Joe's Ancient Orange Mead
Ancient Orange Mead (by Joe Mattioli)
1 gallon batch
3 1/2 lbs Clover or your choice honey or blend (will finish sweet)
1 Large orange (later cut in eights or smaller rind and all)
1 small handful of raisins (25 if you count but more or less ok)
1 stick of cinnamon
1 whole clove ( or 2 if you like - these are potent critters)
optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice )( very small )
1 teaspoon of Fleishmann’s bread yeast ( now don't get holy on me--- after all this is an ancient mead and that's all we had back then)
Balance water to one gallon
Use a clean 1 gallon carboy
Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in carboy
Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice in eights --add orange (you can push em through opening big boy -- rinds included -- its ok for this mead -- take my word for it -- ignore the experts)
Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill to 3 inches from the top with cold water. ( need room for some foam -- you can top off with more water after the first few day frenzy)
Shake the heck out of the jug with top on, of course. This is your sophisticated aeration process.
When at room temperature in your kitchen, put in 1 teaspoon of bread yeast. ( No you don't have to rehydrate it first-- the ancients didn't even have that word in their vocabulary-- just put it in and give it a gentle swirl or not)(The yeast can fight for their own territory)
Install water airlock. Put in dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour. (Don't use grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away in the 90's)( Wait 3 hours before you panic or call me) After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don't shake it! Don't mess with them yeastees! Let them alone except its okay to open your cabinet to smell every once in a while.
Racking --- Don't you dare
additional feeding --- NO NO
More stirring or shaking -- Your not listening, don't touch
After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. (How about that) (You are not so important after all) Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waited that long. If it is clear it is ready. You don't need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (Like in a cabinet) likes a little heat (70-80). If it didn't work out... you screwed up and didn't read my instructions (or used grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away) . If it didn't work out then take up another hobby. Mead is not for you. It is too complicated.
If you were successful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead. When you get ready to make different mead you will probably have to unlearn some of these practices I have taught you, but hey--- This recipe and procedure works with these ingredients so don't knock it. It was your first mead. It was my tenth. Sometimes, even the experts can forget all they know and make good ancient mead.
I have never ventured to the Mead Forum before but when I did and saw how easy this was I just had to give it a try. Thanks to Joe and Yoop!
All the ingredients
Less than 10 minutes later
Just made a 1 gallon batch of this. I've never had mead before, so I'm excited to try it in 2 months. Thanks Yooper!
Yay, you reposted it! I may run to the store so that I can try this!
the batch i made last spring is now tasting good after 8 months aging.
its a bit sweet but is very flavourful. tasted like a$$ after two months, very pithy from the orange rind so i ignored it until now.
Can this be bottled with priming sugar to have it carbonated???
I don't know if that is an "ancient" technique or not, but I like bubbly things...
What can I say?
I'm not sure. Usually you can but the bread yeast poops out really early (that's why it's sweet) so I don't know if you can bottle carb this or not. If you add more yeast, it'd would eat the sugar in the AOM and might give you bottle bombs.
Sounds like a job for a huge batch and force carbing ina keg. :D
I updated this recipe and brewed it today.
Omit the raisins and crappy bread yeast.
use wyeast sweet mead yeast. just hand squeeze the orange, and take off the top zest.
steep for 10 minutes at 140F with the honey, then cool and strain it when you put it in the fermenter.
also use yeast nutrient and energizer. its not as 'ancient' but it should be a little nicer. no sourness from the rind to age out, and a cleaner yeast that's meant for alcohol, but only to 11%. so use a little less honey. 3lbs tops.
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