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RavenWing 
  Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:18 AM
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Here is a somwhat long explanation:


The largest problem in brewing is keeping inappropriate yeasts out of the drink. While the correct wine (or beer) yeasts eat sugar and excrete alcohol, other yeasts produce vinegar instead. Because of this it is absolutely vital to keep all brewing equipment absolutely sterile. This is the most important thing you can do in brewing. All the great equipment purchased as your wine making shop and the finest ingredients cannot beat a glass jar filled with welfare honey if the former is contaminated and the latter sterile. There are two major ways to sterilize your materials, one is a commercial "sanitizer" found in wine making shops. Follow label directions and you're all set. The other is to make a solution of 25% bleach and rinse very thoroughly.
Let's make some cheap and easy mead. You'll need a large pot, a one gallon vinegar or cider bottle, a 4' or 5' length of plastic tubing (try airline tubing from a pet shop), a balloon or non-lubricated condom, a package of wine yeast (not bread yeast), wine bottles, corks, a corking device, and 2 1/2 pounds of honey.
First you need to prepare the mixture that will be fermented. Take your pot and add the honey and enough water to finish filling up the one gallon bottle. Bring these to a boil slowly. If you don't want scum in your mead and it forms on the top, skim it off. You don't need to boil it for any length of time, you just need to bring it up to this temperature. Boiling for a while will release a lot of scum and additives which you can get rid of right now and it will also allow the mead to age more quickly. However, some of this 'scum' as I've called it is made up of those very things which can create flavor nuances. I don't boil mine. When you decide it's done, let it cool long enough so it won't melt the plastic tubing, then siphon the mead into the gallon jug , cap and let cool overnight. The gallon jug is your primary fermenter.
Did you sterilize the pot? the bottle? the cap? the plastic tubing? No! Pour it out and start again 'yes I am serious.
Once the mixture is cooled to room temperature you will need to pitch the yeast. Get a small cup half full with warm, but not hot, water and add the yeast. Let it sit for about ten minutes and absorb water and liven up, then pour it into your gallon jug and mix it in.
As of now your honey and water mixture is now being converted into mead. However, this will take about two weeks, perhaps more, to complete. During this time the mead mixture will bubble and foam, and this is what the balloon is for. Cover the top of the bottle with the balloon and about an hour later, when the balloon has started to inflate but has not become too stretched, poke a few holes in it with a pin. (I understand this may make you wince if you are using a condom.) This balloon takes the place of a fermentation lock and allows the gas to escape while not allowing air in, thus keeping the fermentation bottle sterile. The holes may become clogged with foam and you may need to poke a few more. Just remember the purpose of this and use your common sense. I've accomplished this with plastic wrap and a rubber band, but I wouldn't advise others to try unless you're fond of unmet expectations.
About two weeks from this point the balloon will cease to be greatly inflated and will eventually go limp. When it has been completely limp for a few days and the mead is clear rather than cloudy, fermentation is over. At this point sanitize your wine bottles and plastic tubing and bottle the mead. Be careful not to get the yeast into the bottles as it's not exactly tasty stuff. I stop about an inch before the bottom of the primary fermenter and we siphon off the last inch into cups and toast the new mead. My mead has been very tasty at this point, other people describe theirs as tasting like paint thinner. In any case, you may not mind a little yeast in your cup now, but don't inflict it on yourself in the future by bottling it.
Wait two to six months and then enjoy. Since the above recipe has no additives which would hasten aging, it may take a while for it to become truly fine mead, perhaps years. There are a lot of chemical additives that one can use to improve the flavor and process. The most common and important addition is a teaspoon of yeast energizer or yeast nutrient. Others include grape tannin (1/4 teaspoon), malic acid (2 or 3 teaspoons), tartaric acid (1 to 2 teaspoons). I recommend all of these chemical additives in your first batch, but if you can't find them you can make do with natural ingredients or nothing at all.
One can also add slices of fruit, raisins, or berries for flavor and in place of grape tannin. One recipe I know of adds some apple jelly. A few lemon peels will substitute for malic acid and a spoonful of strong tea will do replace tartaric acid. Hops are a common additive and will give the mead a bit of a bitterness to offset the sweetness of the honey. The more bizarre ingredient I have heard of was Szechuan peppers, use your imagination.
All of the above additives should be made to the honey and water mix when it is boiled. Depending on the ingredient, some, such as fruit, may have to be boiled in this mixture for a while to break them down. Obviously hunks of fruit should be strained out after the boiling. Also, all the above ingredients are based on 1 gallon of mead, adjust appropriately with the exception of the yeast itself, one package of which will do for anywhere between 1 and 5 gallons.
Another semi-useful item is sulfite tablets which can be added to the mead mixture a day before bottling. This will kill all remaining yeast and will assure that you are not contaminated by vinegar yeast after bottling or worse that the fermentation process does not continue in the bottle, causing it to explode or pop its cork. I don't use sulfite and I've heard negative comments about a sulfurous aftertaste. It's probably the better part of valor to simply wait a while longer and make sure the fermentation process is truly ended.



