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Mead Number 4 (IV), my 5th mead creation

May 3, 2011

Perhaps my naming convention isn’t clear; but since all good things aren’t clear (steak for instance) that’s OK.  This beauty is going to be very very tasty in the next few weeks.  Interestingly if you add a whole bunch of water to honey it actually tastes sweeter – or rather than just taste sweeter you can feel the sugar molecules building siege-engines and assaulting your teeth.  In any case, although quite good now, the product will improve with time.

In the near future I’ll go back and cover the previous vintages but since today was a brew day, the brew of the day definitely gets coverage:

What is it?  Mead is a beverage made from fermenting* honey.  This particular one is made with Weeks Honey Farm Clover honey, and this brand of honey is one I’m quite fond of since their farm is located just a couple of hours south of me in Omega, GA.  Clover honey is light and mild compared to many types of honey.  That is why the flavor is going to come from organic* lemons, organic* Valencia oranges, and organic* Navel Oranges.  Since all of the recipes I’m using are of my own creation this may end up strong or mellow; time will tell and I’ll be tweaking recipes accordingly.

Over the past few batches I’ve become ‘better’ at brewing.  The whole process is taking me less time, making less mess, and my measurements are easy to repeat.  However…  today if it could be spilled, and I was near it, I managed to spill it.  Thankfully none of the times I spilled involved my big stock pot full of boiling honey and ingredients that didn’t need to be in it.  But the dogs water bowl (multiple times), the water I was cooling to rehydrate the yeast in, to name a few were frequently at risk.

*Fermentation?

Many people when confronted with this word know that it involves alcohol magically being created.  Some can even recall that lesson in high school when the teacher mentioned that yeast have something to do with fermentation.

Well never fear – both of the above types of people are close.  What happens is yeast eat sugar.  Just about any sugar really.  Yeast, just like us create relatively toxic waste after eating; alcohol and carbon dioxide.  Thankfully one man’s (or single-celled organism’s) trash is another’s favorite beverage.

*Whats with all the organic?

Although there are many broad reasons why people use organic produce, there is an extremely important reason for this recipe.  Both conventionally and organically grown citrus are coated with wax to preserve moisture/color etc.  But, the conventional citrus’ wax can be made of petroleum derivatives, and frequently contains fungicides and pesticides.  The wax itself isn’t bad for people; but the chemicals they harbor are.  Organically grown citrus can only have naturally derived waxes and cannot contain any fungicides and pesticides.

This of course isn’t as serious a problem as most of us eat the inside of the orange.  However in order to get the most flavor recipes like this use the rind of the fruit, and there’s the reason why I simply cannot abide by using conventional citrus.

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