Back in the day when I was just starting out in the mead game, I was looking for a good starter recipe to make my first batch. One recipe that kept coming up was “Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead”. I thought, “Ohh, this looks interesting, and has a catchy name!” Turns out that Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead is as basic as it gets when it comes to mead recipes.
Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead is a unique recipe in that it seems as though it’s really old, and made specifically with the intention of getting all of the ingredients from the supermarket. Not only are the ingredients readily available, but there’s not a whole lot to making this mead. It’s pretty much just throw it together and let it sit. No boiling, no transferring, but still a very solid mead.
This mead brings up a lot of questions. Who is Joe? How old is this ancient brew? Were oranges the only thing available at the time? No one really knows. At the end of the day, it’s all about just making mead dawg.
This recipe is for a 1 gallon batch of mead. If you are looking for something greater, adjust the measurements accordingly.
If you need some equipment for a 1 gallon batch, head on over to our 1 gallon mead kit page.
- 3 lbs clover honey
- 1 large orange
- Handful of raisins (about 25)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 clove
- Small pinch of nutmeg and allspice
- 1 teaspoon or 1 packet of (brand new) Fleishmann’s bread yeast
- Water to bring it up to a gallon at the end
You may scoff at the use of bread yeast here, but don’t. Give it a try. This recipe was specially made with getting everything at the local market in mind.
- Get out your 1 gallon carboy and sanitize it.
- Dissolve your honey in some warm water. No need to do a long boil here, just make sure the honey is dissolved enough to be able to pour easily.
- Pour the honey water into your 1 gallon carboy.
- Wash your orange in order to get all the dirty critters off the outside. Feel free to use star san in a spray bottle on the outside and wipe it off in order to get the orange completely sanitized.
- Cut the orange into eights and add them to your 1 gallon carboy. Keep the rinds of the orange on.
- Next, throw in all the raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, and the clove into the 1 gallon carboy.
- At this point, screw the top of the jug back on and shake the hell out of it for about 5-10 minutes in order to aerate it.
- Take of the cap and pour in water to top it off to about 3 inches from the top of the jug.
- Take a teaspoon or 1 packet of Fleishmann’s bread yeast and pour it into the 1 gallon carboy.
- Attach an airlock to the top of the 1 gallon carboy. Pour some water in the airlock, and put on the airlock lid.
- Place your jug in a completely dark place or wrap it with a towel to keep light out.
- Fermentation should take place in a room that is about 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let your 1 gallon carboy sit and don’t touch it.
After about 2 months, your mead should start clarifying. You can tell it’s almost finished by the oranges starting to sink to the bottom of the 1 gallon carboy. At this time get ready to bottle.
To bottle, use a bottling wand and some siphon hosing to siphon the mead into the bottles.
If you are a complete barbarian like my friend The Duke, you’ll be tempted to drink that stuff right away. Don’t do that. Let the mead sit in the bottles for at least a month. The longer they sit there the better they are usually, but give them at least a month.
As always, Enjoy!
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