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Joe's Ancient Orange Mead

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sablesurfer

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It did something weird, though: the honey separated from the water and sank to the bottom. I know this isn't unusual for this recipe, but my first attempt at traditional JAO stayed in solution. Oh well! :mug:
Yeah, that happened to me once as well. I was using some very old honey, and it really didn't want to go back into solution. In the end it all fermented anyway.
 

brewski09

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I started a blueberry vanilla variant of JAO. 6 gallons with 1lb frozen blueberries per gallon and 6 tsp (or was it tablespoons...) of vanilla extract. Here it is when it first started fermenting. We've since topped it off with water, and it's going strong.



It did something weird, though: the honey separated from the water and sank to the bottom. I know this isn't unusual for this recipe, but my first attempt at traditional JAO stayed in solution. Oh well! :mug:




That might be a ton of vanilla
 

CrownedBee

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That might be a ton of vanilla
I checked my logbook, and I added 6 tsp. It smells like blueberry pie filling!


Yeah, that happened to me once as well. I was using some very old honey, and it really didn't want to go back into solution. In the end it all fermented anyway.
We used new honey, so I'm not really sure what was different about it versus the first batch. But I know the yeast will get to it. :)


I started mine in November 2015, and kept waiting for the fruit to fall. The raisins never did, and my notes don't include when the orange did. I bottled and sampled yesterday, and although my wife finds the alcohol flavor unpleasant, I think I like it.
We bottled our 6 gallon of traditional JAO yesterday as well. I loved it and thought it was ready to drink, but my husband wants to let it bottle age at least 3 months. I admire his restraint! And too bad that your wife doesn't like it, but that means more for you! :ban:
 

TorMag

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My 6 gallon cleared after 3 months and the fruit never fell. My 1 gallons cleared in 2 months and, again, the fruit didn't fall. I'm learning that the time it takes for this recipe to clear is a "your mileage may vary" guesstimate. I doubt racking will hurt it, but I think you could just as easily let it sit!
Interestingly enough, I had to split my one gallon between to .5 gallon mason jars with fermentation lids. One jar is now clear and the other is still hazy. The recipe was split right down the middle between the 2 jars. The only difference is the hazy jar was exposed to more light than the clear jar.
 

salli4102

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After my brother and I tried our hand at a dry Metheglin last year we wanted to go with something a bit sweeter and fruitier.

We decided to give this a try, though we did vary the recipe a bit. I've been drinking Rock and Rye (recipe is about half-way down) and this seemed like a good mead to modify for a similar theme.

What we settled on:

5 Gallon Batch
18 lbs. fresh local clover honey
8 smallish Blood Oranges (for color, about 3-4 lbs worth)
Zest from 1 Lemon
1 bag of sweet/tart dried cherries (instead of raisins, probably 50-60 cherries)
4 sticks of cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1 Star Anise
1/2 oz of Horehound

This is fermentation after ~36 hours, looks like it's taking on some color from the blood oranges and cherries:



We're considering soaking some rye whiskey into oak cubes and adding them to secondary before bottling.
I'm going to have to give this a try. Good job!
 

thunderwagn

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Made another batch of JOAM today. I added a small squeeze of lemon, 4 bl pepper corns, and a small pinch of coriander along with the stock ingredients.

 

CrownedBee

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Made another batch of JOAM today. I added a small squeeze of lemon, 4 bl pepper corns, and a small pinch of coriander along with the stock ingredients.
Peppercorns? That'll be interesting. I guess they're not too unlike clove. Have you used peppercorns in brewing before?
 

thunderwagn

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Peppercorns? That'll be interesting. I guess they're not too unlike clove. Have you used peppercorns in brewing before?
In beer, yes. In mead, no. I did see a few mead recipes using them and I tried to play it conservatively. :)
 

CrownedBee

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In beer, yes. In mead, no. I did see a few mead recipes using them and I tried to play it conservatively. :)
Well please keep us posted! I'd love to know how it turns out.

