This recipe is a concatenation of several recipes.I used the Heather Metheglin recipe from here and 2 recipes from a book – the Heather Mead recipe and the Whole Hive Mead recipe..Kind of combined processes/steps…
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, the Secrets of Ancient Fermentation– Stephen Harrod Buhner.
The first chapter is actually pretty much all about Mead. It goes into the history (very cool retelling of several of the myths) and then into the belief that mead was medicinal. In going into that it cites a bunch of the medical/clinical studies that have been done on the various bee derivative products – Royal Jelly, Propolis, Pollen even Bee Venom. The theory the author puts forth is that YES ancient mead was probably medicinal as they would end up using most of the actual hive (skep- need to do more research on this term/process) in their mead making. And by association, if Royal Jelly etc actually does have medicinal properties, then those properties would likely have gotten transfered into the mead. The author includes a Whole Hive Mead Recipe (ask if you want me to post it)
Infused 1 gal H20 with 6c. dried Heather and 2T. Crushed Rose hips. Steeped this overnight
- Added 3 Gal H20 raised to boiling
- At 120 Degrees added 1 oz Bee Pollen (2 T), 1 oz Royal Jelly, 1 oz. Raw Propolis (ask my why if you really want to know..)
- At 185 degrees added the 12 lbs Clover Honey
- Cooled to 85 degrees
- Added another 2 c dried heather and 1 T rose hips in mesh bag to must
- Pitched 5g Redstar Premier Cuvee Yeast at about 85 degrees
- It started fermenting nicely within about 8 hours. At about 72-74 degrees
I removed the mesh bag
Its been fermenting nicely for 27 days. I noticed yesterday it seemed to be slowing… and this morningit done be stopped…of course as I type that it bubbled…but its only bubling every minute or more…
Well I racked it into 2-5 gal carboys. Putting one into my aging closet (basement shower – stays about 65-68 degrees down there) and the other into my garage – where it is reading about 50. We’ll see how they clear out under those different conditions
It is pretty dry and sharp (has a lot of bite) at the moment. I think it has a nice bouquet, though I wish the Heather was coming through more.
The shower is actually reading 57-60 degrees and during waking hours, the garage is 45-50…
Well, I couldn’t help myself. I had to taste it! (21 days in the secondaries)
Its interesting, the 2 carboys are tasting a bit different. Both are golden in color, with a hint of heather bouquet – not as much as I would have thought. But pleasant
The one averaging mid 50’s is harsh and very dry. The one outside which is ranging in the 40’s is much mellower and not quite as dry, but still dry.
I combined the 2 batches and muffed it up – stirred up the lees pretty bad in the carboy I was racking from. Did that on…3.10.2006 if i remember correctly. So I went for broke and rather than trying to keep any of the gunk out of the other carboy, I moved it all. I put it back out into the 55 degree garage. I ran another gravity reading – still at 1.0 dead on pretty much. I tasted the combined from the gravity read theif and it is still pretty young. On some advice from my friend Graeleaf, I decided to leave it in the carboy for the actual move.
So it got moved to my boyfriends garage on 3/18 and there it sits. I haven’t even really checked on it since. With all my stuff in storage, I really can’t do much to it.
Roughly 4 weeks on the combined lees without stirring. I racked off about 1.5 cups of the mead for tasting and CELEBRATION!!!! and then gave it a nice gentle stir. Downside is that the garage temp is climbing into the 70’s
I found the mead actually almost tasteless, but with a nice bouquet of honey and heather. To me it was like drinking an incredible light white wine with little or no bite and just a little hint of honey.