Joe's Ancient Orange Mead

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Dan O

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I dunno, I make an orange t'ej with zest and gesho (and orange blossom honey) that is very drinkable in a couple of months. Not sure that I need to make a JAOM to enjoy an orange flavored honey wine. :mug:
@bernardsmith , would you be willing to share your Tej' recipe & process, please?
(Or is it in the recipe board already? )
I have made @loveofrose's perfect Tej' BOMM & I love it, but, I want to try different versions of it. One with orange zest sounds VERY appealing to me. Thank you, in advance, if you do share it.
 

bernardsmith

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Sure. Always happy to share recipes. This one I found in an Ethiopian cook book. I apologize but I cannot recall the name of the author or the title of the book, though I think it may have been by Daniel Mesfin and the book was called Exotic Ethiopian Cooking . But the recipe was called Yebirtukan T'ej (orange t'ej).

Here is the published recipe: I tweaked this

1.5 C of gesho (can be twigs or leaves (enchet, or kitel respectively) and the recipe was for the leaves. I would use 2 oz of the enchet you could use perhaps 4 oz.
2 lbs of honey
to make 1 US gallon of mead.

Mix honey and water. Let stand 3 days in warm room (the assumption is that the indigenous yeast in the honey and /or gesho will do the work)
Take 6 C and boil this for 15 mins. Allow to cool
Add the gesho
Let stand 5 days .
Remove Gesho
Add zest of 7 oranges.
Let stand 15 -20 days
Remove zest

My approach was
1. To use orange blossom honey;
2. To pitch wine yeast (71B is one I like).
3. Not to boil the honey.
4. To use 4 oz of enchet (twigs) and allow the enchet to sit in the mead 2 weeks then rack off and then
5. To add orange zest for three weeks.
6. When fully fermented, to then stabilize and back sweeten with honey. (looking for enough sweetness to nicely balance the bitterness from the gesho and the citrus flavors from the oranges.

The thing about t'ej is that traditionally, it is always drunk "green" - It's never aged, and it tends to be sweet as the mead maker does not aim for a fully fermented mead not least using only indigenous yeast and bacteria that are in the honey and on the gesho.
 
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cmac62

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Sorry, I only read the first 5 pages and then the last 5, and I know it is not really a JOAM if you deviate from the original recipe, but as said probably 10,000 times in this thread alone experimentation is part of the brewing process for me. :bigmug:
 

Dan O

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Sure. Always happy to share recipes. This one I found in an Ethiopian cook book. I apologize but I cannot recall the name of the author or the title of the book, though I think it may have been by Daniel Mesfin and the book was called Exotic Ethiopian Cooking . But the recipe was called Yebirtukan T'ej (orange t'ej).

Here is the published recipe: I tweaked this

1.5 C of gesho (can be twigs or leaves (enchet, or kitel respectively) and the recipe was for the leaves. I would use 2 oz of the enchet you could use perhaps 4 oz.
2 lbs of honey
to make 1 US gallon of mead.

Mix honey and water. Let stand 3 days in warm room (the assumption is that the indigenous yeast in the honey and /or gesho will do the work)
Take 6 C and boil this for 15 mins. Allow to cool
Add the gesho
Let stand 5 days .
Remove Gesho
Add zest of 7 oranges.
Let stand 15 -20 days
Remove zest

My approach was
1. To use orange blossom honey;
2. To pitch wine yeast (71B is one I like).
3. Not to boil the honey.
4. To use 4 oz of enchet (twigs) and allow the enchet to sit in the mead 2 weeks then rack off and then
5. To add orange zest for three weeks.
6. When fully fermented, to then stabilize and back sweeten with honey. (looking for enough sweetness to nicely balance the bitterness from the gesho and the citrus flavors from the oranges.

The thing about t'ej is that traditionally, it is always drunk "green" - It's never aged, and it tends to be sweet as the mead maker does not aim for a fully fermented mead not least using only indigenous yeast and bacteria that are in the honey and on the gesho.
Thank you, @bernardsmith . As always, I appreciate your input & knowledge. 👍😎
 

ArizonaGoalie

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Made this back in January - 2 batches. One using the traditional Joe's way, bread yeast. The other, I used same formula, but added a pound of frozen blueberries and sweet mead yeast from White Labs.

Pictures forthcoming, but the results after 5 months of aging (transferred both to a secondary after 2 months):

Orange mead with bread yeast - good and getting better. I give it a solid C+.
Blueberry mead with sweet mead yeast - FANTASTIC....A++.

I'm making a 3 gallon batch of the blueberry/sweet mead yeast version this weekend so it will be prime time for the holidays. This time doing 4lbs of frozen blueberries. :rock:
 

MostlyMetal

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Made this back in January - 2 batches. One using the traditional Joe's way, bread yeast. The other, I used same formula, but added a pound of frozen blueberries and sweet mead yeast from White Labs.

