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Maylar
06-21-2015, 11:43 AM
Hi folks - noob here, looking for a bit of guidance.

I'm an experienced cider maker and am looking to make my first mead. I'll be using the JAOM recipe and I have a couple of questions.

Bread yeast? Is that because it's easily available, or does it contribute to the end product somehow? I have a variety of ale and wine yeasts to choose from, including 71B and EC1118 - are they a better choice?

No nutrients? I always add yeast nutrient to my ciders when I pitch the yeast. I see threads here suggesting a staggered regimen of nutrient and DAP - I have those compounds available - should I use them?

My plan would be for a sweet still mead, no carbonation. Probably rack to secondary in a couple months and age until Thanksgiving. Does mead finish sweet, or will it go dry to 1.000 like cider? I'd rather not stabilize with chemicals and backsweeten, but I will if that's the best path to where I want to go.

TIA

mannye
06-21-2015, 12:01 PM
Two or three years ago when I came here as an experienced beer brewer I asked all the same questions. My ears are still ringing from all the yelling. (I kid. Nicest, most respectful forum on the net, this is)

However, JAOM IS A FORMULA NOT A RECIPE. You have to follow it to the letter or you will not get good results. It will take about 100 days for it to be finished. You know it's done when the fruit starts falling.

To be clear. The is no room for interpretation. No tweaking. If you want to guarantee a delicious end product, listen to Joe and do as he says. If you start today, you will have JAOM in about 100 days.

Here's the good part. Throw it all in the jug, shake it up, put an airlock on it and forget about it until Tuesday Sept 29th. Then CAREFULLY take it out and rack off the fluffy bread yeast and enjoy.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

fatbloke
06-21-2015, 12:16 PM
Hi folks - noob here, looking for a bit of guidance.

I'm an experienced cider maker and am looking to make my first mead. I'll be using the JAOM recipe and I have a couple of questions.
Fair enough, it's a reasonable one to start with........


Bread yeast? Is that because it's easily available, or does it contribute to the end product somehow? I have a variety of ale and wine yeasts to choose from, including 71B and EC1118 - are they a better choice?
The whole recipe seems set up/worked out to make starting easy i.e. all the ingredients are easily obtained from a grocery type place. The bread yeast is for ease as well, but has a hidden benefit. One thing people find, is that it doesn't flocculate very well, so once it's done, you need to be careful.

The best reason for sticking to it, is because it poops out earlier leaving residual sugars. If you replace it with a wine yeast, it will often ferment dry - which shifts the focus of the final taste, from sweet to bitter as hell. This is because the residual sweetness balances the bitterness that comes from using the whole orange including the pith which is where the bitterness comes from. You can change it if you wanted but you'd find it'd need back sweetening. If you did take a reading, you'd find the start gravity is about the 1.130 sort of area, finished it ends up at about the 1.030 sort of area.


No nutrients? I always add yeast nutrient to my ciders when I pitch the yeast. I see threads here suggesting a staggered regimen of nutrient and DAP - I have those compounds available - should I use them?
No, as Joes says in the original recipe, just follow it exactly for the predictable, repeatable results. The nutrients come from the orange and raisins (and from the dead yeast). Many recipes will use both, because they have less nutrition in them in the first place (honey is famously low in nutrients). For a good read up about mead and nutrients a good link can be found here https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/1256/NDzym05_MasterMead.pdf


My plan would be for a sweet still mead, no carbonation. Probably rack to secondary in a couple months and age until Thanksgiving. Does mead finish sweet, or will it go dry to 1.000 like cider? I'd rather not stabilize with chemicals and backsweeten, but I will if that's the best path to where I want to go.

TIA
Meads can finish both sweet and dry. I'm one of those who doesn't pile all the fermentables in up front i.e. I'll start my batches in the 1.100 to 1.110 sort of area (rarely going above 1.120 to initially). This is mostly because I want to make the most of my yeasts ability and not stress it in any way from the get go. I like to use Lalvin yeasts because they publish more data about them than any other maker. If I want to make a rocket fuel batch, I follow the step feeding protocol but I use nutrition for the maximum expected % ABV - I also make it 2 parts fermaid (energiser) to 1 part DAP (nutrient). This is because as you'll notice from the above link that it seems more likely that H2S production can come from low micro-nutrients like the B vitamins than from low nitrogen. In any case, the fermaid range have DAP already in them so you're just increasing the nitrogen with more.

I routinely ferment my batches dry, rack off the gross lees, then stabilise, then before finishing the clearing process sweeten to my preferred level (about the 1.010 to 1.015 sort of level) - I sweeten at this stage because sweetening with honey can cause a haze (protein I believe it is) and that if I sweeten before clearing, I find that any haze produced by the sweetening honey will drop out with the rest of the lees.

