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Thread: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

  1. Default 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Okay, so as of today (December 8, 2005) my Ancient Orange mead (1 gallon) is 3 1/2 weeks old. It has already cleared up significantly, with a good amount of lees at the bottom. All of the fruit dropped in (oranged and raisins), though, are still floating.

    If I read the instruction from Joe right, the fruit should eventually drop to the bottom as well, right? That's the sign that it's done? And that should happen in about two months, right?

    It seems to me that it cleared up way quicker than the instructions state, leading me to wonder if I did anything wrong, or if I should just let it go for the full two months and check up on it then.

    Thank you all for your help.

    PS - I had to muscle the orange slices in when I pitched this mead, due to the small opening on the jug. Now the $20 question is, how do I get them back out again once it's done?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Once the mead has finished to the point where Ancient Joe says it's ready in his recipe description, your fruit should be nice and soft and you'll be able to extract it fairly easily.

    Hope that helps,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    The raisins and oranges in my two batches of Ancient Orange continued to float on the surface, suspended in the must, and a few sunk to the bottom.

    You need to rack the mead off of the remnants and into a second container. I aged another couple of months and then racked a second time to get the bits of orange and raisins that made it through the first racking out of the batch.

    Good luck,
    Pewter

  4. #4

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    I seem to recall Joe Mattioli saying that once it clears, it's ready to drink, though I can't find his exact quote despite a couple of search attempts. He may have been refering to something more in the ballpark of the standard three months described in the recipe, but that wasn't explicit. I suspect, though, that it can, indeed, be consumed as soon as it clears, which, if this actually happens early, may avoid any extra pithy bitterness that some folks have described.

    Just some thoughts here, based on stuff extracted from a faulty memory, so take it with a grain of salt...

    -David

  5. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Well, I guess there's only one solution: Give it a taste test, and see where we stand. I read through a large part of the Ancient Orange thread in the Recipes forum, and I found that clearing after four weeks or so is not that unusual. I've also been keeping my mead fairly warm (probably around 75-80) by placing it on a tile coaster on top of the pellet stove (which gets to about 120 or so on the surface, hence the tile coaster), wrapped in a towel.

    I need to hit the SLHBS on Sunday to get a second 1-gallon jug, and maybe another airlock. I'll then give it a test on Sunday or Monday, and then probably rack to a secondary for ageing. I need the practice anyway.

  6. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Hey Consul,
    Given the warm temperature at which it fermented, I'd say it is pretty much done, at this point I usually give it another week and then rack/take a good size *sample* for QC
    Be aware that once it is cleared and racked, tho it appears clear to us, it will still drop some sediment (very little). I found a bottle from one of my first batches that got misplaced and escaped the faith of its brotheren. It was 5 months old and frankly, it brought tears to my eyes....it was that good, much better than the *young* bottles we consumed. You will see a difference from month to month.

    Cheers,
    Brewbear

  7. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Thank you all very much for the reponses. I think Monday would be a great target day for racking to a secondary. It'll give me a chance to buy another jug and some sanitizer that is easier to use than bleach. Then, the ageing begins...

  8. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    For me, aging was about 2 weeks the we drank most of it!

    Cheers
    Brewbear

  9. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    And I just found out that both "aging" and "ageing" are both correct spellings.

    I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this batch turns out.

  10. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Either way you spell it, The mead gets better with time. I am dreaming of a 5 gal batch using blood oranges that will allow me at least five bottles aged to 1 year. In my experience, that is 5 batches so far, this stuff doesn't last too long Somehow, the AO is the one to go first. i am at the point where I want to start a batch a month.

    Cheers,
    Brewbear

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Woo hoo! Thanks Consul!

    I posted using both spellings and was wondering which one was right, and the whole time thinking "How many times did I misspell that sucker anyhow!" I will sleep well tonight . . . after a couple of glasses of mead. LOL

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  12. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    No worries, Oskaar! I'm here for you, man.

    For my next batch, I think I want to do Ancient Orange again but with a piece of vanilla bean instead of cinnamon and clove. I think that would be good, a vanilla-orange mead...

  13. #13

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Once it clears its ready, is on the first page in the recipe section for the ancient orange recipe… <I found the quote!>

    Mu.

  14. #14

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mu
    Once it clears its ready, is on the first page in the recipe section for the ancient orange recipe… <I found the quote!>

    Mu.
    Ha!

    So there's a spark or two still dancing around in the old grey matter after all! Thanks Mu!

    -David

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Not to resurrect an old topic but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskaar
    I posted using both spellings and was wondering which one was right, and the whole time thinking "How many times did I misspell that sucker anyhow!" I will sleep well tonight . . . after a couple of glasses of mead. LOL

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    According to the Cambridge dictionary, ageing is the UK spelling and aging is the US spelling.

    I am in the US but I prefer the look of ageing.

    Brian

  16. #16

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    I've always preferred english humour as well. When I was a kid in school I used to get a lot of my writing assignments back with "misspelled" words circled, of course they weren't misspelled, they were just the British spellings, my teachers were not amused and kept insisting (to no avail) that I use the American spellings.

    Wrathwilde

    (Have you heard the one about the english playwright who was using a rubber while enjoying a fag?)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrathwilde
    (Have you heard the one about the english playwright who was using a rubber while enjoying a fag?)
    LOL!!

  18. Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Please humour my ignorance, I seem to recall a fag is a smoke, what is a rubber?
    Jon

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Not allowed in the Catholic Church
    Chan fhíach cuírm gun a còmhradh

    A feast is no use without good talk.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 3 1/2 week old Ancient Orange - question

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnybladers
    Please humour my ignorance, I seem to recall a fag is a smoke, what is a rubber?
    Jon
    Rubbber - Brit. An eraser for pencil or ink marks.

    Wrathwilde

    (Have you heard the one about the english playwright who was using a rubber while enjoying a fag?) Made that up myself... I kill me.

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