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  1. Default Joe's Grape Mead

    Morning everyone,

    I am looking at trying out this recipe next as I am 1) impatient and 2) assuming it will be decent since everyone praises the JAO so much

    However, the recipe does not provide for much in the way of instruction. It just lists the basic ingredients, so I was hoping someone could offer a few pointers to make sure I don't screw everything up.

    Here is the recipe as it was pulled from this site:

    Joe's Grape Mead / Pyment -- J.M.
    Created by webmaster, Tuesday, 30 November 1999
    Ingredients
    At a glance
    Mead
    Melomel
    Pyment
    Quick Meads
    Makes
    1 gal
    2 lbs Clover honey
    1 oz buckwheat honey
    1/8t Pectin Enzymes (I used but on second thought I probably didn't need since Welch's is already clear)
    64-oz Welch's Grape Juice with Vitamin C added- Make sure it has no preservatives in ingredients other than Vitamin C added (Absorbic Acid)
    Balance water if you need it to make 1 gallon after adding honey mixed in water (don't use too much water in honey mix or you'll end up with more than you bargained for.
    Lalvin EC-1118

    End recipe:

    I've not used anything but yeast/water yet, so I'm not sure about contamination with the grape juice. Should I use a campden tablet to make sure everything is good first? I figure that I will just add everything directly into a sterilized carboy as with the JAO since it is only one gallon, put enough water to fill with the juice/honey mix, and shake the hell out of it to prepare the must. Then add campden, let it do it's thing, and finally pitch the yeast according to the instructions on the pack. Sound about right?

    By the by, I don't know how I would have gotten started without this place You guys are a great help.

  2. #2

    Default

    Welch's should be pasteurized, so no need to add the campden. The recipe doesn't give many instructions because it doesn't want you to have room for deviation. Usually in my experience a list of ingredients, pitch yeast, go is about normal for most recipes.

    Since it doesn't matter what order you mix things in (like baking) the instructions of "put it all in the carboy" is usually all you need.

    A lot of people on the board don't worry so much about contamination in primary from additions, especially commercial juices. A good wash to any raw fruit, make sure your tools are clean too, and we just kind of throw it all in. The yeast eats just about everything if you take care of the fermentation.

  3. Default

    Awesome, thanks That is largely what I figured. I have to say, as much as I enjoy mixing ingredients and watching a ferment get going, I absolutely hate sanitizing everything. I am constantly worried about messing up and accidentally contaminating everything somehow. Good thing mead is a bit more fool proof than other things, I suppose.

  4. #4

    Default

    That's not to say that cleaning isn't important! But taking the extra step to sulphite your fruit mash overnight before tossing it in, or dipping herbs and spices into a campden bath, things like that? Largely unnecessary if you've cleaned everything else. I.E. all buckets, hoses, knives, counters, hands, yada yada.

    As far as I'm concerned (take this with a grain of salt) if there's something INSIDE my fruit, soaking the outside with sulphites won't do a damn thing. Even doing an overnight mash (in my house with a toddler, 4 dogs, 2 cats, a turtle, a hedgehog, and 5 visiting 'cousin' dogs that come over to play several times a week) is really just inviting someone to do something when my back is turned. I'm sure the mead that someone had two playful ferrets take a swim was as delicious as they say it was when it was done...I do not want mead flavored by my mother's chihuahua because he REALLY wanted my bowl of fruit. (Yes, the dog begs for fruit and veggies. Tomatoes particularly.)

    A hearty yeast, well taken care of with plenty of properly dosed nutrients and aeration is pretty strong. It's AFTER primary is over and the yeast isn't eating all comers that you have to worry a little more about invading bacteria.

  5. Default

    Well, as an update, first attempt = fail. While shaking up the must to aerate, the rubber stopper I was using sucked it's way far enough down into the bottle that it could not be retrieved normally. Eventually, a corkscrew had to be brought in to remove it, but before my girlfriend and I came up with that plan, we tried to use a knife to pry the stopper out of the neck.

    The knife ground/chipped away a little bit of the glass around the opening of the carboy. Probably not too big of a deal, but we feared that some of the tiny glass bits might have made their way down into the must, and even though it would likely have been no problem, we didn't want to risk it. So, sadly, we poured the batch out.

