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russki

(Not so ancient) Orange Mead

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I was at Costco the other day, and grabbed a 5# jug of honey for $11 or so to make a mead. I know there was a lot of discussion about Joe's Ancient Orange Mead here, but I wanted something a bit more "modern". I found this thread on HBT - Malkore's (not so) Ancient Orange Mead, and decided to pretty much follow it with a couple minor changes:

For a 2 gallon batch, I'm planning on using 5# honey, juice and zest of 2 oranges, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 2 whole cloves. I'm thinking to use 150-160F water to dissolve honey and pasteurize the rest of the ingredients. I will add yeast nutrient and yeast energizer to the must as well. I'm using Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead yeast for this one, rather than bread yeast.

We'll see how this turns out!

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Sounds good! I have gotten away from the cloves - my taste buds don't care for them.

I have also started using orange juice/rinds in some of my meads. Trying to experiment a little. Have not tried one yet. It's been 4 weeks and it's still bubbling away. I think the OG was around 1.096

I "melt" my honey the same way you stated - works great.


Cheers!
:chug:

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Cool. I saw that thread after I made my JAOM but never actually made it. I'm interested to hear how it goes. I wouldn't heat the honey at all but if that's your thing, rock on. Let us know how you like it. It sounds good.

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Brewed this recipe today - ended up with OG of 1.095. Should be a nice semi-sweet mead. And now we wait! By the way - what's the best way to rack the mead out of the LBK? Would using the spigot stir up too much junk?

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That sounds like a LOT of honey for 2 gals, as I have used the same 5 pounds for 5 gals.

The mead wait seems awful, but my experience is that it is WELL worth it.

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redhanded wrote:

That sounds like a LOT of honey for 2 gals, as I have used the same 5 pounds for 5 gals.

The mead wait seems awful, but my experience is that it is WELL worth it.

The reason for this much honey is to exceed the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, and have some sweetness left in the mead. I think the original JAOM recipe is 3.5# honey for 1 gallon.

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Sweet Mead Yeast my a$$... Damn thing dried out to 0.998 - that's 12.5%/abv. The yeast was supposed to crap out at 10-11%, leaving some residual sweetness... oh well - I'll just have to age it a bit longer. I was also kind of disappointed that the $6 yeast didn't form a solid trub - moving the crystal clear LBK to the kitchen for bottling as carefully as I could made it cloudy again. Next time I will probably try ale yeast like S-04 that flocculates like nobody's business. On the other hand, the flavor was pretty good - definitely orange and clove with a hint of cinnamon - this will be tasty in a year!

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Russki,

How is this coming? I am planning on brewing this in the near future and wanted to ask a couple of questions. When you racked this to secondary did you move it to another LBK the cider/clear LBK? Did you use an auto siphon?

Thanks

Sam

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I brewed the exact same thing about a month later than Russki.
I personally used a glass jug, not an LBK, and I racked into another one of the same size. You can rack into any fermentation vessel you have that will fit it pretty much. I siphoned into this jug but if you have tubing that connects to your LBK spigot that should work fine too.
The only change I made was to use ale yeast so it would cap out at a lower ABV, it came out very drinkable after 2 months.

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KokomoSam wrote:

Russki,

How is this coming? I am planning on brewing this in the near future and wanted to ask a couple of questions. When you racked this to secondary did you move it to another LBK the cider/clear LBK? Did you use an auto siphon?

Thanks

Sam


I didn't even bother with a secondary - just bottled out of the LBK once it got clear and everything dropped to the bottom. In retrospect, I should have probably transferred to secondary to minimize the bottle trub. There's a dusting of yeast at the bottom of all bottles - doesn't bother me, but may some people.

I tried the trub bottle after a month - tasted like dry white wine with spices and faint honey background flavor. Spices were a bit assertive, and there was a touch of hot alcohol. I'm planning to age it for at least 6 months.

I started another mead - this one with 3 pounds of Michigan sour cherries and Orange blossom honey. It's still in the primary.

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My JAOM has a couple weeks left to go but man out of the blue it cleared pretty good, nearly see though.

I had a bunch of stuff left over so Saturday I made a pineapple/orange and a blackberry version.

8 hours later the Blackberry was about to blow, I had to take the tip off my bottle filler and make a quick DIY blowoff system lol.

IMG_2705.jpg

IMG_2708.jpg

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Can't believe it's been more than a year since I made this! I've been tasting it sparingly, and it's only now starting to come into its own. That and I realized I really don't care for cloves.

Popped a little 8oz tester bottle today - it's brilliantly clear, with a nice floral and spice aroma. Flavor is similar to a semi-dry white wine with a noticeable spice note (mostly clove with a touch of cinnamon). Quite pleasant. No alcohol burn at all. Quite tasty. I've got a sour cherry mead going on 10 months in the bottle too - gotta try that one soon.

