Friday, August 17, 2007

Making Mead, a sticky situation

First let me say, it's a fine and lazy day, attempting to type with babe sleeping on lap while converting RAW photos to jpgs (pet peeve of mine in a huge way). OK, I take it all back, babe is awake and son # 1 being very insistant. No longer a lazy day, but it sure sounded nice for those 10 seconds

However, what I really wanted to expound upon was the fine and highly technical art of mead making. As the scientist of the family I am responsible for keeping the cellar stocked with esteemed beverages, and my latest yearnings have directed me toward mead, the nectar of the goddesses, the honey-based wine. After much research and browsing, I finally decided to wing it, cause there seemed to be a whole lot of garbly gook surrounding the subject, and I tend to lean more towards simplicity. I've got the yeast, the water, and the honey, what more do I need?

Weeeeeeeeeell, time, for one thing, cause that's what it took to dissolve 4 lbs of honey in an unmeasured amount of water (some instructions had indicated that warming the water would be helpful, though not necessary, as I discovered, as long as you have time and a good stirring arm). Measuring tools would also come in handy seeing as after I dissolved all the honey I found the specific gravity to be a tad low (1.062) meaning I had too much water and not enough honey (hmmmm, it suddenly occured to me that I should add some sugar). And now, having added the yeast 4 days ago, I have found that there is no fermentation occuring at all, none, zip, zilch. Bad sign. I recall mention of "yeast nutrient" having to be added (what kind of yeast can't survive in a batch of honey I ask, ahhhh, but it is not survival that is the problem but GROWTH!) so being that I am miles and miles away from any kind of fancy "yeast nutrient" supplier, I have decided to wing it (and you're surprised?). What could be more nuritious to a friendly little Blipitylicious farindiciae than a wholesome slice of my soon-to-be-famous sourdough bread? So I have thrown that into the vat, added another packet of yeast (good thing I bought two) and am crossing my fingers that something more evil and vile won't overthrow the whole thing before the yeasts have a chance to work their magic.

My highly technical and elaborate procedures, unfortunately, are not highly reproducable (somewhat like my cooking) therefore, with the optimistic hope that this does turn into something deliciously wonderful, it will be just that much more valuable simply due to the fact that it is induplicateable. What fun!

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