Monday, August 19, 2013

First Batch Update and Oktobeerfest

Well, it has been nearly 7 days and my must has not begun bubbling very well. There is pressure inside the bucket, and it bubbles when I push down on the lid, but nothing else. But considering I'm only using less than 2 out of the 6.5 gallons of the bucket, this could be entirely expected. There is a lot less carbon dioxide being produce and a lot more room for it to build up.

Thus, tomorrow I am going to perform the first racking. 

Also, I spent the weekend over in Spokane at Blair's place for his daughter's 1st birthday. He broke out his green mead and let us sample it. It's interesting, but the honey was overpowering and very thick. It will, of course, mellow out as honey is converted to alcohol by the yeast. My batch contains more water and berries, so it will be very interesting to see how much difference it makes. The honey was much lighter than his batch as well, though the source was mixed in a similar fashion. The bees are allowed to eat from anywhere, including blackberries, random vegetable flowers, wild flowers, and garden flowers.

Because heating up honey is supposed to also diminish much of the flavor, I may try doing that for a cultured batch, just to see how it effects the final flavor of the mead. Like all alcoholic beverages, it's good to try a fair variety to find what is most palatable for you.

Also, I'd like to mention Oktobeerfest in Enumclaw on the 18th and 19th. It's a yearly Oktoberfest party with lots of beer sampling, a brewing competition, live comedy, and a beer wench competition. Tickets are $15 if you pre-order and $20 at the door. You can volunteer if you'd like to get in free. Enumclaw is one of those small, rustic towns with all the modern amenities disguised as traditional fares. There is plenty of easy parking and light traffic, so it's a great choice for anyone who wants to skip the Seattle/Tacoma drive.

Until next time, happy brewing!


  1. I'm not sure I would have called my mead thick, but then I'm probably more used to the kind of honey that I've been eating over here. Appreciate the honest opinion anyway.

    As far as your honey being lighter, it could be from any number of factors, such as how the honey was harvested, whether it went through any sort of filtering (despite many being labeled "unfiltered", all honey is to some degree, to get the dead bees out if nothing else), and what sort of plants the bees had around their vicinity. For instance, the mead you mentioned above was made with honey from a box kept near an oak forest, so it tends to have darker, earthier tones. My latest batch I bought from the same vendor, but was about 50 shades lighter.

    1. Thick in terms of flavor. For example a drought is thick compared to a lager. Both are low-viscosity liquids, but droughts are "thick" or "full bodied" meaning much more flavor and texture.

      As a matter of comparison, your green mead had a thick and obvious honey flavor, while mine had a sugary berry flavor. It's also worth noting that I added water in a 6:1 ratio. I assume you used a 4:1? I'm sure that makes a big difference in the strength of the honey flavoring. I'm interested in seeing how your raspberry version turns out and how it compares to the pure honey version.

    2. Ah, that makes more sense. Yeah, I think I used about a 5:1 ratio, but honestly I was just kind of eyeballing it, so I can't say for certain.

      The berry mead is quite interesting. I'm not sure I would say it's better, but it certainly had a different flavor. Not quite as sweet actually, but more bodied, like a dessert wine.