[img size=500]http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/7650/imag0470rb.jpg

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"russki" post=330688 said:

Can't believe it's been more than a year since I made this! I've been tasting it sparingly, and it's only now starting to come into its own. That and I realized I really don't care for cloves.

Popped a little 8oz tester bottle today - it's brilliantly clear, with a nice floral and spice aroma. Flavor is similar to a semi-dry white wine with a noticeable spice note (mostly clove with a touch of cinnamon). Quite pleasant. No alcohol burn at all. Quite tasty. I've got a sour cherry mead going on 10 months in the bottle too - gotta try that one soon.

[img size=500]http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/7650/imag0470rb.jpg

That looks daleecious!! I just finished my jaom .........was pretty good after 1 1/2 years. Iwant to make more ASAP. Keep us posted on your other meads.

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"russki" post=330688 said:

Can't believe it's been more than a year since I made this! I've been tasting it sparingly, and it's only now starting to come into its own. That and I realized I really don't care for cloves.

Popped a little 8oz tester bottle today - it's brilliantly clear, with a nice floral and spice aroma. Flavor is similar to a semi-dry white wine with a noticeable spice note (mostly clove with a touch of cinnamon). Quite pleasant. No alcohol burn at all. Quite tasty. I've got a sour cherry mead going on 10 months in the bottle too - gotta try that one soon.

[img size=500]http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/7650/imag0470rb.jpg

That looks really good.

You said the flavor is similar to a dry white wine? Do you get the honey taste and aroma? I am just asking because I made a couple of batches with the bulk 5lb honey from the local grocery store and it really loses the honey flavor and aroma when you ferment it. If the Costco honey retains the honey flavor I might start bribing a member to buy me some.

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"Duff" post=330909 said:

That looks really good.

You said the flavor is similar to a dry white wine? Do you get the honey taste and aroma? I am just asking because I made a couple of batches with the bulk 5lb honey from the local grocery store and it really loses the honey flavor and aroma when you ferment it. If the Costco honey retains the honey flavor I might start bribing a member to buy me some.


No, not really any noticeable honey flavor or aroma. More floral and spicy. If someone handed me this glass, I'd say "spiced white wine". My understanding is that sweet meads retain more honey flavor - I like mine on the dry side. You can also backsweeten with honey after stabilizing if you want the flavor to come through.

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My Mead is about to hit a year here soon and it'll be time for a taste test!

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"russki" post=230255 said:

Next time I will probably try ale yeast like S-04 that flocculates like nobody's business.

Did you make a batch with S-04? How did it turn out?

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"KokomoSam" post=355644 said:

"russki" post=230255 said:

Next time I will probably try ale yeast like S-04 that flocculates like nobody's business.

Did you make a batch with S-04? How did it turn out?


Nope, never did. I have a 3-gal batch of Wildflower mead bulk aging since last summer that I did with D-47 that is coming along nicely... I'm debating adding some French oak cubes to that one.

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mine came out surprisingly dry. i guess it wasnt enough honey or the yeast was surprisingly efficient. the bad thing about the bread yeast is that it is extremely fine like silt. the slightest movement of the carboy sends up a silt-storm. also a bunch of yeast silt transferred to the bottles. i had to shove the bottle in the fridge in order to get it to settle out again.

i added some pineapple chunks to the oranges... less clove... and more raisins. the final product tastes like a dry apricot wine. not bad.

next time, more honey and using lalvin 71b or d47.

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"russki" post=355661 said:

"KokomoSam" post=355644 said:

"russki" post=230255 said:

Next time I will probably try ale yeast like S-04 that flocculates like nobody's business.

Did you make a batch with S-04? How did it turn out?


Nope, never did. I have a 3-gal batch of Wildflower mead bulk aging since last summer that I did with D-47 that is coming along nicely... I'm debating adding some French oak cubes to that one.

I finally got around to brewing this. I did an ~2 gallon batch and then split it between two 1 gallon jugs. I used Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast in one and S-04 in the other. The other changes were dropping the cloves all together and using 6 lbs of honey as opposed to 5 lbs as my wife prefers sweeter wines.

I will post an update in about 3 weeks if all goes well.

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Thanks Kokomo, me likey pron, beit beer or cider.... :woohoo:

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"JohnDubya" post=369844 said:

Thanks Kokomo, me likey pron, beit beer or cider.... :woohoo:

I am glad I am not the only one... Here is the Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast at over a day.. much less active, but still cool.