It is fair to point out that you will read of many hereabouts who like to start their meads very high, in the hope that the yeast will die off at a specified level. I find that this method makes for problems as the yeast can sometimes take some effort to get the ferment underway (osmotic shock caused by high levels of fermentable sugars), and/or that stressing the yeast early on can make for difficult ferment conditions that can stick, stall or just slow the process.

Don't be put off by the suggested early stage aeration methods. This is done to help with yeast colony development (I routinely aerate from the start gravity until it hits the 1/3rd sugar break).

p.s. as for the wine yeasts you allude to, I like 71B for fruit batches, but only use EC-1118 for restarts (I find it seems to blow too many of the VOC's straight out the air lock for my liking). If I want a higher % ABV, I prefer K1-V1116 or D21.......

Maylar
06-22-2015, 09:38 AM
OK. Got it - no modifications.



The whole recipe seems set up/worked out to make starting easy i.e. all the ingredients are easily obtained from a grocery type place. The bread yeast is for ease as well, but has a hidden benefit. One thing people find, is that it doesn't flocculate very well, so once it's done, you need to be careful.

The best reason for sticking to it, is because it poops out earlier leaving residual sugars. If you replace it with a wine yeast, it will often ferment dry - which shifts the focus of the final taste, from sweet to bitter as hell.

I kinda figured that the bread yeast would reach alcohol tolerance and leave some residual sweetness. Thanks for confirming that.

I'm also guessing that the lees will be nasty, hence the comments about being "careful" when bottling? What is the typical yield for a gallon of this?

And if it doesn't flocculate well, does that mean you get cloudy mead? That would be ungood. My ciders are crystal clear, and to me that's an indication of craftsmanship.

mannye
06-22-2015, 10:30 AM
The result is crystal clear. The "be careful" part is that the lees are very loose and if you handle it as you would a jug with brewing yeast it will cloud up and take a couple of weeks to clear again. A cold crash is always a good idea before you rack too but not necessary.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

valverij
06-22-2015, 11:55 AM
If you're interested in some light science regarding the JAOM, check out loveofrose's "All Natural BOMM" topic and his "JAO All Natural BOMM" mead log:

All Natural BOMM - http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/22581-All-Natural-BOMM
JAO All Natural BOMM - http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/22589-JAO-All-Natural-BOMM

The goal was to find fruit additives to make the equivalent nutrient/additive replacements for a natural BOMM (Bray's One Month Mead). In that first one, LOR goes over possible fruits, their associated nutrient levels, and possible recipes. After some research, he developed the recipe in the "JAO All Natural BOMM" topic, which, if you look closely, is basically just a JAOM + dried currants for their potassium carbonate/bicarbonate. The yeast selection there is specific to BOMM's, and can be ignored for the sake of this post.

WVMJack
06-22-2015, 07:49 PM
I would think your natural progression would be to make a cyser since you already know how to make cider. If you add honey to boost the alcohol level of your cider up, say about where you got 50% of your sugar from your apples and 50% from your honey then you are making mead friend. Mead making isnt harder than making cider, in fact cider is a little harder since its so easy to have contaminated juice that goes over to vinegar quickly. I think you could bring yourself into meadmaking by using the knowledge you already have to make a cyser than to start at the bottom of the curve again with a JAOM. WVMJ

Maylar
06-23-2015, 06:09 AM
The result is crystal clear. The "be careful" part is that the lees are very loose and if you handle it as you would a jug with brewing yeast it will cloud up and take a couple of weeks to clear again. A cold crash is always a good idea before you rack too but not necessary.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

Understood. I have used yeasts in my ciders that leave light fluffy lees. Just moving the carboy from the floor to the counter top kicks up a cloud of sediment that takes a couple of days to settle. Gotta be careful not to touch the bottom of the jug with the siphon when racking.

A cyser is an idea too, but apples aren't in season yet. I have the ingredients for a gallon of mead, and an empty gallon jug so... time to get started. I'll be back in a couple of months, wish me luck.

Thanks guys.

Chevette Girl
06-26-2015, 11:44 AM
The best reason for sticking to it, is because it poops out earlier leaving residual sugars. If you replace it with a wine yeast, it will often ferment dry - which shifts the focus of the final taste, from sweet to bitter as hell. This is because the residual sweetness balances the bitterness that comes from using the whole orange including the pith which is where the bitterness comes from.

The other nice thing about bread yeast is that it's generally pretty honest about when it's done, it won't usually decide to kick back up after you bottle it like wine yeasts can do when you haven't stabilized your batch. I usually rack it once the fruit's sunk and then wait another month or two before I bottle it, it tastes fine but I want to make sure I'm not going to have bottle bombs if I don't stabilize it (and JAO is one that I don't think I've ever stabilized, and only twice in 40 or so batches have I ever had a bit of continued fermentation after bottling).

