theory that homebrew has some compounds that help metabolize the booze so hangovers are less potent but I'm sure that's not true. It's the elves that come to is at night only when we drink homebrew. That's what happens.


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fuelish
03-13-2015, 12:23 PM
There's a theory that homebrew has some compounds that help metabolize the booze so hangovers are less potent but I'm sure that's not true. It's the elves that come to is at night only when we drink homebrew. That's what happens.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk I think it's the yeast left.....B vitamins, and all, good for you, etc.... I decant carefully for guest pourings, but when left to my own devices (i.e. having one when no one is around), I'll drink it all, including bottle sludge....isn't pretty, makes ya gassy (understatement), but haven't had a hangover in decades