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Old 06-09-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
Avarice
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Default First batch ever. I'm open to constructive criticism.

I made my first batch of Mead last night, I made two 1 gallon batches and I'm looking for constructive criticism, tips, pointers etc.

The first is 3.5lbs clover honey and 5 peaches sliced and diced.

The second is 3lbs wild flower honey, 2 large oranges sliced, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and a handful of dried raisins.

After I got all the honey, fruit and spices in the carboys I put 1/2 TSP of Yeast Nutrient, 1/2 TSP of Yeast Energizer and 1/2 TSP of Pectic Enzyme right into the carboy. I put the lid on and gave it a nice slow swirl to get all the powders mixed up then added my yeast.

I used a WYEAST "smack pack" for my yeast, it said it was enough for 6 gallons on the back so I just put half in each carboy and called it good.

20 hours later and they are at 2.5 seconds in between each bubble.

Whad'ya think?



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Old 06-09-2013, 12:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Avarice View Post
I made my first batch of Mead last night, I made two 1 gallon batches and I'm looking for constructive criticism, tips, pointers etc.

The first is 3.5lbs clover honey and 5 peaches sliced and diced.

The second is 3lbs wild flower honey, 2 large oranges sliced, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and a handful of dried raisins.

After I got all the honey, fruit and spices in the carboys I put 1/2 TSP of Yeast Nutrient, 1/2 TSP of Yeast Energizer and 1/2 TSP of Pectic Enzyme right into the carboy. I put the lid on and gave it a nice slow swirl to get all the powders mixed up then added my yeast.

I used a WYEAST "smack pack" for my yeast, it said it was enough for 6 gallons on the back so I just put half in each carboy and called it good.

20 hours later and they are at 2.5 seconds in between each bubble.

Whad'ya think?
I think it depends on which wyeast pack it is.

The dry mead one seems to be fine, the sweet mead one seems to be a finicky PITA. If it ferments fine, but it's got a reputation of being a nuisance/hard work. One which I'd agree with having tried it 3 times and ending up with 2 stuck ferments and 1 that didn't start.

That was after making sure that there was no problem with the amount of fermentables available, the pH was OK, and plenty of nutrients etc.

Dry yeast seems the better bet IMO, as it's got a higher cell count and it doesn't seem to matter much whether you rehydrate it as per the pack, or rehydrating it with GoFerm or just sprinkling it on the top of the must and giving it a quick stir.....

Whichever batch has the oranges in, that sounds close to a JAO batch. Now if so, then you'd be better placed making sure which yeast it is, because if it ferments dry, then it will likely taste bloody horrible. Just like a JAO that's been made with wine yeast, where it ferments dry and focuses the flavour on the bitterness from the orange pith.

It's basically why the JAO recipe uses the amount of honey suggested and bread yeast. The bread yeast poops out earlier leaving some residual sugars that balance out the bitterness from the orange pith.


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Old 06-09-2013, 01:02 AM   #3
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I think it depends on which wyeast pack it is.

The dry mead one seems to be fine, the sweet mead one seems to be a finicky PITA. If it ferments fine, but it's got a reputation of being a nuisance/hard work. One which I'd agree with having tried it 3 times and ending up with 2 stuck ferments and 1 that didn't start.

That was after making sure that there was no problem with the amount of fermentables available, the pH was OK, and plenty of nutrients etc.

Dry yeast seems the better bet IMO, as it's got a higher cell count and it doesn't seem to matter much whether you rehydrate it as per the pack, or rehydrating it with GoFerm or just sprinkling it on the top of the must and giving it a quick stir.....

Whichever batch has the oranges in, that sounds close to a JAO batch. Now if so, then you'd be better placed making sure which yeast it is, because if it ferments dry, then it will likely taste bloody horrible. Just like a JAO that's been made with wine yeast, where it ferments dry and focuses the flavour on the bitterness from the orange pith.

It's basically why the JAO recipe uses the amount of honey suggested and bread yeast. The bread yeast poops out earlier leaving some residual sugars that balance out the bitterness from the orange pith.
It is the dry WYEAST that I used. Hopefully the Orange batch doesn't come out to bad, if it does then oh well. Trial and error

I suppose I could always use some Bentonite when I rack the Orange mead to clear out any foul tasting products that could be floating around as well as fill the headspace back up with a mix of boiled spring water and honey.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:21 AM   #4
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It is the dry WYEAST that I used. Hopefully the Orange batch doesn't come out to bad, if it does then oh well. Trial and error

I suppose I could always use some Bentonite when I rack the Orange mead to clear out any foul tasting products that could be floating around as well as fill the headspace back up with a mix of boiled spring water and honey.
Not necessarily a problem. Given that wine yeast isn't recommended with JAO type recipes because of the flavour/taste issues from the orange pith, once it's fermented, you'll be able to get an idea of the flavour in respect of possible (probable ?) bitterness.

Hence you can back sweeten it to the sort of level used or attained with JAO, like back sweeten it to 1.020
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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So I did a JAO but with K1V-1116 and I'm getting a bit concerned because it smells so much like orange rinds I'm afraid that's all it's going to taste like. Does that fade with more fermenting or is there a way to reduce it. Early secondary racking? Back sweetening? Anything else

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Old 06-09-2013, 10:50 PM   #6
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JOAM works because the residual sweetness balances the bitterness from the peel, so back sweeten if you want it half decent.

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Old 06-11-2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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So I did a JAO but with K1V-1116 and I'm getting a bit concerned because it smells so much like orange rinds I'm afraid that's all it's going to taste like. Does that fade with more fermenting or is there a way to reduce it. Early secondary racking? Back sweetening? Anything else
Don't mistake flavour for taste or aroma.

If its a batch made with ingredients like a JAO but you used wine yeast instead of bread yeast then you will, most likely, get a dry batch that displays a pithy bitterness.

So you'd have to restore some of the JAO qualities. Just use stabilising chems, then back sweeten in increments, tasting after each increment until the bitterness goes. Likely, if hydrometer testing too, to end up somewhere in the 1.020 to 1.040 area.....


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