mikekn: (Brewing)
... that a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, then consider this a 7,000 word story about what [livejournal.com profile] complexated and I did after racking the chocolate mead.


[bucket of 5 gallons of chocolate mead, before first racking]

Read more... )
mikekn: (Brewing)
... that a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, then consider this a 7,000 word story about what [livejournal.com profile] complexated and I did after racking the chocolate mead.


[bucket of 5 gallons of chocolate mead, before first racking]

Read more... )

Mead!

Oct. 6th, 2008 05:22 pm
mikekn: (Brewing)
It is time for a mead update :)

This past spring and early summer I started making mead again with help from [livejournal.com profile] complexated. She got to learn the process, and I got to finally use up the honey I've had for, well, a very long time. This past weekend [livejournal.com profile] jessiervnsmk joined us to make the final batch with the old honey, as well as rack and taste the other three batches.

There are now five batches in process, all 5 gallons each:

Heather Honey Mead - Started several years ago with a bargain priced small bucket of heather honey. It never quiet worked out, but I'm holding on to it until I can figure out what, if anything, will make it worth finishing. Gavan suggested some experiments with acids and back sweetening that I need to try at some point.

Blueberry Melomel - Started in April. Wildflower honey and 2 qt of 100% blueberry juice from Trader Joe's. We racked it this weekend and it tastes great so far. Not too dry or too sweet and a nice fruit flavor on the finish.

Filthy Hippy Metheglin - Started in May. Wildflower honey, an Auntie Arwen Hippy tea blend and a quart of dark maple syrup. When we racked it the strongest flavor was the sassafras, no maple notes currently. Eventually I'll have to try a mead with just maple syrup added.

Mead Moon Mead - Started during the Mead Moon in June. Straight wildflower honey. Still fermenting some, but still has a nice flavor. Looking forward to a taste during the next racking.

Chocolate Mead - Started this weekend. Last of the wildflower honey and 16 oz of 100% cocoa powder. While mixing it looked like chocolate icing, then chocolate syrup. They say chocolate mead is best after aging a year or so - good thing we have so many others to drink while we wait.

I need to pick up more honey before starting anything else. We've got a buckwheat, spiced and more plain mead on the short list right now.

--

Sunday I got to taste the commercial meads that Gavan has been making for his new meadery. All of them were quite good and I think each had its own fans. I picked up the Black Current, Elderberry, and Hibiscus.

Mead!

Oct. 6th, 2008 05:22 pm
mikekn: (Brewing)
It is time for a mead update :)

This past spring and early summer I started making mead again with help from [livejournal.com profile] complexated. She got to learn the process, and I got to finally use up the honey I've had for, well, a very long time. This past weekend [livejournal.com profile] jessiervnsmk joined us to make the final batch with the old honey, as well as rack and taste the other three batches.

There are now five batches in process, all 5 gallons each:

Heather Honey Mead - Started several years ago with a bargain priced small bucket of heather honey. It never quiet worked out, but I'm holding on to it until I can figure out what, if anything, will make it worth finishing. Gavan suggested some experiments with acids and back sweetening that I need to try at some point.

Blueberry Melomel - Started in April. Wildflower honey and 2 qt of 100% blueberry juice from Trader Joe's. We racked it this weekend and it tastes great so far. Not too dry or too sweet and a nice fruit flavor on the finish.

Filthy Hippy Metheglin - Started in May. Wildflower honey, an Auntie Arwen Hippy tea blend and a quart of dark maple syrup. When we racked it the strongest flavor was the sassafras, no maple notes currently. Eventually I'll have to try a mead with just maple syrup added.

Mead Moon Mead - Started during the Mead Moon in June. Straight wildflower honey. Still fermenting some, but still has a nice flavor. Looking forward to a taste during the next racking.

Chocolate Mead - Started this weekend. Last of the wildflower honey and 16 oz of 100% cocoa powder. While mixing it looked like chocolate icing, then chocolate syrup. They say chocolate mead is best after aging a year or so - good thing we have so many others to drink while we wait.

I need to pick up more honey before starting anything else. We've got a buckwheat, spiced and more plain mead on the short list right now.