Any bottling tips? The fruit has fallen! Just siphon into wine bottles?
I racked my mead into another carboy and let it settle for another week or two to reduce the chances of getting sediment in my bottles. If that's not an option for you, just be careful not to disturb the fallen fruit. Good luck!
 

TrekMedic

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I racked my mead into another carboy and let it settle for another week or two to reduce the chances of getting sediment in my bottles. If that's not an option for you, just be careful not to disturb the fallen fruit. Good luck!
I ended up racking it into another 1-gallon container, cleaned out the gunk in the original carboy and sterilized it, then racked it back with an airlock (just in case). Sure enough, it started bubbling again but, fortunately, we had a severe cold snap that weekend, so I cold-crashed it in my garage. When all was said and done, the lees settled to the bottom and I re-racked it back into another 1-gallon container and it's currently sitting in my basement. I plan on checking it every 3 months until I'm satisfied with the taste.:tank:
 

treacheroustexan

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I started a blueberry vanilla variant of JAO. 6 gallons with 1lb frozen blueberries per gallon and 6 tsp (or was it tablespoons...) of vanilla extract. Here it is when it first started fermenting. We've since topped it off with water, and it's going strong.

It did something weird, though: the honey separated from the water and sank to the bottom. I know this isn't unusual for this recipe, but my first attempt at traditional JAO stayed in solution. Oh well! :mug:

Did you still use the cinnamon and clove or did you eliminate that?
 

Texconsinite

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Thats amount of vanilla extract should be VERY noticeable. I usually use 1Tablespoon in my Oatmeal stout
 

CrownedBee

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I'm a fan of cinnamon with blueberries
I've tried the combo in oatmeal, and I like it, too. I'm pretty new to brewing, though, and I didn't want to throw too much into the carboy without having a baseline. I'll start simple, then get more complex.
 

brewski09

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I've tried the combo in oatmeal, and I like it, too. I'm pretty new to brewing, though, and I didn't want to throw too much into the carboy without having a baseline. I'll start simple, then get more complex.

Make the mead without anything else and then make a tincture of cinnamon with vodka (carbon filtering really helps clean up the flavors and give you a neutral vodka from a cheap vodka). Then you can add a teaspoon at serving time and see what you like. I'd also try some citrus zest in there but just enough to know its there without too distinct flavors. Then next time you can incorporate it into the whole batch of you like it.
 

CrownedBee

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Make the mead without anything else and then make a tincture of cinnamon with vodka (carbon filtering really helps clean up the flavors and give you a neutral vodka from a cheap vodka). Then you can add a teaspoon at serving time and see what you like. I'd also try some citrus zest in there but just enough to know its there without too distinct flavors. Then next time you can incorporate it into the whole batch of you like it.
That's actually a fantastic idea. Thank you!!
 

sablesurfer

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Well, I had to move this out of fermentor today because I have two beers going in. Went a head and moved it to secondary like I do all of mine (yes, not following the rules) and had a taste.

Interesting!

Smells like a JOAM, I didn't realize there is a distinct aroma. But with lots of grapefruit in the carboy. Not so much in the glass. The taste is very different too! Half strength means no heat right now, and the grapefruit is first time I have had any pithiness at all. But it is good. The mouthfeel is WAY thinner than regular, but look at the gravity reading. Anyone ever expect a bread yeast to break under 1.000??

Overall taste remarkably like a grapefruit IPA, and ironically I was actually thinking about force carbing a mead just to see...so I guess this one will be it.

IMG_20160605_153301170-picsay.jpg

Going to try this low gravity, just to see.

3lbs of honey from a farmers market CSA farm
1 full sized grapefruit
- Sliced it in cross sections instead of quarters, I want more citrus juice exposed to mead
- One half of the grapefruit, I scored up the skin a lot to get more citrus oils exposed
1 sm handful of grapes
1 stick cinnamon snapped in three
2 allspice berries crushed between fingers

And...out of style
8oz of some remaining 180 syrup that was laying around

Made a 2gallon batch with this. OG = 1.054, so looking at 5% if fully attenuates. It will follow the standard length of aging and clearing as it is supposed to.