--------------------
May all your up's and down's be under the sheets!

Religion is for those who are afraid of going to Hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.
- Anonymous
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:19 AM
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Midsummer Ritual Mead recipe
2-1/2 gallons water (preferably fresh rainwater blessed by a Wiccan priestess or priest)
1 cup meadowsweet herb
1 cup woodruff sprigs
1 cup heather flowers
3 cloves
1 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup barley malt
1 oz. brewer's yeast
Pour the water into a large cauldron or kettle. Bring to a boil and add the meadowsweet herb, woodruff sprigs, heather flowers, and cloves. Boil for one hour and the add the honey, brown sugar, and barley malt. Stir thirteen times in a clockwise direction and then remove from heat. Strain through a cheesecloth and allow the mead to cool to room temperature. Stir in the brewer's yeast. Cover with a clean towel and let it stand for one day and one night. Strain again, bottle, and then store in a cool place until ready to serve. Midsummer Ritual Mead is an ideal drink to serve at Summer Solstice Sabbats, as well as during all Cakes and Ale Ceremonies and Esbats.


This one is good for Litha as well.
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:22 AM
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Soft Mead

1 quart water, preferably spring water
1 cup honey
1 sliced lemon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Boil together all ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising "scum" with a wooden spoon. When no more rises add the following:
pinch salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mead or wine during the Simple Feast.




This one is good for the non-drinkers

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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:23 AM
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This is another good explanation I found on the net

Ye Olde Batte's PROVEN Recipes

Basic Metheglyn

(Took First Prize at Homebrewers Competition) Put three pounds (1 quart)
light honey to about a gallon of water and heat to just below boiling.
Skim off as much as you can of the white froth & discard. Add a palmful
of whole cloves, a handful of stick cinnamon, and a couple of palmfuls
of whole allspice. Add the zest (thin outer peel) of one medium-large
orange. Remove and discard the white pith from the orange and crush the
remainder into the pot. Add one cup double-strength black tea (two
teabags to one cup boiling water). Keep the whole mess at steaming (NOT
BOILING) temperature for two to five hours. Cool to lukewarm
("baby-bottle" or "blood" temperature) and strain or rack (siphon) into
one or two large bottles, filling only to the "shoulder" of each bottle.
Add one or two tablespoonfuls of dry yeast to each bottle and attach
airlock. (Mead is the ONLY fermented product it is not only safe, but
often preferable to use bread yeast to manufacture). You may want to
leave the bottles "unlocked" for 12-24 hours to give the yeasty-beasties
a headstart. Leave in warm, but not hot, place for 7-21 days, or until
airlock "breaks." Rack into clean bottles. You may top up with clean
water, if you wish. This lightens the flavour and assists in the
mellowing process. DON'T use processed city water! Age in cool spot
for AT LEAST six weeks -- it can safely go for a year. Rack once more
when it looks clear, and be sure always to leave all the GUCK in the
bottom of the bottle whenever you rack. ENJOY IN MODERATION -- NOTHING
is as bad as a mead hangover!

