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Meads of the past: Mead 0

May 6, 2011

Mead 0 – my first foray into mead making.

The creation of mead 0 started out promising, as boiling honey with water should be.  It is a simple mead, and simple mead’s have simple recipes.  However there were some lessons to be learned from Mead 0.  Perhaps the most important was to never pour near gallons of near boiling liquid through a funnel (even a large funnel) into a carboy*.  As you should know (and if you don’t: pay attention) pouring large amounts of boiling liquid onto glass is a really great recipe for what is called thermal shock.  Thermal shock is where the glass expands rapidly due to the heat, and then…explodes really.  More shatters in a fantastic manner.

So, now you’re nodding to yourself and thinking “That poor dumb bastard,” and most of the time you’d be right in thinking that.  But I’ve not told you the entire story yet.  I preheated the carboy by filling it with the hottest water my water heater could crank out, and poured out the heated water right before adding the mead.  This combined with a hearty dose of luck and a well-tempered carboy lead to the carboy not exploding into flesh rending splinters.  However, the lesson I learned was a different one.  Liquid takes up space.  Carboys are filled with air.  When the liquid has filled a funnel (a great BIG funnel!)and is now filling the carboy, the air wants to escape.  And the air will escape.  By whooshing through the funnel filled with near-boiling liquid and creating massive geysers of super heated sticky liquid.  This doused me, my lovely assistant, the kitchen…really most of the kitchen, and the ceiling received its fair share of droplets.  (This was the “that poor dumb bastard” part)  Needless to say being covered in really hot honey water isn’t fun.  Again, luck was on my side and no one was injured and during the initial wave of honey-magma explosions I didn’t lose the pot of still very hot mead, and was able to stop pouring.

Despite the appearance that three times as much liquid made its way outside of the funnel onto everything than was even in the pot, remarkably little was lost.  I resumed pouring (much more slowly) and the batch was saved.  Now, I am usually scrupulous about record keeping, logging how much of what was added and how; but after that ordeal I just wanted a shower and thus all of the details of that batch are lost to foggy recollections.  Accordingly I’m not certain how much alcohol Mead 0 contains, although I do believe it is quite a bit.  I used the tried and true method of drinking some and then seeing how drunk it got me.  Except, rather than trying to quantify inebriation off of how frequently I did something that I wouldn’t have otherwise done, I used a breathalyzer.  The answer was rather startling.  After a single mead, on an empty stomach, and then waiting the prescribed 20 minutes (otherwise the alcohol left in your mouth will give a false reading) I blew a .09.  That means 20 minutes after I finished a single 12oz beer bottle worth of liquid I was not legally able to drive (and I did not, I stayed home and did more research).

In any case it is safe to assume that it is very strong; so please, drink responsibly : )

*Carboy: Basically just those jugs that sit on to of water coolers; except made of glass or specially formulated plastics.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 28, 2011 20:04

    Thank you for a great post.

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