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A Quick Mead: Joe's Ancient Orange And Spice


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#1 LeChaim

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 07:15 AM

Joe Mattioli created this recipe for the newbie mead-maker. However, even well-seasoned mead-makers enjoy making and drinking it. biggrin.gif This will yield a melomel ready in eight weeks or so (although mine took longer, about 12; I think because I made it at the end of the winter and it was sitting in a cold kitchen). The recipe departs from all accepted wisdom, but follow the instructions exactly and I promise that you will have a delicious product at the end. Note that, as we have been discussing, this quick recipe results in a sweet mead. Thanks to Joe for permission to post.

Joe Mattioli's Ancient Orange and Spice Mead

It is so simple to make and you can make it without much equipment and with a multitude of variations. This could be a first Mead for the novice as it is almost fool proof. It is a bit unorthodox but it has never failed me or the friends I have shared it with. (snip)...it will be sweet, complex and tasty.

1 gallon batch


3 1/2 lbs Clover or your choice honey or blend (will finish sweet)
1 Large orange (later cut in eights or smaller rind and all)
1 small handful of raisins (25 if you count but more or less ok)
1 stick of cinnamon
1 whole clove ( or 2 if you like - these are potent critters)
optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice )( very small )
1 teaspoon of Fleishmann’s bread yeast ( now don't get holy on me--- after all this is an ancient mead and that's all we had back then)
Balance water to one gallon

Process:

Use a clean 1 gallon carboy

Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in carboy

Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice in eights --add orange (you can push em through opening big boy -- rinds included -- its ok for this mead -- take my word for it -- ignore the experts)

Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill to 3 inches from the top with cold water. ( need room for some foam -- you can top off with more water after the first few day frenzy)

Shake the heck out of the jug with top on, of course. This is your sophisticated aeration process.

When at room temperature in your kitchen, put in 1 teaspoon of bread yeast. ( No you don't have to rehydrate it first-- the ancients didn't even have that word in their vocabulary-- just put it in and give it a gentle swirl or not)(The yeast can fight for their own territory)

Install water airlock. Put in dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour. (Don't use grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away in the 90's)( Wait 3 hours before you panic or call me) After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don't shake it! Don't mess with them yeastees! Let them alone except its okay to open your cabinet to smell every once in a while.

Racking --- Don't you dare
additional feeding --- NO NO
More stirring or shaking -- Your not listening, don't touch

After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. (How about that) (You are not so important after all) Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waited that long. If it is clear it is ready. You don't need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (Like in a cabinet) likes a little heat (70-80). If it didn't work out... you screwed up and didn't read my instructions (or used grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away) . If it didn't work out then take up another hobby. Mead is not for you. It is too complicated.
If you were successful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead. When you get ready to make different mead you will probably have to unlearn some of these practices I have taught you, but hey--- This recipe and procedure works with these ingredients so don't knock it. It was your first mead. It was my tenth. Sometimes, even the experts can forget all they know and make good ancient mead.
My blog, Israeli Kitchen: http://www.mimi54.wordpress.com

#2 number2

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 03:05 PM

Sounds like some tasty stuff biggrin.gif

#3 toolboxdiver

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:28 AM

I started my second 4 gallon batch last week, the first batch was great
definatly is good to keep me away from the Meads that need to age

#4 In through the out door

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:56 AM

Oh good, any comments, changes, suggestions?? I'm gonna start up a batch pretty soon. Maybe you can share your log?? Thanks

#5 lockwood1956

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 10:55 AM

Thanks for sharing Miriam

and here it is in PDF format for those who wish to download and save

regards
Bob

Edited by lockwood1956, 06 October 2005 - 06:40 AM.

Bob Morton N.G.W.B.J.(National Guild of Wine and Beer Judges)
Chairman: Yorkshire Federation of Amateur Winemakers and Brewers
Acting Secretary: Yorkshire Federation of Amateur Winemakers and Brewers

#6 LeChaim

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:09 PM

Wow, Bob, I'm going to send that on to Joe Mattioli - he'll be pleased. Thanks!

In through the out door - my dear, you have chosen a rather unwieldy nick tongue.gif - this recipe was created for the newbie mead-maker in order to encourage interest in, well, making mead. It needs to be made exactly as stated for success. When you see how easy it is to make mead, and how good it is, you'll want to advance to conventional methods.

