• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

Joe's Ancient Orange Mead

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,058
Reaction score
11,620
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
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

Process:
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.
 

SuperiorBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
1,672
Reaction score
42
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
 

JustDave

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
17
Location
Mass.
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!
 

rod

beer -just brew it
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Messages
1,213
Reaction score
4
Location
brantford,ontario
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.
 

chase

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
370
Reaction score
4
Location
Urbana, IL
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?
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,058
Reaction score
11,620
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
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.
 

chase

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
370
Reaction score
4
Location
Urbana, IL
YooperBrew said:
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.
What if I bottled it after about 6 weeks in the fermentor so it could finish fermenting in the bottle? That way it could be a little carbonated.
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
50
Location
Nebraska
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.
 

SuperiorBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
1,672
Reaction score
42
My batch from 12/28 is perfectly clear can I bottle it now or let it sit another 3 weeks?
 

SuperiorBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
1,672
Reaction score
42
Here it is 2 months later. It was perfectly clear till I racked it, so I put it into a sanitized gallon jug and let it settle again before bottling.
Ended up with six 16 oz bottles and a nice glass full for later.
This stuff is much better than I was expecting. Will have a couple more gallons going this week.

 

JustDave

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
17
Location
Mass.
Just bottled this yesterday, and it was surprisingly good.

It tasted pretty hot, so hopefully that'll mellow after a few months.

Can't wait to try it in the future and then make a 5 gallon batch!
 

SuperiorBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
1,672
Reaction score
42
Just whipped up another batch the only thing I did different was split the raisins & I zested the orange and then peeled it chopped it up finer and smashed the cinnamon stick. I figured maybe more surface area should = more orange/spice flavor.

My last batch had no bitter/pithy taste at all from the orange , just hoping the smaller orange & raisin pieces will fall sooner and make for easier racking.

Here is a shot inside the jug before adding the honey.

 

knipknup

Bloody John Roberts
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
873
Reaction score
10
Location
Behind the Zion Curtain
Hey Yoop, not that I'm not listening or anything but...

I have this packet of Mead Yeast, Vierka Mead Yest - dry. I bought it but didn't use it. Will it significantly change the character of this mead if I use it because I have the bread yeast as well, but figured I'd use the mead yeast.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,058
Reaction score
11,620
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Well, I really don't know for sure. I think Joe's recipe uses bread yeast which keeps it sweet. The bread yeast doesn't attenuate very well, and the mead is left quite sweet as a result. However, the lees are very fine and powdery so that's the downside of this bread yeast.

I can't find the attenuation of your yeast online, so I really can't answer that question. However, if it makes it too dry, you can always sweeten it up afterwards by stabilizing and sweetening (if you're not planning on carbing it).
 

Big "A"

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
138
Reaction score
2
Location
Marietta
Oh HE dbl hockeys!! I'll make this one into a 5 gallon batch without the pith so I'll skin'em I feel like 5 sticks of cinnamon for 5 gallons may be a bit much. I try just one or two and see also I had already bought a sweet mead yeast so I'll use that. I know man, sorry it's not ancient anymore but I'll still give Joe the credit if my changes turn out for the good!

:mug:
 

knipknup

Bloody John Roberts
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
873
Reaction score
10
Location
Behind the Zion Curtain
I pitched the mead yeast without re-hydrating, just put it in there. However, I had run cold water into the carboy on top of the honey, which cooled it way down and separated it. I let it sit to room temp (~71F) and then pitched. It is going pretty slow, with a couple inch layer of honey on the bottom and oranges on top. This may take a while...
 

beergears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2007
Messages
999
Reaction score
6
Location
somewhere west of Boston Harba'
Ditto, made a batch at noon.

The bubbler's output is already in near rhino-fart territory... in a corner of the kitchen pantry.

I may have some 'splaining to do....
 

Ryanh1801

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
2,667
Reaction score
13
Location
Addison,TX
Mine exploded all over my floor.. It was foaming up like crazy. End up just dumping some more out.. Going good now though, and got the air lock back on.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
5,904
Reaction score
58
Location
Eastern Colorado
Ryanh1801 said:
Mine exploded all over my floor.. It was foaming up like crazy. End up just dumping some more out.. Going good now though, and got the air lock back on.
Mine have been ok, except the one where I used a washed US-05 Ale yeast. That one went right onto the counter and then onto the floor for 2 days.

