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Old 12-04-2012, 05:02 PM   #1
Devo9
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Default JAOM disappointing results

First off, I don’t want to show any disrespect to Joe. I know he is a very talented mead maker and I respect him. But my JAOM did not turn out as I had hoped. I have read so many good reviews of JAOM that it makes me wonder if I did something wrong…

I put together 2 gallons of JAOM about 10 months ago. Well honestly, one gallon was JAOM to the T and the other one was modified JAOM made with Lalvin ICV D-47 wine yeast. I just bottled them on Saturday (which means just over 10 months sitting in the primary) and they both taste awful. I am not sure what went wrong, I understand that the Lalvin mead didn’t work out, but the Fleishmann’s bread yeast didn’t either. Did sitting them on the lees for 10 months ruin it? Or is it that I just don’t like orange spice mead. My best friend also dislikes it and my wife won't even try it (after seeing our reactions)...

It doesn’t taste off, it just tastes like orange rinds and spice mixed with alcohol. I was careful to keep the spices to the minimum recommended, but it is still overwhelming. Even if this mellows I can’t see me liking it. The Lalvin version is slightly less sweet, tastes like it needs to mellow a bit, but is very similar to the Fleishmann’s one. I have made a few meads already, one cranberry and one blueberry, both tasted great! My Strawberry/Rhubarb mead is also coming out great. So it isn't mead in general...

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Old 12-04-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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it should have been racked during those 10 months.
JAOM is a simple recipe with no stepped nutrient additions, so time is your friend. drinking it less than a week out of the fermentor isn't Joe's fault.

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Old 12-04-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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I am trying to figure out if I did anything wrong. I have always been able to see the potential in my meads even before they were ready. If it was just hot, or tasting a little rough I'd understand. But will the overwelming spice and rind flavour die down in time? Was the strong flavours caused by leaving it too long?

I was planning on bottling much sooner, but life got in the way. If I'm told that it'll be fine if I wait, then I can wait. I know mead is usually a waiting game and I have already waited 10 months, so what are a few more...

I am not looking to blame Joe or even shift the blame from myself. I am just trying to figure out where I went wrong and if I went wrong...

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it should have been racked during those 10 months.
JAOM is a simple recipe with no stepped nutrient additions, so time is your friend. drinking it less than a week out of the fermentor isn't Joe's fault.
Are you saying that I messed up leaving it so long? Or that I'm being too impatient? Please clarify your comment. I can deal with constructive criticism, but I am unclear about what am I supposed to take from that?
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:44 PM   #4
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Are you saying that I messed up leaving it so long? Or that I'm being too impatient? Please clarify your comment. I can deal with constructive criticism, but I am unclear about what am I supposed to take from that?
both.
left on the lees to long without racking picking up off flavors, and trying bottles the were bottled last saturday without the time for those off flavors to mellow.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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So, with the bread yeast version the problem is probably just straight autolysis giving the off flavour - you just need to wait until its clear and the fruit has dropped to the bottom before racking it off the fruit and lees. It should be aged clear.

With the batch made with wine yeast, especially with D47 when there's been no temperature control/monitoring, will likely have fermented dry which focuses the orange flavour on the bitterness that you get from the pith (and which is normally covered/masked by the residual sweetness obtained from the use of bread yeast).

Hence, as you can see its why the recipe works when completed to the letter but it can also go "wrong" with deviation.

As for my alluding to the D47 and temperature control/monitoring ? Well its been found that with D47 and honey musts, when it ferments over 70F/21C it can produce fusels that take a long time, if ever to mellow.

So I'm thinking that one or a combination of some of these apparent issues may be the problem.

A benchmark JAO is meant to be sweet, but with a bit of the orange taste and no more than a small amount of spicing (hence Joes comment on the use of cloves)....

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I will set it aside for a while, let it age and hope for the best.

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Old 12-13-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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I recently bottled a 5 month old JAOM (my first attempt at mead) that had been sitting on the lees the entire time as well. I had the exact same experience when I tried to drink it... it was very "hot" (surprisingly so for an undistilled beverage) and almost tasted like Fireball with the cinnamon, despite my using the minimum amount of spice.

After reading this thread, I'm hoping it gets better aging in the bottles. I'll try again in a couple months or so.

EDIT: after looking at some other posts on this site, I'm really wondering what was wrong with my JAOM. Like I said, I left it in primary for 5 months, but even after that time it was fairly cloudy and the fruit was all on top. I just saw a picture of someone's 2-month old JAOM with all the fruit on the bottom and you can read a paper through the demijohn. I don't get it, as I followed the recipe to a tee except for having a half-pound of honey less than the recipe called for. A half pound of honey missing wouldn't affect it that much, would it?

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Old 12-13-2012, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanyonAsh View Post
I recently bottled a 5 month old JAOM (my first attempt at mead) that had been sitting on the lees the entire time as well. I had the exact same experience when I tried to drink it... it was very "hot" (surprisingly so for an undistilled beverage) and almost tasted like Fireball with the cinnamon, despite my using the minimum amount of spice.

After reading this thread, I'm hoping it gets better aging in the bottles. I'll try again in a couple months or so.
Did you rack as soon as the fruit dropped to the bottom Or did you leave it. I have some 2 month old JAO I tasted a week ago and seems like it is well on its way. Follow recipe to a T with exception of adding Madagascar vanilla bean. (Hoping for a slight orange cream cycles taste)
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxxenigmaxxl View Post

Did you rack as soon as the fruit dropped to the bottom Or did you leave it. I have some 2 month old JAO I tasted a week ago and seems like it is well on its way. Follow recipe to a T with exception of adding Madagascar vanilla bean. (Hoping for a slight orange cream cycles taste)
I left it after the fruit dropped. I think that was my biggest mistake.

I will be leaving it until summer to see if it mellows out. Then a bit longer if it doesn't
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxxenigmaxxl View Post
Did you rack as soon as the fruit dropped to the bottom Or did you leave it. I have some 2 month old JAO I tasted a week ago and seems like it is well on its way. Follow recipe to a T with exception of adding Madagascar vanilla bean. (Hoping for a slight orange cream cycles taste)
The fruit never did drop for me, not even after 5 months. It was still somehwat cloudy too, so I cold-crashed it in the fridge for a day before bottling. Funny enough, while the cold-crash caused the rfruit to drop, it actually ended up making the mead cloudier than before I cold-crashed it with the fruit still floating.
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