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Anyone Make a JAO Using Modern Techniques??

Ken2029

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Oct 26, 2015
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I'm wanting to make five gallons of JAO using the traditional ingredients, including bread yeast, but using modern techniques such as proper rehydration, pure oxygenation, TOSNA, degassing, etc. Has anyone tried this and how did it work?
 

bernardsmith

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The thing about JAOM is that it is really a novelty mead that apparently works (never tried to make one myself) but does so in very counter-intuitive ways, which are in fact perfectly aligned to pull off this mead. In other words, any change to the ingredients or to the process destroys the underlying rationale for every element that is part of the recipe. It's a painting by numbers Mona Lisa. If you want to make use of "modern techniques" apply them to a regular mead. The beauty of the JAOM is its novelty - Yes, despite the fact that so many novice mead makers appear to cut their teeth on that mead. And ironically, (or not) you cannot "learn" to make a mead by making a JAOM. Nothing in it is "transferable" . That's why it is such a novelty.
 

Ken2029

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True, but it also tastes great so I would like to make it again. I've made it plus several variants before I recently started using "grownup" methods.

So, does anyone know how it turns out using modern methods?
 

Ken2029

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Thanks! I had forgotten that you had that posted on your website.

Your BOMM was my first attempts at "real" mead making and both attempts turned out fantastic.
 

Ken2029

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Well, I have proceeded with this experiment.

Why?:
1) Curiosity. I've made a few batches of JAOM and have now started using more effective protocols on a couple of batches of traditional with very good results. How much better and faster would JAOM be if it was "made the right way?"
2) I have always liked the recipe and it has been a crowd pleaser so I don't want to leave it behind.

Results so far: I'm five weeks in to the fermentation. The first three weeks were pretty vigorous but I am surprised that it is still slowly bubbling along at five weeks. I have been stirring and tasting daily and the taste has been pretty good. I tastes like it is going to turn out drier that the standard JAOM process. I will give it a few more days and I will take SG readings to verify the taste tests.
 

Squatchy

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Well of course it's going to go farther if you treat the yeast better. Why haven't you measured the gravity for so long
 

Ken2029

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My thinking is that the reason for taking intermediate SG readings are to determined when fermentation has stopped. While bubbles are no guarantee of fermentation, I am getting them very regularly every 45 seconds or so. With that in mind, I'm assuming that fermentation is still taking place. Once that changes, I will begin to take SG readings to determine when and at what SG it ends at. The less I mess with it, the less likely I am to contaminate it. Let me know if you disagree with any of this.

I could use some advice: Do I leave it on the fruit in primary until it clears or do I rack it off the fruit and let it clear in secondary?
 

Squatchy

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My thinking is that the reason for taking intermediate SG readings are to determined when fermentation has stopped. While bubbles are no guarantee of fermentation, I am getting them very regularly every 45 seconds or so. With that in mind, I'm assuming that fermentation is still taking place. Once that changes, I will begin to take SG readings to determine when and at what SG it ends at. The less I mess with it, the less likely I am to contaminate it. Let me know if you disagree with any of this.

I could use some advice: Do I leave it on the fruit in primary until it clears or do I rack it off the fruit and let it clear in secondary?
If you sanitize your tools before you measure you'll be fine to measure along the way. How else will you know when to add the last SNA?

I would rack off the fruit when you do rack so it doesn't get funky on you. Two weeks is usually enough. You could keep it longer if you are controlling yout temps. You need to rouse the lee's in primary every day until youir ferment is done to keep them in suspension. Then let them drop out once ferment is finished. Then rack.

I don't know why you would want to use bread yeast.
 

Ken2029

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If you sanitize your tools before you measure you'll be fine to measure along the way. How else will you know when to add the last SNA?

I would rack off the fruit when you do rack so it doesn't get funky on you. Two weeks is usually enough. You could keep it longer if you are controlling yout temps. You need to rouse the lee's in primary every day until youir ferment is done to keep them in suspension. Then let them drop out once ferment is finished. Then rack.

I don't know why you would want to use bread yeast.
Thanks for the advice.

Why use bread yeast? I've always liked the outcome before. However, it's becoming pretty clear that the outcome was a product of every input and not just the ingredients. What I end up with this time will be anybody's guess. Yeast is a small part of it.
 

bernardsmith

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Yeast perhaps plays a larger part than you might imagine. Bread yeast has been cultured and cultivated to produce CO2 rather than alcohol - and enough CO2 to make the dough rise. Bakers have no interest in how or whether bread yeasts flocculate and drop out of solution or how firmly they compact when they do. Vintners tend to have a stake in this. Wine yeasts are "engineered" to thrive in higher alcohol solutions, while ale yeasts are not but they are shaped by the labs to ferment a few more complex sugars than wine yeasts prefer. Some yeasts are selected for the characters they add. Other yeasts are selected for the fact that they do not add any notable characteristic (flavor, aroma , mouthfeel) to the must while still other yeasts are chosen for the characteristics they mask or minimize. An interesting project might be to buy a half dozen different yeasts and pitch each pack into an identical must made up of 1 -3 lbs of an identical varietal of honey mixed with water to make 1 gallon (plus nutrients)... You will have six very different meads...
 
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Ken2029

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That would be fun. I've got the honey, but I will need to get some more small bucket fermenters first. Temperature range would also be an issue. Room temperature is all I have to work with.
 

bernardsmith

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You probably have more control over temperature than you think. Suppose you were to stand your fermenters in a bath of cold water to which you added some ice every few hours and/or you draped a soaking wet towel around the fermenters. Evaporation would create a temperature drop around the towels and that would pull warm air away from the buckets.

I am not mechanical but I can imagine that it would not be very difficult to set up a system whereby a rise in temperature above a few degrees would open a spigot to allow cold water to flow through a cooling coil wrapped around the sides of the fermenter until the temperature dropped to a pre-determined level
 

Ken2029

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Update: Racked it to secondary last night. It tastes yeasty, slightly hot, but not terribly hot. It is also less sweet that a typical JAO, which is what I was hoping for. All in all, it tastes pretty good. The pith is coming through, which I was afraid of. I'll give it six months or so and see how it goes.

The SG is 1.016
 

Ken2029

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Update: The SG is the same as on 12/04. The taste is good with no components that are overpowering. It's perfectly drinkable right now, only 6 weeks from pitch. It's not great, but I think it will be in a few months.
 

neverdie

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Update: The SG is the same as on 12/04. The taste is good with no components that are overpowering. It's perfectly drinkable right now, only 6 weeks from pitch. It's not great, but I think it will be in a few months.
Any update? How did your "modern" JAOM taste after letting it age more?