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David Baldwin
10-20-2004, 08:03 AM
3 gallon batch 10-20-04

Measured honey by volume rather than by weight. Assuming honey is at approximately 12# per gallon. I added approximately 3 quarts of raw honey - warmed just enough to flow nicely

Boiled and filtered water - to make 3 gallons - cooled to warm before adding honey.
3 oranges washed thoroughly and sliced placed in carboy.
Counted out 75 raisins + 3 or 4 that got dropped in while counting.
Must poured over oranges/raisins & added cinnamon 2 sticks and 4 whole cloves.

SG 1.120

Added Fleishman's bread yeast - shook that 3 gallon carboy - what a sight.

Added fermentation lock.

15 minutes later must is bubbling like mad.

Time to start next batch.
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10/21/04

Bubbling away merrily. Temperature in basement is a bit cool, so I added a temperature adjustable hot pad. Wrapped it around the carboy, covered it with a burlap cover, and set to low. Yeast seems very happy.

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10/23/04

44 bubbles per min.

(hey, I can't crack it open to check and can't float a hydrometer among the oranges :'( I have to do SOMETHING ;D ;D)
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11/02/04

Bubbles only every 1.5 - 2 minutes.

Lots of lees. Interesting pale orange color.

SG 1.02

Tasted my hydrometer sample. - my wife really didn't like it. I found it to be a bit harsh with orange rind, but it should age beautifully.

Topped off carboy with filtered & sterilized water.

Will now wait for it to clear.

...to quote Indigo... "I hate waitning."


;D
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11-03-04

Taking Joe's advice, I decided to stop it at approx SG 1.02
It's cold and rainy, so I set my t-shirt covered carboys outside to chill.

Working just like magic. Yeasties dropping out, and it is starting to clear already.

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Warmer weather forced me to build my carboy chiller. It's workign like a charm.

11-09-04

Added Sorbate and Sulphite.
Will bottle when it clears.

Jmattioli
10-27-2004, 10:00 PM
(hey, I can't crack it open to check and can't float a hydrometer among the oranges I have to do SOMETHING )


Neat huh? Its always a good practice mead for people who think they have to keep messing with their mead (check Sg, stir, rack, add more goodies etc.). I just sniff the bubbles dailey until completely done. Its a magical Ancient mead. Comes great everytime as long as you follow instructions and do nothing. ;D
Joe

David Baldwin
11-02-2004, 07:19 PM
Well Joe, I couldn't entirely help myself... Fermentation seems to be comming close to completion, and I just had to check SG to make sure it was on track.


11/02/04

Bubbles only every 1.5 - 2 minutes.

Lots of lees. Interesting pale orange color.

SG 1.02

Tasted my hydrometer sample. - my wife really didn't like it. I found it to be a bit harsh with orange rind, but it should age beautifully.

At the amount of spice that I added, I really don't notice it ;much at this point. It will probably come through later as it mellows a bit.

Topped off carboy with filtered & sterilized water.

Will now wait for it to clear.

...to quote Indigo... "I hate waitning."

;D :-[ ::)

Jmattioli
11-02-2004, 08:31 PM
David,
You are the first to try 3 lbs per gallon. I have always used 3 1/2 lbs pr gallon. It finishes up a little sweeter and may cover up some of the harshness but I like my meads more like what you finished at. 1.020. I'm surprised you can't taste the cloves yet? They are usually very strong critters. Hope it mellows out in a short time. Its not really finished til its crystal clear. Give it another week or so.
Joe

David Baldwin
11-02-2004, 08:45 PM
Joe,

Yes, I'll keep my mitts out of it until it clears now ;D

I liked it in spite of the citrus bite, and am really looking forward to it when it is done. It's actually very near to being drinkable even now.

I suspect that my spices weren't as fresh as they should have been. Back to the "best ingredients" scenario.

I used cloves and cinnamon from our spice cabinet, and I really can't remember when we bought it. The cinnamon has been in a tightly sealed jar, but is probably at least 5 years old. The clove is newer, but came from a typical grocery store, so who knows how old it really is.

I like my wine to be on the sweet side, so do you recommend that I chill it to stop fermentation amd stabilize it at this point?

I'm calculating my ABV to be at 12%

Jmattioli
11-03-2004, 12:33 AM
Actually yes, good idea, I wouldn't want it any lower than 1.020 for sweet. Otherwise it will have a bite from the oranges.
Joe

David Baldwin
11-03-2004, 01:00 AM
Many thanks Joe.

I'll chill it - tonight if I can - to get the yeast to hibernate. Will Sorbate than work to stabilize, or will I need to sulfite it as well?

