Joe's ancient mead

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Senior Member
Oct 25, 2017
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Ada, Oklahoma
I started this recipe last night and followed the instructions with one exception. I used a packet of Red Star Cote des Blanc yeast instead of the bakers yeast. I read on another tread that the pith in the orange causes a bitter taste. If I had known , I would have zested the orange peel and left the pith behind.
I plan to bottle this in late October. Do you think the bitter taste will drop out by then?


Senior Member
Feb 29, 2016
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From what I've read, the bread yeast is important to the recipe. I've read about other people using different yeasts, but I haven't seen anyone try Cotes des Blanc, so I'm curious how yours turns out in terms of flavor.

I followed the JAOM recipe as written, and the taste of the clove and the bitter taste from the pith is still prevalent at about 6 months. At about a year, they die down, but a small amount of bitterness is still there. My first batch is a little over 2 years, and it is very smooth with no bitterness the the clove is a subtle background flavor. I'm holding on to 1 or 2 bottles for the 3 year mark.

Also, I'm not sure why, but the recipe didn't scale as well as I hoped. The 1 gallons taste different than the 5 gallons that I made. I think the ratio of clove to cinnamon to oranges didn't scale well for me. Both the 1 gallons and the 5 gallons are really good, but IMO the 1 gallons taste better (better balance of flavors).


Junior Member
Nov 2, 2016
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The pith taste does fade over time, but I'm not sure that it will mellow out before October. If you really want it ready by then, and you are only doing a one-gallon batch, I'd start another one just to be sure. And use the bread yeast just to be sure :)

I just started my third batch of JOAM. I didn't zest, but I did remove all the pith (leaving just a think sliver of the peel) for this batch. I did the same thing my second batch and it was plenty drinkable in 4-6 months. My first batch (where I cut out some thickness of the pith but left way too much pith exposed from each slice) took over 9 months before that pith taste started to mellow. It wasn't undrinkable, but my second batch was much better at bottling than my first batch was at 6 months.

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