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SenorPepe

Yikes! Joe's Ancient Orange Jet Fuel

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Soon after I got hit by the homebrew bug I started up a one gallon batch of Joe's Ancient Orange Mead (gotmead.com, Joe Mattioli). It's super simple, and the instructions say to go ahead and let it ferment in its plastic jug, which appealed to me when I had no 1 gallon jugs or airlocks. Using bread yeast which was in the house just sealed the deal. The only place I deviated was adding a whole damn packet of the bread yeast because I somehow missed it was supposed to be just 1 tsp. Well, so what? I just let it ride and forgot about it. Now it is incredibly clear and I had to draw up a sample to test and taste.

I thought I was hallucinating when I took an SG. This is supposed to end up sweet, some say even borderline cloying. I expected somewhere around 1.020-1.030. I read .996 on my hydrometer. I did not take an OG, but others doing the same recipe hit 1.13. If that's true it would be almost 17.5% ABV. I ws skeptical but after the taste test I kind of csn't disagree with that finding...this stuff is POTENT. I actually kinda dig it already, it's sort of like spiced vodka to me and it tastes pretty clean. Just HOT and alcoholic.

Think this is possible? This bread yeast is supposed to crap out at 12% or so. I didn't add nutrients although it has oranges and raisins which have some nutrients. I'm just shocked. And now this is looking like more of a New Year's mead than a Thanksgiving mead.

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Holy cow SenorPepe!

I took a quick peek at Charlie Papzian's book joy of homebrewing. He has an appendix on mead. I found only one recipe where the target FG dropped below 1 and that was using champagne yeast. Maybe the extra yeast you added allowed the them to gang up ok the sugars all at once. Kind of like over pitching on beer.

Careful with that stuff. It sounds like that stuff will suck the paint off your house and give your family a permanent orange Afro!

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Ryno344 wrote:

Holy cow SenorPepe!
Careful with that stuff. It sounds like that stuff will suck the paint off your house and give your family a permanent orange Afro!

:lol: Yeah I'm a little afraid of it now. That's good to know about Papazian..although it kinda makes it weirder. Yeah, I guess I overpitched so much that somehow it overcame its alcohol tolerance by something like 4-5%. Oh well, I just won't be able to touch it for almost a year.

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It's my understanding that a year conditioning is not uncommon.

Given the volatile nature of you mead, I recommend you divide it up and separate it to reduce the risk of fire/explosion/spontaneous combustion. For the public good and out of concern for your safety, I would be happy to condition some at my house! :chug:

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SenorPepe wrote:

Ryno344 wrote:

Holy cow SenorPepe!
Careful with that stuff. It sounds like that stuff will suck the paint off your house and give your family a permanent orange Afro!

:lol: Yeah I'm a little afraid of it now. That's good to know about Papazian..although it kinda makes it weirder. Yeah, I guess I overpitched so much that somehow it overcame its alcohol tolerance by something like 4-5%. Oh well, I just won't be able to touch it for almost a year.

Will it be ok in plastic for that long? I bet it melts through...

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Ryno344 wrote:

It's my understanding that a year conditioning is not uncommon.

Given the volatile nature of you mead, I recommend you divide it up and separate it to reduce the risk of fire/explosion/spontaneous combustion. For the public good and out of concern for your safety, I would be happy to condition some at my house! :chug:

lol I'll have to consider that. And yeah, most meads take at least a year until theyre good, but sweet, dessert meads are usually drinkable much earlier. This was supposed to be there but since it is now dry and probably flammable, I'll have to treat it like a dry mead.

Smoke, I racked out of the plastic after about 6 weeks into a glass jug with airlock. But I mean the original recipe has you put it into plastic and just not touch it for 2 months and then bottle, so I guess it works.

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I will have to try this when i move to my new location. thanks, sounds like a fun experiment.

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Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Especially since you need zero supplies from the LHBS. You might consider zesting and juicing the fruit (to avoid the pithiness that makes it hard to drink early), and perhaps using a different yeast, but it's supposed to come out good as is (although I wouldn't know since I now have an entirely different beast on my hands)

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SenorPepe wrote:

Ryno344 wrote:

It's my understanding that a year conditioning is not uncommon.

