Sunday, December 12, 2004

Return of the meadmaker

Recovery from the cold continues, but I'm on the upswing. Yesterday, in fact, I was able to make a run in to San Antonio and pick up some yeast to start a new batch of mead brewing.

Last week I opened a bottle of the mead I bottled back in June. It has a beautiful golden color that is gorgeous in the glass. It still had somewhat rough, medicinal highlights, but they've softened noticably over the last six months. The overall flavor is still bland, but a soft, honeyish aftertaste has developed. And it definitely has alcohol in it, as two glasses were enough to give me a slight buzz. I'll try another bottle again in six months and see how additional aging smooths it down.

The new batch is more ambitious. I'm using 15 pounds of honey for a five-gallon brew, in an attempt to retain more honey flavor and a bit of sweetness. The fermentation is already going very strong, and the sweet, yeasty scent is filling my office. When fermentation settles down, I'm going to rack the mead into my two smaller fermentation vessels--one 1.5 gallons and the other 2.5 gallons. The larger I'm going to attempt to craft into a "holiday metheglin," spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, which hopefully will be ready to drink by next Christmas. The other will probably become a fruit melomel of some sort--I'm debating whether to make it raspberry, passion fruit or something else. Since my current mead has such a weak core personality, I'm thinking these flavors will fill the gap. We'll see. Future projects include a jalapeno metheglin, pyment (mead/wine hybrid) and cyser (mead/cider hybrid). Experimentation is fun!

Now Playing: Sailor Moon Adventure Girls

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