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Malkore's (not so) Ancient Orange Mead

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malkore

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This is an 'updated' version of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead, updating a few things like the yeast used, and the orange flavor extraction. I've seen a few comments that JAOM was a little 'pithy' or bitter until it had aged 6-8 months.
Water used was store bought 'spring water'...sanitary, but still containing minerals and some hardness.

Process:

This is for a 2 gallon batch...easy enough to scale up or down. I started by washing an orange very thoroughly, and then zesting the exterior, stopping before I hit any white rind/pith. That got me about 2 tsp of zest.

Then I hand squeezed the rest of the juice out of the orange, and set it aside.

I used 5lbs of honey - just under 3 lbs of alfalfa and the rest was with Sam's Club clover honey.

I dissovled this in a gallon of 160F water, which caused it to drop to about 150F. I added the zest, 2 sticks of cinnamon, 2 whole cloves, and the squeezed juice, plus yeast nutrient and energizer (added per the label's instructions).

I let this steep 10 minutes, then used a water bath to cool it down.

(I used the 'light heat' method dictated by Schramm because half my honey was raw and unfiltered, so I wished to try to kill wild spores).

Added to carboy using a strainer to remove the spices, zest and pulp from the OJ, and topped off to two gallons.

This had me about 67F, and my yeast pack was swollen, so I aerated and pitched.

I expect this will take 3 weeks to ferment out. The yeast should stop around 12% ABV, leaving some residual sweetness without being cloying. If its too try or acidic, it can always be fed more mead or back-sweetened with a little splenda.

------------

Hopefully the 'better' mead yeast and the removal of orange bits will make this a little smoother and a little quicker to become drinkable. The must smelled amazing at least :)

I've made mead with bread yeast a few times, and it does work, but it always took longer to mellow out.
 

Tusch

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Have you completed a batch of your not-so-ancient? I am curious to see how this differs. After just bottling a batch of JAOM, I can say, I intend to never use bread yeast again. Man is that a bitch to not rack, it never seems to settle and is so easy to disturb.
 

Nurmey

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I'm so glad this got popped to the top. I had a couple issues with Joe's that stopped me from making it but this sound like just the thing for the empty gallon jug and honey sitting on my table.
Thanks malkore! Have you sampled yours yet?
 
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malkore

malkore

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I have tasted it once so far, when I took a hydro sample about 1 week ago. Its getting close to being done.

Its still a sweeter mead, bordering a dessert mead...but that means it takes less time to age. It was very mellow but still a bit sweet.

I agree that bread yeast is not very flocculent nor does it hold a firm yeast cake. My past experience with the wyeast sweet mead yeast have been favorable.

I'll post a photo and an updated gravity soon.

Thanks for the PM, I should subscribe to my own thread :)
 

verbal

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Hey Malkore, How did it come out? Was it still sweet, I really want to try my turn at a mead. Thanks for any input.
 
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malkore

malkore

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Racked to secondary two days ago. This is definitely a sweet mead. Wyeast sweet mead yeast craps out at 13% ABV, very similar to bread yeast attenuation levels.

it should not need to age more than a month or two, but would be pretty drinkable out of secondary.
 
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dqeuvtcxotaa

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malkore said:
Racked to secondary two days ago. This is definitely a sweet mead. Wyeast sweet mead yeast craps out at 13% ABV, very similar to bread yeast attenuation levels.

it should not need to age more than a month or two, but would be pretty drinkable out of secondary.
got any updates for us???

i know this is stupid, but what does it mean to zest an orange? to scrape the outer orange part off into shreds?
 

Tusch

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Zesting an orange is kind of like peeling. But in a traditional way, a zester peels very thin shallow strips out of the fruit's skin. You must be careful not to dig too deep as to start peeling the white of the orange, it will provide no orange flavor but only off-flavors.
 
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malkore

malkore

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any place like Linens and Things, Bed Bath and Beyond...Pier 1...etc...will have a few zesters in their kitchen utensil isle. its like a REALLY sharp, very fine cheese grater looking thing, usually pretty narrow. careful using it, you can zest your fingerprints right off!

as far as updates, I'll be racking it this weekend, heck maybe tonite when i bottle my apfelwein.

i tend to make mead, and forget it...otherwise i lose my patience...which mead NEEDS :)
 

Beerthoven

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I have all my ingredients together to make this mead; it will be my first one.