Things that could be issues:
- might be too thin since the yeast can easily handle this ABV
- might be too dilute honey wise since double the liquid

But, wanted to see what would happen. If it is ok, I might even force carbonate in a keg.
 

sablesurfer

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LOL...only this morning reading my own quote. Well at least I am consistent. (Yesterday was a two brew day and this had to be transferred during all that, so i was a bit distracted.)
 

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Smells like a JOAM, I didn't realize there is a distinct aroma. But with lots of grapefruit in the carboy. Not so much in the glass. The taste is very different too! Half strength means no heat right now, and the grapefruit is first time I have had any pithiness at all. But it is good. The mouthfeel is WAY thinner than regular, but look at the gravity reading. Anyone ever expect a bread yeast to break under 1.000??
Yes, I have done 3 batches and all were 1.004 to 0.998. Thought the first one was a fluke 0.998 so had to make more for ya know for science! :D
 

TorMag

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Just had my first glass of this stuff. Great color and taste, really loved it, but man does this have a way of sneaking up on you....
 

olephart

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Finally got around to bottling my JAOM tonight.:ban:

i made it on 1/30/16, racked it off the yeast on 4/3/16, and bottled it today 6/28/16.

The OG was 1.268, and the FG is 0.994.....35.9% ABV... :tank:

Wow, did that bread yeast really take it up to 35.9%? :eek:: :D


Can't wait to take some to the brother-in-laws...:drunk: Maybe I'll "forget" to tell him about the ABV...:p
 

rlmiller10

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Finally got around to bottling my JAOM tonight.:ban:

i made it on 1/30/16, racked it off the yeast on 4/3/16, and bottled it today 6/28/16.

The OG was 1.268, and the FG is 0.994.....35.9% ABV... :tank:

Wow, did that bread yeast really take it up to 35.9%? :eek:: :D


Can't wait to take some to the brother-in-laws...:drunk: Maybe I'll "forget" to tell him about the ABV...:p
Something is not right there. How many lb of honey per gallon did you use? That OG sounds very high. My calculations say you would have to use about 7.9 lb of honey per gallon of must to get that OG. At 4 lb per gallon you could get close to 1.126
 

meatcleaver

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Finally got around to bottling my JAOM tonight.:ban:

i made it on 1/30/16, racked it off the yeast on 4/3/16, and bottled it today 6/28/16.

The OG was 1.268, and the FG is 0.994.....35.9% ABV... :tank:

Wow, did that bread yeast really take it up to 35.9%? :eek:: :D
no, no it did not
 

olephart

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Something is not right there. How many lb of honey per gallon did you use? That OG sounds very high. My calculations say you would have to use about 7.9 lb of honey per gallon of must to get that OG. At 4 lb per gallon you could get close to 1.126
I followed the JAOM recipe. Who knows what the hydrometer actually read, ( still have a little trouble figuring that out sometimes, while wearing two pairs of reading glasses....). I made it while my first batch of Mr beer was fermenting, it was my second batch of anything. My notes weren't the best either, about two lines...
 

olephart

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I followed the JAOM recipe. Who knows what the hydrometer actually read, ( still have a little trouble figuring that out sometimes, while wearing two pairs of reading glasses....). I made it while my first batch of Mr beer was fermenting, it was my second batch of anything. My notes weren't the best either, about two lines...
I checked my "notes" and now I'm more confused...:confused:
"O.G. 1.268, Brix 29.5", the potential alcohol was "17%", according to my hydrometer...

0.994 isn't that far from 1.000, so what am I doing wrong with these online ABV calculators?
I'm gonna just go by what my hydrometer suggests, "17%".