Given the volatile nature of you mead, I recommend you divide it up and separate it to reduce the risk of fire/explosion/spontaneous combustion. For the public good and out of concern for your safety, I would be happy to condition some at my house! :chug:

lol I'll have to consider that. And yeah, most meads take at least a year until theyre good, but sweet, dessert meads are usually drinkable much earlier. This was supposed to be there but since it is now dry and probably flammable, I'll have to treat it like a dry mead.

Smoke, I racked out of the plastic after about 6 weeks into a glass jug with airlock. But I mean the original recipe has you put it into plastic and just not touch it for 2 months and then bottle, so I guess it works.

Yeah, I'm gonna try it. I need something with a kick & bite every now and then - but I don't really care for liquor. This sounds good - Thanx for the post!

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Usually anything brewed near of below 1.000 is contaminated with some type of bacteria. Were there any signs of infection? If it still tastes okay then it's probably okay to drink. There could be a chance, I suppose, that your bakers yeast was really champaign yeast.

I could see how raisins could harbor lots of bacteria, regardless if you did a quick rinse to sanitize or not.

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?? I've had 4 or 5 wines now that I fermented down below 1 which taste excellent. Those of course were on purpose, with wine yeast. Why do you say anything near or below 1.000 is probably contaminated? But anyway no it's definitely not infected, unless it's a sweet kind of infection that makes my mead tasty (I actually don't know what I'd be tasting if it were infected but I think I would know it when I tasted it). I really like the way it tastes, and its very clean with just a bready smell and slight taste from the baker's (champagne?) yeast. Your theory's better than what I got.

Oh, and yeah, I thought it was really weird that you just chuck the raisins in there but so far so good.

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I'm guessing you had a bacteria infection from the raisins. Bacteria infections are not always bad. In fact, the lambic style depends on bacteria infection. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki?search=lambic

Wait a year, I bet it is a fine mead... in fact I have a kings nectar that is a year old and I need to put it in the fridge.

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Why do you say that? The dryness? Lots of wines, meads, etc. ferment to dry (down to .990). As I said, it is possible I have an infection, and I know about Brett and lambics, but this is nothing like those. Not sour, funky, fruity or anything. Just clean, slightly bready and tons of alcohol. Tryin to feel out where you're coming from. Do you know of infections happening that result in a clean taste and good performance without any hint of funkiness or something being off?

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I found almost that same recipe on another site. Got a batch brewing right now. Glad to hear it's working well for you. Hope mine turns out as good.

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Here's to hoping yours turns out better! (i.e. the way it was intended to--mine should still be excellent in a year or two)

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Just finished brewing mine up. Going in the cabinet in the morning - I want to make sure it's frementing first. Now the loooong wait begins. Thanx for the link SenorPepe! IMG00276_20110507_1234.jpg

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Here'a picture of mine at somewhere around 2 months. Clear as day with a huge trub layer I need to rack off of soon. JAOMresized.jpg

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SenorPepe wrote:

Here'a picture of mine at somewhere around 2 months. Clear as day with a huge trub layer I need to rack off of soon. JAOMresized.jpg


Wow, mine has been in for 1 month and three weeks and it is still cloudy. But it was kind of cool in my house for a while so that slowed it down (I know it affected my beers). Guess I'll have to wait even longer. :(

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Wow, looks great SenorPepe!

Not familiar with mead so forgive my asking but...

Is this bottled 'still' like wine, or do you prime it, or perhaps there's so much honey and fruit and yeast that it carbs on it's own?

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BigPapaG wrote:

Wow, looks great SenorPepe!

Not familiar with mead so forgive my asking but...

Is this bottled 'still' like wine, or do you prime it, or perhaps there's so much honey and fruit and yeast that it carbs on it's own?

Forgiven :lol: No seriously, I am not familiar with mead either, but what I gather is this: First of all, I believe most mead is served still, although it's a matter of taste and style I guess. This stuff, using bread yeast and aging for so many months, I'm not sure it would carbonate if you primed it. It might work (seeing as how my yeast went well past the stated ABV tolerance) but you'd likely wanna throw a little fresh yeast in as well. As for the threads on HBT and gotmead, most people seem to bottle it still so that's what I'm going with for now.