Looking forward to it! :)
 

Big "A"

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malkore said:
any place like Linens and Things, Bed Bath and Beyond...Pier 1...etc...will have a few zesters in their kitchen utensil isle. its like a REALLY sharp, very fine cheese grater looking thing, usually pretty narrow. careful using it, you can zest your fingerprints right off!

as far as updates, I'll be racking it this weekend, heck maybe tonite when i bottle my apfelwein.

i tend to make mead, and forget it...otherwise i lose my patience...which mead NEEDS :)
Awesome give us an update. I will be checking mine on Tuesday as that is week three. I guess I should be going to secondary then right?
 
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malkore

malkore

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Going to secondary just depends. It might be ready in 3 weeks...might take 5. Trust the hydrometer, and your tongue. If its way too sweet, its still got sugar to ferment, and racking will just stall or halt fermentation, especially if you're past 50%. that much alcohol, and removing that much healthy yeast....not good.

bottling the apfelwein took longer than I planned (had to clean and delabel some bottles). I'll probably mess with MAOM on Saturday.
 
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dqeuvtcxotaa

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malkore said:
Going to secondary just depends. It might be ready in 3 weeks...might take 5. Trust the hydrometer, and your tongue. If its way too sweet, its still got sugar to ferment, and racking will just stall or halt fermentation, especially if you're past 50%. that much alcohol, and removing that much healthy yeast....not good.

bottling the apfelwein took longer than I planned (had to clean and delabel some bottles). I'll probably mess with MAOM on Saturday.
please update... i like JAOM, but i dislike having to use bread yeast.
 
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dqeuvtcxotaa

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malkore said:
Going to secondary just depends. It might be ready in 3 weeks...might take 5. Trust the hydrometer, and your tongue. If its way too sweet, its still got sugar to ferment, and racking will just stall or halt fermentation, especially if you're past 50%. that much alcohol, and removing that much healthy yeast....not good.

bottling the apfelwein took longer than I planned (had to clean and delabel some bottles). I'll probably mess with MAOM on Saturday.
????
???????????????
 
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malkore

malkore

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Its bottled now. FG was 1.005
crystal clear.

already drinkable, but past experience with all meads tells me it'll improve with some aging.
 

Chaos_Being

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Sounds like a nice "quick" mead for a first try at mead...I may have to make a batch of this too :) I've had mead on my list since I started homebrewing!
 

dbBrewMonster

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Hi Malkore,

I've been threatening to make a mead for a couple years, and when I found this forum just about the first thing I did was search for mead recipes. Found yours and this Saturday I am going to make it. Made a change or two for 3 gallons instead of 2 and for local available ingredients being different, but we'll see how it goes. Going to make a coffee stout at the same time just in case I need something to cry into if I screw up the mead. haha.

Anyway, thanks for the recipe.
 
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malkore

malkore

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how does the taste compare to standard JAOMs?
Never made JAOM, but I've used bread yeast before, and it does NOT produce a superior mead.

JAOM is meant to be an easy recipe, with easy to acquire ingredients. EVERYONE has a grocery store with bread yeast. Many do NOT have a store that stocks wine or mead yeast (or any brewing yeast for that matter).

Hell the state of Nebraska only has 2 or 3 brew stores, all on the eastern region.
 

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I bottled my batch of this last night [thread=65074]after a month in primary and another month in secondary[/thread]. The batch yielded 22 12-oz bottles. I bottled straight from the secondary, leaving about an inch or so in the bottom of the carboy. My FG was 1.013, which seems high compared to Malkore's FG of 1.005. Hope I don't end up with bottle bombs! I'll have to check regularly to make sure pressure isn't building, I guess.

It looked, smelled, and tasted awesome. The color was light straw gold and crystal clear. It smelled of clove and cinnamon, but the orange was more subdued. When swirled it put off a fresh, dry, honey-wine like smell that I can't really describe but was wonderful. Taste followed the smell; it was sweet but light and not cloying.

This homemade mead was much better than the Chaucer's Mead I bought as a comparison. The Chaucer's was thick and syrupy and not very interesting. I was disappointed by the Chaucer's and thought to myself that if my mead tastes like this, then this will be the first and last batch I make. But to my delight, my mead was much better. Even SWMBO liked it, and she is disgusted by the very idea of honey.

Next I want to make a dry mead and a cyser, but those will have to wait until Fall when the house cools off enough for fermentation (sorry, but the freezer is for beer!).
 