Pictures forthcoming, but the results after 5 months of aging (transferred both to a secondary after 2 months):

Orange mead with bread yeast - good and getting better. I give it a solid C+.
Blueberry mead with sweet mead yeast - FANTASTIC....A++.

I'm making a 3 gallon batch of the blueberry/sweet mead yeast version this weekend so it will be prime time for the holidays. This time doing 4lbs of frozen blueberries. :rock:
This sounds delicious! I'm going to add blueberries the next time I do this along with sweet mead yeast!
 

ArizonaGoalie

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My wife and son discovered the blueberry mead this weekend, and it's gone now. It's a real winner.

The sweat mead yeast from White Labs is da bomb diggity. Puts the bread yeast to shame. Here's a pic in a grolsch-style flip top 25oz bottle. So good.

mead.jpg
 

Hankhill11

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Just checking in here. I haven't been on in a few years. My last batch of JOAM was made on 6/10/2018 and is very smooth and mellow at this point. We cracked a bottle when my Fiancée and I got a new house, and I'm going to have some tonight just because. So a note for everyone, it keeps for years!
 

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I have a batch that I made this past Nov 2020, it has been doing it's thing for 9 Months and now it is time to get ready to bottle. I have some crown caps with a cork inner-liner that someone gave me and was thinking this might be the perfect time to use them, any thoughts from the community? Have any of you folks used them? They should be able to breathe a little?!? I have some Mead that I made from 2007 and 2015 and I just used crown caps but I do not think the flavor has matured very much, it basically taste the same as the day I bottled it.
I'd also like to spike the mead with either cherry juice or pear, to make it sparkle any suggestions on how much to add at bottling time?
 

Carrollyn

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I have made JAOM several times in the past, but I think this time my yeast was old and weak. It worked, but now that it’s done and clear, it’s sweeter than it should be. I’d like to add a pinch of something else to fix that. I’ve got some various mead yeasts in the fridge (I don’t really want to go out and buy one), and also an assortment of beer yeasts. I’ve also got some bread yeast, but at this point, I don’t know how helpful that would be. Is there anything I should know about doing this? I still want some sweetness, but not like this.
 

Dan O

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I have made JAOM several times in the past, but I think this time my yeast was old and weak. It worked, but now that it’s done and clear, it’s sweeter than it should be. I’d like to add a pinch of something else to fix that. I’ve got some various mead yeasts in the fridge (I don’t really want to go out and buy one), and also an assortment of beer yeasts. I’ve also got some bread yeast, but at this point, I don’t know how helpful that would be. Is there anything I should know about doing this? I still want some sweetness, but not like this.
Myself, I would make another batch to go dry (less honey), but, made by the recipe otherwise, & blend the 2 to your likeness.

I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
 

Carrollyn

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Myself, I would make another batch to go dry (less honey), but, made by the recipe otherwise, & blend the 2 to your likeness.

I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
That sounds like a plan with the most chance of success. I wonder how much honey I should short myself? Maybe even use a mead yeast (If I have one in my fridge) to really dry it out.
 

Dan O

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That sounds like a plan with the most chance of success. I wonder how much honey I should short myself? Maybe even use a mead yeast (If I have one in my fridge) to really dry it out.
Have you taken a gravity reading? That may help figure out how much honey to use
 

Carrollyn

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Have you taken a gravity reading? That may help figure out how much honey to use
I haven’t. I should probably do that. Such a small amount, I didn’t want to remove a sample. Im really more of a beer maker, so I’ll have to figure out how to interpret the reading.
 

amber-ale

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or add a sour juice and allow it to age a bit more. tasting and supplementing as you go until you get the right flavour...
what flavor is the original batch?
 

Dan O

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I haven’t. I should probably do that. Such a small amount, I didn’t want to remove a sample. Im really more of a beer maker, so I’ll have to figure out how to interpret the reading.
Honey will give you approximately .035 points per pound/per gallon. So, if you do a 1 gallon batch, & assuming the water that your using has a gravity reading of 1.000, 1 pound of honey in your carboy & water to the neck should be 1.035, +/- a couple of points.

I always pour my reading samples back in. As long as your sanitizing habits are sound and you made sure it was washed BEFORE you sanitized it, there's no reason you can't pour it back in. Why waste it?

Also, if you make this new batch with less honey, be aware, once you blend them, make sure you put them both back under airlock, because one of your 2 batches will certainly have not reached tolerance & both will likely restart fermentation.

I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
 
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Carrollyn

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or add a sour juice and allow it to age a bit more. tasting and supplementing as you go until you get the right flavour...
what flavor is the original batch?
I used the straight-up recipe, so it is spiced.
 

