I just made my first two 1-gallon batches of Joe's Ancient Orange recipe. I pretty much followed everything on the NewBee guide but silly me used raisins with seeds in them. The yeast finished in a little over a month (bread yeast recently bought) and formed a yeast cake at the bottom. There were no visible bubbles nor was there any activity in the airlock, so I figured it was done (despite the guide saying it would take approximately two months). However, when transferring the mead over to a new container for long-term storage I may have disturbed the yeast cake on the bottom, so the mix is currently in the fridge to help any sediment settle so I can re-siphon again.
Despite all my care, the mead has quite a bitter taste. I was wondering if the fact that I used raisins caused the bitterness in my mead. If so, will long-term storage remedy the problem? Or is it a 1-gallon harsh lesson for me?
Thanks for your time.
Edit: There is also a really terrible aftertaste, and I'm not sure if that's a sign that my dead yeasty buddies are still floating around in there.
Last edited by WolfpackFan; 03-17-2012 at 02:45 PM.
No, you've voided the warranty, by transferring it before its cleared
It's still young, so the pithy bitterness is still probably at the forefront. If you didn't crush or mince up the raisins, its unlikely that the few seeds will cause it.
The "it's done in 2 months" (or so) comes from the usual amount of time for the ferment to complete, and it to clear. I usually wait for the fruit too drop as well.
here's me home brewing blog (if anyones interested....)
and don't forget
What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away! Tom Waits.....
the recipe states and I quote "Follow it *exactly*, and you'll have a yummy mead to share with your friends. However, change it, and don't bitch if it doesn't work. This is designed to work *only* if you follow the directions"
Shame on you, Warrenty is Null and Void
Shame shame... don't ya know never to make any changes to a recipe when its yer first time following it?
Thanks fatbloke for the explanation. Guess I forgot about the cardinal rule of "clear is finished" when I got excited my yeast had stopped.
To you other two: to be clear, I wasn't "bitching" or making any changes to the recipe, I was naturally curious where I had gone wrong.
So thanks for your shame, I'll be glad to take it with me elsewhere.
Welcome to GOTMEAD?
Fatbloke is right and I'm sure the others are just pulling your chain.
The question no one answered is "... will long-term storage remedy the problem? Or is it a 1- gallon harsh lesson for me?"
Well, while there's no *guarantee*, but I find JAO not very drinkable until about 9 months. I would sure wait it out.
Some oak, I would recommend American Oak Med + toast, may help speed things up.
Time heals most meads.
“Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime!”
I figured the goofy smiley conveyed "pulling your chain" pretty well o.0
Just hazing the new guy, no harm meant.
I've found a lot of problems with bitterness can be solved with time, don't sweat it. And boys, be nice to the new guy or he won't come back! <shakes accusing finger>
Unless you cracked the seeds (by putting them through a blender or something), it's not too likely to be the culprit for the bitterness, the orange rind (more specifically, the pith) is far more likely. The orange pith in a 1 month old JAO probably will be pretty gross. Let it settle out and age another month, it might be starting to integrate and mellow by then, and it'll probably be pretty good in 6 months.
I regularly break the warranty on JAO by using only the fruit and zest because including pith gives me heartburn. Still works, still tastes good. Just don't tell Joe I changed it...
"The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
"When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
"Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
"I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014