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Thread: Chai JAOM variant is awful!

  1. Default Chai JAOM variant is awful!

    I know, voided warranty and all....

    I'm a huge fan of chai tea... I probably have four cups or so a day, it's kind of ridiculous. So, I decided to make some chai mead, and being relatively new and inexperienced (and somewhat lazy and poor) I opted to make JAO and substitute chai tea for the water.

    I made two batches on 28 Feb, in both of which I left out the spices since most of them were in the chai anyway and I made it really, really strong. The other variation was that I used less honey in one batch because I ran out.
    #1: 3.5 lbs of honey
    #2: 2 lbs, 12 oz

    I expected #2 to be dry, but it tastes quite like gasoline, and in #1, it just tastes... weird and the honey and chai flavours aren't blended well at all. I may simply not like chai and mead fermented together. I'm gonna let them age a bit to see how they play out and maybe backsweeten #2 after a while, and probably rack onto some cinnamon and cloves as well.

    Any thoughts on what went wrong? Is it the tannins in the tea? Or maybe Odin doesn't like it when I play with the mead recipes like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    near a lake


    Making Mead With TLC since 2010

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Boulder County, Colorado


    I agree with TheAlchemist

    I made a chai mead 2 years ago using celestial seasonings india spiced chai.

    When I first racked it, I thought it to not be very pleasant. After 18 months it has gotten better, though not spectacular. It has a strong nose of cloves. When you taste, you get the spices that fades to a tea and honey taste. The taste has too much ginger taste. Everyone agrees that it isn't bad, just not good. If I were to do it again, I would mix my own spices and have very minimal clove and ginger and then backsweeten more.

    Not all those who wander are lost.
    -J.R.R Tolkien

  4. Default

    Heh, thanks guys. I figured time and aging are the answer... it's just so tempting!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Ottawa, ON


    Yeah, definitely give it some time before passing final judgement... and for long-term chai (ie, aging mead) you may have to alter the spices a little, as clove is pretty pungent and tenacious while other flavours may drop off with age. I think it's in the patrons section but "the apple of my chai" is the one I'm going to try when I do it.

    I have this hibiscus and rosehip tea that's just wonderful, and I want to make it into a mead but I'm not sure if I'll like it that way, I don't like it sweetened but I don't tend to like dry meads so I'm really not sure how I'm going to approach that one when it comes time.

    Oh, and JAO's actually kind of an expensive recipe, if you don't mind dry mead or you have already invested in stabilizing chemicals so you can backsweeten safely, 2-2.5 lb honey per gallon will make something drinkable and you won't end up with too much alcohol.
    "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, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Between Jackson and Detroit


    If there are a lot cloves in chai, I don't know if so, they will last long after a lot of the other spices start to receed a lot. Not so good if you like clove.
    Bees stole my signature file!

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