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Thread: JOA Question

  1. Default JOA Question

    How come your not suppose to rack the JOA recipe?

    One purpose of racking is to To remove the Mead from the Lees (layer of yeast on the bottom of the fermenter) so as to avoid a yeasty flavor imparted by the breakdown of yeast cells before bulk aging and to clear it faster.

    Wouldn't it make sense to rack after say 4 weeks to move the mead along faster? Is it just to make the recipe simpler or is there an actual reason for not doing it.

  2. #2
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    As I understand from my reading on this site, extensive testing was done with this recipe, hence we tell you you've broken the warranty if you change anything before the fruit drops.

    It was designed for simplicity, and as such it's fairly reliable and predictable, and honestly, if it'll all clear on its own anyway, why bother having to dodge the fruit and rack it again in a couple weeks, when you can just wait a couple weeks and it'll already be clear?

    Some yeasts are better than others for lees aging, and Fleischmann's bread yeast seems to be fine for the 8 weeks or so it takes until the fruit drops if you follow the recipe.

    During my own experimentations, breaking the warranty and experimenting with it, I've gone at least 6 months on one batch and no off-flavours that I can detect, and the one batch that did taste kind of funky, I'm pretty sure it was the fruit I used, not the yeast...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "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

  3. #3

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    Mind you it doesn't mean no racking ever, just no racking until it's cleared.

    Racking will affect it's ability to clear and tends to stall fermentations causing it to be too sweet. It will also reduce the time on the fruit and spices which will affect the flavor.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpog View Post
    How come your not suppose to rack the JOA recipe?

    One purpose of racking is to To remove the Mead from the Lees (layer of yeast on the bottom of the fermenter) so as to avoid a yeasty flavor imparted by the breakdown of yeast cells before bulk aging and to clear it faster.

    Wouldn't it make sense to rack after say 4 weeks to move the mead along faster? Is it just to make the recipe simpler or is there an actual reason for not doing it.
    Racking does indeed, remove the "gross lees" from the batch, but that's more to do with clearing it. Because some methods and types of wine processing, leave the wine on the lees for Batonage/sur lie ageing. The whole point being that some of the flavour aspects come from the ageing on the lees/sediment.

    Yes, there are some yeasts where this isn't appropriate, 71B being one of them. With that, it's suggested to rack regularly as any autolysis that occurs over time, will give "off flavour" notes.

    Off the top of my head, I can only recall this (the batonage/sur lie ageing) being done with red wines, so I'd presume that it's about mellowing the tannins and stuff like that. I don't know if there's actually been any research for this being done with meads, other than anecdotal.....

    With JAO, the recipe/brew isn't actually on the lees long enough for this to be a problem. It reads like an A = B = C type recipe development, and as we know, it's not that good as a dry recipe as the pith bitterness is too prominent (hence not using a wine yeast which will take it dry).

    Once the recipe has taken it's course i.e. fermented, cleared, fruit dropped etc, there's nothing to stop you carrying out some controlled racking to make sure that you don't end up with any sediment and that the bottled product is completely clear. Whether that means just straight racking, or a bit of cold crashing to drop any of the lee's that might have been taken up when it was racked/siphoned off the gross lees, is entirely up to you.

    Personally, I just wait until the fruit has dropped etc, then carefully rack from mid-level to get some bottles that are gonna be good, then as I get lower down the level of liquid, if I pick up a bit of sediment, then those bottles will go into the fridge for a couple of days, and they're in turn, siphoned off any sediment. The last bit of the liquid will be racked into a 1 litre pop/soda bottle (with 4 blow molded feet). That definitely goes into the fridge for a couple of days, then once the sediment has dropped out of it (into the molded feet part) I then carefully cut the top off the bottle, and the high point of the internal molding will act as a stop for the base of the racking cane. This reduces any racking losses to a minimum.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, that's another good point, the recipe was designed this way so that you get a particular exposure time for the oranges and spices, like Fatbloke said.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "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

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