Wylde-Rose-Petal Metheglyn

Use basic recipe as above, but reduce cloves to 5 or 6 large -- count
'em -- and add one whole nutmeg, split in half, and one or two one-pint
ziploc bagfuls of fresh (or frozen) rose petals. Wild roses are the
best for this, as they are more fragrant; the red or pink have more
flavour than the white. When you pick, go for the newly opened or just
opening flowers; take ONLY the petals; pack 'em as tightly in the bags
as you can. They store well in the freezer until use (but not
overlong). This recipe makes a smaller volume of product than the
basic, but the bouquet and flavour are unique and delightful and the
colour is GORGEOUS!

Melomel/Cyser

Use basic recipe, but eliminate allspice, scant other spices, add a
nodule of fresh ginger root, peeled and cut in pieces; omit the tea; use
a tad more yeast; and REPLACE THE WATER WITH FRUIT OR BERRY JUICE. It's
unusual, but "Gran' shtuff!" When apple juice is used, it can be called
cyser. Make sure juice is fresh and has NO preservatives or "spoilage
retardants," 'cause it won't ferment if it does. Cyser or pear melomel
are FANTASTIC when drunk warm in the winter. Glenn & Faith's Rose Petal
Wine Pick 4-8 quarts rose petals (firmly packed) 10 days to two weeks
after last spraying and let cold water run over them for ten minutes to
wash off any residual gunk. Bring two gallons of water (the GOOD stuff)
to a boil, put petals in a crock, and pour the boiling water over them.
When it has cooled, squeeze the petals thoroughly by hand to get all the
scented liquid out. Strain the result into an enamel pot, squeezing out
every drop of juice, add 6-8 pounds of sugar, bring to SLOW boil, and
brew for 20 minutes or so. Pour back into CLEAN crock, let cool to
lukewarm, dissolve 1/2 ounce yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, and add.
Cover. (Air-lock should be applied at this point, if you have one.) Let
ferment 14-21 days. Rack off. Let stand until clear. Re-rack and
bottle. Age for AT LEAST a year. SERVE COLD!
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:26 AM
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Rowanberry Wine

Gather berries when ripe and dry. Pick clean from stalks and place in
large container (a plastic beer bucket is excellent). Cover with
boiling water and let stand 4-5 days, muddling occasionally. (It takes
about 2 1/2 lbs. berries per gallon of water.) Strain off liquor,
measure, and allow one pound sugar per gallon. Put sugar in large
vessel, pour in liquor, stir until dissolved, add one ounce crushed
fresh ginger root, and leave to ferment 10-12 days (or longer if still
actively working). NB: You may add yeast and/or nutrient if you're more
interested in success than in tradition. Close tightly and allow to age
6 months before bottling. Store in cool, dry place. NB: Rowan, called
"dogberry" in some places, and "rountree" in others, is actually the
European mountain ash. Native North American mountain ash will work,
but not as well. The product is fairly astringent, but good, and the
colour is lovely. Now, who's going to get back to me with the elderblow
recipe?? You have all my secrets that I can send in the mail.

Toast (Spanish):
Bendito sea el arbol
De donde sacaron la madera
De que hicieron el cabo del martillo
Con que clavaron la pila
En que te bautizaron.

>Blessed be the tree
>From which they took the wood
>From which they made the handle of the hammer
>That nailed the nails into the font
>Where you were baptized.

This is to be said in one breath and one's glass must be emptied before
one is allowed to inhale again.
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:27 AM
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SIMA
Lemon-flavored Mead (Finnish)


To make 5 quarts

2 large lemons
1/2 cup granualated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 quarts boiling water
1/8 teaspoon yeast
5 tsp. sugar
15 raisins

With a small, sharp knife or rotary peeler, carefully peel off the
yellow skins of the lemons and set them aside. Then cut away the white
membranes of the lemons and discard them. Slice the lemons very thinly.
In a 6 to 8-quart enameled or stainless-steel bowl, combine the lemon
slices, lemon skins and the two sugars. Pour the boiling water over the
fruit and sugar, stir, and let the mixture cool to tepid. Then stir in
the yeast. Allow the Sima to ferment, uncovered at room temperature for
about 12 hours. To bottle, use 5 one-quart bottles with very tight
covers or corks. Place 2 teaspoon of sugar and 3 raisins in the bottom
of each bottle. Strain the Sima through a sieve and, using a funnel,
pour the liquid into the bottles. Close the bottles tightly and let them
stand at room temperature for 1 or 2 days until the raisins have risen
to the surface. Chill the sealed bottles until ready to serve.
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:28 AM
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I found this little tidbit on the net as well

Things about Mead.

