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Thread: Help with yeast not working in JOA

  1. Default Help with yeast not working in JOA

    Hi everyone

    Being that this is my first mead I thought I'd try a Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. I live in Australia and could only get a 5litre glass carboy so seeing as the original recipe was 4litres (1 gallon), I divided it by 4 and then times by 5 to get my ingredient list;

    2kgs (4.4lbs) honey
    30 raisins
    1 1/4 orange, sliced into eighths
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 clove
    1tsp Tandaco dried yeast (can't get Fleishmans)

    Anyway, I followed the directions, but I missed the swirling in of the yeast and instead read the DO NOT SHAKE. So my yeast mainly sat on top of my oranges all night and this morning, 14hrs later, I had no real yeast action, no bubbling, no foaming just a little bubbling around the edge where some of the yeast had touched the liquid. I re-read the directions and swirled in the yeast this morning, but now nearly 2 hrs later I still have no action. I've been reading through all the other JOA threads, but so far it seems no-one else was stupid enough not to swirl in the yeast

    So;
    Have I stuffed it up completely?
    Should I give it a few more hours?
    Should I re-pitch more yeast?
    Have I made any other mistakes?
    Should I accept I'm an idiot and stuffed up the foolproof mead

    Here's a link to some photos I just took;
    http://s200.photobucket.com/albums/a...e_photos/mead/


    Please help, I'm way outta my league

    Thanks, Suzy.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    Hi Suzy, Welcome to GotMead?

    As long as you gave it a good swirl to get the yeast into the mix you should be fine. It takes a while to get going sometimes. JAO is a really basic recipe so just be patient and all will be well. It hadn't started before because the yeast couldn't get into the must. Now that it is, it'll kick in and do it's job before too long.
    This one is drinkable at about 2 months and very drinkable at about 4 months.

    Welcome to the forums!!

    Sandman

  3. Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    Hi Sandman

    Thankyou for the welcome and the reassuring words! So I guess I'll just calm down and leave the poor mead alone, hopefully I'll get some action in the next few hours

    Suzy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    Sandman's right on the money. My JAO took about 24 hours after the yeast made contact before I saw any noticeable action. You may have goofed on the swirling, but that's probably the best mistake you could have made considering you had to adjust the recipe. No harm done.
    Meadmaker since 2006. As of Aug, 2012 ~ 15 batches. Mostly meads and ciders, only a few beers. Just now getting to know enough to be dangerous.

    Double check any advice that comes out of my mouth (err, hands).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    If you don't see any activity yet give it a shake with a sanitized cotton cloth over the top so you don't explode the bottle. Shake once, and see if you get a lot of foam, if so, then let it calm down, your yeast is working. Otherwise if it doesn't seem to be really volatile, then go ahead and give it a good shaking and then give it a minute to calm down, and airlock it.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  6. Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskaar
    If you don't see any activity yet give it a shake with a sanitized cotton cloth over the top so you don't explode the bottle. Shake once, and see if you get a lot of foam, if so, then let it calm down, your yeast is working. Otherwise if it doesn't seem to be really volatile, then go ahead and give it a good shaking and then give it a minute to calm down, and airlock it.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Well I shook it and got no real foaming at all, so really shook it up and still didn't get any, so I tipped the rest of the packet of yeast in (about 1/2 to 1 tsp more), and swirled it in.......I keep on expecting Joe Mattioli to pop up in my kitchen and tell me off for messing with my mead

    *fingers crossed*

    Suzy.

  7. Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    Shaking it has two purposes: it will mix in the yeast (especially since you added more), and it will aerate the must so that the yeast are happier. You should see something within another day or two. Mead isn't very exciting right off the start, it takes a day or two to build up steam to where you can see it working.

  8. Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    Quote Originally Posted by AsharaLyn
    Shaking it has two purposes: it will mix in the yeast (especially since you added more), and it will aerate the must so that the yeast are happier. You should see something within another day or two. Mead isn't very exciting right off the start, it takes a day or two to build up steam to where you can see it working.
    Yep, this is my first mead so I have no idea what to expect, I've only just started homebrewing so only have cider/beer to compare to.

    But I'm happy to report that while I still haven't got the huge foaming like I've read about, but I have some real bubbles, some foam and my air-lock is blooping about every 11seconds

    So hopefully I'll be reporting back in a couple of months with a taste report ,

    Thanks everyone,
    Suzy.

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    Default Re: Help with yeast not working in JOA

    I've got a gallon of JAO I started back in mid-July. It's cleared very nicely, but the fruit hasn't started to drop yet except for a few raisins. I figure it'll be ready in another month or so. Patience is everything with this hobby. Suffering through it the first time teaches you that 5 gallon batches are definitely the best way to go. That way you've got something to drink while waiting for the next batch to finish.

    If it's started bubbling now, the best thing to do is just don't touch it anymore and let it do it's stuff. Take a good look at the jug too. You'll see lots of little CO2 bubbles working their way to the surface.

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