Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Need for Mead

I'm not a big wine drinker.  I don't care for the bitter taste.  Oh, I've tried all the "sweet" wines out there, even Mogen David.....

"And I can feel my teeth rotting away from an excess of sugar that no amount of toothpaste can dislodge. I will taste those damn Milago coolers forever."  (I may send a prize to anyone who knows where that quote came from without looking it up on the internet.)

But even those supposedly sickeningly sweet wines leave a bitter taste in my mouth.  I mean, I guess if there was nothing else to drink and I really, really needed a buzz I'd down a glass (or four) but only for the lightheadedness that it would cause and not for the taste.

But it seems that there will always be something in me that makes me want to make something myself.  Soap?  Oooo, I want to do that myself!  Milk?  Ooooo, let's get goats!  Bread?  Ooooo, I wann'a make raisin bread and whole wheat rolls and sourdough.  So I figure it was only a matter of time that I experimented with making an alcoholic beverage from scratch.

Honestly, I'd rather make homemade whiskey, but for some asinine reason, one is only "allowed" to make wines (and mead).  Tell me what the hell the government has to do with me making my own whiskey?  Wine is ok, but Whoa!  Hold on there, now don't you go making moonshine, that's just wrong!  What's the difference?  F'n overbearing, over regulating, overpaid and overzealous shitforbrains.  I'd better stop before I begin an anti-government rant.  Although I suppose I am overdue for one.

So, since our overlords won't allow us plebs make our own whiskey, I settled on making mead.  And actually, it's not all because of the feds.  It had a little to do with finances.  As in a still would be expensive to make and mead I could just make with some jugs of spring water, honey, yeast, a handful of raisins and some balloons.

Seriously.  Read that again.  Spring water.  Honey.  Yeast.  Raisins.  Balloons.

Even I could do that.  Shit.  My 5-year old daughter could do that.

Paul looked up a few recipes online and this is the one I pretty much followed.

We made two batches.  I asked Paul why we didn't make like fifteen gallons.  If I'm going to wait six stinking months for this stuff, I don't want to have to wait another six months after I taste it and decide I liked it.  I was obviously much more optimistic (which was kind'a strange) than Paul as his reasoning was what if we didn't like it and then we were stuck with fifteen gallons of "ick".  True.  So we only made two gallons.

But honestly, I'm the kind'a gal that will eat or drink just about anything I make, even if it's a little "off" or "meh".  For example, the squirrel we had last week.  The smaller ones were good, but the older ones were like chewing on an old tire.  But damnit, we killed 'em, skinned 'em, cooked 'em, so I was going to eat them.  So I soldiered through the tougher ones and just gave my jaws a good workout.  I figure the same would hold true for the mead.  It would have to be really, really, really terrible for me not to drink it.  Like so terrible that I wouldn't be able to hold back a physiological reflex to spit it out.

We started the mead on August 2nd and it is still bubbling away.  In a few more days, or whenever it stops fizzing, we'll take the balloon tops off, put the caps back on and stick them in the basement pantry.  And we'll probably do a taste test a month later.  Apparently, like wine, the longer you let it sit, the better it gets.  So I suppose we'll try to wait until January for the best outcome.  Just in time for Paul's birthday.


  1. I have had mead and liked the flavor, not sweet but that honey smell I guess you would say is there after a sip.
    They are opening breweries around here so I am growing hops. Our county is known as the moonshine capitol but the liquor nazis have hunted down and punished all the whiskey makers and while they busy harassing those terrible people, they let the meth people get established. Now they have a real problem. If they would just let people make whiskey for their own use and also make it easy to get a permit to sell it, things wouldn't be illegal. We have a variety of stills at work, the hammered copper is really pretty and some still have the sealing dough around them. We are a museum and have permits to own the things.Shouldn't be illegal to do what people have done for thousands of years should it.

  2. I have tasted some BAAAAAAAD awful Mead in my day. Most times it was because the maker added something they shouldn't have though.

    Knew a guy who made an apple mead that was really tasty though.

  3. I hope it turns out for you! I like making wine. My favorite was mulberry. I choked down some strawberry and peach. The worst was cantaloupe, I tried to drink it but ended up throwing it out. You should try making hard cider. It only has like three ingredients and is ready in about a month. Mine was so strong two bottles would have you snockered!!!!!!

    1. I googled the quote and have to say I have never seen that show. It was before my time, lol!!!!

  4. Carolyn,

    I've never had mead, you'll have to let us all know what you think after 6 months if you like it. It's got to be better than that damn stringy squirrel, lol......

  5. Be sure to check out The Meadery as well:

  6. Oh, man, this reminds me of a story... My brother and his best friend were still in high school when they decided to make some wine. His friend's bedroom was in the basement and that, coupled with the summer kitchen across the hall, made a perfect laboratory - with requisite privacy. One night the phone rang at our house in the middle of the night. It was the friend, who happened to live right next door, requesting the immediate presence of my brother. Seems the balloons had shot right off the jugs and sprayed red wine all over the walls and ceiling. Those two boys started painting the room white, like his mom had been trying to get him to do for months, and they finished sometime mid-morning. She was so proud of those boys for staying up all night to finally fulfill her request. It was sometime after the boys were of legal drinking age before either set of parents found out the real impetus for the late-night painting party.

  7. Neat. I've never tasted mead. I'll be watching to see what your taste test results are on this. Hubby and I want to try making pear wine with our pears (some day when we have nothing better to do, ha ha!).

  8. Dang, that sounds good! If you like it (being our official guinea pig), I might give it a go. I tried my rhubarb wine and it's okay. Not horrible, but nothing I'd be swigging on a regular basis. I'm going for hard cider this fall.

  9. You are just amazing! The things you don't think of to make or do. Wish I had your kind of enthusiasm for trying new things. I have enough trouble making adequate loaves of rye bread to keep my husband happy.