The mead experiment

I kept saying I wasn’t going to post a blog about the mead until we’d finished it all and made all our notes about it.  But we’ve still got a little of the dry, sarsaparilla mead still left to be drunk.  But since on Sunday we started our next batch, I think now is the time.

We’ve decided to take a step back from the sarsaparilla mead for the time being.  We’re going to see about getting some sassafras and then try reapproaching root beer mead at that point.  We believe we know how to move forward (make a tea from the roots, then mix that with the honey and yeast), but we couldn’t manage to get more than a scent of the sarsaparilla. Quite simply, it was our one (well, two) failure with this last batch.

The rest of the batch?  A-freaking-mazing.  We have established what we want out of our mead – the dry for me, the sweet and mulled for Sir Joshimus.  And the sweet seemed the favorite in general with our friends, though my Moma also preferred my dry. (woot!)  We both wondered back and forth how our tastes in the mead might change as it matured and as we added flavoring, but the things we prefer about the mead remains pretty constant.

So on Sunday, thanks to a huge amount of help from my wonderful Moma, we started two 5 gallon batches of mead.  First of all, let me say that 10 and 15 pounds is a LOT of honey.  So is a five gallon bucket of honey – they weight 60 pounds!  I’ve never seen that much honey in one place at one time and it was awe inspiring.  And I’m only slightly exaggerating for comedic effect.  Also, we really need an industrial kitchen scale, because the buckets don’t fit on the one we picked up.

There’s something different that comes into mixing up a five gallon bucket of mead that you don’t get form mixing up a single gallon carboy.  You have to stir it for a while to get it all mixed really well.  We could have gotten a stir stick that you can use with a power drill, but I’m glad we didn’t go that route.  This time I had the time to really think about what we were doing – what we were making – and to pour intention and power into that must before it started doing it’s work.

I haven’t done much magic this year.  I haven’t felt the magic much this last year as I’ve tried to work on getting myself healthy.  But as I sat there on Sunday, the evening before the full moon that marked Samhain for many, I felt the magic in me again.  So I poured that magic into our brew and I spoke words over it and as it now sits percolating in the corner, I can still feel the magic humming.  When these are bottled, I’ll say words over each pretty green bottle so that no matter if we keep it or give it away, every person who drinks it might be blessed with joy.

So that’s our update.  Now that we’ve started, we’re hooked.  We have plans for smaller specialty batches and experiments with mixing other flavors – including trying again at the root beer mead.  When we bottle them – and hopefully their pretty labels when we get those made – I’ll share some pictures of them.  As for the rest…well, that’s another update at another time.

Please, let me know what you think!

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