Questions for my JAOM?
This is my first post on here so I just wanted to thank everyone for all the great posts I have read over the last 2 months. This site is truly a great resources.
With that being said, I have made my first attempt at homebrewing with the JAOM recipe that Jopper posted here:
I followed everything to the letter and it has been 2 months. I sterilized everything with iodine and used vodka in the airlock, always making sure there was enough after evaporation.
1. It seems like fermentation has stopped for the last 2 weeks. I dont see any more bubbles. The Mead is a very nice orange golden color and the setiment seems to have settled. There is half a inch of gunk on the bottom of the carboy (1 gallon) that gets kicked up whenever I move it. The fruit is still floating at the top with most of the raisins.
I am worried that without the fermentation that the CO2 levels inside the carbory are going to allow mold or bacteria growth on the fruit that is floating on the mead. Am I ok Leaving the mead like this for a little while longer or could there be issues?
2. I never took SG or any mesurements. I never tasted it along the way and this is my first time brewing so I am not sure how to benchmark what I have. I am going to assume this needs to age for 6months-1 year before its plesant to drink and I dont mind. Should I have to back sweeten it and how would I do that if I did?
3. In the recipe it says basically to not mess with it and not rack it. I am not sure exactly how I would rack this. I have a 2 gallon plastic fermenter that I could use to attempt to rack it. It seems like everytime you would rack it , you loose some of the vollume. I guess this is why people make 5 gallon batches.
4. I am not sure what to do. Do I leave it sit, do I bottle it, and if I bottle it , should i just buy bottles and a corker? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
1. If you can read newspaper print through the jar it is done. The last 6 gallon batch i made was ready in six weeks. You can let it sit longer if you want, the fruit will drop eventually but I have never waited that long.
2.I enjoy mine right away, some folks don't like it until it has aged awhile. I suspect every batch finishes a little different. This last batch i made is very smooth and drinkable six weeks after i started it. The batch before has a hot alcohol finish to it even though the conditions and recipe were the same. If you followed the recipe to the "T" you should not have to backsweeten. If you used a different yeast or ingrediants then all bets are off.
3. When its clear I rack mine to another carboy and let it sit for another week or two to settle out then bottle
4. It's up to you, but if you can read print through it it is probably done, you can let it sit for awhile if you want or rack, or bottle.
hope this helps
Here's my two cents...
1. According to my hydrometer, my latest batch is finished fermenting, but I still get a bubble every now and then. If you don't get bubbles at all, I suspect it's finished. I wouldn't worry too much about mold, I think the CO2 is enough to prevent it.
2. If you followed the recipe, you probably won't have to backsweeten your batch, unless you want something syrupy sweet. Like Pitman said, it's drinkable fairly quickly, but it does get better with age.
3. You don't have to rack it, but bread yeast doesn't make a firm yeast cake. I rack mine just to help clear it up a bit, but it's not necessary. And yes, you will lose a bit of volume, but the amount should be minimal.
4. Your call on the bottling. What size batch did you make? If you have the volume, I'd suggest bottling a few smaller size bottles that you can open up periodically to gauge the aging process. I am using Grolsch bottles for my meads/melomels now, but have used wine bottles/corks too. In fact, I bottled/corked my tester bottles for the blackberry melomel I just made.
pilot, thats some pretty mead.
Thanks! Can't wait to start sampling it in a few months...
My next batch is going to be a blackberry Mead, Do you have the reciple handy?
1. I let a batch sit for about 4 months... No problems with mold or cooties...
2. Drink it when you want to... My first batch, we drank a little and then I forgot about it in the fridge (in a 1L flip top) for almost two years. Took first place and BOS at a local homebrew comp with it.
3. Just like the instructions say: put a sanitized hose with a piece of cloth on it (to keep out any lees) and siphon to another container... I racked my last 5g batch into 1 gallon growlers and they are in the fridge cold crashing / aging... Took out two bottles worth and took BOS again in the same local comp with it....
4. RDWHAHB... I like the idea of flip top bottling in smaller sizes... This way you can pull samples when you like and you can track your results so you know what you like on your next batch...
1. By the sounds of it the fermentation is done, or atleast the primary. I would rack it and let it settle out for a week then see how it is. On the first racking off the lees, don't be greedy, you will stirr up less lees and have a better mead. JOAM is famous for fermenting quickly, I think that it is the orange in it. I did an Orange Vanilla and that settled out real quick.
2. If you backsweeten it then rack onto the honey in a new container. Sweeten to taste. Take out a little of it into a measuring cup and get the proportions to your taste and then mix it in. It sounds good as it is.
3. Racking is easy, take a food grade plastic tube and start a siphon. Some people fill the plastic tube with water to start the siphon so that they don't have to suck on it and potentially contaiminate their mead with their saliva. If you are the only one drinking it then it shouldn't matter. Lacking another fermenter, I would rack to a pot big enough to hold the volume, then wash out your fermenter, dumping the fruit and lees and then runing a pressure of water around it to rinse it, then just fill it back up from your pot. Racking done.
4. Many people like to bulk age. I don't mostly because I want new batches down. I would rack it and see it clear a little more. Then if it is fine either bulk age or bottle and age then. For at least 6 months. Year if you can hold off on it.
BTW: Bulk aging is aging in the fermenter all at once, technically it is bulk aging when it has cleared.
JOAM is famous for being ready quickly, this is due to the high citrus content, the spices, and how quickly the whole thing goes through a primary.
Let your nose and tastebuds be your guide, as well as your own judgement.
All in all, it's up to personal preference. Until you dial down your processes and go from a beginer to crafting your mead.
Hope this helps, even though it's mostly redundent.
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