--

Sunday I got to taste the commercial meads that Gavan has been making for his new meadery. All of them were quite good and I think each had its own fans. I picked up the Black Current, Elderberry, and Hibiscus.
mikekn: (Just me)
I can't tell if I've actually been busy these last few months or not. Can't really remember much of it, and the calendar only gives me a few clues.

I've started making mead with [livejournal.com profile] complexated - we made our third batch last night in honor of the Mead Moon on Wednesday. We also racked a heather honey mead I have that didn't really work out. It has a bitter taste to it that I don't think I can do anything about/with. Still need to research it though.

Gaming is happening, two D&D games and regular Philly Gamers meetings. I've got no free Saturdays this month or next, so no Game Day anytime soon. (Technically, this Saturday was recently freed - skipping an SCA event - but I need to get stuff done around the house).

Got the new 4th ed D&D books. Only read a little of them so far, it's definitely different. Not sure about good or bad yet, but we'll give it a try at some point.

My next SCA event is Bhakail's Investiture (6/28 - history display and games), then Great Northeastern War (7/11-7/13 - history display). EK War Camp is likely, but camping vs day tripping is still up in the air. After that we're on to Pennsic.

Just got the last of what I was owed from my previous job (yay). Took 'em a while but I figured they would be good for it eventually.

Zwahlen's has Blueberry ice cream today and tomorrow. I wonder if it will make a good milkshake...

Finally bought a GSP the other day. Still haven't really tried it out (though I watched it track my progress to work this morning).

I need a nap. Or lunch. Or both.
mikekn: (Just me)
I can't tell if I've actually been busy these last few months or not. Can't really remember much of it, and the calendar only gives me a few clues.

I've started making mead with [livejournal.com profile] complexated - we made our third batch last night in honor of the Mead Moon on Wednesday. We also racked a heather honey mead I have that didn't really work out. It has a bitter taste to it that I don't think I can do anything about/with. Still need to research it though.

Gaming is happening, two D&D games and regular Philly Gamers meetings. I've got no free Saturdays this month or next, so no Game Day anytime soon. (Technically, this Saturday was recently freed - skipping an SCA event - but I need to get stuff done around the house).

Got the new 4th ed D&D books. Only read a little of them so far, it's definitely different. Not sure about good or bad yet, but we'll give it a try at some point.

My next SCA event is Bhakail's Investiture (6/28 - history display and games), then Great Northeastern War (7/11-7/13 - history display). EK War Camp is likely, but camping vs day tripping is still up in the air. After that we're on to Pennsic.

Just got the last of what I was owed from my previous job (yay). Took 'em a while but I figured they would be good for it eventually.

Zwahlen's has Blueberry ice cream today and tomorrow. I wonder if it will make a good milkshake...

Finally bought a GSP the other day. Still haven't really tried it out (though I watched it track my progress to work this morning).

I need a nap. Or lunch. Or both.
mikekn: (Brewing)
We got a slow start last night, but Amy had done enough of the prep work that we were able to jump right into bottling. We got through two of the meads and left one for bottling on Friday (I hope). Gavan brought over two kegs for me to use, but I put off kegging until later in the week.

The Cranberry III mead is very tasty - strong too. It sneaks up on you if you're not careful (or if you are trying to finish off the dregs instead of sending them down the sink...)
mikekn: (Brewing)
We got a slow start last night, but Amy had done enough of the prep work that we were able to jump right into bottling. We got through two of the meads and left one for bottling on Friday (I hope). Gavan brought over two kegs for me to use, but I put off kegging until later in the week.

The Cranberry III mead is very tasty - strong too. It sneaks up on you if you're not careful (or if you are trying to finish off the dregs instead of sending them down the sink...)

A question

Nov. 3rd, 2006 10:45 am
mikekn: (Brewing)
Wine and Cheese.
Beer and Pretzels.
Mead and ???

A question

Nov. 3rd, 2006 10:45 am
mikekn: (Brewing)
Wine and Cheese.
Beer and Pretzels.
Mead and ???
mikekn: (Brewing)
Lots of brewing been going on.  Our kitchen is currently home to 32 gallons cider, mead and wine.  Add to that the 12 gallons in the basement and we're set for a pretty full cellar next year.  (and yet the urge to make more remains...)

