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Old 11-27-2008, 02:16 AM   #1
patrick767
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Default First mead (Joe's) - couple questions

Hey all,
As will quickly be obvious, I'm a total neophyte with any kind of brewing. I decided to try a mead when I stumbled across the Joe's Ancient Orange Cinnamon Clove Mead recipe and realized it wouldn't require a lot of money for equipment. I'm very much into craft beer (plus the occasional mead) and it's pretty much inevitable that I'll get into brewing more in the future, but this is an easy, inexpensive start.

Now I have most of the ingredients and equipment, but I have a couple really basic questions.

On dissolving the honey in warm water, should I just use about equal parts water and honey? I don't even have to heat it up? And from there I'm supposed to put it in the 1 gallon carboy. Should I go buy a funnel to get it in there without making a mess?

The brewing store manager looked at me like I was nuts when I said the recipe says DON'T rack the mead. But it does say to put a small cloth filter over the end of your tube when you siphon out the mead. Small cloth filter? What do I use for that?

Finally, for my carboy, bottles, and other equipment, should I pick up any particular disinfectant or not worry about it for this little project and just wash everything out with a little soap?



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Old 11-27-2008, 07:41 AM   #2
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check this out, its the sticky thread on top of the mead forum: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/sticky-mead-making-faqs-83030/



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Old 11-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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No, you don't use equal parts honey and water. I believe the recipe calls for 3.5 lbs. of honey. That should be about 1.5 qts. I usually use about 1.25 qts. I put in the honey first, then the remainder of the ingredients, add about a quart of hot water, and then put my hand over the opening of the jug and shake like hell until the honey dissolves. Top up to the bottom of the neck with cold water, pitch the yeast and place the bung with the airlock.

You don't need a funnel. I look for the gallon glass jugs that have large mouths, though about half of mine have the narrower openings. Just pour carefully and use hot water to clean the outside if you do spill any honey or orange juice.

Rubberband a small piece of cloth over your siphon hose or cane to keep out the paticles. Racking would ordinarily take care of this problem but with JAO you don't rack.

StarSan is a good sanitizer but I've made many batches cleaning with only hot soapy water. A tablespoon of bleach in the gallon filled with water will work but be sure to rinse very, very well to get rid of any hint of bleach odor.

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Old 11-27-2008, 04:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips! I've perused the FAQ and it looks like it will be invaluable for future batches. Love the calculator. Thanks for explaining my basic equipment and dissolving questions, summersolstice. My recipe notes say dissolve first, then put it in the carboy, but your suggestion of just dumping everything into the carboy first makes more sense for this one.

I've got a slow day today, family gathering for thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I will give this thing a shot today.

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Old 11-27-2008, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick767 View Post
Thanks for the tips!
I've got a slow day today, family gathering for thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I will give this thing a shot today.
You bet. Good luck and I know you'll enjoy it!

Just a couple of other things worthy of mention: After you put everything together, just put the jug in a warmest place in your house (JAO and Flieshman's yeast seems to like warmer temps) and cover it with a dish towel to keep out the light. Don't disturb it at all and forget about it for about three months.

When it clears (the fruit may drop or it may not) very carefully move it to where you plan to bottle it. The lees (sediment) in JOA are as fine as any I've ever seen and just a sneeze will get everything back into suspension and you have to wait another 2-3 months before it clears again. Very carefully keep your siphon hose or cane at least a couple of inches above the lees on the bottom to avoid sucking up the very fine dust-like lees. If you want to try to get every last drop, do it in the final bottle so the first bottles remain clear. One gallon should provide you with 5 750 ml wine bottles or about 10 crown capped beer bottles.
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:15 AM   #6
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I would recommend buying some "cheese cloth" from your local grocery store, your find it in the baking section. I use that just because I can cut off a small piece, dip it in a sanitizer, (starting off a very light bleach solution works fine).
As everyone has said, you must give it a lot of time, heck you may be into full on homebrewing and enjoying a heck of a lot of beer before this mead is ready, but it will be worth it.
Best of luck and welcome to the forum.

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Old 11-30-2008, 02:46 PM   #7
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Thanks again. I'll get some cheese cloth and try to be patient. My recipe printed off from gotmead.com says 2 months. Summersolstice, you're saying 3 months. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how long everything takes to ferment and settle. My first mead is in the cabinet with the yeasties bubbling away happily.

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Old 11-30-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
My recipe printed off from gotmead.com says 2 months. Summersolstice, you're saying 3 months. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how long everything takes to ferment and settle.
I've been a member at gotmead.com for 4-5 years and it's the best forum around as far as overall knowledge pertaining to mead. The JAO recipe was originally designed and posted there by another member, Joe Mattioli. He also designed another quick mead made with Welch's grape juice. I believe you'll find the recipe for it, along with JAO here in the recipe section.

I've made a couple of dozen of these meads in various configurations and I've never had one ready in two months. Some have taken as long as four months or more but three is about as early as I've seen them ready. It will depend a lot on the room temperature. As I said earlier, Flieshman's seems to like it warm - around 75F - 80F or so. It will ferment just as well at 65F, it just takes longer.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
I've made a couple of dozen of these meads in various configurations and I've never had one ready in two months. Some have taken as long as four months or more but three is about as early as I've seen them ready. It will depend a lot on the room temperature. As I said earlier, Flieshman's seems to like it warm - around 75F - 80F or so. It will ferment just as well at 65F, it just takes longer.
Ok, I'll expect it to take longer then. We're hitting winter here in Indiana and nowhere in the house is 75-80 degrees now. That'd be too hard on the gas bill.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:07 PM   #10
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check this out, its the sticky thread on top of the mead forum: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/sticky-mead-making-faqs-83030/

hey by the way i didnt want to sound rude with the typical "just make search!" kind of reply, i simply pointed you the direction of what i was reading myself at that moment, being a noob also!

i hope your mead will turn good... i'm starting mine tomorow...


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Secondary: Melissa's English Bitter Ale:::coopers Bitter LME + pale DME + dark molasses:::5 gallons
Drinking: Cooper's Stout + white honey + buckwheat honey + raw sugar ::: 5 Gallons ...almost all gone...
Next: Nut Brown Ale


Come in beautiful Similkameen Valley and visit the winery i work at! www.orofinovineyards.com
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