Starting a Batch of JAO Mead

Over the last couple of years I've made a couple of meads and they're sitting in the basement aging in bottles.

I sampled some of my traditional mead this week and after two years it's starting to age nicely.

It's lost much of it's jet fuel and turpentine taste (if you've made mead before you probably know what I'm talking about) and is getting to be really balanced and some of the sweetness is starting to come through. In another year it should be really good.

I realized after reading some mead forums lately that I'd missed making a classic Joe's Ancient Orange mead, also referred to JAO.

The recipe is all over the internet, the copy I used is here.

The ingredients and process is really easy: combine honey, water, oranges, clove, cinnamon stick and bread yeast (yes, you read that right) in the quantities specified by the recipe and let it ferment.

Below is a picture of the layers of ingredients. I love this picture because of the way the honey was so thick it sat on bottom and didn't allow the other ingredients (including the water) to mix.

Before I shook and mixed the jug until my arms hurt, I took a picture with the camera lens looking down through the jug opening.

Then I added the yeast and shook like crazy to mix the ingredients and infuse the must with air to supply oxygen to the yeast.

I took an OG (original gravity) reading before adding the yeast and it read "27" which gives a specific gravity of 1.1148 and equates to a potential alcohol level of about 15% depending on how the yeast does. I've seen some forums indicate Fleischmann's bread yeast has an alcohol tolerance of 10-12% so we'll see how it does.

If you're looking for additional reading, here's a list of some of the mead's I've made and have aging in bottles:

Traditional Mead: bottled Sept. 17, 2012
BlackBerry Mead: bottled Feb. 16, 2013
Fall Harvest Cyser: bottled Feb. 16. 2013
Cherry Melomel: Dec. 29, 2013

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mark Martin says...
Date:   November 11, 2014, 8:04 am

Nice!!  I really hope to get enough honey someday to make mead myself.  There is a really fantastic one around where I live that is a Cherry Mead called Zombie Killer.  Yum!

Tim says...
Date:   November 16, 2014, 12:40 am

I have got mead making on my to do list as well. I have tried once and it failed, I think the fermenter was too large and let too much wild yeast in. I now have a 5 L demi john and hopefully that will help.

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