Leap Year and Craft Beer

I’ve been on the road for most of January and February, thanks to an annual furlough from work that left me with a lot of time on my hands.  The U.S. southwest is magical.  I went on some good hikes, drank some good mead, met some good people, and had a chance to hit the reset button.  Heading into this summer, I’m very glad I got the chance to do that.

I have a ton of photos that I need to go through, and will be posting some of them up here with a few trip reports soon.

But for now, if you’re in the boozy state of Washington, today is officially Craft Beer Day.  In the glass here is Oak Barrel Mead from Oppegaard meadery, because I was in a mead mood and not a beer one today.  I do have a bottle of Dogfish Head worldwide stout, which will absolutely knock you on your ass at 15%, and is not the thing I want to drink the night before I go back to work.  That bottle is being saved for later.

Go hoist a cold one, and don’t worry.  Nobody’s going to judge you if it’s craft mead instead of beer.

If they do judge, we can sic Gritty on them.

gritty

 

Such neglect!

For just about everything except the mead.

There’s a new batch of peach mead in secondary, thanks to a neighbor and her amazing find of orchard peaches.  I mean, what else was I going to do with 15 lbs of peaches?

I’m testing it tomorrow before Thanksgiving dinner and hopefully, it will be ready to bottle in the spring.

Longer mead post soon, promise.

October mead update

Going from a suggestion by a friend, I figure it’ll be a good idea to post monthly updates on what’s happening with the mead projects.

October 2015-

Still in primary:

  • The light honey mead, from local Montana honey purchased at Costco.  It’s still bubbling away, and I’ll probably put it in secondary next week.  Happy with the way it tastes and with the SG.

Moved to secondary:

  • Cyser-  honey, apple cider, spices (nutmeg and cinnamon).  It tastes great, but I honestly can’t taste the booze in it. That could be a very good thing or a very bad thing, depending.  I went light on the spices, which turned out to be a good decision.
  • Utah honey mead- turned into a gallon and 1/3, so I need to buy some marbles to raise the level in the second carboy.
  • 1 gallon using the same honey I made the 5 gallon batch out of.  So far, it’s very consistent in how it tastes.
  • 1 gallon of coffee mead.  Jury’s out on this one.  I can taste a little coffee, but overall it’s very, very harsh.  Going to leave it in secondary for a while.
  • 1 gallon from honey a co-worker found at a local farmer’s market.  Also a bit on the harsh side.

I’ve got plans to start two five gallon batches, so we have something to enjoy next summer.  I also found some culinary lavender at Pike Place Market and am curious to see what that will do with a mead.  Finally, the co-op had killer bee honey on sale, from Brazil.  I’ll use that for just a plain mead.  The honey’s got an interesting flavor that I don’t want to influence with spices.

So that’s what’s fermenting and in the works for this month.  I’m hoping the cyser will be ready to drink around New Year’s.  I’ll see how it goes.