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Old 10-18-2011, 05:15 PM   #1
DawnofthWill
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Default Oxidization issue...

I started my first mead about 6 weeks ago and left it alone. I am trying the JAOM recipe in a 4L water jug with an airlock and bung stuffed in the top.
Upon inspection today I found that there is a small split in the threads at the top of the jug with a small opening where air can get in. I do keep a T-shirt covering the jug (to keep out any sun and provide a little additional warmth) but I am worried about off flavours and oxidization. I am not sure how long the split has been there for.
The only remedy I can think of right now is to add some room temp. sweetened apple cider after racking to another vessel.
Anyways...should I be worried and does this sound like an acceptable solution?



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Old 10-18-2011, 05:51 PM   #2
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I don't think you need to worry. If you haven't messed with the jug or moved it around since you started it, the headspace should be full of carbon dioxide. You got bubbles through your airlock while it fermented, right? That shows it filled up with CO2. I wouldn't worry. If you rack it to another jug it would be appropriate to top it up then, but I'm not sure cider would be the right thing to use with JAOM since it's an orange mead. Sweetened or even plain water would probably be better for the flavor. (Unless you want apple orange mead, which might not be a bad thing.)

I think concerns over oxidation may be causing people to worry more than they need to. A good ferment is its own protection in the primary, and a little air contact going into secondary won't hurt it. This isn't a fussy white wine made from tender young grapes grown in unicorn sparkles, this is mead! People have been making it for thousands of years. It'll survive.

Like they say up in the brewing section: "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew."

Dave



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Old 10-18-2011, 06:07 PM   #3
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I had a very active airlock during fermentation, and had activity in the airlock for about 4 weeks! The jug has been moved but VERY cautiously (I keep it on a plate for suck reasons).
Anyways thank you so much for the advice, I think I will rack it and top it off with water in the very near future (that way I can snag a little taste, and mayhaps I will splurge and go and find a 1 gallon glass jug somewhere so I can watch it clarify).
But in the meantime I do have some homebrew to drink...and some more honey and yeast to tinker with...

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Old 10-18-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnofthWill View Post
Anyways thank you so much for the advice, I think I will rack it and top it off with water in the very near future (that way I can snag a little taste, and mayhaps I will splurge and go and find a 1 gallon glass jug somewhere so I can watch it clarify).
But in the meantime I do have some homebrew to drink...and some more honey and yeast to tinker with...
That's the spirit! If this batch does turn out not to your liking, you can find out what caused it and do a better batch next time. Every batch is a learning experience, and the first one is a doozy.

Actually, it's usually the second one that's a doozy. The first one usually works well, encouraging us to try again, THEN everything comes undone.

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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OK I cheated and tried a sip. I used my wine thief and put a little bit in a wine glass...purely for educational purposes ; P
I wasnt expecting such a strong flavour from the first sip. I noticed what must be called the "hot alcohol bite". Then I could feel it warming my belly, which was very enjoyable!
Second sip...hmmm I wonder if I like this stuff (never even tried mead before).
Third sip...I think I like it but hmmmm...
uh oh no fourth sip its all gone.
Anyways I can see this being an aquired but highly addictive flavour and drink. Im sure given more time (and clarity...still very unclear) this is going to be great!

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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OK I cheated and tried a sip. I used my wine thief and put a little bit in a wine glass...purely for educational purposes.
That's called quality control.

Quote:
I wasnt expecting such a strong flavour from the first sip. I noticed what must be called the "hot alcohol bite". Then I could feel it warming my belly, which was very enjoyable!
If you see someone here use the term "rocket fuel," now you know what they're talking about. That's pretty common. It mellows with age.

If you want something really warming, search for Ken Schramm's ginger mead recipe here on the forum. That stuff's wonderful, easy to make, and is ready to drink fairly quickly.

Quote:
Anyways I can see this being an aquired but highly addictive flavour and drink. Im sure given more time (and clarity...still very unclear) this is going to be great!
Time is the major contributor to that greatness. One of my first meads (MAOM, or Malkore's Ancient Orange Mead - it's JAOM reformulated to use wine/mead yeast) was pretty disappointing when I bottled it, but over the space of just a few weeks the rocket fuel taste went away and the other flavors mellowed and changed into something very tasty. A few more months and I'd have sworn someone switched bottles on me.

It's sort of a rule of thumb around here - never dump anything out, bottle it and give it time. It's amazing what a few months or years can do for even swamp water.

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:42 PM   #7
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I know that feeling. My 5 gallon batch of mead started at 1.120 gravity, and after a little over a week, it's now 1.029, I take a few sips from every gravity reading I do.

I feel that hot alcohol when I sip mine too, and it's sitting at around 10+% alcohol.
Still, I can tell this is going to be promising when it has a chance to mellow out.

I hope we both enjoy the fruit of our labors.

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Old 10-19-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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If you have a mead failure, at worst you can make mead vinegar out of it!

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Old 03-09-2012, 04:24 AM   #9
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Well Hinermad you were correct...a few friends and myself tried a glass each a few days ago and it was wonderful!! That "rocket fuel" taste is gone and is very smooth and enjoyable. Now I think its time to get serios with mead!!



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