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Thread: Dry JOAM?

  1. #1

    Default Dry JOAM?

    Has anyone tried making dry JOAM? I followed the JOAM recipe, and, it came out excellent. It's a touch bitter, I think because of the orange peel and seeds. I don't go at all for 'sweet' beverages; I altered the recipe for less honey to make it nice and dry. It's about eight months old. Zero lees in the bottling. It's not too bad, a bit of a bite but just seems slightly off.

  2. #2
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    If you go and read the humongous thread about JAO's, most of us find it really gross when it's dry, although with some age it may well improve, but really, the whole point of JAO is to be able to drink it in 2 months. If you're going to wait 8 months anyway, you might as well use wine yeast and make a proper traditional, melomel or metheglyn.

    If you really like what you've made and want to repeat it again, I'd recommend just using the juice and zest of the orange, that way it won't have that nasty pithy bitterness, which the original JAO does need to cut through the remaining sweetness.
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  3. #3

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    Thank you, those are good insights. I for whatever reason didn't realize that about JOAM, that it's supposed to be a bitter/sweet flavor. I don't mind what I've made, but will probably experiment in other areas in the future. The orange flavor is there, but the bitterness, without any sweetness is almost like drinking a bottle of bitters rather than a beverage. It isn't too bad though, I'm not unhappy with it. I like my meads dry, I do not go for sweet stuff much at all.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
    Thank you, those are good insights. I for whatever reason didn't realize that about JOAM, that it's supposed to be a bitter/sweet flavor. I don't mind what I've made, but will probably experiment in other areas in the future. The orange flavor is there, but the bitterness, without any sweetness is almost like drinking a bottle of bitters rather than a beverage. It isn't too bad though, I'm not unhappy with it. I like my meads dry, I do not go for sweet stuff much at all.
    Well, it does seem that a standard JAO will have some "English Breakfast Marmalade" about it, but obviously it will vary.

    After all, one orange type will have more pithy bitterness than another. Whether that's just to do with the thickness of the pith I don't know, but there's many ways that you can vary the recipe to more tailor it to your taste.

    For example, I've not tried a batch exactly as per the recipe, because when I made my first one, I was, or thought I was adhering to the recipe but naturally made it to 1 gallon, or 1 imperial gallon, not 1 US gallon. The only difference being 4.55 litres as opposed to 3.78 litres, so my batch was less sweet but still came out fine.

    Some of the pithy bitterness it's capable of, will mellow with age, yet to make it too dry, focuses on the bitterness too much, and the bitterness from the pith combined with the lack of sweetness also exacerbates the spice flavourings, and makes for a considerably less enjoyable taste.

    Don't forget, that as with many flavours and the ideas that lead us to use them in meads, we only think or consider our experiences from the point of view of the original experience.

    There's a "apple pie" mead thread or two kicking around, yet what makes the apple pie taste enjoyable ? Probably the mix of the apple and spice flavours, combined with the sugars. So if the same type was made as a dry recipe, the absence of the sugars/sweetness would likely make it taste completely different.

    The same applies to traditionals. Should they all be as sweet as a dessert mead ? so that you can't help but know that you're drinking a honey based brew ? Or should they be so dry, as to have virtually no sweetness and the flavour coming from the tiny amount of non-sugar flavours in the honey ?

    Don't forget the analogy of "What is the difference between the most expensive brandy and the cheapest, nastiest vodka or grain spirit" ? Remove the water and the alcohol and you're left with less than 1% or the original quantity. That's a tiny amount of whatever that goes to make up the taste of the original.

    Which still throws me back to the start point, that the actual differences, are really quite small. It's how you go about producing those actual differences that make, well, ...........all the difference the presence of residual sugars makes it good, take them away and you've removed a large part of that.

    Just modding the recipe to have no pith and just the flesh and zest of the orange also takes away one of the major influences.

    If you like some bitterness, then that's fine, go with it. If you don't, then it's entirely possible you'll understand why it's thought that it doesn't make a good dry recipe........ and the smiley comes to mind
    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.....

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