Category Archives: Mead

Completion of a Cycle

6 months ago I started upon a new adventure.

I decided to learn how to make my own honey wine, a.k.a. mead.  This weekend was the completion of this adventure.  Well, the ending of the first round as I will certainly do it again!

After waiting and waiting and, yes, more waiting, it was finally time to put all that lovely liquid into their own individual bottles.  There they will rest and age for probably another three months before the drinking starts but I can tell you now that the flavors turned out better than I had expected!

I had four batches on the go, two 1-gallon jugs (beet & rose) and two 2.5 gallon carbuoys (raspberry/pomegranate and mild orange spice).

Isn’t it great when something turns out better than you hoped for?  Talk about some feel good moments.  And tasty sippings.  Not to mention all the future drinking.  After bottling, this is what my wine rack looks like:

As all good endings contain the seed of a new beginning, this ending has brought the opportunity to get some new meads started.  Yay, more mead!

Pumpkin pie is bubbling away in one bucket (primary fermentation) and mango in another.  Can I wait another six months before getting to enjoy them?  Absolutely.  Because I don’t have a choice.  😉

May you enjoy your favourite beverage this week.

~Samantha

Murder Most Marvelous

The lights were strong, illuminating my work area.

The day was at its brightest point despite the overcast sky.

My intentions were of pure darkness.

My hand was steady, strong and certain, reaching out to pick up the chemicals.  The drugs that would bring death.

1/8th of a teaspoon to kill them all.

The thrill!  The joy!  I’d waited so long for this day.  Hard to believe I was finally living it.  I savoured each moment, ignored the effort that was required because all that mattered was the outcome.  Death.  Final and complete.

My mead was dead.  Murdered.  By my own hand.  The entire colony of yeast slaughtered by the proper application of potassium metabisulphate and potassium sorbate.

That picture is the view through the batch of rose mead.  And yes, that is my kitchen sink you can see behind it.  You hope for the day your mead clarifies, long for it, and I was blessed for that day had arrived.

Now that it’s dead, in about a week I’ll be bottling it all.

We are told murder is wrong.  It’s one of our most basic laws.

As a writer, it is my duty to violate this law, frequently and with flair.  My protagonists need mysteries to solve, opponents to combat, obstacles to overcome.

Murder is one of the tools life gives us.

There is the murder that starts the mystery.

The murder that twists the plot into a whole new arena.

And what of the threat of murder?  Lurking, dark and foreboding over the protagonist.  Or better yet, a loved one, someone the protagonist needs to protect but may not be able to.

Murder of the body, of their career, of their soul.  So many types of murder.  So many reasons to do it.

Do you like murder in your stories?  When and where and what type do you prefer?  What’s the best story murder you’ve read or written?  Would love to hear your comments.

Beet Mead is Greedy!

I got home today and my fourth batch of mead (though you must understand I only started making my first batch about a month ago) had—okay, backing up.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about mead is a honey alcohol (grapes lead to wine, hops to beer, honey to mead).  This particular batch of mead on my counter is going through its primary fermentation stage (stick it all in a bucket with yeast and let the yeast eat the honey to create the wonderfulness of alcohol).  I’m experimenting – it’s primary ingredient (besides the honey) is beets.

Yes, this is strange, but what’s life without a little experimentation?

So I set it all in motion on Sunday.  Today is Wednesday.  Now I don’t know much about ‘normal’.  This is only my fourth time ever and I don’t know the results yet for my first batches.  But what I’ve been told is that you wait about a week and a half before ‘racking’ the mead which means putting it in a glass jar with an airlock on it to head into the land of secondary fermentation (okay, I’m guessing at the label but it seems reasonable).

Again, today is Wednesday.  It’s been 4 days.  4.  And the damn mead ate all the honey.  It was buzzing so strong for the first three days that it was like a group of bees.  Or the fizz from a shook up can of pop where the fizzing didn’t stop.  This was like 10 days of fermenting done in 4.  Greedy mead.

Greedy!

As for writing?

105 words on the couch, WIP:  Agent of Fate. It’s a pathetic number.  But it’s still a number.  I’ll take it.

Beats and Beets

Site of writing:  half on treaddesk, half on couch
WIP:  A Bottle of Djinn
# words: 1474

Today is a deadline push through day.  Rough draft of short story done.  Tomorrow edit and send off.  Yes, nothing quite like leaving things to the last minute.  I blame NaNoWriMo.  Which I believe I rather legitimately can.  After all, I’d set it as the primary priority.

It’s been interesting work on the story, trying to get the pacing right (i.e. beats).  Meanwhile on the counter a new batch of mead is on the go.  Beet mead this time.  Total experiment so only doing a 1 gallon batch.  It’s literally frothing after just one day.  And sometime in the next year I’ll know how it turns out.  Patience.  It’s teaching me patience.  Yay?