Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Year Wrap Up

With the Chai Mead bottled, I think that that calls an end to the mead making for the year, and realistically to SCA activities in general as well. Marguerite's mother is coming to town on Sunday and remains in our dwelling until the new year. I am looking forward to meeting her, although I must confess I am more than a little nervous as well. This is Cú Allaidh signing off for now.... Merry Christmas to all, and have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chai Mead Done

Chai Mead is bottled and done.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chai Mead progress

The mead did not clarify at all over night. So I have decided to try to cold crash it, which is drop the temperature which should cause the particles to drop fast. The taste of the mead is rather chemically still from the potassium metabisulphates, but that has actually already faded a fair amount so I am confident it will still be drinkable for Christmas.

The mead is now out on my balcony to get cold, I will have to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't freeze. The weather network reports that a low of -4 by the morning it could certainly freeze so I will have to bring it in before I go to bed.

I think to avoid the chemically taste I will skip the metabisulphates and simply use potassium sorbate on its own, that is for any other batches that I don't let ferment completely out. The chocolate mead that is next is meant to ferment completely out so hopefully stopping fermentation won't be necessary at all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chai Mead progress

Stopped fermentation today. Hoping it would clarify so I could bottle it I rented a corking machine. As of right now it has not clarified, may bottle it anyways, if it clarifies in the bottle and leaves some sediment in the bottle I am not that worried the taste is what matters. Unfortunately you can really taste the potassium metabisulphate still, hoping that goes away rather quickly. I am bottling it tomorrow regardless of if it clarifies or not.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Minor Boffer Constable in Training

I received an email from Duke Edward the Red agreeing to sign off on my MBCIT forms to get me started on the process of becoming a Minor Boffer Constable. With Sir Ed practicing in KW same as Faye getting the official signature should be a cinch, and with Winter War coming up I can get my first sign off right off the bat by helping Beth with the Boffer Tourney.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Comments on Aging of Chai Mead

I originally thought that the heavy spiced element of the current chai mead batch would require considerable aging to make the taste a subtle flavouring. As I stated in my last post, I don't think this mead necessarily NEEDS aging like the apple one turned out to need. The flavour is an interesting blend of spices sweetness and alcoholic content. This should turn out to be a lovely sweet desert wine.

I am sure aging it will not harm it, and will add some subtlety and complexity to the wine and I do still intend to age some of it considerably and hopefully even age it with some oak chips as well just to see what it does.

Chai Mead progress and other stuff

SG is now at 1.072 which puts the abv now at 9.2%. I tasted it too and it tastes wonderfully festive. I am thinking that this mead does not NEED aging at all, that it tastes lovely, and I think I'll be able to take a bottle or two with me to each of my christmas functions to see how well it goes over. Faye enjoyed it and agrees that aging is not 100% necessary. I am still going to put aside a gallon of mead to age with some oak to see what happens, and some bottles are already spoken for, but other than that the rest is ready for drinking.

The next batch will by the chocolate mead, and I have decided that a full 6 gallon carboy is the way to go on that one, especially if the mead is even half as good as it sounds. Though from all accounts chocolate mead is one that absolutely HAS to age. So the plan with the chocolate mead is to prepare six gallons in the carboy, allow it to ferment dry, age it for 6 months minimum in the carboy, put aside another gallon jug to age for another 2 years, bottle the rest and take out a bottle every now and then tasting it at various stages of aging.

My intent is to get to the wine shop today and talk to the proprietor about it and find out about the possibility of getting wine bottle sized bungs for running the course on mead at FOOL. With any luck I'll be able to provide every participant with a simple mead for them to take home and allow to finish fermenting. Not sure how well such small batches would turn out, but it might get a few more people interested in mead making, which is a good thing in my book.

My lady has put me to the task of assisting her in researching some period candy recipes as well. I know she has been considering a cooking course for FOOL, perhaps a candy course might be on the plate, I think it would be quite popular. If we are not careful we might end up being known as a household of decadent treats LOL.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Chai Mead progress

Took a reading on Saturday, the SG has dropped to 1.08 which makes the mead currently at 8% ABV. It is nice and sweet still, and yet packs a bit of a punch. Going to stop it fairly soon I think, it is quite drinkable as is and I don't want to over ferment it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Introduction to Mead Course

So I have decided to offer a course at fool on the basics of mead making, well actually two separate courses. One in which myself and the participants will make period fireside mead using a variation of the weak honey drink recipe from Sir Kenelme Digbie's Closet which was published in 1669, the recipe is a very period method of making a weak mead which would have been common throughout Europe for many centuries. The other course would be a course on making more modern mead, and hopefully we can make individual bottles of mead for each participant.

I have to go to the wine shop I frequent and ask if there is airlock for such small batches in order to do this, but I think over all it could be a very popular course. Faye (Marguerite) says she is pretty sure no one has ever attempted to hold such a course.