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  1. Default A couple of newbee questions

    First question: I'm getting ready to start a couple of JAOM batches. One with wildflower honey and one with buckwheat honey. Has anyone made a JAOM with buckwheat honey? If so, how did it turn out? I saw a couple of threads from 5+ years ago where members talked about making a JAOM with buckwheat honey, but none of the ones I saw mentioned how they turned out.

    Second question (completely unrelated to the first): When adding fruit to the must prior to pitching the yeast, how can you get an accurate SG reading when the fruit is in a solid or semi-solid state?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rb2112br View Post
    First question: I'm getting ready to start a couple of JAOM batches. One with wildflower honey and one with buckwheat honey. Has anyone made a JAOM with buckwheat honey? If so, how did it turn out? I saw a couple of threads from 5+ years ago where members talked about making a JAOM with buckwheat honey, but none of the ones I saw mentioned how they turned out.

    Second question (completely unrelated to the first): When adding fruit to the must prior to pitching the yeast, how can you get an accurate SG reading when the fruit is in a solid or semi-solid state?

    Thanks.
    You can't get a greatly accurate SG with whole fruit. You can look at charts that to a degree will tell you how much water is in a pound of fruit. Your sugar level will vary from one fruit to the other and even from one year to the next even from the same piece of land. JOAM's are not a ton like making mead. They work in and of themselves and will make you something to drink. But you don't really learn how to make mead in a traditional sense.

    Your buckwheat might be alreight. Even more of a chance than so so, if you have western buckwheat instead of eastern.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    North Carolina and Mississippi
    Posts
    205

    Default

    Have you seen the mead calculator on this site ? Very useful. Measure the gravity prior to the fruit addition, enter that, the volume of the must, and the weight of the fruit addition. It will spit out what you need to know. Iíve never made a mead with buckwheat honey, but did make a traditional with a very dark varietal, tulip poplar. It took many years to mature, but when it finally did it was delicious. I have plans to use a small amount of buckwheat in a mead made with mostly lighter honey. Something like 10% buckwheat.

  4. Default

    Thanks guys. The buckwheat honey is just the last of 15 lbs that was given to me a few months back. I've made a few 1 gallon batches (not JAOMs)as my learning curve, but have since found the recipe for JAOM and had just enough left over to make a batch so I figured what the heck.

    Back to the fruit question, does the yeast process the sugar from fruit at the same rate that it processes the sugar from the honey? If not, I may have stabilized my previous batch too soon. The gravity readings stopped at .996 after about a week so that is when I stabilized it. The batch was split in half with one half being backsweetened with more honey and the other half backsweetened with more fruit (still waiting for that half to clear). The half backsweetened with honey was drinkable, but still not quite as sweet as I would've liked it. I ended up blending it with some homemade wine that a friend made that was way too sweet by itself. I think the ratio was somewhere in the 7.5-8:1 range and although the wine changed the sweetness, it also changed the flavor or the mead (the wine was plum flavored).

    edaskew, I have used the mead calculator one time trying to find out how much honey to use given my desired ABV, starting volume, and set amount of fruit and think I found what I needed by accident.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    North Carolina and Mississippi
    Posts
    205

    Default

    As long as we're talking about simple sugars, glucose (honey), fructose (fruits, including corn), it's of no consequence to the yeast from whence it came. They can also handle sucrose, which is 2 sugars joined, just as well. Lactose (milk sugar), another disaccharide, is a no go for most of our brewing yeast (and for most people), and maltose, from malt, may not be fermentable by some wine yeast.

  6. Default

    Quick update on my two batches of JAOM...

    The one made with buckwheat honey cleared after about 5.5 - 6 weeks. I let it sit one more week and then strained the fruit out of it. I did use ground cinnamon instead of a stick (using the approx. conversion amount) and also added the optional nutmeg and allspice (also ground). While straining, the spices got stirred back in, and when I sampled it, one of the spices (not sure which one) was overpowering. After letting is sit for another week or so to let the spices settle, I racked it. It is a tad bit sweet, but it is definitely the best batch I've made so far, and better than some that I've tasted out and about. The head brew master at our local brewery was even impressed with it, although it was a little too sweet for his liking too.

    I am still waiting for my other batch that was made with local wildflower honey to clear. I didn't have a 2nd glass carboy available, so I used one of those plastic 5 gallon spring water bottles. Because of it not being clear like glass, I couldn't tell if the mead was clear. I let it sit between 9-10 weeks before straining it, but again the spices got stirred up, so now I am just waiting for the spices to settle to rack.

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