The less honey, the lighter the drink, and the quicker it can be made. 1
pound of honey per gallon of water is the minimum, 5 pounds per gallon
is the maximum for a sweet dessert wine. If you add dark berries to the
mead mixture it will tend to mature earlier. Some say that it takes at
least 1 year for a mead to age properly and others say 4-5 years. I
have found that 6 months to 1 years is a good period. There are several
books out there that talk about making mead. I do not recall the exact
title but any local homebrew shop should have them.
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:29 AM
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Mead - "Same As It Every Was"

3 gallons water
5 pound honey
2 teaspoons yeast nutient
1 ounce hops (Cascades)
1 package yeast (champagne, wine or ale)

In pot boil honey, water, nutients and hops for 30 minutes. Let cool to
about 100F and then add yeast starter. I usually find it easier to mix
the yeast with warm water and then pour into the container. Let mixure sit
for 7 days and then transfer the liquid to another container. Allow this
to sit for 1-2 months covered and at room tempeture. Rack to your choice
of containers.
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:31 AM
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Another Tutorial

The following is based upon my own experiences in brewing, and information
that I have gleaned from various publications on wine and beer-making. First, I
will deal with 'long' meads, and then quicker 'short' meads for the impatient at
heart.

Mead is really not that difficult to make. I am hardly a wizened
master (having only 6 gallons of production under my belt, so to speak),
but I will venture to state that anyone patient and clean enough by
nature can make quite a nice brew at home.

First, let me say that it is much easier to do if you have a
homebrew supply store in town. It is possible to get everything you
need mail order, but nothing tops the convenience and inspirational
value of actually browsing in a store. All that you would need to
get from there is the yeast and airlocks; anything else could be
found or substituted from other sources.

So let's get to basics. Get lots of honey, preferably clover honey
(try your local 'health food' store; mine has bulk honey for 1.19/lb.,
although it is not clover). Use from 2-4 pounds per U.S. gallon of
water, depending on your desired sweetness and alcohol level. 3 pounds
should get you a slightly sweet white wine-ish mead.

Boil the honey in the water, skimming off the grayish-brown foam
which will form on top, until the foam is no longer formed at a rapid
rate (I usually wait until it takes about 2 minutes to form enough foam
to skim effectively.)

Now you need to add some fruit; for 2 gallons, I usually add a lime
and an orange, with about 1 oz. of ginger to boot. You can use any
citrus you like, in almost any amount you like. The purpose of this,
besides taste, is to balance the wine; it also prevents oxidation later
on. Cut it up, throw it in, but remember to minimize the amount of
white pith that goes into the pot, as it adds an unpleasantly bitter
taste to the wine. I usually grate some peel into the pot, then squeeze
in the juice, with some pulp thrown in as well. Peel the ginger, cut it
up, throw it in; grating will utilize more of the ginger, but makes it
harder to strain out. Also, nothing beats the zingy taste of ginger
boiled in honey water! What the hell, eat the fruit too, it's good for
you.

OK, so you have some hot pre-mead, now what? Let it cool,
preferably covered, until you can handle it reasonably well. Now you
need a narrow-necked container, preferably glass. I use 1-gallon apple
juice jugs. There are also large plastic tubs, with a tight-fitting lid
that has a small hole drilled in it for the airlock, which works equally
as well. These are available at homebrew shops as well, and are
especially helpful for those big batches.

The key to preventing any unwanted contamination of your mead is
cleanliness.