Went to EK Brew U on Saturday.  Didn't get as much out of it as I hoped for - I was a bit under the weather, which contributed some.  Add in the fact that we were only day tripping and that the higher ranking guild folks seems to be a fairly closed group, not many connections were made.  I did get some great hand outs from a few of the classes, but not much new info.  Still I had a good time hanging out with folks.

One piece of good news that we got earlier in the day - the PA government passed legislation that makes it legal for limited wineries in the state to make mead.  Before this it was technically illegal because mead was not made from a fruit.  A bill to amend various parts of the PA Liquor Control Board Act was submitted on Oct 16th 2003.  On Nov 17th 2004, it was amended to add language that allows for mead.  Specifically "fruit" was changed to "agricultural commodity" and agricultural commodity was defined as "any of the following: agricultural, apicultural, horticultural, silvicultural and viticultural commodities"  (Which means, in addition to honey and grapes, they can also make wine from vegetables, flowers, trees, cow and chickens...)  The final version was signed by the governor on Dec 8th, 2004.
mikekn: (Brewing)
Lots of brewing been going on.  Our kitchen is currently home to 32 gallons cider, mead and wine.  Add to that the 12 gallons in the basement and we're set for a pretty full cellar next year.  (and yet the urge to make more remains...)

Went to EK Brew U on Saturday.  Didn't get as much out of it as I hoped for - I was a bit under the weather, which contributed some.  Add in the fact that we were only day tripping and that the higher ranking guild folks seems to be a fairly closed group, not many connections were made.  I did get some great hand outs from a few of the classes, but not much new info.  Still I had a good time hanging out with folks.

One piece of good news that we got earlier in the day - the PA government passed legislation that makes it legal for limited wineries in the state to make mead.  Before this it was technically illegal because mead was not made from a fruit.  A bill to amend various parts of the PA Liquor Control Board Act was submitted on Oct 16th 2003.  On Nov 17th 2004, it was amended to add language that allows for mead.  Specifically "fruit" was changed to "agricultural commodity" and agricultural commodity was defined as "any of the following: agricultural, apicultural, horticultural, silvicultural and viticultural commodities"  (Which means, in addition to honey and grapes, they can also make wine from vegetables, flowers, trees, cow and chickens...)  The final version was signed by the governor on Dec 8th, 2004.
mikekn: (Default)
November snuck out the back door without paying, leaving me only a month to figure out how this year will end. 

November )

December and beyond )
mikekn: (Default)
November snuck out the back door without paying, leaving me only a month to figure out how this year will end. 

November )

December and beyond )
mikekn: (Brewing)
Racked the "Rowan" mead, viognier wine and heather mead on Oct 27th.  The heather mead is pretty dry and very harsh tasting.  It is also still extremely cloudy.  I'll probably be adding some more honey to it as soon as I get around to buying some - probably supermarket clover since I want it to have little effect on the mead other then sweetening it some.  The other two batches are in good shape.  I put the first mead downstairs to age some more, and probably be testing the wine again before the end of the month.

During (well, mostly after) my mead class on Oct 29th I started a five gallon batch with some of the cranberry honey I got at Pennsic.  It had crystallized on me and I hadn't noticed, so I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how I wanted to deal with it.  Eventually I scoped what I needed into a pot, added water and heated it on the stove until the honey dissolved.  Next time (tomorrow), I'll do that right from the start so it shouldn't effect my class too much.

Speaking of my class, my second mead making "lab" is tomorrow night.  I'll be starting a second batch with the cranberry honey.  Eventually I'll add some cranberries to one of the batches, but only one pound - just to see how much effect it has.
mikekn: (Brewing)
Racked the "Rowan" mead, viognier wine and heather mead on Oct 27th.  The heather mead is pretty dry and very harsh tasting.  It is also still extremely cloudy.  I'll probably be adding some more honey to it as soon as I get around to buying some - probably supermarket clover since I want it to have little effect on the mead other then sweetening it some.  The other two batches are in good shape.  I put the first mead downstairs to age some more, and probably be testing the wine again before the end of the month.