If you want a sweet still mead, I'd go with a step-feeding regimen where you start it at a reasonable level (SG below 1.120) and then when the SG hits 1.000, boost it back up to your maximum acceptable sweetness (maybe try for 1.015?), and keep doing that until it stops. This way you're guaranteed not to have it finish TOO sweet. I used to di it the start high and let it finish where it will method but that's not very reliable or predictable :)

Maylar
06-28-2015, 09:51 AM
One other thing - the yeast that my local Stop & Shop carries is by Hodgson Mill, not Fleischmanns. Should I look further, or will this do the same?

Thanks

mannye
06-28-2015, 03:30 PM
One other thing - the yeast that my local Stop & Shop carries is by Hodgson Mill, not Fleischmanns. Should I look further, or will this do the same?

Thanks

Fleishman's is mentioned because it's a common brand in the U.S. I don't think a different brand will make that much of a difference. Just don't do "quick rise" yeast. Get the regular one.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

Maylar
07-04-2015, 10:27 AM
I started my first mead yesterday. OG was about 1.127. This morning it's bubbling merrily along. Looks like I could top up the gallon jug a bit, I had left some room for the foam. Normally with a cider I get a head of brown foamy stuff that can foul the airlock if I don't leave room for it.

I think i'm on my way though...

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/298/19221678829_74a026e306_z.jpg

mannye
07-04-2015, 11:45 PM
Looks good! Is that JAOM? If it is, you're done! Just sit back and wait. Have some cider. In 100 or so days you will have nice mead!


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

joemirando
07-05-2015, 01:42 PM
Yep, you're on your way, all right.

"Topping up" is fine. I always try to make a little more must than I think I'll need and freeze/refrigerate it.

To be safe, wait 'till the foam dies down almost completely (when you see only a ring of foam clinging to the glass and the rest of the surface is clear), then add half of what you think you could safely add. Trust me; its easier to add more raw must later than it is to siphon out some because its blasting through your airlock. ;)

Lookin' good.

Oh, and welcome from another Connecticut Yankee!

Joe

Chevette Girl
07-05-2015, 05:14 PM
with a JAO I usually wait a week or so for the really vigorous activity to die down a bit before I top it off.

Maylar
09-13-2015, 11:37 AM
I've come back a couple months later to report progress. I racked off the fruit & lees yesterday and came away with an extraordinarily clear mead that should yield 4 750 ml bottles. FG is 1.012 which by my calculations is about 15% ABV. Seems awfully high for bread yeast, no?

I've never had mead before, and managed to taste a sample while racking. Yup, there's orange and honey in there. And, umm... lots of alcohol.

This will be bottled soon and put away for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. Looking forward to that. Thanks for the helpful advice Beez.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5785/20742966783_4c880de2cf_z.jpg

I purged the airspace with CO2, I'm sure it'll be OK for a week 'till my corker arrives.

kudapucat
09-14-2015, 02:48 AM
Every yeast is different. 15% is about 2.5% what I get on average, but a mate of mine used my same yeast and had it go dry.
Yeast are temperamental and not to be trusted. Some are drunkards who can really hold the boose. Some are buggers who beat on the others as the get drunk, others are 1 pot screamers who flake out at the scent of alcohol. This is why a healthy population is good, you get a mix of all types.

JAO is meant to finish around 1.030, but personally, I love it at 1.015. +/- 0.005
To each his own.

If it's not sweet enough, add more sugar next time.
If too sweet, reduce the sugar, but beware, I find it doesn't have a chance of balancing when below 1.010.

I would not suggest adding more than 0.005 at a time when trying for different sweetnesses.

That looks pretty mate, well done.
Now take one of those bottles, and place it in the kitchen to be drunk.
Take another, and give it to a family member who is too distrustful to drink it.
Now in 6-9 months, visit that guy and insist he share it with you. - this is the only way you'll manage to not drink it in the meantime!

Next bit of advice: 100 days. 4 bottles. Not really a challenge. Get making another!

kudapucat
09-14-2015, 02:50 AM
Also consider bottling 2 or beer/cidre bottles, (375ml) so you can taste it, without drinking the whole 750ml.
It lets you pace yourself more and monitor its development.

mannye
09-14-2015, 11:26 AM
And then you will learn to make 5 gallons at a time and have plenty to drink and give away.


Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

Maylar
09-14-2015, 03:33 PM
Next bit of advice: 100 days. 4 bottles. Not really a challenge. Get making another!

This was a summer experiment. Apples are falling, as well as temperatures. Time to make cider!

But I will bottle some of this to smaller vessels, as I'm too weak to resist drinking it.

kudapucat
09-15-2015, 03:11 AM
Haha. So long as something's brewing.