I may (or may not) have mentioned before on this blog that as part of my sustainable living drive, I decided over a year ago to learn to make some sort of alcoholic beverage in case, one day, we found ourselves cut off from all means of production and living only on what we could grow ourselves, hunt down or forage/steal.
While I hope that this day will never come, I set about collecting as much information as possible (typical Synaptoman, I hear you say). There were basically three choices, brew beer, make wine or, to me, more interestingly, make mead.
What is mead? If you’d like a very detailed explanation, pop over to the best resource on the web for mead production Got Mead. here. For a short and sharp introduction, let me enlighten you.
Mead (or honey wine) is the oldest man-made fermented beverage in the world and pre-dates wine and beer by thousands of years. In its very simplest form, it is made by dissolving honey in water, adding a yeast and allowing the mixture to ferment. Doing it as above will either blind you or make you extremely sick so rather do some decent research or join the above-mentioned forum to learn how to do it properly. Of course, on the other hand, you could just wait for the eBook, Making Mead- The Synaptoman way.
The word “honeymoon” comes from the gift of a months worth of mead given to newlyweds in medieval times, presumably to ensure early conception of offspring during this post-wedding period.
I started making my first mead over a year ago and a few weekends ago the Child Bride and I set about bottling the resulting product. It has fermented and then matured during this time in a 20L carboy and this particular mead, containing fruit and known as a Melomel, consisted of water, fynbos honey, mango and prickly pear. I used a Sauvignon Blanc yeast and the resulting mead has an alcohol content of 13.4%, is off-dry and tastes like a noble late harvest white dessert wine, but not as sweet.
Here are some action shots of the racking and bottling process.
This is what a carboy looks like.
Here a shot of the Child Bride filling the first bottle.
A case of bottled mead
And this what the final product, Blombos 2010, looks like
In closing, my “pretty picture” for the day is a shot I took of the Child Bride on a recent weekend away at Langebaan on the West Coast.
Enough for now