I used 3 lbs of honey in a one gal. batch, I think. I'd have to run to the store and look at the bottle size.:rolleyes:
 

fuzzy2133

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I checked my "notes" and now I'm more confused...:confused:
"O.G. 1.268, Brix 29.5", the potential alcohol was "17%", according to my hydrometer...

0.994 isn't that far from 1.000, so what am I doing wrong with these online ABV calculators?
I'm gonna just go by what my hydrometer suggests, "17%".


I used 3 lbs of honey in a one gal. batch, I think. I'd have to run to the store and look at the bottle size.:rolleyes:
I am wondering if the honey was not fully dissolved and your sample was thick with honey.
 

rlmiller10

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I checked my "notes" and now I'm more confused...:confused:
"O.G. 1.268, Brix 29.5", the potential alcohol was "17%", according to my hydrometer...

0.994 isn't that far from 1.000, so what am I doing wrong with these online ABV calculators?
I'm gonna just go by what my hydrometer suggests, "17%".


I used 3 lbs of honey in a one gal. batch, I think. I'd have to run to the store and look at the bottle size.:rolleyes:
What fuzzy said.

3 lb per gallon would give about 1.102 for an OG. If you have a final of .994 that would make an alcohol of 14.4% abv Honey can vary though so that is probably the high side.

Can bread yeast do it? Yes it can. Not necessarily consistent as I have had JAOM finish anywhere from 1.018 to .996 with all else as constant as I could keep it.
 

olephart

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I followed the JAOM recipe. Who knows what the hydrometer actually read, ( still have a little trouble figuring that out sometimes, while wearing two pairs of reading glasses....). I made it while my first batch of Mr beer was fermenting, it was my second batch of anything. My notes weren't the best either, about two lines...
What fuzzy said.

3 lb per gallon would give about 1.102 for an OG. If you have a final of .994 that would make an alcohol of 14.4% abv Honey can vary though so that is probably the high side.

Can bread yeast do it? Yes it can. Not necessarily consistent as I have had JAOM finish anywhere from 1.018 to .996 with all else as constant as I could keep it.
Aha! I've finally figured this out. :ban:

When I purchased a composition notebook to keep track of my brewing, I had to copy over my data for the three things I had brewed/made, (Mr Beer Classic American Light, Mr Beer Mexican Cerveza, and of course JAOM).

It turns out that when I copied the information over for the JOAM I miswrote the OG as 1.268.... It should have been 1.1268. :smack:

This puts the ABV at 17.4%.:rockin: :D
 

CreamyGoodness

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Here is a short list of my favorite things about JAOM:

1) I dont spend all that much money making a batch.
2) I need very little specialized equiptment to make it
3) I dont have to stress out too much about fermentation temperatures
4) I dont have to check OG or FG (I know that it will indeed get me drunk)

I like that everyone takes it so seriously, but I love that I dont have to :)
 

TokyoTerror

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I'm giving this a go. This is my first mead. I've done 4 batches of home brew beer with less than stellar results. Always tasted meaty!? Hope this turns out better. I used 2 peeled "cuties" and their zest. Hand full of large golden raisins, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 clove, 2 whole allspice, and a 3 lb tub of raw, unfiltered desert bloom honey. I had some old champagne yeast that I threw in. It's bubbling away. Fingers crossed. I'll let you know how it is in two months!

20160712_141050.jpg
 

DeadNutsBrewing

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The meaty taste in the beer usually comes from autolysis. Try getting your beer off of the yeast cake sooner. Mead is a different story though and is pretty hard to screw up assuming you have good sanitary practices.
 

katr1n1o

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Joe's Ancient Orange is a great recipe for newbie mead makers. I was really happy with my first batch, except that orthodox Joe's is too sweet for me.

After a little experimentation, I have cut back to 3lbs of honey, and have switched from bread yeast to Lalvin EC1118. The finished product is still pretty sweet, but less so than the original. I might try a smidge of vanilla in my next batch.
 
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