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Old 05-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
DeadGuyNick
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Default First mead: JOAM - Questions

Over in this thread I received the suggestion to try Joe's Orange Ancient Mead. I only have about 2 months left before I head back home (across the Pacific) and needed something quick and easy for one last brew here. I do have a few questions, though. By the way, I was planning on going for this recipe.
  1. From what I've read so far, I have the impression that adding the orange peels may make this mead a bit too sour/tart. Is this true? Would omitting the peels negatively affect the mead at all?
  2. I have Montrachet active dry wine yeast, or I was able to find Angel Instant Dry Yeast. I assume it's bread yeast, but everything else on the package is in Chinese. Does anyone know if this will work for this recipe, or should I just use the Montrachet?

    The yeast in question:


  3. I am also under the impression that by using bread yeast it doesn't really carbonate, and the yeast die out sooner. Would I be able to bottle some of this, and bring it back home (5,000+ mile flight)? Would bottles exploding be a possible problem? And for bottling, I don't have a capper, nor can I get one. Would a wine bottle and cork do the trick? Or coul I somehow MacGyver a used cap on there? Doesn't seem like a good idea...

    EDIT: I was actually able to find a bench capper for about $19 (I'm very surprised). Should I go the capping route or stick with corking wine bottles? I'm also not seeing bottle caps, so if I can't find any, is there anyway to reuse caps, or is that totally out of the question? Sorry if that's a really dumb question.
  4. Are there any other suggestions you would like to offer to help me get the best product in this short time?

That's it for now. I want to get started on this Friday so that it'll be as ready as can be before I head home.



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Old 05-26-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
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I haven't actually made my JAOM yet (it's next on my list to try). I would expect that the bread yeast would make a much sweeter brew and would be ready much sooner. The Montrachet will take it pretty dry, which is probably nice also but will take longer to age.

I see no reason not to use wine bottles and keep it still, I know I've done flights with bottles of spirit burried in my clothes without problems but I would look for strong bottles that can take the pressure change. I guess the advantage of going with corks is that if the pressure change is too much the cork will work its way out / in rather than just exploding. (I guess soggy clothes is more desirable than glass filled ones!). Though dont take my advice as gospel, ive not tried any of this myself yet!


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Old 05-26-2011, 12:14 PM   #3
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And do you think what I've got here is bread yeast? It looks like it, but I don't really know.

And I was actually able to find a bench capper on one of the Chinese shopping websites. Only about $19 too, so I'm going to go ahead and snag that. So now that that's changed, should I worry about bottle bombs now? Or would corking wine bottles be a better option?

I'm with you on damp clothes being better than shattered glass, though.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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Yeah, I think that's bread yeast. I think by dry it mean you dont have to re-hydrate it before mixing with dough (the bread yeast i have bought for my JOAM says to rehydrate).

I guess 2 litre soda bottles might work well for the flight too, you could then syphon back into glass once home. I really couldn't comment on how different glass would handle airpressure during the flight. Has anyone else tried transporting brews?
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:46 AM   #5
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when i made JOAM, it did end up very sweet, as insomniac said. the bread yeast isn't capable of more than (going from hazy memory here) like 7% or something, so it finishes extremely sweet. the montrachet should be capable of much higher abv, so you'd get a drier mead, but it would take longer to ferment and even longer to taste like anything you'd want to drink.
on mine, the orange peels didn't add much of a bitter/overpowering flavor, but, as you saw on the original JOAM thread, many people have had that. if/when i make another batch, i will do it without the peels, just to try it out.

and, i'm sure you know this, but check regulations before transporting SEVERAL bottles of HOMEMADE, UNTAXED alcohol on an international flight

if you're bringing the booze...er...JOAM on as carry-on, any bottle should be fine. no idea about checking it, maybe consult the FAA's dos and don'ts for checking luggage.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:18 AM   #6
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2 months before travelling?

It won't be ready. The fruit probably won't have dropped and it my still be fermenting.

The peel and pith thing? No, it doesn't cause a problem. The guesstimate, is that Joe intended that any bitterness is meant to help reduce the perceived sweetness and yes it does finish sweet, but that doesn't seem to be an issue if you stick to the recipe.

Don't try it with wine yeast as it will finish dry and it doesn't make a good dry product.

You'd be best placed waiting till you get home, as I suspect that it'd get seized as you have no way (at that stage) of knowing the strength of it, so "they" wouldn't be able to know how to work out your allowances and/or how to charge any excise duty etc.

As for 7% ? People have had it finish at 10 - 12 % and yes that's with bread yeast.

So just get a couple of packs of a known brand of bread yeast and send them to yourself at home. If you're not sure about the stuff with the Chinese text, don't use it. It'd be a waste of other materials if it didn't ferment a batch or if it fermented it dry.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:51 AM   #7
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The orange is to add some acidity to the mead what u did I zested the orange then peeled it I used the zest and the orange meat and just a few bits of the rind. As for the yeast it actualy calls for bread yeast for that recipe. All dry yeasts need to be re hydrated in water with a little sugar and let set for atleast an hour before adding or pitching to the must. The raisins are added for tannins and yeast food. As for bottle bombs the bread yeast will produce more co2 than a wine yeast so I would find champaign bottles for corking or beer bottles if you are going to cap it they are built to withstand pressure tea also works as a replacement fir raisins. Bread yeast has a really low tolerance for alcohol so you won't get a very strong drink and the alcohol will kill the yeast off at some point so depending on how you want the wine ( dry, medium, or sweet) you can very the honey content it takes roughly 3 ounces of honey to make one percent ABV and you would probably only get about 7% out of the bread yeast give or take so with a little math 21 ounces is dry and will taste like a dirty sock 40 ounces is very sweet and will mask a lot of mistakes and a give you a super hangover. As with all meads they do need to age. If you keep it warm while fermenting around 70 degrees it will ferment in a few weeks and with a few rackings should be ready to be bottled by the time you leave I would use the flip top bottles with the ceramic stoppers so you can check it as it ages and if they are still fermenting off gas them or leave them shut for a carbonated wine. Good luck mate and if you have any questions pm me I'll share what I know
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:04 AM   #8
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I have made JAOM 3 times, last time done was with wine yeast.

2 months it should be done fermenting. Took 6 weeks for the wine yeast, shorter with the bread yeast (higher FG).

The yeast you have is indeed bread yeast. It should work fine.

I have always tossed in the orange slices with the rinds still on, no issues for weird flavors.

As for bottling without a capper I see 2 options;

Screw tops, like for 2L soda bottles
Flip tops, like from Grolsch style beer bottles or more easily acquired from some brands of lemonade (glass tall skinny bottles)

As you have a capper, just go with that. The JAOM is not sparkling, so you don't need it to carb up in the bottles.

As for making sure it is done in time, I suggest making sure the carboy does not get too cold; keep it around 70F or so and you should be fine. That way the yeast doesn't stall out.

Best of luck!


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