View Full Version : I Got'er Done! Now... To Wait...

03-25-2006, 12:51 AM

03-25-2006, 01:41 AM

I hope it turns out well for you. I can't really tell you what your batch will be like, but it should be OK.

The changes you made should be interesting, so please post this in the Brewlog and keep tracking it there with comments and tasting notes as the batch progresses.



03-25-2006, 03:22 AM
First things first: congratulations on you first batch ;D
You did realize that by changing the recipe you voided the warranty!!!
The Red Star yeast tends to finish dry, even with the 3.5 lb honey so you might have a dry mead. The peel and rind are part of the recipe for a reason, they will contrast the sweet mead, those of us that reported a pithy taste were the ones that sliced the orange in thin slices therefore increasing the surface area of pith exposed to the mead. When the orange is sliced exactly into 1/8ths, the mead is excellent.
That being said, my last batch took a couple of hours before showing any signs of "life" so no worries there. The raisins will start their dance soon enough.


03-25-2006, 08:39 AM
Dry = no residual sugar, unsweet, no sweetness, not even close to sweet, far away from sweet, generally not sweet, anti-sweet, anathema to sweet. LOL

Basically dry mead will have no sweet flavor, but may hint at sweetness with character from the honey that leaves an impression of sweetness. I know that sounds kind of weird, but you'll know what I mean after you make a few dry meads.



03-26-2006, 02:00 AM

good luck with the AO
i made two batches of AO one with orange blossum honey and one with german summer flowers honey they were both started 3 1/2 weeks ago
i two had to use red star because it was all that was availible
the orange blossum smelled better with warm water but the summer flower honey i thought tasted better

strange thing is the summer flower honey has cleared and oranges are starting to drop. the orange blossum is still cloudy and alitle fizzy
these have both been treated exactly the same
i have not tasted yet but the orange blossum does have more orange smell

03-27-2006, 01:42 AM

Congrats on this, and kudos for your home-made airlock attempt!

This looks good, and, based on my personal experience and things I've read, this is a "classic" AO. The raisins always bunch up like that, and will settle into the must in a couple of weeks (they'll rehydrate and look like grapes again, and will even drop to the bottom if you wait long enough). The brown goo is normal fermentation ejecta endemic to this recipe, and many others using spices and raisins.

All-in-all, a good-looking mead. Welcome to the club, fellow mazer!


03-27-2006, 01:59 AM
the orange blossum honey ferments with a brown filth on the top of the bubbles
my other honey did not do this

but almost 4 weeks in the orange blossum smells great
good luck

03-27-2006, 12:19 PM
According to the recipe, it says that this stuff is "ready" when it clears. Well, does that "ready" mean that it's "ready" to bottle, or "ready" to drink?

"Ready" means ready to drink. It gets better with time, just like any other mead. You may find it clears sooner than the recipe states, in which case you're ahead of the game. Occasionally, it can take a little longer. Really, it's a "set-and-forget" type of recipe: one of its many charms!


03-27-2006, 01:23 PM

Yes, you get brown scum. I used clover honey with both my AO and AK and they both have the ugly scum.

Like my carboys? I found that these gallon tea containers work great. They have a large opening opening that excepts a number 7 bung. Makes it easy to put the oranges in.


Yours looks good the only thing needed now is patience.


03-27-2006, 04:39 PM
I get some scum on most of my batches though I have used Orange Blossom honey in most of them as well. I will be starting several with a Wildflower soon and post the results if there is anything different. One of my theories is that the fact that I heat and skim the must before I pitch the yeast may reduce the amount of foam I get.

Good luck,

03-28-2006, 01:19 AM
They don't sell patience at the brewshop. But I do!
Right now for the bargin price of $19.95 And if you call in the next five minutes I will throw in a free gift worth 19.95!
Lines are busy! Don't be left out on this offer! Limitied time offer!

But really. I have never made this recipie and have never used orange blossom honey. I have only used wildflower honeys. To get a little scum on the top is no big deal. It is prolly just protiens,wax, pollen, bee parts, and such. I always get a scum on my meads but after some age and a racking or two it goes away. After fermentation is complete it will all settle to the bottom and it will be left behind after you rack. No worries.
Like others have said ready to me means ready to drink, but wow how much a mead will change with age!
When I used to boil my meads back in the stone age, I could skim scum from super processed sam's club and farmer jack honey for up to an hour. It got me really pretty meads, but got me the same thing as if I would have just mixed up 15# of sugar and water. From the description on your last post just preboiling water prolly wouldn't have turned up a lot of scum and would have looked clear.
To sum up, your pics look like a perfectly fine mead, now you can sleep. BTW nifty airlock, A for effort! I see you went to a ballon. If I am in a pinch I will throw one layer of plastic wrap with a rubber band around the neck. Much easier and works fine. Sorry just gotta poke a little fun. ;D
Anyways congratualtions on your first mead! Don't forget you only have 5 minute to get the deal of a lifetime! :D

03-29-2006, 03:49 AM
I actually did get some patience at the brewstore. Okay, so it wasn't directly from them, but I'll elaborate.

