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My first mead question - JAOM

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pksmitty

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Made my first batch of JAOM on 10/23/14, following the recipe for one gallon found on this site.
I used about half a packet of Fleischmans Rapid Rise yeast. It's been sitting in my basement at 55 - 60 degrees. Just took a hydrometer reading, 1.032.
Seems high for this long, since the recipe says it will be ready in approx 2 months. It's started clearing, but still has a ways to go.

Should I add more yeast, try to raise the temp a little bit, just be more patient until it clears completely?

Thanks for your help!
 

bmwr75

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I started my first JAOM batch on October 8. It has been clear for a month or more now. My room is pretty much at a constant 68-70 degrees. So, yes raising the temperature might help.
 

fatbloke

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Ok, so what would be the point of more yeast ?

It's not a mechanical device that wears out.......

So, 1.032 ? Under "normal" circumstances (if there is such a thing in mead making - hint ? There's not really) you'd have used a wine yeast. Now the better ones will have a published tolerance i.e. a maximum %ABV that's it's likely to attain (again, under normal winemaking circumstances).

You can convert the total drop in gravity numbers directly a %ABV.

But, you've been sensible and chosen the JAO recipe, which while producing a reasonable flavoured mead, is a little unorthodox in its method.

Honey and water ? Yup, standard. Fruit and spice for flavour ? Yup, quite frequently seen. Raisins which add some body/mouth feel, yup......

Yeast ? Yup, quite normal, but......... Bread yeast ?

Basically, yeast is yeast. Though the different wine and beer yeasts (yes, you can use beer yeasts too) have been selected/isolated for specific flavour/alcohol producing properties. Bread yeast produces a lower alcohol but more CO2 (to prove the bread etc).

So the honey/water elements are fine, whole Orange is a little strange because normally the white pith will impart a bitter flavour, but that is in turn, balanced by the fact that the bread yeast will die off a little earlier, leaving enough residual sugars to balance the pithy bitterness.

Joe makes makes the point about not over doing the spices (specifically the cloves), because it's very easy to use to much and end up with an over powering taste that renders a batch undrinkable.

He doesn't mention anything about gravity readings etc as this recipe is aimed at newer makers who want to have a try, but might not have all the kit yet.

So by following the recipe/method as closely as possible, you end up with a reasonably nice tasting fruit/spice mead which is
very easily repeated.

So don't worry to much about the seemingly high gravity (if you measured that before pitching the yeast, you'd have got something like 1.120 and 1.135 - it depends on the sugar level of the honey). You would be able to find that you have between about 10 and 12% ABV.

Just let it finish clearing, then move the fermenter to where you will conduct the racking/bottling a couple of days before (this is because bread yeast will come back into suspension if it thinks you've given it a funny look - hazing up a cleared mead), then rack it very carefully, so as not to disturb any sediment (don't be greedy. 1 US gallon should do about 5 bottles in an ideal world, but if you get 3 clear ones and a half to a bottle of slightly cloudy, that's good/about.right.

The cloudy one can be put in the fridge for a day or so and the sediment will settle back out........
 

Pitman

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I have not made joam in quite a while, but I seem to remember suggestions against using rapid rise yeast. The recipe calls for standard baking yeast if I remember correctly. This might be your issue. Just a thought
 
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