Miriam
My blog, Israeli Kitchen: http://www.mimi54.wordpress.com

#7 toolboxdiver

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 05:37 PM

I did tweek it a tad and like my results...Toolbox the modern day Alchemist...at 2 months I siphoned off into gallon jugs, drank one, let the 3 others age, and bottled the first after 1 month of aging and the other 2 at 2 months...this batch that is going now I'll rack and let go for 2 months then bottle... al_coholic.gif ...I'll be singing Viking songs tonight...lol

#8 number2

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 06:25 PM

Alright I did it smileycheers.gif -2 hours later and we have lift-off-that bread yeast is amazing stuff! I was a little hesitant adding the cinanamin and clove though but I checked on the GOTMEAD forum and they say it is barely perceptable which sounds good-I hope the honey and the orange are the stars here......

Miriam-any tasting notes to share:?!?!?

#9 In through the out door

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:15 PM

Let us know how it turns out, looking forward to this one!

#10 LeChaim

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 12:13 PM

Yes; the mead (at least the way it turned out in my apartment at the temperatures here) was sweet, so the honey note was nicely present, but light; orangey with a noticeable but pleasant bitterness behind the orange somewhere, and the spices identifiable but not overpowering. It went really fast, and the only reason I haven't been making more is because other summer fruit are available and oranges I can get almost year 'round.

Do let us know how your Ancient Orange Melomel came out.

Miriam
My blog, Israeli Kitchen: http://www.mimi54.wordpress.com

#11 binky

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 05:15 PM

the wine supply store guy said you would use campden tablets a day before the yeast. i'm assuming it will be fine without these?

also, i have plenty of champagne yeast but no fleishmanns.
what about that as a substitute?

#12 P-man

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 06:21 PM

Binky,

I wouldn't use the champagne yeast for this recipe. The champagne yeast is very robust and has a high alcohol tolerance. That means it will tear through the honey and convert all of it to alcohol. It will leave you with a dry, high alcohol mead that will need to age to smooth out.

There is nothing wrong with that approach but this recipe is ment for a mead that can be drank young. The bread yeast will die early and leave enough honey for the mead to be sweet.

Your local brew shop is correct, the right answer is to add a crushed campden tablet 24 hrs before yeast. I believe that step was left out of this particular recipe for simplicity.

Welcom to the forum,
P-man

#13 ScottS

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 05:58 AM

QUOTE (binky @ Jul 19 2005, 05:47 PM)
the wine supply store guy said you would use campden tablets a day before the yeast. i'm assuming it will be fine without these?

Your wine supply store guy obviously makes wine, not mead.

The reason wine makers add campden tablets is that there is a ton of wild yeast on the grape skins. The campden tablets are used to kill off this wild yeast, so that the yeast that you put in has no competition. Honey has virtually no wild yeast (a fact confirmed by Ken Schramm and a couple friendly biochemists using laboratory testing), so there is no need to add campden tablets.

Agreed about the champagne yeast vs bread yeast.

#14 cokepepsi

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 05:58 PM

i just started a 1 gallon batch.
i did a sg test, it read 1.190

what %alcohol do you think it will be when it's done.. in 2 months?
if this actually works it will be a lot fun i convinced someone else to make it as well.
now i kinda have the bug to make another one.
or something similar. a 2 month brew sounds ideal to us who lack patience.

#15 LeChaim

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:56 PM

Having posted the recipe, I feel obliged to answer...but sheepishly confess that I never bothered with SG readings and so can't give you an ABV percentage. It's a recipe meant to encourage mead newbies, so homey and old-fashioned (and controversial, because although it goes against all standard wisdom, it turns out great) - that I just let it sit and do its thing, racked when it cleared, and enjoyed.

It's certainly strong enough to age for a year or more, though. Judging by the effects, I'd say my batch came out at about 15% abv.

Oh dear, I'm getting an itch to make the Ancient Orange melomel again myself...but I'm out of carboys. The usual story at this time of year! I'll wait till winter, when all those empty carboys will be staring at me reproachfully.

Miriam
My blog, Israeli Kitchen: http://www.mimi54.wordpress.com




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