How Many Oranges are Too Many?

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fivecats

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I have come into an abundance of oranges. After three Saturdays of making orange marmalade, I'm ready to try an orange mead.

Having looked at the recipes for Joe's Ancient and Malkore's Not-So-Ancient the thing I'm struck by is how few oranges are being used. (Roughly one per gallon) Is there a problem with using considerably more (say, a dozen)? Do I need to do something to counteract the acidity?

I squeezed and strained a good two dozen oranges last night, as well as getting the vast majority of the zest off of those oranges. I now have two quart ball jars filled with zest soaking in fresh squeezed OJ. Could I use both in a 5 gallon batch of mead? And how much honey would I need to balance the oranges?

Thanks for your suggestions!


-- Tom
 

BrewUpAndSup

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Hi there. I used one orange and 3lbs of honey in mine and I would say it's perfect!! You can taste both the orange and honey. You're not gonna be disappointed. :)

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fatbloke

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So, to do this as a 5 gallon batch your recipe would change to

5 oranges
15 lbs. honey

Did you use orange sections? Orange juice? Zest?
If you are making the JAO recipe, then you just cut the orange into eighths and it goes in whole.

JAO is a recipe designed to finish sweet, which counteracts any bitterness that comes from the pith. It's also why its folly to use wine yeast as that ferments all of the sugars and concentrates the pithy bitterness - hence it doesn't make for a good dry recipe.

If you have lots of oranges, I seem to recall seeing recipes for orange wine around the bazaars, but I haven't got a link, you'd have to search.

This one is quite popular here, known as "Wurzels Orange Wine" (Wurzel is a common contributor on some of the UK based boards/forums)

1 litre carton Del Monte 100% pure orange juice.
1 litre carton Tesco’s pure pressed white grape juice.
1½ lb sugar.
1 tsp nutrient
G.P. yeast
½ tsp tannin
1 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1 tsp glycerine
Water to 1 gallon

Desolve sugar in a pint or so of boiling water.

Stir all the ingredients into 1½ pints cold water till well mixed and aerated.

Top up to 1 gallon, check initial S.G. which should be about 1.090 and adjust if necessary.

Ferment as usual under air lock. Rack at 1.000 (or ferment to dry and back sweeten) and add 1 crushed Campden tablet plus potassium sorbate.

Clear as per usual and bottle, the wine is ready for immediate consumption but will improve with time.

Serve this medium dry wine slightly chilled. It has a pleasant fruity nose, an attractive orange tint and good mouth feel thanks to the added glycerine.
Obviously, you can ignore any branding if you've got the fruit too juice. Plus the liquid quantities will either be as per, or with the "gallon" it will be 1 imp gallon a.k.a. 4.55 litres, not a US gallon or 3.78 litres......
 

BrewUpAndSup

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Yeah that's it. I just cut it up and put in segments. I warmed the honey in water first just to make it dissolve easier. Don't boil, just warm!
 

huesmann

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If I had that many oranges I'd make arancioncello (think limoncello using oranges instead).
 
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fivecats

fivecats

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If I go with 15lbs honey can I use all of the orange juice I have squeezed (almost a gallon) plus zest? Or is this too much orange for the yeast to handle?

And does anyone have a specific yeast recommendation to make for this mead?

Again, many thanks!
 

Arpolis

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According to the got mead calculator that is a gravity of about 1.119 and fermented dry would be just under 16% ABV. There are plenty of yeast types that can handle that ABV. Now what would be best for an orange mead? Not sure so hope a guru out there chimes in.
 
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fivecats

fivecats

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According to the got mead calculator that is a gravity of about 1.119 and fermented dry would be just under 16% ABV.
And if I wanted it fermented medium to sweet?

There are plenty of yeast types that can handle that ABV. Now what would be best for an orange mead? Not sure so hope a guru out there chimes in.
Yes, please! Gurus, your help is needed!
 

Arpolis

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And if I wanted it fermented medium to sweet

You can use a hydrometer to watch the gravity and at about a gravity of 1.02 throw the mead into a fridge, cold stop the yeast. Then add campden tablet(s) and Potassium sorbate to stabilize the mead. Or let it ferment dry so there is no more activity. Follow the above and take some honey and sweeten the mead back to about a 1.02 gravity or just to taste.
 

jjrtootle

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Adding lots of citrus is going to significantly drop your pH. Make sure you check the pH of your must and then adjust it up (with some Potassium Bicarbonate) if necessary. You're shooting for a pH of between 3.5 and 4.0 to keep your yeast happy.
 
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fivecats

fivecats

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You can use a hydrometer to watch the gravity and at about a gravity of 1.02 throw the mead into a fridge, cold stop the yeast.
Alas, I have never acquired the brewing refrigerator that I've wanted to be able to brew lagers. My wife tolerates my brewing, provided I don't do it too often and I don't do things like empty out the kitchen refrigerator to fit a five gallon fermenter in it. :eek:

What's your preferred alternate method of stopping fermentation in a mead?
 

Arpolis

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Alas, I have never acquired the brewing refrigerator that I've wanted to be able to brew lagers. My wife tolerates my brewing, provided I don't do it too often and I don't do things like empty out the kitchen refrigerator to fit a five gallon fermenter in it. :eek:

What's your preferred alternate method of stopping fermentation in a mead?

You know, beyond what I have said I am not sure. I have heard of people taking small bags of crushed ice and rock salt and stacking around the fermenter. That can get the yeast cool enough to stabilize easy enough.
 
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