Monday, October 31, 2011

New Mead, and Racking Old Mead

This weekend was fairly busy, brew-wise; nothing is done yet but I'm still pretty excited.

First, on Thursday I started a blackberry short mead kit (really a metheglin, since it includes some spices, interestingly steeped in boiling water), given to my by my mother, which she bought over the summer, using two pounds of blackberry honey from the same source.  The kits are pretty slick, but I didn't follow the directions entirely —I used boiled tap water rather than bottled, and I didn't trust the instructions to just cover the bottle with the supplied cloth, so I put a bubbler on instead.



I'm using a new three-piece bubbler, which is easier to clean.  This recipe calls itself a "short mead" because it suggests that you only ferment for 7-14 days.  I'll have to see how it tastes—mead doesn't normally have a lot to cover up off flavors produced by short fermentation, but maybe the blackberry and spices will hide it.

I also racked my existing summer honey hydromel* and re-filled the container with new, fall honey hydromel liquid.  There were some pretty striking appearance differences I noticed through the course of this.  The batch started out very opaque:
But slowly cleared up to the point at which it was totally transparent, and I could read through it.  Racking shook it up a little, but it's still remarkably clear given how it started out:
You can see in the background the fall honey hydromel.  It's much darker than the summer honey.  I wonder what flowers were being used!

I hope there's a noticeable flavor difference.  They summer batch didn't taste great when I tested it, but it's only about halfway through the amount of time I planned to give it, so that's unsurprising.  What's been a little surprising is that it has kept bubbling slowly this entire week, which is unusual.  Hopefully it's not a sign that something is wrong, but I'm going to have to keep burping the containers so they don't explode.  At least the end result will be bubbly!

*This is what I've decided to call it.  I'll have a post on it once it's done and I can come to a decision on whether I like it or not, but the idea is to make beer-strength mead by using less honey than normal.

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