Clean and sterilize your container, with either sodium metabisulphite
(also at HBrew shops) or with a bleach solution (no more than two
tablespoons per gallon of water). Chlorine bleach will kill the nasty
organisms, but requires a lot of hot water rinses of the container
afterwards. Sodium metabisulfites are the sulfites in commercial wines,
but they only inhibit growth, and can also cause (except, of course,
that pleasant drunk feeling), go with the bleach. One could also
attempt to use heat to ster ilize the equipment (say, the heat-dry cycle
of a dishwasher), but personally I do not recommend this,as it can have
a disastrous effect on the glass (and anything in range if it breaks
apart). Once it is sterilized and well-rinsed, fill your container with
cooled mead. Try to strain it as you fill; bits of fruit pulp and peel
should not be allowed to remain while fermenting, as it may start to
decay and spoil all your effort. Cover and alloe to cool to room
temperature. Meanwhi le, prepare your airlock, st erilizing it as you
did the container. Fill it halfway with either water or sulfite
solution at the appropriate strength (check the package), and definitely
NOT with bleach solution. Removing the airlock or pressure changes may
suck some of the solution into the mead, and the bleach would make it
undrinkable. Sulfite solution is preferred (since water could be
infected by the dreaded vinegar fly), and it won't poison the product.

When the mead is fully cooled, you can now add the yeast. It is
considered best to take a little of the mead in a beer bottle, add the
yeast packet, and let it start off to the side before adding it to the
entire batch; this becomes really necessary if your batch is in several
jugs, instead of just one. Also, it is very important to use a yeast
nutrient, which should be right next to the yeast when you buy it. You
will need about 1 teaspoon per gallon, since honey is extremely
deficient in the chemi cals necessary for yeast to reproduce.

The choice of yeast could be important; most meadmakers steer clear
of ale yeasts, since they have a low alcohol tolerance (9%?) and
reportedly impart an unwanted flavor to the mead. I myself have used
ale yeasts, with no undesirable effects. Preferably, one should use a
mead yeast, but if not, a wine or Champagne yeast work just as well.

Now you just add the yeast and nutrient, and fit the airlock over
the mouth of your container (a variety of sizes of rubber stoppers
are available, so don't be concerned with whether ornot your bottle
is the 'right' size for the airlock. Be sure to test your stopper
first, to see if it will hold the seal). Put it in a corner
somewhere, and watch it go.

I have had experiences where the fermentation was so violent that
mead foam was forced through the airlock. It is not that large of a
concern; just clean it up every once in a while,fill the airlock
again(see why you don't want bleach!), and reseal the container.This is
another reason to strain the mixture; you don't want to block the
airlock, or your meadmaking could soon become an experiment in bomb
making! Check on it ever once in a while, to make sure the carbon
dioxide is escaping. It will soon calm down, and the soft, steady bloop
sounds which brewers all cherish from their airlocks will soon sing you
to sleep.

The hardest part is now upon us -- waiting. Mead takes
excrutiatingly long to ferment, since the sugars in it are so complex.
This is when it is handy to have a hydrometer, which is just a cheap
device to measure the specific gravity (and hence the sugar content) of
your brew. If you have one, read the enclosed instructions;if not,
don't worry about it. You will just have to be more patient and
observant is all. Watch your mead; a layer of yeast will fall to the
bottom of your container (so clear g lass is preferable). When the layer
is substantial, you will want to siphon the mead into another container,
so that the dead yeast there will not break down and spoil the mead.
This will take on the order of two to three months, and then again in
another two to three months. After these two transfers (called
'racking'), the mead should be 'clear'; if it is cloudy, the yeast
haven't finished yet, so let it sit some more. If the mead is clear but
bubbles are still visib le, the yeast haven't finished yet. If no
deposit forms, it is clear, and no bubbles are visible, then the yeast
are probably through, and you can bottle.

Sterilize the bottles that you plan to use as you did the other
equipment. Since mead sometimes fools you into believing it is done,
Champagne bottles are preferable. If any bottle fermentation does take
place, you do not want it in regular bottles, or without the cork wired
down. If you wish, regular bottles can be used, but be sure to use a
wine stabilizer,and only after fermentation is complete. Until you are
experienced, better safe than sorry (and messy). Siphon your mead into
the bottles and c ork. Plastic corks are just fine to use, and are
reusable. Cages are also reusable, to a point, if you have trouble
getting new ones. If you've done it all right, no sediment should form,
and you should have a fine still mead. If not, bottle fermentation has
taken place, you have a little sediment around the punt of your
Champagne bottle, and you have fine sparkling mead (or else you've
cleaned up your winerack, if you used a regular bottle). Age as long as
you can stand, up to two ye ars, but open one fairly early, as reward
and to check for bottle fermentation.

