Non miniatures related, mead brewing project details below the break...
|Cody's best WTH look.|
Using a recipe loosely based on one found in the Compleat Meadmaker, we combined our honey (15 pounds this time as opposed to the 12 we used in the first batch) with water, hear and yeast to provide a bucketfull of future-yum.
Making mead is really a simple process that's all about time and patience. And having too many cooks in the kitchen a the same time. Honestly, if you brew, the more the merrier up to a point. Then it's just 1 person doing something and 4 people standing around watching.
But, if you have a cool-ish, dry place to leave a large bucket for a while, you can make your own fermentables. We plan to try our hands at beer brewing soon as it's not fundamentally different from mead brewing and we've got 2 batches of that under our belts already.
Step 1 was getting everything set up and sanitized. After that, we brought a gallon of water to a boil and added our honey. As our honey had been sitting for a while (Oh, about a year we think) it had crystalized some, but a hot water bath loosened it up from the container and a good bit of heat ended up dissolving it all, yes, even the lumps in the picture. It eventually came out to a very even, very pretty, amber color as seen here:
Then, we waited.
And waited some more.
All the while, checking the temperature with our floating thermometer to see if the must had cooled to yeast pitching temperature.
No, hobbit-foot there didn't get his toes any closer to the bucket than pictured. We did however, the four of us, have a nice chat outside and I smoked my pipe. Great weather for evenings outside in Texas.
We fitted it with a fermentation lock and when I woke the next morning and checked, it was happily bubbling away, indicating that much carbon dioxide was being produced, as it should be.