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View Full Version : Help with Joe's Ancient Orange Recipe



Sveinne
02-28-2005, 10:23 AM
Thanks for all the good info here. I plan on putting up my first batch tonight. I am going to try Joe's Ancient Orange, Cinnamon and Clove Mead.

I just have a couple questions. I've read through the entire thread about ten times, but I just can't seem to get it in my head whether Joe recommends putting everything in at room temp, without boiling, or should I heat the water to sterilize it, and add the honey to that? We have excellent drinking water, full of minerals, and it has been judged some of the best drinking water in the area.

Also, when I see directions which say to fill to within three inches of the top of the carboy, does this mean the top of the carboy itself, or the top of the neck of the carboy? I would think it would need some bubbling room for expansion, but I could be wrong.

Thanks in advance for your answers!

Dan McFeeley
02-28-2005, 02:50 PM
I just have a couple questions. I've read through the entire thread about ten times, but I just can't seem to get it in my head whether Joe recommends putting everything in at room temp, without boiling, or should I heat the water to sterilize it, and add the honey to that? We have excellent drinking water, full of minerals, and it has been judged some of the best drinking water in the area.

Here's Joes advice:

>Process:
>Use a clean 1 gallon carboy
>Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in carboy

That's it! Just warm water.

Joe might be busy and may have glossed over this post. I'd suggest changing the topic header to something like "Help Needed with Ancient Orange recipe" That should get his attention. :)

Sveinne
02-28-2005, 03:29 PM
Thanks Dan, that's what I read, but I thought maybe he started with boiled sterilized water. If it's just straight from the tap, this will be a breeze!

David Baldwin
02-28-2005, 08:48 PM
If your water is chlorinated, you will probably want to bring to a boil for about 15 - 20 minutes to drive off the chlorine. If your water is not chlorinated there is some risk of infection unless you sterilze the water by boiling.

I either boil my water to drive off the chlorine or I filter it through a charcoal filter. Either way seems to work equally well for the municiple water I use which has quite a lot of calcium carbonate in it.

How big a batch are you planning to make? Joe's directions are for a 1 gallon batch. I make 3.5 gallon batches, and I leave about 3-4 inches from the bottom of the neck for foaming. If you are making a 5 gallon batch you may well want to leave more head space than that yet.

Follow the recipe and then sit back and enjoy. It's a fun mead that's easy to make and even easier to drink.

One note of warning. This mead is very susceptible to infestation by wine cellar rats - the two legged kind ;D

Sveinne
03-01-2005, 09:23 AM
Thanks David. I already made it last night. I filtered my water through a PUR filter. I made a three gallon batch, and I'm afraid I didn't leave enough headroom. I made it three inches from the top of the neck. Do you think I should suction a little out to make more room? Will that hurt anything? It's already bubbling and perking.

I used Joe's recipe almost to the letter, using two temple oranges (very thin skinned) instead of three, one whole nutmeg, two whole allspice, and one vanilla bean, one cinnamon stick, two cloves.

jab
03-01-2005, 08:15 PM
I wouldn't mess with siphoning it out.

Well I guess that depends. Is it somewhere that can handle getting wet if it should happen to blow the bubbler? If it is, or even if it isn't for that matter, you can always hook up a blow off tube instead of the bubbler for a week or so.

Sveinne
03-01-2005, 09:32 PM
Ja, you're right Jab. Everything seems to be workin just like it should, so I'm just gonna cross my toes and fingers and eyes, and let her rip. I'm just a nervous Nelly with my first Mead. The SG was 1.135. Does that sound right? According to my chart it should have a high alcohol content when it's done. I just hope it has that sweet mead flavor. ;D

jab
03-01-2005, 10:29 PM
I have to admit, I have never actually made a batch of the Ancient Orange. Heh, I guess you could say it's on my TODO list.

That sounds alright for the SG. Pretty high but not unmanageable. Although you modified the recipe a bit the sugar content should be right since it doesn't look like you messed with the amount of honey.

Does anyone have the specs on the bread yeast? What is the alc. tolerance? I would think it would be fairly low, like 7-9%, in which case your mead should turn out nice and sweet.

JoeM
03-01-2005, 10:37 PM
Did you grate that whole nutmeg or drop it in whole?

jab
03-01-2005, 10:47 PM
Does anyone have the specs on the bread yeast? What is the alc. tolerance? I would think it would be fairly low, like 7-9%,


Heh, well I was searching for an answer to this question when I found this site: http://scorpius.spaceports.com/~goodwine/wineinfo.htm which states:


Bread yeast produces carbon dioxide, but no alcohol.

Talk about your mis-information. I think Joe and a few others would take exception to that statement. Or did they have KV1116 back in 'the old days'?

Sveinne
03-02-2005, 09:28 AM
JoeM, the nutmeg was whole not grated. I thought that would be less overpowering. All my spices were whole not grated.

It's bubbling and perking, but it hasn't reached the top of the neck yet.

I'm going to go check out that link, I was wondering what the alcohol tolerance is on bread yeast as well. I couldn't find it anywhere, just advice not to use it.

I did locate that Mead Yeast from Germany and ordered a couple bottles of that for my subsequent batches.

David Baldwin
03-02-2005, 10:27 AM
Using the Fleishman's Bread Yeast, my first batch of Ancient Orange hit an ABV of somewhere around 14%.

I have another batch that has just recently cleared. I'll check the SG tonight and let you know where that one landed.

I added too much to my carboy on my 3rd batch and did have to pull off a bit with a modified turkey baster I keep on hand for taking hydrometer samples.

Sveinne
03-02-2005, 11:50 AM
That would be great David, I'd love to know what that one measures out to. I'll keep a close eye on it and if it bubbles to the top, I'll turkey baster it out a little.

14% alcohol is nothing to sneeze at. Now if I can keep it sweet, as well as get that percent, I'll be a happy girl.

Jmattioli
03-05-2005, 07:16 PM
Hello All,
Sorry to miss so many wonderful posts but have been in Fla vacationing for a couple months with limited access to the internet. Anyway, I'm back home in KY now on DSL. Just for clarification, I always use just plain drinkable water for the ancient mead.

Its meant to be simple and error proof and ancient so if in doubt, don't do anything your ancient ancestors wouldn't do (ha) like boiling and such. I just use warm sanitary water to help dissolve honey as Dan mentioned. My ancestors let it warm in the sun first. lol

Best of luck,
Joe

David Baldwin
03-05-2005, 10:02 PM
I checked the SG on my second batch tonight and found it to be stuck at 1.08. I need to figure out what went wrong. It was essentially identical to my first batch, so I'm a bit disappointed. The first batch was SO good, I was looking forward to this being ready to drink soon.

My third batch is still fermenting away like it should. I just checked the SG and it reads 1.022 and that batch is still showing signs of fermentation.


I wonder if my yeast was old. I may rack to a clean carboy and try to repitch the Fleishmans


BTW, Welcome back Joe!