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Update on my adventures in mead: I have my cyser and Joe's Ancient Orange, both clear as bells and ready to bottle. So I went out to the store and got Potassium Sorbate. Of course the LHBS forgot to mention and I forgot to remember that I also need sulfite (campden tablets), so I have to go back and do that. I'll then add those two and add a syrup of honey and water to reach approximately 1.010. Then, wait and make sure there is no renewed fermentation, use some 2 step finings, and bottle those suckers up. I think I'm going to get a 24 case of Coronitas so that I can bottle in 7 oz bottles. meadsresized1.jpg

That's the cyser on the left and the Joe's Ancient Orange on the right. Both are about 4 months old and both are between 17.5-18% ABV. I'm shooting for enjoyable drinking this Christmas but I'd bet these won't be peak until maybe next Christmas or later.

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Bottled mine up last weekend after two months fermenting. The trub got stirred up some how during bottling, not a problem. I put mine in 6.5 ounce Coke bottles - perfect size. Drank one the following day after 24 hours in the fridge. Made me take a good nap! Taste great. Will start another batch soon. Thanks again for the recipe Senor Pepe! IMG00467_20110709_0802.jpg

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Those look awesome, Smoke. Congrats! Did it turn out the way it was supposed to? As in sweet, orangey and relatively good to drink early? I'm thinking about doing another (Not so) Ancient Mead, with an appropriate yeast and trying to avoid some of the pith.

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I used the exact recipe you supplied via the website except for the yeast - I used the MB fromunder. I was expecting a more of a strong "alcohol" taste to just to be honest with you after just two months. Well, let me tell you - that was some very tasty stuff (orangy and I think I can even taste the raisins). My GF said it almost tasted like a Long Island Ice Tea and I can see where she is getting that. If this will taste better with more time, I'm gonna make this on an ongoing basis. Otherwise I'm gonna make this quite often anyways!

The trub seemed to be very loose. Every time I opened the spigot to fill a bottle it would stir the bottom up - never really does that when I bottle any other MB recipe. I did rack it from my original 1 gallon jug to my Slimeline for bottling and cold crashed for two days.

I did'nt have a hydrometer when I first made this so no ABV on this batch. I will keep track on future batches now.

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Cool. It sounds like it came out just as intended for you. By the way, if you think the MB yeast produces sandy lees, just wait for the Fleischmann's bread yeast (or skip it altogether and never get the pleasure of stirring up sediment just by looking at it funny).

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Cyser is pretty much just a mead with apple juice instead of water. It was 1 gallon store-bought apple juice (just AJ and Vitamin C), 2.5 pounds of supermarket honey, 1 tsp nutrient (not positive this is needed because of the apple juice, but it can't hurt). After it ferments and clears, you rack it over to another jug onto 2 cinnamon sticks and 3 whole cloves. A couple weeks later I racked it again, off the spices and now it's just sitting and clearing. Then I'll stabilize it and backsweeten it with more honey. Hoping it will be a nice fall/winter drink, maybe part of a nice hot toddy.

EDIT: By the way if you don't have an autosiphon or whatever this could be done all in one jug.

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No sir. Think I transcribed the recipe right as is. I haven't been impressed with the flavor brown sugar leaves. Although if you do it seems like it might blend well.

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I've been interested in Meads for a while now so I picked up the supplies to put this together, now I have to wait for a day off to do it. Thanks for sharing Senor Pepe

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Both of these batches are exactly 150 days old today! What a milestone for the little guys. I'll be bottling them up today. Decided not to stabilize and backsweeten because I didn't realize it would recreate a haze that would need weeks to drop out again. Had I known I would not have used such aggressive (or any) finings beforehand, and saved them for now. In any case now that they've been bulk aging for 5 months, dry isn't as bad. Since I have to move soon I figured I'll just bottle 'em up dry and give them some time.

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Keep the updates coming. Can't wait to hear how this comes out.

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Glad to see there's interest! Unfortunately I did not get to bottling this tonight. A few things, especially Trollby's thread, made me decide I don't want just ~10 12 oz bottles. It just doesn't make sense especially if it's dry. So I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and go to the LHBS (hopefully it's the same one Trollby was referencing) and buy the champagne splits...even though it's gonna hurt me to pay the same amount for a case of empty bottles as I would have for a case full of Coronas...worth it so I can age my mead correctly.

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If you've got a larger liquor store near by you might see if they have pacificos in 7 oz. Alternatively, I think ive seen some smaller coke glass bottles. Don't hold me to that though...

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Yeah I've seen 8 oz cokes but I would drink those even slower than Coronas. No mini pacificos at my liquor store, I think I've gone over every square inch looking for em. Small squat bottles yes but they're all 12ers somehow.

