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Berry Mead (JAOM Style)

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nk02442

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Just decided to make this. I just bottled my first ever batch (JAOM) and had enough left over for 2 glasses. I was amazed at how well it tasted right out of the primary. I decided to put a spin on it and try it with berries instead of oranges.

3 pounds of honey from Dutch Market (4 cups)
1 Clove
1 Teaspoon of Flieshmans
25 Rasins
1 clove
Water to fill
12 Oz of Frozen Blackberry/strawberries/blueberrys/rasberrys

Looks good so far. I will keep this updated.

I hope I didn't make a huge mistake.
 
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nk02442

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Here is two pics of the Berry Mead. Its only a few hours into it, and its bubbling like crazy. Kinda worried about headspace right now. Every hour ive been shaking it to knock the foam down.

The 3rd pic is my first bottling attempt at my JAOM. One cork I didnt get in all they way. They are #8 corks.

I just noticed that honey is leaking out one of the corks and its only been bottled for 2 days. It looks like just the honey is seeping. Only a dribble so far.

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fatbloke

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the berry mod version looks fine, but the third pic of the first JAO, you either didn't pick leave it long enough to clear properly or you picked up some sediment when racking.

It normally goes clear enough to read a newspaper through it, while the pic shows distinct cloudiness/suspended sediment.....
 
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nk02442

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the berry mod version looks fine, but the third pic of the first JAO, you either didn't pick leave it long enough to clear properly or you picked up some sediment when racking.

It normally goes clear enough to read a newspaper through it, while the pic shows distinct cloudiness/suspended sediment.....
Its very clear. I never racked it and that is just sediment in it from being disturbed. I will rack it next time. It tastes really good already.

any idea why honey would be leaching through cork?
 

Hinermad

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any idea why honey would be leaching through cork?
Well, sometimes corks leak. I can't think why just honey would be leaking out though. It should be pretty thoroughly dissolved in the mead. (What's left of it anyway - much of it should have been converted to alcohol.)

Is the leaked stuff still on the cork, or has any of it run down the neck of the bottle? Wet cork looks darker. If it's dark on the glass, maybe it picked up some cork dust on the way through.

Have you tasted it? Does it taste like honey?

I just reread your post. At 2 days were you storing the bottles on their sides? It's customary to leave them upright for 2 days after corking to allow air pressure in the bottle to equalize before laying them down. Inserting a cork increases the pressure in the bottle, and that can force liquid out if you lay it down too soon. You might want to consider re-corking the leaky one.

Dave
 

fatbloke

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Its very clear. I never racked it and that is just sediment in it from being disturbed. I will rack it next time. It tastes really good already.

any idea why honey would be leaching through cork?
I'd have thought it unlikely that it's honey percolating through the cork, more like some of the contents.

If it's coming through the cork, then that would suggest that there's pressure in there. So either it could be that the bottle is a little too full and that when corking, it's built up enough back pressure below the cork/above the liquid, that it's forced a bit that's splashed against the cork up and out. But the very presence of liquid being forced up, suggests either an ill fitting cork or one that's got enough natural faults in it, that it might be worth replacing it with another (possibly take 5 or 10 mls out the bottle as well ?). If liquid can come up through the cork, then there's a route for spoilage organisms to get into the liquid.

Or, the worst case scenario being that when racking out of the fermenter, that enough oxygen/air was picked up, that it's started to ferment a little again - if that's a possibility, then great care should be taken to check as bottle bombs are bad!

As for bottling JAO, it's a handy hint to only syphon (carefully) from the clearest part of the brew and when you think that you're getting too close to the sediment (which is a pain, as bread yeast doesn't flocculate very well and is easily brought back into suspension), then you syphon into a pop/soda bottle. That in turn, is placed into the fridge for a day or two, which usually gets the sediment to drop back out. Then once it's cleared (again) you can usually syphon the last of the cleared mead out into a bottle.

The last part that is left in the pop/soda bottle can be poured into a hydrometer sample jar, cling wrapped and re-chilled and the same process can be carried out - if you wanted to. I'm just a tight wad, who doesn't like to waste any of my hard earned brews.

The cloudiness in your bottled JAO will settle as sediment in the bottle and probably come out in the mead when it's served, causing it to have a slightly yeasty taste (or worst case, cause off flavours from autolysis).....

I just like to make sure about JAO as it's so easy to stir up the sludge, by just moving the fermenter, plus I like to rack it carefully and then de-gas it with a vacuvin pump before sealing the bottle(s).

p.s. Oh and because the bread yeast can be a pain like that, I usually move the fermenter to where it's going to sit during racking/bottling/whatever the day before, that way any sediment that is disturbed back into suspension has the chance to settle before the racking/bottling process is commenced (and yes I've had that happen a number of times, hence I like to rack first, which along with refrigeration, helps remove any sediment that I might pick up)
 

huesmann

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What Hinermad said about bottling.

FWIW, it's not actually honey that's leaking out, it's mead. It's just that the water and alcohol are evaporating and leaving the honey behind.

Also, if your cork didn't go in all the way, what I have been doing is getting a small washer that's smaller diameter than the cork, putting it on the floor, and pressing the cork against it: turn the bottle upside-down on top of the washer and press on it with your weight.
 

Rockape66

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So far with my meads; after bottling I leave them upright for about a week. About half of the bottles will have the cork pushed partially out of the bottle relieving pressure. I just push them back down with my thumb. When they go for about five days without pushing out the corks; I store them on their sides, wine rack style. this allows the corks to stay wet and swell up preventing spoilage. I haven't had any further trouble.
 

vekzero

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I just brew the same style except using only blueberries (they were on sale along with honey that cause a spontaneous brewing night). How is it coming along? My blueberry is only 5 days in and it smells, looks, and is fermenting really good for bread yeast.
 
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nk02442

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Sorry for taking so long for the update.

Bottled it about two weeks ago. This time I racked it after 3 weeks so there was less crap to filter through. We used Cofee filters and a funnel this time to bottle and it produced a much cleaner product. We only were able to get about 3 and 4/5 bottles. I should have added some water to fill it out, but we just got one short bottle.

It tasted pretty decent, kinda muted flavors on the berries. Its a nice purple clear color. I will pop a bottle in a few months to see how its tastes.
 

regulatedhobbyist

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At 2 days were you storing the bottles on their sides? It's customary to leave them upright for 2 days after corking to allow air pressure in the bottle to equalize before laying them down.
Dave
Dave,

I read somewhere that when bottling, one should leave them sitting upright for 5 days. Does this matter much?
As for bottling JAO, it's a handy hint to only syphon (carefully) from the clearest part of the brew and when you think that you're getting too close to the sediment (which is a pain, as bread yeast doesn't flocculate very well and is easily brought back into suspension), then you syphon into a pop/soda bottle. That in turn, is placed into the fridge for a day or two, which usually gets the sediment to drop back out. Then once it's cleared (again) you can usually syphon the last of the cleared mead out into a bottle.

The last part that is left in the pop/soda bottle can be poured into a hydrometer sample jar, cling wrapped and re-chilled and the same process can be carried out - if you wanted to. I'm just a tight wad, who doesn't like to waste any of my hard earned brews.

I know the feeling about being a tightwad, I've been known to filter the lees to get as much out of the carboy as I can. :eek: Don't worry, I won't add what's retrieved from the lees in the next racking container... :D
 
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