Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Show me the honey!

So I fianlly took the time to pull out all the honey I was carefully stockpiling and made a batch of mead. It was relatively straight forward, although a little sticky. I decided not to heat the must (the technical name for the liquid that the yeast gets added to, in this case honey and water). There are two different schools of thought around this. FIrst is that you have to pasturize the honey and must to prevent things from growing in it. Second, it is best to not heat the honey as you loose some of the delicate floral aromals and nuances. Whatever, I decided to be lazy. I diluted the honey in the water, and I splurged and picked up some bottles of spring water. I added the yeast nutrient and energizer. I also found out I bought two nutrient bottle by accident, oh well. Then I rehydrated and pitched the yeast. Done.

So now I wait. Apparently mead takes about 4-6 weeks in the fermentor, with there being no reason to hurry to bottle. Then another 6 months to a year in the bottles before being fit for consumption. Sometimes it takes up to 3-5 years for the mead to fully mature. I am hoping it doesn't take that long but I am prepared for it. I am also going to bottle some of the batch as a still mead and some as a sparkling mead, meaning effervescent. I am kind of excited about this. It is something quite different from my normal beer batches and quite easy to make. Too bad the honey is so expensive but maybe I can find a local beekeeper and get wholesale honey cheaper if I decide to make more batches. I am thinking I will definitely make another batch in about 6 months and hopefully keep to that loose schedule and always have mead on hond for events.

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