To intentionally make sparkling mead, you need to have made a
low-alcohol batch (I'd say <= 2.5 lb/gallon), and you really should buy
a hydrometer to tell you when it is finished. In this case you must use
a high-alcohol wine yeast; ale yeast will not work. When it is, remove
a small portion of mead, boil it, and add some sugar to the boiling
mead, cover and cool, and add back to the batch. I do not have the
reference that I want nearby, but for beer the amount is 4 oz. per
gallon, so that should be about right. Less is OK, more is not
recommended. Then bottle in Champagne b ottles (or beer bottles --
Grolsch bottles are very good for this, and replacement seals are
available). Wait a few weeks (longer if honey was used), chill, and pour
the mead carefully off of the sediment (you Chimay ale drinkers know
what I mean). This is why you may want to use less sugar in the bottle
than 4 oz; the bubbles released when opening can force the sediment off
of the bottom of the bottle and into your glass, so fizzy mead becomes
fizzy yeasty mead, wh ich can be comestibly and gastrically unp leasant.

Once you have a few batches under your belt, you can add fruit,
hops, more ginger, whatever you think would taste good. Amounts are
generally a pound or so of fruit, an ounce or so of hops, per gallon.
Experimentation, though sometimes yielding unfortunate results, is the
key to getting what you want. However, if fruit is to be used, do not
boil it (it may jellify), and if you can, sterilize it with sulfites and
add pectic enzyme to the brew. Crush it, add it, and make sure that it
does not clog the airlock.If you use hops, I suggest a mild variety like
Fuggles or Ca scade. Mor e bitter hops could be used, but I would
relegate them only to the quick sparkling meads,where the beer quality
is more pronounced and less invasive than in wines.

Now that you have made a long mead, you'll need to make a quick
mead to drink while you wait. Use about 2-2.5 lbs of honey per gallon;
any more, and the yeast may take to long, depriving you of the
relatively quick satisfaction you seek. Also, I suggest using an ale
yeast, despite all convention. After all, you are essentially making
honey beer here, not wine, which by its very nature needs to be delicate
and well-aged. Do that mead thing just like before. Allow vigorous
fermentation to run its course. In ten to twenty days, the mead should
have settled down. Ale yeast is a top-fermenting yeast, so it works
best in a warm environment. Because we want to arrest fermentation, we
need to cool it. Find a place in your fridge where the bottle can stand
up with the airlock init, and stick it there. The yeast will slow down
and sink, and thus the mead will start to clear. When it is clear,
bottle in either beer or Champagne bottles, and leave it out for a day
or two if you want it carbonated, then refrigerate. If you wish, wait a
little longer, then transfer it instead into a p lastic thermos, and
drink it quickly. If it's too yeasty, next time wait longer. Wait a
week for the sediment to form, then drink. Do not wait too long; bottle
fermentation will soon make the mead gush out of the bottle when opened,
mixing the yeast back in the mead. If this starts to occur, you must
rebottle or face the consequences. The longer you can wait until
bottling, the more unlikely that you end up with little mead time bombs
in your fridge. Thi s is the other reason for using ale yeast; its lo w
alcohol tolerance will end fermentation earlier than wine yeast,
lowering the danger limit to your bottles (and you). As anecdotal
evidence, I relate the story of my ginger beer, which when opened, put a
plastic Champagne cork imprint on my ceiling, followed by the entire
contents of the bottle, which then proceeded to ginger-bathe my entire
kitchen. (By the way, the kitchen smelled great). I then had to go in
the back yard and defuse the remaining four bottles, hitting the back
fence three out of four shots. Sparkling mead demands respect, and
usually gets it from whomever it wishes. Aged sparkling mead is
sparkling mead with an attitude. Really old sparkling mead doesn't kill
people, people kill people. I know people who would rather rip their
own heads off than open a bottle of really old sparkling mead.