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How did this turn out?

Where would I find step by step instructions for a good Mead? This has peaked my interest!!

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I whipped up a one Gal mead last night
Been thinking about it for a while
Since I dont have anything to make beer with right now ...
(funds just too tight till I can get back to work or something)
I had everything I needed for this already here EXCEPT the yeast (Lalvin71b)
And raisins.
Frementing in a 1 gallon jug with airlock.
Was EXTREMELY active in about 30 min or so last night and still percolating this morning
Gonna let it settle down a little then set jusg in a 3 gallon bucket and stick it in a closet

Looks great
Beautiful Dark amber color right now

3# honey
35 or so raisins
2 oranges
2 quarts apple juice
Lalvin 71b
Topped off with water (bout a quart and 1/2)
Started with OG 1.12

Gonna do a blackberry one in a few days.
Already have blackberries in freezer and canned
Not sure yet which I will use
Will have to break down and buy more honey

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jet fuel is right whoooaaaaaaa :woohoo:

mine is still cooking away. did a test sample yesterday and it came out to 1.005 @ 10.6% and its not done yet, stilling bubbling. :banana:

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I will start with a simple honey and oranges and something else. Will need to buy a couple gallon jugs and a blowoff device.
I have a large supply of blackberries frozen from last June. Since June is rapidly approaching this might be a great use for them (if frozen berries work ok).

I like this as a long term project while I'm brewing beer weekly.

Is the end result a wine type flavor or is it stronger kick and a very light moonshine?

Anyone do this in the Mr. Beer LBK?

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Whoa! someones been looking at old posts. No, seriously, this does sound good and I may have to give it a shot. I'd also be interested if anyone has done this in a LBK.

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Are the raisins for flavor? Dbrowning, are you then substituting the blackberries for the raisins in that batch you mentioned?

In the original recipe link, it said it's done in a couple of months, meaning primary fermentation, or is it then ready to bottle and drink (since it's served non-carbonated)?

I'm interested in this creation. My wife and I do the Renaissance Festival thing, and this would be a cool thing to bring for my friends, as it's sort of "period correct" if you will.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

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Honey lacks some of the nutrients that yeast like to do their jobs. Adding raisins provides the nutrients allowing the yeast to work faster.

When you do show meads which contain only honey, water, and yeast the fermentation times are usually longer than they would be with added nutrients.

And frozen blackberries should work. A lot of people prefer to freeze fruit to help break down the cell walls in order to get more juice out.

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"richtazz" post=352109 said:

Are the raisins for flavor? Dbrowning, are you then substituting the blackberries for the raisins in that batch you mentioned?

In the original recipe link, it said it's done in a couple of months, meaning primary fermentation, or is it then ready to bottle and drink (since it's served non-carbonated)?

I'm interested in this creation. My wife and I do the Renaissance Festival thing, and this would be a cool thing to bring for my friends, as it's sort of "period correct" if you will.

Thanks in advance for your responses.


Ill replace the oranges with blackberries, and still add a handful of raisins
I intend to rack tto second bottle after one month
Leave there at least a month, maybe tasste then and go from there
Its an experiment

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I think Im gonna like this ....
Reracked to 2nd jug last night
I removed fruit and topped off with about a cup of in in a cup of apple juice.
OG was 1.120
Down to 1.04 about 10%
TASTES REALLY GOOD .....

Its still fermenting, bubbling this morning
Gonna let it go the rest of the week and check gravity again
Hoping to get between 12 - 14.5% ABV

Probably gonna start a 3 gallon this evening or tomorrow
If this is as good as I think its gonna be it wont last long
Gotta get some more going

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Is this a straight up recipe batch, or the blackberry batch? Just curious. I'm most likely going to start a batch (or 2) myself, one with the oranges and one with blackberries or raspberries.

SWMBO likes the sound of this one, and thinks the Renaissance Festival angle is a good idea to share with our friends.

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"richtazz" post=355490 said:

Is this a straight up recipe batch, or the blackberry batch? Just curious. I'm most likely going to start a batch (or 2) myself, one with the oranges and one with blackberries or raspberries.

SWMBO likes the sound of this one, and thinks the Renaissance Festival angle is a good idea to share with our friends.

No Im hoping to do the blackberry tonight or tomorrow
Probably 3 gal

This is Honey/orange
IT REALLY smells good

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