View Full Version : Checklist for First Try

03-05-2015, 08:37 PM
Ok, I think I am ready to try my first batch of Joe’s Ancient Orange and Spice Mead. I have a couple questions and a checklist.

1. Is there a better yeast to use? The author seems to make fun of Fleishmann’s bread yeast. Since I am going to have to order the honey it would be no problem to order a better yeast too.
2. If I were to make 2 gallons, 1 as directed and one with only honey and yeast, could the cleaner one be used as a benchmark to see how well I sanitized everything?
3. How hot should the water be in this plan?

This is my order so far -

3 piece airlock
1 gal jug with cap
Rubber stopper #6 with hole

Anything else I might need since I have to get to $15?

Thanks everyone!

03-05-2015, 11:21 PM
If you use a different yeast, or, change anything for that matter, you mess the whole thing up. You need to follow the recipe completely to the end.

03-06-2015, 08:03 AM
Hi! And Welcome to GotMead!

1) Definitely do not use a different yeast for Joe's. It's one of the keys to the success of this recipe.
2) Not sure what you are asking here. Again, if you are doing Joe's then follow it, and you have no problems.
3) I use room temperature water only. Maybe heat some up to about 120F for rinsing out the honey jars after they have been poured in. But that's it.

-- Steve

03-06-2015, 05:31 PM
If you're trying to get to $15, I'd order some sanitizer. Star San is a good one. The ingredients are for more than just taste, they offer specific nutrients. The mead will finish clean and clear if you wait long enough.

Medsen Fey
03-07-2015, 03:14 PM
Another thing you can add is a hydrometer. You sound like you might want to try some different things, and if you want to make things other than JAO, you'll need the hydrometer. Ordering some Fermaid K for nutrients would also be useful for non JAO batches.


03-07-2015, 04:24 PM
If you're trying to get to $15, I'd order some sanitizer. Star San is a good one. The ingredients are for more than just taste, they offer specific nutrients. The mead will finish clean and clear if you wait long enough.

No, use bread yeast, NOT a wine or beer yeast.

The whole recipe is predicated upon the yeast croaking at a particular alcohol level. Trust me, you need to follow the recipe.
The ONLY thing you can safely change if you need to is the BRAND of bread yeast. Some folks cannot fine Fleischmann's and can only get Red Star. That is as much of a change as I would recommend. A wine yeast will turn more of the honey into alcohol and it will be much less pleasant. You need the unfermented sugar to balance the bitterness from the orange rind and you need the bitterness from the orange rind to balance the sweetness. I wouldn't go purchasing specialty (read expensive) honey for a first-time JAOM. Store brand will be just fine for this one. Once you have this one successfully under your belt, you can experiment with other honey types.

As a matter of fact, my first batch of Joe's Ancient Orange was made without buying a single piece of winemaking equipment. I used the plastic jug the spring water came in as my fermenter, I used a balloon with a couple of pinholes in it as my airlock, and did without hydrometer or pH meter.

Now if you want to put together an order for your subsequent batches, here's a list of must-haves in order of my personal ranking of importance:

Several different types of yeast (K1V-1116, EC-1118, 71b, etc.)
Airlocks and drilled stoppers
Yeast nutrient and energizer
Some sort of sanitizer StarSan or similiar, or do like me and use bleach)
Potassium Metabisulphate (aka K-Meta or Campden tablets)
Potassium Sorbate
Potassium Carbonate
pH meter
gallon jugs (if you're going to start with gallon batches)
7 gallon brew bucket
6 gallon glass carboy
wine bottles, corks, corker, etc.

Later on, you can get into other additives like acid blend, oak, etc., but if you start slowly and build as you get going, you'll do fine.

Good luck, and follow the JAOM (Joe's Ancient Orange Mead) recipe for your first go-round. After that, if you're of a mind to, you can try a JAOV (Joe's Ancient Orange Variant).


03-15-2015, 06:15 PM
Ok, everything showed up last week and I am going to make my first try tomorrow. What about a funnel? Pouring from a pot of hot water into the one gallon jug seems trickey. Also, I am a little unclear on the cleaning process with the Star San. Any advice on cleaning the orange?

Chevette Girl
03-15-2015, 06:31 PM
I sometimes use sanitized dollar store funnels, but I actually prefer the one I made out of a Coke bottle, just cut the top off a plastic pop bottle, flip it upside down, has a nice big hole and fits down the throat of most carboys... but for a JAO, you can either use hot tap water straight from the tap, or the pour spout on a kettle should minimize mess (although don't use boiling water, add some cool water to the kettle before pouring into a glass jug). Pouring it from a pot into a 1-gal jug just sounds like a recipe for disaster...

I dunk my citrus fruits in the dish water while doing dishes, give them a good scrub with the dish brush, rinse thoroughly and let them air dry somewhere clean. I'm more worried about pesticides than bacteria, to be honest...

Star san should have instructions, I think from what I've read you can just bottle it up and re-use it until it gets cloudy but hopefully someone who uses it will set you straight on that if I'm wrong.

03-15-2015, 10:22 PM
I mix up a 5 gal batch using tap water, then fill a couple spray bottles for later. You can dunk the carboy, hydrometer, airlocks, bungs, oranges, whatever in there. Just wait a couple minutes, then put it somewhere clean to dry (I use foil I've sprayed).

03-15-2015, 10:25 PM
If you don't have an extra bucket you can use the sink, just use a gallon container to measure the water.

03-18-2015, 09:19 PM
After a brief setback of a flooded downstairs, all went well. Thanks for help everyone. Looks like I have 2 months of reading and waiting.

03-18-2015, 09:33 PM

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05-28-2015, 11:23 PM
Found a local store that sells brewing stuff and picked up a syphon and pump. Syphoned out today into a stainless pot and then into bottles. You definitely taste the clove and it has a warm feeling with it. I have bottles to store and bottles to save. Thanks for the help everyone and I look forward to my next batch.

05-29-2015, 12:10 AM

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