From the HBD Archive
Subject: mead questions
Date: 1992-05-11 21:04:00 GMT

Dear Brewers

This weekend I hope to brew up my first batch of mead and I was
hoping I could pick up a few pointers from anyone who's already
tried this type of brew. I'll be referring to Papezian's recipe
for Antipodal (Traditional) Mead, but adjusting the measures for
a one gal. batch instead of a five.

Pap. instructs to begin the fermentation in a closed, glass vessel
and then rack to a secondary to clear after fermentation's complete.
My question is: what sort of fermentation activity can I expect?
Will I need a blow-off hose for this stage, or will a lock suffice -
I suspect I'll need a blow-off... Secondly, he recommends using
yeast extract to assist fermentation, but the shop I ordered from
doesn't carry "extract" per se, but something they call "yeast
energizer" which they say is really the same thing, but most often
used to unstick stuck fermentations. Anyone got any feedback?

Finally, here's an update on 3 of my previous batches for which
many of you on the network provided much needed input... I'm sad
and embarrassed to say 2 of these batches are complete and dismal
failures - the ginger-spruce lager is so repulsive that it's tough
from gagging after just smelling it! Pine-sol is even more pleasent
than this stuff! It is simply undrinkable... The other batch - the
recipe for which again comes from Bravery - I call "Chicago Tunnel
Water (let your imagination wander on this one!!) There is little
I can say that could adaquately describe this ... this ... stuff!
It's even worse than the "Pine-sol Brew" above!

But I can't say that I've not learned something (and that is, in
my opinion, the whole point of this hobby): If nothing else, shelf
the Bravery book (perhaps the author's chosen a rather ironic nom
d'plumme!!). I have yet to find success for any of the recipes in
his book, beginning with the now infamous "Monstrocity Ale" (which,
yes, did actually sprout legs and walk away!). Secondly, regardless
of whose recipe you're following, now that all else's failed, READ THE
DIRECTIONS!! I did exactly that for the Propensity Lager in Papezian
and it was magnificent! Finally, I've learned that in sharing your
enthusiasm for a successful batch by hosting a "homebrew" party (such
as the one I held for the batch of Propensity Lager) you'll inevitably
wind up with empty bottles and a "where did they all go?!" feeling :-)
and a ton of new friends all wanting to know when the next batch is due!

Ah, well... I'll be brewin' this weekend. I think I'll try Pap's
recipe for (snicker) "Goat Scrotum Ale" (I wonder how well-attended THAT
party will be!!). Also, thanx in advance for any direction on the mead.



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