BTW...What is that funky taste? I can't put my finger on it...It's like super concentrated orange seed flavor...and it's good for nearly instant heartburn. I may have to try Malkors version.
 

petes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
95
Reaction score
0
Location
Northland, New Zealand
Just (finally) bottled my JOAM, my first mead ever. Man, is it nice. Been a long gestation but well worth it, I'm hooked.
Were a few compromises in putting it together which probably accounted for the long hatch but well worth the wait.
 

jota

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
57
Reaction score
0
got my first batch going today. talk to you again in a few months!
 

mrhead

Banned
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
57
Reaction score
1
Location
San Antonio, Texas, USA
I found this exact recipe from http://www.moremead.com/mead_logs/Ancient_OCC.html and just finished making it. I'm not too concerned about the bread yeast as the first four gallons of wine I made(1 gal at a time) used bread yeast, because I simply didn't know any better. The yeasty taste was minimal due to the sweetness of the concentrate I used. I'm sure the 3lbs of honey along with the assortment of spices will be plenty of sweetness to cover the yeasty essence. Here's a pic of mine with airlock fitted, sitting in my bathtub. I've got it covered with a hand towel to keep the light out.

 

beergears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2007
Messages
999
Reaction score
6
Location
somewhere west of Boston Harba'
How much alcohol should this produce...?

My batch should be ready near the time of a family gathering, next month, and am tempted to take some there, but don't want to turn the event into an Irish funeral..:)
 

DJBod129

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Location
Detroit Suburbs
Made a batch of this last night... My first mead, ever.

I pitched the yeast when it was warm still. I'd guess about 110, or 115F. It was bubbling this morning, so hopefully I didn't kill too many of the yeasties...

Think pitching it at that high of a temp will screw it up too badly?
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,058
Reaction score
11,620
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Made a batch of this last night... My first mead, ever.

I pitched the yeast when it was warm still. I'd guess about 110, or 115F. It was bubbling this morning, so hopefully I didn't kill too many of the yeasties...

Think pitching it at that high of a temp will screw it up too badly?
No, if it's fermenting, you're fine.
 
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
298
Reaction score
3
Location
Lacey, WA
Assembled my first batch last night. Two actually. Followed Yoop's recipe.

Has anyone had luck making three or five gal batches?

I followed Yoop's recipe and I was wondering what type of ingredient modifications had to be made rather than multiplying everything by three or five?

Thanks,
Michael
 
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
298
Reaction score
3
Location
Lacey, WA
I've made a few 3 and 5 gallon batches and just multiplied everything but the yeast. They all turned out well.
Rog. Thanks.

It was pretty easy. And it is really fun to watch. No rhino farts, so it's kitchen friendly. How important is it to leave it in the dark? After a week or so I was going to put it in a dark closet. But for now, the kids like to watch it.

Cheers,
Michael
 

flyweed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
422
Reaction score
9
I am wondering WHAT this ancient orange recipe would taste like if you used Orange Blossom Honey with it???? Hmmm......could be 'nother batch????
 

Corey_James

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
165
Reaction score
1
Location
Bremerton, WA
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

Process:
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.
Yooper, was wondering if tangerines would work? For some strange reason, I am allergic to oranges, but can eat a tangerine with no problems. Wouldn't mind trying this and changing it around a little. Thanks for the help.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
134
Reaction score
2
Location
Macomb Twp, Mi
Has anyone used quickrise bread yeast before? Any reason why that wouldn't work?
 

jayhuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
169
Reaction score
11
Location
middle tennessee
I just made a batch of this just to give it a try. I have a buddy who makes mead and it is not something I am crazy about, but this seems too easy not to try! Thanks for the recipe. BTW, my OG was 1.14! Whoohoo!
 

BCNbeer

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
I just made a 2.5 gallon batch of this (in an old Mr. Beer). I kept everything the same, just upped the honey to 5 lbs. Has anyone been able to carb it, or is the bread yeast a little too weak at the end of fermentation?
 
2
Top