Sunday, November 23, 2014


I decided to make mead.

For those that know me, this may seem a strange decision since I don’t and never have drank alcohol. But except for a few soapbox moments in my teens, I have believed that socially responsible drinking is a good thing.

It may be the only reason I exist.

My wife drinks but is what is commonly known as a teetotaler. So why make not one but two large batches of mead? Because the process of fermentation has always interested me, and because it is my way of being included in the process. I had a friend years ago, whose life's dream was to become a brew master. It became clear that beer is not simple to make and one needs to be able to taste and appreciate the many variables.

Mead is known as the ancestor to all fermented beverages, and was made under crude and filthy conditions as far back as 2500 B.C.. It is arguably the easiest to make, second perhaps only to prison toilet wine. While I'm sure there are some prison block masters out there, I'm not interested in following that process. Mead is fermented honey, made from water, honey and yeast. You can also use Acid Blend and Yeast Nutrient.

For as little as $80 bucks you can make your first batch. Since that first batch includes buying some reusable parts, subsequent batches will be even cheaper.

There are many types of mead. Like wine, it can be made dry, semi-sweet or sweet. There are also a huge variety of meads that are created by adding things like fruit, fruit juice and or spices. There are also a ton of recipes online by mead enthusiasts.

For my first time, I decided to make one five gallon batch of traditional dry mead (my wife prefers dry to sweet), and one five gallon batch of Acerglyn (no clue how to pronounce it), which is mead made with maple syrup. I won't take up space with recipes here but for dry mead, I went with eight pounds of honey and for the acerglyn, I went with six pounds of honey and two pounds of real maple syrup (no Log Cabin).

Both glass Carboys are in my man cave bubbling away as the CO2 is released through the airlock a bubble at a time. Because light is bad for fermentation, I cut holes in the bottom of two paper grocery bags to cover the carboys.

In 2-3 months, depending on how it progresses and how patient I can be, it will be time to bottle and hopefully they will both be palatable. I'll let you know.


  1. Honestly this is an oxymoron beyond my comprehension - until I realize that you are following a karmic pattern back into your Celtic history, Scott. (also following your grandma's birch beer passion) I'm hoping I like it.
    If so, I may volunteer for increasing kid/dog/house-sitting capers in the future :)

  2. I wish you significantly more luck than I had with my own attempts. What I created could only very generously be called drinkable and I could not find anyone that generous. My experiments with hard cider worked better.

  3. Thanks Anton! We'll see how it goes. From what I can tell, it will require more aging than I have patience for, but there's no other way to know if I'm on the right track than to have someone try it.