new things!

 50 gr lapsang souchon tea
~1750 honey
port yeast
SG ~1100

100 gr scots pine tips
~1750 honey
port yeast
SG ~1100

More mead ideas

 I have dried pine tips that smell delicious and I think I'll make tea of that and then brew with it

I have dried hibiscus flowers

I am considering lapsang suchon tea mead

All Rise Up (Again) - update

 I actually did the degassing and feeding for this batch in the first weeks! It's much less scary in a bucket with some headroom, if I do that in a carboy I get a fountain. 

The batch has been ticking along and SG was at about 1008 this morning, which is definitely too dry and it's likely to still be fermenting a little. So after some calculations I caramellised  another 2 kilo of honey and mixed it in - we're now at 1030. That's usually about where I like it, but we'll see how that turns out. If it ferments off a bit more it may need more backsweetening. 

It can stay in the kitchen until I start tidying up before christmas, then hopefully it'll have dropped the worst of the lees and can go into the carboy

All Rise Up (Again)

 All Rise Up (Again)

In january 2017 on the day before the US inauguration we dreaded, bestie Sess and I made a mead and called it All Rise Up. A quince bochet. It turned out a lot better than all the political stuff. 

Now on the day before the 2020 US elections I am making that mead again. Maybe the yeasties will eat the stress and the dread and make something beautiful again. 

5 gallons. 

8 kilo well-caramellised cheap-ass Lidl honey
~16 liters quince juice, part from last year and part new
mead yeast. 

It's going to be living in the bucket on my tiny kitchen counter for a week or two until it's dropped a good deal of its sediment (bochet has a lot). I made a little extra to account for the loss.


 Whaitiri (the personification of thunder)

A friend sent me a cheering care package from New Zealand and included a local tea, so I could brew with it. It was this tea with ginger, lemongrass and Kawakawa. 

2 kilos honey

mead yeast 

Mead plans

 I always mentally plan new batches and then when it comes to actually starting things, I'll have forgotten all over again. So. 

- 5 gallon with quince juice and caramellised honey. That quince bochet batch was a hit and I hope I can replicate it. I only have 10 liters of juice right now though. I either need to make up the difference with water, another juice, or I need to wait a couple of weeks for quinces to come into season and make another batch of juice.

- 2x a 10 liter batch with 2 kg plain honey and 2 kg of the heather honey

I could do this in the 5 gallon vessel but I have carelessly negative-pressured the airlock when I moved it, and I'm too scared to ruin this amazing honey

- a 5 liter batch with fig. Noon was nice but fermented slightly too dry, I think

- 5 liter plain for backsweetening with rosemary honey

- 5 liter plain for backsweetening with thyme honey

- 5 liter yuzu mead. I have a small amount of juice, and yuzu marmelade. The juice should go into primary (and then hope I can get the ferment started at all) and the marmelade later, in secondary, presumably. Or get some zest by that time. 

Newly bottled:

 I seriously need to make a new index list.

Uriel One - plain mead, semi-sweet

Uriel Two - Mead with lemon zest and fresh thyme

Ruby - blood orange. Semi-sweet

Tai - bengal spice and cacao. Dry-sweet

Seraph - date syrup mead. Dry-sweet

Paloma - raspberry mead. Champagne bottled. Maybe be fizzy in a while! May not, who knows, not me.

 Ruby Two 

VERY orangey and rosemaryey. Very nice. Hopefully will mellow down a touch. 


 Apparently did not note this down so backdated

Vercopa - blackberry, 10 liter

uhhhhh don't really remember what I did here or how much juice went in. about 7 liters at a guess? Honey? who the fuck knows. Might be port yeast? Past me, you are useless.


 Uriel: SG 1018, alc ~15.

A little sharp/hot but good sweetness and probably just needs some time. 

Uriel 1: bottled about 5 liters plain

Uriel 2: racked onto the apple, ginger and hibiscus tea (8 bags) - a proven flavour but this may need to clear all over again.

Uriel 3: Fresh thyme and lemon zest

Uriel 4: Orange zest and 6 teabags of rooibos-chai tea.