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"KokomoSam" post=369597 said:

The other changes were dropping the cloves all together


Good call. Very good call. :)

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19th day of fermentation. Sweet Mead yeast on the left and S-04 on the right.
IMG_20130525_085902_693-L.jpg

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KokomoSam: I always love pictures of aging mead. Just to be clear, all of the ingredients in those two bottles are from the same initial batch, the only difference being type of yeast used in each?

Always amazes me how a different yeast can yield such a different end product.

I have 3 1-gallon wine jars left over from recent use, and figured they were a good excuse to try a few batches of mead for the first time. I plan on doing the same thing you did: one big batch, then different yeasts for each. I have some S-04, D-47, and quite a few leftover packets from standard Mr. Beer refills.

:cheers:

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"ManimalCrackers" post=375681 said:

KokomoSam: I always love pictures of aging mead. Just to be clear, all of the ingredients in those two bottles are from the same initial batch, the only difference being type of yeast used in each?

Yep. Both jugs are the same except for the yeast. The Sweet Mead yeast had already started to drop out and the S-04 has not so that seems to be the main difference. I can still see about the same level of bubbles coming from each though.

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How can that be JOAM if we don't see any orange peels?

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"Sluggo" post=376096 said:

How can that be JOAM if we don't see any orange peels?


It's not JAOM. It's the NSAOM. It uses orange zest, not whole orange slices. You can see some floating in Sam's pictures.

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Day 37: Should I start to worry about stuck fermentation in the S-04 batch on the right? There is still a small stream of bubbles coming up the jug, but it is not clearing and there is a good bit of trub forming.
DSC_0562-L.jpg

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That's pretty weird for S-04; usually it drops like a rock in a few days. I would personally just put both of these away for at least a few months - I'd be surprised if it doesn't clear. Or you can always cold crash.

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"russki" post=379523 said:

That's pretty weird for S-04; usually it drops like a rock in a few days. I would personally just put both of these away for at least a few months - I'd be surprised if it doesn't clear. Or you can always cold crash.

The one confession I need to make as a possiblity of problems with teh S-04 is I probably pitched too much yeast. I meant to put half a packet in and put probably as much as 3/4. I was just eyeballing and and messed up. Could over pitching contribute to this? if if yes, what are the corrective actions?

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"KokomoSam" post=379542 said:


The one confession I need to make as a possiblity of problems with teh S-04 is I probably pitched too much yeast. I meant to put half a packet in and put probably as much as 3/4. I was just eyeballing and and messed up. Could over pitching contribute to this? if if yes, what are the corrective actions?


I personally wouldn't worry about it. Give it a taste test, make sure it's not infected, and then just leave it be for a loooonnngg time. I still have mead I made last summer sitting in a carboy bulk-aging.

Edit - you may want to rack it off the lees into a clean jug first. If it's still bubbling, it'll produce enough CO2 to purge the headspace.

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More mead pr0n... I was at a farmers market this weekend, and picked up some Tupelo honey; not very common in the Midwest - I actually have not seen it for sale around here before. Apparently, a local apiary trades some of their honey with one in Florida, or so they tell me.

Anyway - today I mixed up a quick no-boil 1 gallon batch:

3.25 pounds of raw Tupelo Honey
1.5 tsp yeast nutrient
RO water to 1 gallon

5g pack of Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast, rehydrated

OG: 1.125

[img size=500]http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/7902/2wo4.jpg

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"russki" post=381746 said:

More mead pr0n... I was at a farmers market this weekend, and picked up some Tupelo honey; not very common in the Midwest - I actually have not seen it for sale around here before. Apparently, a local apiary trades some of their honey with one in Florida, or so they tell me.

Anyway - today I mixed up a quick no-boil 1 gallon batch:

3.25 pounds of raw Tupelo Honey
1.5 tsp yeast nutrient
RO water to 1 gallon

5g pack of Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast, rehydrated

OG: 1.125

[img size=500]http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/7902/2wo4.jpg

is that tape holding on the stopper?

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"KokomoSam" post=381750 said:


is that tap holding on the stopper?


It's packing tape. Those stoppers always seem to squeeze themselves out for some reason...

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Thoughts on doing this in the LBK? I have 3 sitting idle and would love to put them to good use

I'm worried about after fermentation is complete and letting it bulk age for a few months

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"Sluggo" post=386497 said:

Thoughts on doing this in the LBK? I have 3 sitting idle and would love to put them to good use

I'm worried about after fermentation is complete and letting it bulk age for a few months


LBK is fine for primarily fermentation, but I would bottle or transfer to 1 gallon jugs once it clears. Otherwise, there's too much headspace.

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2 more questions in this scenario
1). How do you see if it clears in a dark brown keg?
2) if yeast activity is done and it clears, it's ok for LT storage in bottles?
3) is it ok to be at 75 degr room temp for long term storage?

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