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NAA.....JAO's Tasmanian Cousin

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Deep End

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What is NAA? Nan's Ancient Apple !

I think I may have put the recipe up here somewhere when I first started posting on here.

After recently bottling my first JAO and being a tag unhappy with the initial taste I've decided to give NAA a whirl. It's a recipe I found in an old Tasmanian cooking and household hints book my Grandmother got me many moons ago. It's the same book I got the recipe for ginger beer from a plant from, which I used to brew when I was a teenager. Was always a good drop and never popped any bottles.

The recipe for the mead I have dubbed NAA reads much the same as JAO, so far as method, time, and the general process, it however lacks the humour and sarcasm of the JAO recipe.

It calls for 15 cups of water 3.75L (close to JAO), 1.5kg of honey (again similar to Jao), 1 Cup of tea made with 4 tea bags (for the tannins I assume), 1 medium sized raw apple (flavour? bitterness? either way sounds better than an orange to me), 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger (magically increases "brightness" according to the author, without affecting taste), the juice of two lemons (nutrient ?) and 1 level teaspoon of yeast.

It's mixed up like Jao, and left for the same time etc etc, except that the final comment is that the result will be a dry, still mead. From which the only conclusion I can draw is that whoever wrote it didnt have fleishmanns bread yeast either and the yeast they used, like the lowans yeast I did, munched up all the honey and left me a dry Jao.

Regardless, I'm going to give it a wizz with some leatherwood or yellow box soon, maybe use 2kgs of honey and see if it will sweeten up a little. Will take some pics etc as I go, would be interested to hear if anyone has made a mead like this one or would be keen to test drive it also.
 

Est.91

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I'm interested to see the results! I'm doing my first mead on the weekend - JAO but with WYeast 4184 (I know it says not to, but I am because its tolerance is 11% - very close to the bread yeast). Good to know someone else on here is going on the journey at the same time! Good luck!
 

DarkFaerytale

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how hard is it to get bread yeast? surely not that tough

keeping an eye on this thread, thanks Deep End
 

Est.91

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It's not hard to find at all. I'm using the WYeast because A. I trust the brand for use in brewing a lot more than any random bread yeast I find in the supermarket and B. Because it has the same alcohol tolerance as the bread yeast in the JAO recipe, so I will still get a sweet mead.
 

Deep End

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Yea, that sounds like a good idea, I'm going to give this a go with bread yeast just because the recipe says so, but then I might try that wyeast strain you speak of, its always nice to know when something is going to knock itself out. As I said before, the particular jar of Lowans yeast I have is pretty hungry. Just have to get a few jars of nice honey and I'll stick this first batch of NAA down.
 

Deep End

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Well, wacked another apple cider together last night, and put a NAA together this morning, just waiting for it to cool down a bit before I pitch the yeast. Took a few pics, nothing spectacular but either way I'll put them up as I said I would.
P1010011.JPG

P1010012.JPG



Edit. The OG was 1.100 for anyone interested....going to either be strong or sweet
 

Deep End

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Was in a hurry putting that last post up. NAA's been bubbling away in the junk/linen cupboard for a few days. Smells very different to JAO.

I wasnt being very precise when I mixed this one up, as far as the honey went anyway, as I know this Lowan yeast loves a drink so I put a bit more honey in to see how thirsty the yeast was. In an effort to produce something medium sweet. On that note I really need to invest in a larger funnel, I had honey water and stuff all over the place by the time I'd filled the demijohn, my main failing in this demi john brewing stuff, really need to spend a few coins on a large funnel aye?

Was interesting to watch over the first day or so as it changed colour slightly; lightened up a bit. I used a local "bush" honey that was very dark and reasonably well flavoured, hopefully it will leave some hint of itself behind. The capilano honey I used in my JAO got overpowered by the orange and spice...so far, maybe in time the honey will resurface.

Anyway here's another picture of it in action, the other demi is my blackberry wine waiting for its final racking.

Cheers

P1010013.JPG
 

Est.91

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Looking good! Did you get much foaming in the early stages of fermentation? My airlock is bubbling away nicely but there is just a light foam on top of the liquid - nothing like a beer krausen.
 

Deep End

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Nah, have not had much foam on either of the meads I have brewed, just about as much as you can see in the pic, plenty of bubbling.
 

AyeBee

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So gents, how is this one coming along? Just finished my first JAO, and am looking for another simple mead to throw in my demijohn.
 

Deep End

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Well mines beginning to clear at the moment, will be a while before I can comment on taste, but it seems to be going alright.
 

Veggie Mike

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I've put one of these down tonight. Had done a jao a few months ago but wasn't quite sweet enough for the wife so have added a bit more honey than the recipe asked for. Used a mix of something called blue gum and dandelion cup. Took a photo but don't know how to put it up from my phone! Not to worry. Started bubbling within a few minutes so all I can do now is wait a few months (and keep up with the home brew beer and cider).

Oh, one question though, do you top up with extra water once the initial frenzy has settled down (like with the jao recipe)? If so, how much extra?

Cheers
Mike
 

Deep End

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mine filled the demi pretty much up to the top so I had no need to top up, but if you have room i'd suggest doing so
 

Deep End

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Well had a few issues with it clearing, funnily enough the recipe said that it may or may not clear on itself. It suggested egg whites to help it along. I just dropped half a pack of finnings in myself. I looked in the cupboard the other day to find it had finally cleared. Just have to get round to sanitizing a few bottles and putting it in them I guess, might have a wee taste while I'm doing it.
 

Deep End

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Bottled it a few days ago, tasted more palatable than the factory issue JAO from the fermenter, and had a decidedly honey flavoured aroma to it, so I guess the extra honey I put in outweighed the yeasts alcohol tolerance and left me some residuals. Which was the desired result. Now just maturation awaits.
 

Deep End

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Well a few months ago a mead connoisseur friend of mine convinced me to open a bottle of the NAA. He said it was one of the best meads he had ever put past his lips. Dont know how many that had been but he had drunk some of the commercial efforts. I have yet to taste it and am still aging the remaining bottles. Might make a fresh batch soon, and some more homemade goon, what with all the fruit around at the moment, might as well. The back yard is full of Rhubarb. Might make a demi of Rhubarb goon!
 

bingggo

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Will give it a go as soon as my apple raspberry cyser is done :)
 

Deep End

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Well, I entered a bottle of NAA in a local show last week, along with two of my ciders. And to my surprise, I picked up a hat trick. First in all three sections. Got some very promising feedback on my cider. The bottle of NAA went down well too, narrowly beating an elderberry wine in the non grape wine section. Apparently the mead had a harsh finish, but started out well. Not bad for a 10 month old mead I thought, spoke to the judges about that too, told them it was still young and could do with another year on the shelf. Still chuffed about the results, motivates me to brew more and a wider variety of products. Purchased 3kg of Lake Pedder Wildflower Honey for my next mead project while I was there too, wish my pockets were better lined on the day as there was many varieties of honey for sale at the venue. But the aforementioned variety sounded like it had potential.
 

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