After several batches of quick mead, it will become apparent what
variations to try, and which of these you wish to try with your long
meads. Once again, I stress the virtues of experimentation,
especially with these quick meads, in which you have invested a lot
less waiting and bother, and hence won't be so disappointed if
something goes awry. The best laid plans o' mice and mead...

While this discussion is by no means a definitive guide on meads,
I feel that it should clear up some misconceptions on the subject, some
of which have been propogated through folios and articles within the SCA
itself, including the first Knowne World Handbooke, which I feel really
shows it age in this topic. The technology and literature on the subject
of homebrewing has increased severalfold since its penning, and it would
be folly to discount it only on the basis of period accuracy and
perceived complexity. Become the life of the barony, and earn the
respect of your heavy fighters. Kiss up to the king, and bring your
wares to the war. Everybody loves a brewer!

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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:33 AM
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FireHouse GingerMead
----------------------

Makes 5 Gallons.

===========
1/4 tsp Irish Moss Clarifying Agent
3/4 cups Corn Sugar for bottling
1 1/2 lbs Corn Sugar
7 1/2 lbs Wildflower Honey
2 tsp Gypsum (CaSO4 - Calcium Sulphate)
1/2 tsp Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C Crystals) to prevent oxydation
4 oz Freshly-grated supermarket ginger root
3 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1 pkg Champagne Yeast (redstar)
1 tsp Liqued Smoke

Add everything except Yeast Nutrient & Yeast to water in Brew kettle to make
4 Gal. Bring to boil and boil for 15 minutes, skimming off albumin proteins
as they form on the surface. Cool and sparge (strain) to 5 gal. carboy. Sparge
with hot water (sparge through strainer filled with used ginger) to make 5 gals.

Add Yeast Nutrient and Yeast to carboy.
Add 3/4 cups corn sugar during bottling.
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RavenWing 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:36 AM
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Most of these I found on the net. I have a book somewhere with some great recipes, but I just recently moved and I think it may still be packed somewhere. As I find them, I will post them.


ENJOY!
Mary




P.S. The Asatru religion is very big on mead. I think there should be some recipes in books cncerning Asatru.
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free2Bme 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 08:58 AM
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QUOTE
ENJOY IN MODERATION -- NOTHING is as bad as a mead hangover!


blink.gif Boy have you got that right! Sometimes all it takes is one or two swigs to put you over the top, too! blink.gif


--------------------
RPG Anne O'Calahan
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barddas 
  Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 09:01 AM
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At some of the seasonal Festival we attend we ( my friends and I ) are
known as the brotherhood of ARRRG! LOL! due to mead consumption and the constant cry of ARRRG! LOL...
I thought it was funny... biggrin.gif


--------------------
BARDDAS BLOG/WEB SITE

Co Founder/Member of the KDC

Music is holy, art is sacred, and creativity is power

Everyday is EARTH DAY to a farmer

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
Oscar Wilde

Some men are drawn to oceans, they cannot breathe unless the air is scented with a salty mist. Others are drawn to land that is flat, and the air is sullen and is leaden as August. My people were drawn to mountains- Earl Hamner Jr.

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free2Bme 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 09:13 AM
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The only problem with mead is that you really can not control the alcohol content in it. It has been my experience that some meads are much stronger than others, I don't know if it is because it has been fermented longer or what. My first taste of honey meade was at a feast and I drank about half a tankard full, it was smooth and delicious, and I suffered no ill or adverse effects what so ever. However the other mead I drank at a Viking Feast, and I only had a single swallow of it and that was more than enough for me! The Viking Meade (aka Viking Love Potion) was concocted from blackberry juice I was told - but I avoid Viking Meade like the plague now!
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Catriona 
Posted: 17-Jun-2003, 10:49 AM
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I don't like mead - it's a little sweet for my palate...

But it is available at all the local gift stores in Dorset, Devon, Hampshire and Cornwall.... I have seen a few brands of it available in some of our gift shops on the Royal Mile.... not as many as in the West Country of England, though - where it is still drunk in certain pubs, straight from a barrel!
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