Ruby, Tai, Seraph

 Ruby - SG 1016, ~16%

this turned pretty nice, on the dry side of sweet. Slightly orangey. 

Ruby 1: I bottled half

Ruby 2:  put the other half on orange zest and rosemary and will bottle that in a couple of days. 

Tai - SG 1014, ~16%

again, dry side of sweet. The bengal spice comes through. Not sure about the cacao to be honest. Maybe it's overpowered. Bottled. I did two champagne bottles with some added honey just to see if that would happen. 

Seraph - SG 1008

the date syrup mead. Mostly quite hot/alcoholic. Not bad but a little odd. Might need to mellow.   

Paloma - raspberry. Bone dry: SG 1000

Bottled in champagne bottles with about a spoonful of honey each bottle. Either it becomes sweet mead or it becomes fizzy. Hopefully both.

Moragh, Uriel, June

Moragh (the original coffee mead)
Cleared nicely. Realised I hadn't properly stopped it yet, so it's off the lees and stopped now.
Planning to put this in 0.33L bottles (since I have so little and want to share it with many!) with one (plastic) 0.5L bottle to bring with me to Wasteland. IDK if that's enough to enter in the contest but it needs to be shared there.

Uriel (5 gallon batch)
Cleared in the bucket but not completely, and I don't like having it in the bucket for long (worried about oxidation because of the huge headspace) so back into the big carboy with yeast stop and bentonite. I've left it on the dining table because letting it fall clear and then moving it is a pain, so.. it's got about 3 weeks before the table needs to be cleared for Christmas.

The plan with it then is to bottle 8-10 liters plain, because I just don't have any plain mead in stock and maybe that's an oversight. I want to fill a few bottles for spice experiments (I have black cardamom, tonka bean and kola nut to try). And as yet no decision what to do with the rest. I could infuse it with the spice tea I used for Lane? That should infuse just fine.  Or do a traditional spiced one for once, with clove, cinnamon, ginger? maybe? and some orange peel? idk

June (maple/cacao bochet, bottled)
Wanted something to drink this weekend and I don't know what possessed  me to think this was a good choice. It is very much Not Ready. Forget Christmas - MAYBE Christmas next year.

Hack42 experiments, Moragh, Uriel

Time for the second part of the mead workshop at Hack42! My batch was at SG 1030 and tasted weirdly thin.  I split my 5 liter batch into 7 regular wine bottles and added, as far as I can remember:
- rosemary
- thyme
- sage
 - thyme honey (into a champagne bottle)
- Rosemary and orange
- Thyme and lemon
- szenchua pepper and lemon

Looking forward to seeing how those turn out!

I had brought Moragh because last time I tasted it, it was gross and I thought I could shift it to more fanantic coffee drinkers. But I tasted it during the workshop and backsweetening has done it a WORLD of good, it tastes amazing! Subtle but distinctly coffee, exactly the right sweetness. It's only about half a year old. It's in the fridge cold-crashing now and I will bottle it in small bottles. I also started

Moragh Too
- coffee cold-brewed from 6 coffeepads
 - 2 kilo honey
- mead yeast

Coffee makes for serious foam, so note for future reference: this needs a blowoff tube. 

Finally racked this. It's such a fuss in these volumes (5 gallon batch)

Alc ~15%

Doesn't taste bad, just very dry. Backsweetened with a kilo honey to ~1020. It has shown no signs of clearing so far, so I may try to do the superklar treatment so I can split it out.

Dale - tasting

Pulled open a bottle of Dale (pomegrenate/vanilla) and oh, this is interesting. The first wash is acidic, and then it immediately mellows down into sweet and vanilla. a little weird, but not bad at all

Bottlings - Noon & Kearney

Noon - fig mead

Bottled at SG 1020 and ~16% vol
On the dry side of sweet, fruity, nice balance

5 big bottles and 3 small ones

Kearney - Bengal Spice & Cacao

SG 1032 and ~16% vol
The spice is there, the cacao is distant. It might age more forward, but it's pretty nice already.

4 big bottles and 2 small ones