Aleforge

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Chauncer's is the first Mead I had as well. I didn't care for it at all. I thought it had a weird slightly off aroma also! I tried some type at a fair not long ago and it was much different. Much more wine like and smelled good. I have no idea what brand it was though. In any event even Chauncer's wasnt horrid enough to turn me off to trying, so my batch is in the basement chugging along as I type.
 

Cugel

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I didn't see a 5 gallon recipe in the thread. Would this version work for 5 gallons? I wonder about the cinnamon and cloves.

5 tsp orange zest
Juice from 2.5 oranges
12.5 lbs honey
5 sticks cinnamon
5 whole cloves
Yeast nutrient and energizer
Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead

Thanks.
 

Beerthoven

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I didn't see a 5 gallon recipe in the thread. Would this version work for 5 gallons? I wonder about the cinnamon and cloves.

5 tsp orange zest
Juice from 2.5 oranges
12.5 lbs honey
5 sticks cinnamon
5 whole cloves
Yeast nutrient and energizer
Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead

Thanks.
Personally, I wouldn't use that many cloves. Those things are deceptively strong for their small size. I'd go with 3 or maybe 4. Same for the cinnamon sticks.
 

Cugel

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Personally, I wouldn't use that many cloves. Those things are deceptively strong for their small size. I'd go with 3 or maybe 4. Same for the cinnamon sticks.
Yup - that's exactly what I'm thinking too, and why I posted. For the above recipe I just multiplied the original recipe for 2 gallons by 2.5 to get to 5 gallons.

Now how to figure out hop utilization hmmmm.... :)
 

will_cbe

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Next I want to make a dry mead and a cyser, but those will have to wait until Fall when the house cools off enough for fermentation (sorry, but the freezer is for beer!).
I made about 1.5 gallons of cyser this past fall. Turned out well, once it had cleared. Before that, it was very bitter.

And with most meads, let it age.
 

bignick

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Im gonna try a 1 gallon batch of this tomorrow, I will let is age for quite a while before I try it though.
 

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Im new to mead making and I'm wondering what kind of cloves this recipe is calling for?
 

Aleforge

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Im new to mead making and I'm wondering what kind of cloves this recipe is calling for?
I didn't use any clove, but a clove is a clove. Its not like a garlic clove or something, its dried flower bud that goes by the name "clove". :tank:

:cross:
 

bignick

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I made a similar batch, i made one gallon, used 1 orange 2lbs honey 1 clove 1 cin stick and lalvin d47 yeast. It fermented out to 8% and it has no sweetness at all to it. I was thinking about racking into a secondary and add a pound of honey. any advice?
 

Aleforge

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My Maklores JAOM variation is done and bottled now. I love the aroma, but it did end up on the dry side. It tastes to me almost identical to white zinfandel but with a more interesting aroma. But I am guessing meads can traditionally fall into the dry cat anyhow.

How would you make this recipe more sweet / honey flavored?


Anyways my wife loved it, I can tolerate it. Its not bad really, I am just not much of a wine fan. But If I have to say so myself this would be one of the best wines I have had. :D
 
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malkore

malkore

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What yeast did you use?
what was the starting and ending gravity?

to me the trick to sweet or dry is initial gravity, and using a yeast that hits an alochol level that leaves you with sweetness, or pushes you to dryness. honey ferments completely so you need to kill the yeast with alcohol to keep it sweet.

or backsweeten it, but that's not how I roll :)
 

Aleforge

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The numbers are at home, but the recipe was followed spot on, outside of the lack of clove. Everyone loves it though, although I have had other meads that have had a much sweeter finish. I am guess I could just up this recipe by a 1/2lb of honey and try again, or do you think thats to much?

How does this stuff age by the way, have you tried any after a few months?

Thanks
 
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malkore

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I actually put the first bottle in the keezer the other day. maybe I'll crack it open tonite.

it could be the honey I used just had less fermentable sugar. It looked good, 100% pure unprocessed...who knows?

a 1/2 lb would sweeten it up for sure on a 1gallon batch. possibly start with 1/4 lb.
 

Passload

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I actually put the first bottle in the keezer the other day. maybe I'll crack it open tonite.

it could be the honey I used just had less fermentable sugar. It looked good, 100% pure unprocessed...who knows?

a 1/2 lb would sweeten it up for sure on a 1gallon batch. possibly start with 1/4 lb.
Updates? And some pics please.
 
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