Jmattioli
11-03-2004, 05:05 AM
On this mead I usually wait to the end and just drink and bottle. No chemicals. But in your case just Sorbate and a pinch of sulfite won't hurt.
Joe

David Baldwin
11-04-2004, 07:15 AM
Last night I set out the carboys in the cold rain. I've got them covered by a t-shirt, and that helps keep it cool with a bit of evaporative cooling as well.

Temps are in the low 40s, and will drop to mid 30s tonight.

It's working like magic. The yeast is dropping out, and it is starting to clear. Hopefully the cool weather holds out long enough to get it to clear.

David Baldwin
11-08-2004, 05:39 AM
Well the weather warmed up, and it started to ferment again.

Had to take drastic measures - built a mead chiller from an old drinking fountain, a large plastic tub, and an old pump that I had laying around the garage. It works great.

The mead is chillin' the oranges have almost all sunk to the bottom, and it is showing some hopeful signs of clearing.

I wish that I'd been able to leave it to clear and finish on its own, but I don't want it to go completely dry.

Jmattioli
11-08-2004, 06:04 AM
David,
Really neat Avatar. It was hard to concenstrate on your post with her wiggling and all, but was a good addition. Your ferment was really fast on this one. (2 weeks). (thats a record) I guess if you try it again 3 1/2 lbs/ gal of your honey will be about right for you. The idea of the recipe was to be natural without chemicals or modern wine yeasts. The citric acid in the orange and the bitterness agent keep it infection free while the sweetness balances it out. Alcohol should be close to 14% with 3 1/2 lbs and still finish sweet. I have been meaning to try it with less but now that you have, I will learn from your experience. I'll just dilute it a bit if it is too sweet for me.
Joe

PS: Couldn't help myself, had to go here to the full impact
http://images.andale.com/f2/106/129/17076163/1098823318700_woman_warrior.gif

David Baldwin
11-08-2004, 08:02 AM
Yea, sorry about the distraction ;D

I don't even really remember where I ran across it, just kinda thought it would be a funny avatar to use - until my wife finds out!
;D :-[ ::)

David Baldwin
11-09-2004, 08:37 AM
Tonight I added sorbate and a pinch of sulphite to get things to get fermentation to stop.

I put the carboys back into the chiller and I'll leave them there for several days.

I'll plan to bottle it sometime around December 1st.

David Baldwin
11-15-2004, 08:21 PM
11/15/04

When I checked on my garaged batches of pyment and ancient orange, I noticed a marked difference in how they are clearing.

The pyment is showing gradual clearing from top to bottom.

This batch is stratifying. When I first noticed it clearing, there was about an inch of very clear mead above a very distinct line of cloudy mead below. As of yesterday, I had about 3 inches of very clear mead above the same distinct line of cloudy mead.

Are these both "normal" progressions of clearing?

I haven't used any clarifying agents on either batch.

Pewter_of_Deodar
11-15-2004, 08:28 PM
A friend out here that has made in excess of thirty 5 gallon batches over the last 18 months or so has had his worst trouble getting a white grape pymeth to clear. I remember reading elsewhere that peaches, pears, and oranges are other tough things to clear naturally...

(Oskaar should grit his teeth at this....) The chemical equation for clearing is "1 part gravity and 5 parts time". It sounds like you are getting clearing and you just need to be patient...

Jmattioli
11-15-2004, 09:00 PM
That's normal.
Joe

JamesP
11-30-2004, 03:43 AM
I started my first batch of Ancient Orange on the weekend.

It was going a bubble a second for a few days, then stopped and just had fizz in the must.

I checked the recipe (was doing it from memory), and I missed the raisins, so added a handful of raisins last night (and shook up the carboy to stir the sediment at the botttom), and it's back to a bubble a second in the air-lock.

I'm using a 3 Litre carboy (0.78 gal US) which has some headspace for the orange, so is about 2.5 L at the moment, with a Kg of honey (2.2 lbs) which is about 3.4 lb/gal.

The yeast was a little old, so I hydrated it and made a starter for a couple of hours before pitching to guarantee the yeast was working.

So hopefully it will require no more intervention (Raise your right hand and say to Joe: I hereby do solomly swear not to touch the carboy . . . . :D)

Jmattioli
11-30-2004, 09:43 AM
Ha. :D
Told you there was a reason for every ingredient. Glad to see you caught it and improvised. Also next time try not to use grandma's old yeast. >:( ;D The recipe assumes the beginner doesn't yet know how to rehydrate yeast.
Joe