Thursday, 15 December 2016

Mead Attempt Version 2.0

I had my first  attempt at mead last year after I saw  professional forager Mark Williams (Galloway Wild Foods) post a fairly bombproof recipe which allowed natural yeast in unpasteurised honey to do it's thing.


This was basically a 1:4 or 1:5 ratio of honey to water and let it get on. When it had done it was drinkable but was very dry and lacked any hint of sweetness which I put down to the honey yeast processing all the honey to alcohol. 

Fast forward to the Colchester Medieval Oyster Fayre where I purchased a jar of runny honey to have another go. As I chatted to the apiarist stall holder he asked me to reconsider using his honey for mead as it wasn't necessary to use such a good one. I agreed and in return he offered me a (another) bombproof beginners recipe for JAO mead.

I did scoop a little of the honey in with the shop purchased stuff just to say that it was in there, but the difference is that the JAO one uses common old bread yeast. In addition to orange slices and sultanas I did one batch with Meadowsweet flowers in for a bit of extra flavour.

I had to carefully chop it up and insert it in the neck because the crushed flowers would smell (and indeed are) medicinal if I wasn't  careful.

and so it all started off on 18th August all cloudy with bubbles falling over themselves, especially the standard batch into which I added a little cinnamon stick and a clove.

Just before we reached September the bubbles slowed noticeably and a thick sediment started to appear, and then a few days later the Meadowsweet bottle slowly started to show signs of clearing a little.

Well to fast forward I tried the Meadowsweet one first a few weeks ago and  whilst it was a little different (it had more of a cider like taste) it was still very dry. There wasn't any airlock bubble action so I tried adding a little more honey...which set off the remaining hardcore yeast. I decided to warm it through very very gently and add yet more honey which has given it more of the desired sweet taste but I can't see me taking brewing up with any seriousness in the near future.

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