During (well, mostly after) my mead class on Oct 29th I started a five gallon batch with some of the cranberry honey I got at Pennsic.  It had crystallized on me and I hadn't noticed, so I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how I wanted to deal with it.  Eventually I scoped what I needed into a pot, added water and heated it on the stove until the honey dissolved.  Next time (tomorrow), I'll do that right from the start so it shouldn't effect my class too much.

Speaking of my class, my second mead making "lab" is tomorrow night.  I'll be starting a second batch with the cranberry honey.  Eventually I'll add some cranberries to one of the batches, but only one pound - just to see how much effect it has.

Catch up...

Nov. 1st, 2004 12:59 pm
mikekn: (Default)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] sk4p while browsing my friend's friends list: Doc Martens for the Endless.  Very cool. 

Over a week of stuff... )

Tonight should be fencing, but I've not seen a reminder about it.  It seems all shire activities need a reminder the day before or we forget about them.  Now in the case of fencing it's more like a confirmation that nothing has caused the practice to be cancelled.  If it does get cancelled, I think I'll go play poker at Kildare's.  Voting tomorrow morning and then playing D&D in the evening (nothing like killing monsters to take your mind off elections).  Shire meeting on Thursday, then Friday we're off to Boston for an SCA event on Saturday.  Could be a good week (we'll know by Wednesday morning...)

Catch up...

Nov. 1st, 2004 12:59 pm
mikekn: (Default)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] sk4p while browsing my friend's friends list: Doc Martens for the Endless.  Very cool. 

Over a week of stuff... )

Tonight should be fencing, but I've not seen a reminder about it.  It seems all shire activities need a reminder the day before or we forget about them.  Now in the case of fencing it's more like a confirmation that nothing has caused the practice to be cancelled.  If it does get cancelled, I think I'll go play poker at Kildare's.  Voting tomorrow morning and then playing D&D in the evening (nothing like killing monsters to take your mind off elections).  Shire meeting on Thursday, then Friday we're off to Boston for an SCA event on Saturday.  Could be a good week (we'll know by Wednesday morning...)
mikekn: (Brewing)
There will be two mead making classes held at my house in the next couple of weeks.  The first will be on Friday, October 29th beginning at 7 PM.  The second will be on Tuesday November 9th, also starting at 7 PM.  Directions can be found on the shire website.

If you'd like to start your own batch during the class you will need the following:
- A container for the mead, best is a 1 to 5 gallon glass jug/carboy, or a brewing bucket.
- Honey, 3-4 lbs per gallon of mead you want to make.
- Water (if you don't like my tap water)
- Yeast, I've been recommending Lavin 71B to start with.

I can pick up yeast and jugs/carboys for people, but I need to know a few days ahead to do it.
mikekn: (Brewing)
There will be two mead making classes held at my house in the next couple of weeks.  The first will be on Friday, October 29th beginning at 7 PM.  The second will be on Tuesday November 9th, also starting at 7 PM.  Directions can be found on the shire website.

If you'd like to start your own batch during the class you will need the following:
- A container for the mead, best is a 1 to 5 gallon glass jug/carboy, or a brewing bucket.
- Honey, 3-4 lbs per gallon of mead you want to make.
- Water (if you don't like my tap water)
- Yeast, I've been recommending Lavin 71B to start with.

I can pick up yeast and jugs/carboys for people, but I need to know a few days ahead to do it.
mikekn: (Default)
Been doing... )

Plan to do... )
mikekn: (Default)
Been doing... )

Plan to do... )
mikekn: (Brewing)
At Schola on Saturday I gave my first mead making class.  I viewed it as the lecture portion of a lecture/lab combination, so now it's time to schedule the labs :)

I will be making mead, and teaching beginning mead making to anyone who is interested in learning.  This is open to anyone (of legal drinking age) - you need not have attended the class at Schola.  You can either help and observe, or start your very own batch (contact me to work out what supplies you will need).

I plan to run this two or three times in the next month or so.  One date has already been selected:  Tuesday November 9th.  For the other dates, I have the following available:  Oct 27, 29, 31, Nov 7, 17.  If you are interested in attending, please let me know what date(s) would work for you.  I could also take over a Thursday if that would work better for a number of people
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