I had a lovely entry covering the past week or so. I was going to put the pictures in this morning, so after I fixed the typoes I hit "Save as Draft,' and wasn't I cross this morning to find it was gone. Never trust that command again. again.
It went something like this:
When Doug made me make a batch of dandelion wine in May, he blew some very cold embers back to life. When I moved here in 2004 I had a carboy of red wine and about six gallons of mead aging. They have been living in the the back room where the refrigerator and washer and dryer are. Sometimes I would add water to the airlocks, but it was too much trouble to do more. The first batch of mead, when I tasted it a year or more ago was very, very alcoholic and uninteresting otherwise.
I bottled the wine in August; it tasted fairly sour and awful, but whatEVER, it was out of the engine room. I picked up a beer kit and made it and even got that bottled, and it was fun. And Doug thoughtfully washed the floor as the malt made our feet stick.
So then Sarah gave us a huge load of cosmetically blemished organically-grown peaches and told me to go make wine out of them, so I did. Since then I have been rereading all my Charlie Papazian books and I decided that the next thing to do to excel as a brewer would be to take care of the zombie brews in the engine room.
This meant I had to face the mouse-infested boxes of brewgear in the basement, which turned out to be even worse than I expected. At least four mice had thought it was a good idea to squeeze into upright (and once sterile) empty wine bottles and die. I chose to recycle the bottles at the dump, rather than at home. Possibly I should have attempted to make it a feature, like the worm is the mescal bottles. But no.
Friday night I bottled three gallons of three different batches of mead, only one with any trace of a recipe, though all were labelled "Feb 7." 2003? 2004? The first batch on Friday was similar, but the second and third batches gave me some glimpse of why people thought it was worth the trouble.
On Saturday we went to the state fair, about which I will say more tomorrow. Sunday I spent cursing the rain and trying to make labels, cursing Apple, Avery, AppleWorks, and when I finally switched to a Windows machine, Word. Finally I gave up and we bottled the final, three gallon batch, which was based on a fancy herb tea, honey, and apple cider. It is quite tasty, a little sweet, but there was about 11.5 ozz that were all cloudy from being at the bottom of the carboy, so DOug and I drank them and that was all for the evening. About a wineglass -- a small wineglass-- apiece and we were totalled.
I am looking forward to making another batch. The book I use is big on long aging for meads. If the world order is going to collapse in 2012, I should be brewing for it now.