My first brewing attempts were consumed within two weeks. Yuck. Gradually I increased that time and now have 5 gallons of cyser that I'm waiting to clear (started December 2005), along with 6 12 ounce bottles JAO (February) and 6 12 ounce bottles of a straight mead (also December) that are aging. On top of that my (future) brother in law has monetarily convinced me to start a 5 gallon batch of a cinnamon/vanilla sugar wine with no honey or fruits whatsoever.

What to learn from this? There isn't much. Just keep making more batches of mead. Eventually you'll be too busy to drink the mead and realize later how much better it tastes after age and force yourself to let all of your meads age at least slightly.

03-29-2006, 04:28 AM
Exactly, the more mead you make the easier it is. I have 5 gallons of mead that has been sitting on my dining room table waitng to be racked for 2 days, how many of you newbees can resist that? ;D
i've been to busy thinking about my new carboy score 6 gallon carboys for $16, I jumped on it and bought 4, just doubled my production capacity, well almost doubled should have bought one more.
The patience is still for sale!

The Honey Farmer
04-01-2006, 02:27 PM
Good day fwee, To answer your question in about 7 more weeks. :D I know how you feel, I have a 5 gal. batch going that has 10 more days to go. So far I have been real good and haven't opened the pail for a look or a taste and it's driving me crazy. Hang in there you only have about 49 days to go. ;D

Be cool, Dennis 8)

04-03-2006, 11:50 AM
One of my theories is that the fact that I heat and skim the must before I pitch the yeast may reduce the amount of foam I get.
Good luck,
Pewter I didn't see anything in my must that looked like it could even be skimmed off. It ended up being pretty clean from what I could tell.

I brought my water right to the brink of a boil, removed it from the burner, then I added my pre-warmed honey. The only thing I saw in there was the bubbles from stirring it like crazy.


I simmer my must before pitching the yeast while stirring it pretty vigorously with a whisk. At about 170F I begin to see a scum forming which I skim off. I usually try to hold the must at this temperature for about 20 minutes while stirring pretty vigorously but usually quit sooner because the scum stops being formed.

Hope that helps,

04-17-2006, 04:52 AM

Take a chill pill and relax. ;)

Give your mead some time and remember this is not a batch of Ancient Orange, it is your modification of that recipe so your results will vary from the results and behaviors of the original recipe.

- You heated the must
- You peeled the orange
- You didn't use cinnamon stick
- You used Red Star Yeast not Fleishman's Yeast

So to recap, you have significantly altered the recipe. Expect that the results will be different and that it will not behave as described in the recipe. Again, this recipe is designed to work as posted, variations and experimentations are encouraged, but don't expect that it will adhere to the timeline/behavior patterns of the exact recipe as posted.

Just give it at least a few more weeks. It will clear in time and when it is crystal clear then you can rack it to bottles or another vessel and give it a taste in the process.

I would guess that your mead will turn out dry as there have been a few comments on the board that Red Star Yeast batches have turned out drier than the Fleishman's yeasts.

Hope that helps, and remember PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!


04-18-2006, 12:08 AM
Hey Fwee,
I made several batches of AO so far, and I would venture to guess thet yours will be fine....in another 4 -5 weeks or so. My way of coping with the wait is to start a new batch every month or so 8)


04-19-2006, 11:49 PM
Fwee, again, patience is the keyword here. Heating your must will temporarily jump start your yeasts, problem is that heating beyond a certain point produces fusels and higher alcohols which give you a "rocket fuel" flavor and takes a LONG time to age out.

Take a deep breath and step back dude, you're going to futz your mead into oblivion when you constantly try to make tweaks to it without having a well thought out fermentation management plan.



04-20-2006, 12:12 AM

I'll second Oskaar on this one, it's often better to ferment in the mid to lower end of the yeasts temperature range, having read a bunch of literature on the subject and from personal experience I'd tend to agree. Patience Dude!!!
Did you monitor the temperature of your must? Not guesses... actual temperature readings? Because anything above 75 (f) and you're pushing most yeasts into territory where they'll start to produce fusels and higher alcohols as Oskaar points out.


04-20-2006, 02:38 AM

Do as you think best. Just be aware that you're risking your batch if you exceed the temp tolerance of your yeast. If you don't have temperature strips then you really need to find a way to be certain of what the temperature is.

good luck,


04-24-2006, 12:08 AM
Who knows?

Who knows what evil lurks for those who try and rush their meads?

The Shadow Knows!

And so do I, Oskaar and a number of others. ;) Best of luck...