    Carboy doesn't seem too damaged, though. Just some miner nicks around the opening, so we will rinse it really well and give this another attempt today. Only this time, I will be much more cautious with the rubber stopper. Lesson learned.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    8,393

    Default

    Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier, but glass shards in your primary fermentation aren't as dangerous as you might think... first, they'll settle to the bottom and most likely not get picked up when you rack... Second, a coffee filter will catch anything dangerous, if you had continued on with everything and let it clear, it would have gone fairly quickly through a coffee filter.

    I have popped the glass top off the odd bottle with my capper and even split the neck of one wine bottle with the corker, coffee filter in a small funnel to the rescue. I always have a box on hand even though I don't drink coffee

    Oh, and a note on pectinase - it's a good idea to use it anyway, it doesn't take much per batch and it's not expensive, and even if something looks clear, it could still form a pectin haze later, especially if your fruit juice has been heated (pasteurized). Think about it, the "perfect" jelly you make with pectin should be perfectly clear, I can read newspaper through my pear jelly and I KNOW it contains a whole box of pectin...
    "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

  7. Default

    I figured that there would be methods of removing the glass and that it would work out alright, but I am also a wee bit paranoid and figured it wasn't worth the mental anguish, heh. The second batch went much better and was fermenting strongly by the end of the evening.

    I did not use pectin, however. So far it has been fermenting happily. Will adding pectin now cause any trouble? I am due to rack it in another couple of days.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    8,393

    Default

    Anecdotal evidence has shown that pectinase doesn't work too well during a vigorous fermentation, so it's safe to wait until it's calmed down a bit. It also doesn't work at all in really high alcohol concentrations but it's OK in wine-strength alcohol levels so adding it afterwards isn't a problem. I usually add it 24 hours before I pitch the yeast. I haven't made Joe's Quick Pyment yet so I'm not familiar with the original recipe.
    "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

  9. #9

    Default

    Hello Everyone

    Sorry to raise this thread again but I was just wondering:

    1. How much EC1118 to use for this gallon batch and...
    2. Do standard SNA's apply as well as daily aeration?

    Thanks in advance

    Warm Regards

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Meadaroo View Post
    Hello Everyone

    Sorry to raise this thread again but I was just wondering:

    1. How much EC1118 to use for this gallon batch and...
    2. Do standard SNA's apply as well as daily aeration?

    Thanks in advance

    Warm Regards
    The thread is outdated. Please next time just provide a link to this thread in a new thread.
    In answer to your question, it is hard to answer because the OG is not mentioned anywhere.

    I use one 5 gram pitch for all my 1-2 gallons personally as I covered in a previous thread it is better to over pitch than under pitch per the yeast handbook.

  11. #11

    Default

    So I have three batches under my belt and did a slight variation on this one.
    Only differences between mine and standard recipe are below.
    I used a half packet of EC-1118
    Rehydrated with goferm in 1/2 cup spring water at 95-99 defrees f before slowly adding a little must to the yeast to acclimate for 30 min, then pitching to must
    Aerated must for 45 min with standard oxygen stone (no tank or pure O2).
    Used 60% welch concord grape and 40% ocean spray organic cran/blueberry (same volume as recipe, just split 60/40)
    Added 1/4 nutes at pitch, and doing staggered/SNA
    This is my first one that will not be room temp during fermentation (usually 70-75). I have this one in a wine cooler at 62.
    Degassing every day, aerating every other day same method above for 30-45 min. Will do this until 1/3-1/2 sugar break.
    I saw no signs of fermentation until day 3/4. I'll be taking a gravity reading later today (today is day 4).
    OG was 1.09.
    2 lbs South Dakota clover. A little darker and more spicy than most clover but quality stuff.
    Will report back as I know there are many trying to get info on variations of this recipe.
    The cran/blueberry really takes the edge off the "popsicle" grape flavor of the welches and made the 60/40 mixture much more bright and refreshing imo. We will see how it translates to the finished product.
    This is also my first time using EC 1118 and my first time using half a packet.
    Trying to tinker with ways of getting less rocket fuel initially after fermentation and hope I'm on the right track.

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