Making mead!

Adding to the list of things I can blame on Skyrim, Kevin convinced me to help him make mead tonight. We watched a few videos and then mostly relied on this recipe: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/fast-cheap-mead-making.htm. It was one of the few recipes that made it sound okay to use regular active dry yeast. Otherwise we would have had to order special mead/wine yeast online, and our mead-making needs were too urgent for that.

The most annoying but necessary part of the whole process was sanitizing all of the equipment with bleach. Apparently the guideline is 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water, but who can keep track and since when did bleach ever hurt anybody? We used a glass carboy (new word!) and a giant bucket, so the bath tub had to get involved.

Img_1593

We started by mixing together about 1.5 gallons of spring water, 4.5 pounds of honey, one sliced orange, and some orange peels.

Img_1592

We added about 50 disgusting raisins* and then finally a half an ounce of active dry yeast that I first activated in warm water. The final amount of liquid was about 2 gallons.

Img_1595

After everything was combined, it had to be mixed pretty aggressively for aeration. This is definitely Kevin’s hand.

Img_1604

Once we mixed everything, we had to transfer it to a glass carboy with an airlock (or fermentation lock) that would allow the carbon dioxide to be released.

Img_1605

The transfer was taking so long that I could feel myself aging, so we got crafty with a nearby basket to avoid holding the carboy up the whole time.

Img_1606

We put some vodka in the airlock to prevent contamination (or something) and then placed the mead in its rightful place in the living room.

Img_1607

After about two weeks we’ll need to transfer the mead to smaller jugs and then let it sit and develop flavor over the course of several months. Right now it’s just blooping as bubbles are being produced, which will be fun to listen to until it starts driving us insane.

The whole process has been fun so far but I’m going to be devastated if I wait six months and end up with yeasty honey water. I’ll also be pretty upset if I poison my friends with it, but I’ll cross that manslaughter bridge when I get there. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

*As some of you may already know, raisins are my arch-nemeses, as they ruin the flavor and texture of many things I love to eat. However, the recipe was very serious about including raisins to feed the yeast, so I gave in.

Advertisements

Tiny Kitchen Improvements

I have slowly been changing things around in my kitchen because I love it and want to spend all my time in there and once took a day off of work to make chili.

These things are absolutely essential to my kitchen-related happiness:

  • Mason jars of various sizes for dry goods, nuts, etc.

Jars

I’ve also used a half-pint mason jar to make a shaker for this delicious popcorn seasoning recipe I took from the Seventh Day Adventist Church (http://lads.t1005.com/popcorn.asp). Just take a screwdriver (or knife) and a hammer and violently poke holes in the lid of the jar.

  • A lazy susan reserved for hot sauce.

Photo-4

  • A sweet spice rack, preferably an imperfect one that you’ve made yourself. 

Photo-3

Or you can just buy a magnetic spice rack. I had fun making one, but the difference in cost is negligible.

    • A good collection of rarely-used cookbooks, making sure to have a few funny ones

    Book

    • A stuffed animal of unknown origin sitting on a shelf reserved for alcohol

    Monkey

     

    I’m sure there’s more but I’ll stop there for now.

      Home Decor

      P19

      Lamp made of exposed, highly conductive copper tubing. Kevin built this. I provided some crazy glue and maybe the light bulb. It’s pretty sweet but we need a longer lamp shade so it doesn’t blind us when we’re sitting down to play Skyrim (I’m an Orc named Orga) or watch BSG.

      Amazon

      Amazon is my boo but their packaging still sucks. 

      Spoon

      Also, I recently ordered a 10-pack of tuna and at least half of the cans were damaged. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but it was a gag gift for someone on a Paleo diet. It must have been inspired by the kinds of “gifts” my father gives me:

      Cans