Murph4231

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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!
RESPECT the mead. If you consume mead as you do beer you will have the worst hang over ever. Meads are so tasty you just want to drink them down. Do so very cautiously but by all means enjoy your new found libation.
 

Murph4231

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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.
It's mead Dude. Relax have a homebrew and give it some time. Mead can taste pretty bad for several months and low and behold it starts getting better, and better and better. Like wine mead gets better with age. I made a few batches that I thought I would have to pour out but I left them to age and everytime they ended up being good drinkable meads. I have 3 in cold crash now that are 7 months old. For the first six, yes six months my wife labeled them NFT. Not effing tasty. But now they all three are very good. They were made for Xmas and New Years.
 

Carrollyn

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Myself, I would make another batch to go dry (less honey), but, made by the recipe otherwise, & blend the 2 to your likeness.

I hope this helps you.
Happy meading 😎
Here’s what I’m up to. I decided to come up with the easiest plan. Apples go with JAOM spices. I’ve made hard cider before, so I’m fermenting out a gallon of apple juice. Instead of back sweetening to taste, I’ll blend the two. Kill the yeast in the cider first, so it doesn’t take off again. Then I’ll bottle/cork it still.
 

jdp

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So I got a batch of this going late April (on the 26th). I finally pulled it out of the closet to cold crash it this morning. I snuck a taste about two minutes ago and this is good! This batch was only the size of a growler, but I’m going to get 5 gallons going, and soon! Glad I found it, and thanks for posting it yoop!

Edit to add- I made this per the recipe, no changes other than mine was a little smaller than a gallon and I scaled down appropriately. No pithy flavor, no “hot” flavor, I’m genuinely impressed. This is good stuff!
 
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jdp

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Actually have a question now about my batch of mead. I drank two small glasses of it last weekend (probably a total of 4 ounces). I think it has a relatively high amount of Methyl alchohol. I didn’t drink enough to be hung over, but it sure felt like I did.

My question is, what if I put it in a pot on the stove, and held it at about 150 degrees (uncovered) to boil off the Methyl? I don’t think it would be considered distillation, because I’m not capturing or condensing the vapors. More like just driving off some unwanted mead...
has anyone tried this? Or is there a better method I am unaware of?
 

Miraculix

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Here’s what I’m up to. I decided to come up with the easiest plan. Apples go with JAOM spices. I’ve made hard cider before, so I’m fermenting out a gallon of apple juice. Instead of back sweetening to taste, I’ll blend the two. Kill the yeast in the cider first, so it doesn’t take off again. Then I’ll bottle/cork it still.
The jaom yeast is not dead, just dormant. It will wake up if diluted.
 

Carrollyn

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Here is my final resolution: I got a gallon of apple juice. Poured off 2/3 of a cup. Drilled a hole in the lid and put a grommet and airlock in the top. Shook in a half packet of mostly expired T-58 yeast. Normal room temperature in Redding California is plenty hot enough, so I just left it out on the counter to ferment itself out. When the yeast dropped out, I mixed it with the JAOM. (Confession, I had actually already bottled it in little 375 mL wine bottles. I thought that by the time I opened it, I would have a different opinion on the sweetness. But I didn’t, and pulled the corks and poured it into the mixing bucket.) i used a 50-50 mix. I think it is pretty good. The Apple is a mild background base, the spices are still present, but I actually I think they are nicer than the intensity of the previous miAre used a 50-50 mix. I think it is pretty good. The Apple is a mild background base, the spices are still present, but I actually I think they are nicer than the intensity of the previous JAOM. The sweetness is a very nice level, and I expect the alcohol content is acceptable.
 

Miraculix

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Here is my final resolution: I got a gallon of apple juice. Poured off 2/3 of a cup. Drilled a hole in the lid and put a grommet and airlock in the top. Shook in a half packet of mostly expired T-58 yeast. Normal room temperature in Redding California is plenty hot enough, so I just left it out on the counter to ferment itself out. When the yeast dropped out, I mixed it with the JAOM. (Confession, I had actually already bottled it in little 375 mL wine bottles. I thought that by the time I opened it, I would have a different opinion on the sweetness. But I didn’t, and pulled the corks and poured it into the mixing bucket.) i used a 50-50 mix. I think it is pretty good. The Apple is a mild background base, the spices are still present, but I actually I think they are nicer than the intensity of the previous miAre used a 50-50 mix. I think it is pretty good. The Apple is a mild background base, the spices are still present, but I actually I think they are nicer than the intensity of the previous JAOM. The sweetness is a very nice level, and I expect the alcohol content is acceptable.
Be careful, your jaom yeast will wake up again if sugar is present and the alcohol is diluted. Bottle bombs!
 
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