1988 Metheglin (Mead)

September 2007 – Mead is a staple is certain fantasy genre, so it was on my mind. This batch was spurred by two customers that came into The Winery (my shop) in consecutive weeks.

I have a funny story: A man and woman entered my shop. Turns out she’s a mead maker and brought in a sample – she had known my business partner for years and was surprised to see me, as she hadn’t known he had taken on a partner. Mead was good, although in my opinion a bit bland – but that’s my opinion of all meads. She purchased a few supplies and they left.

The following week she came in the shop again, with a different man. She had a sample of mead to try, and showed surprise that Chris (my partner) had taken on a partner.

Yup. Serious Twilight Zone time. I was honestly a bit freaked, as I thought she had something wrong mentally. I said something about her being in the shop the week before and she started laughing. Ok, really weird …

Turns out the first woman was her twin sister. Both were accomplished mead makers, accorded by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). They both shopped at our store.

My partner confirmed that the two are twins. I didn’t admit it to him, but deep in my psyche I was concerned that I had a psychotic customer with multiple personalities. It appears I read too many weird stories at that time …

When I decided to make mead, I made a metheglin (which I have spelled different ways over the years, but “metheglin” appears to be the most common spelling). This is due to the bland taste of straight mead – I wanted something with more flavor.

Ingredients:

fruit 5# honey
acid blend 1 tsp
pectic enzyme 1/2 tsp
sulfite 01 Campden
yeast energizer 1/2 tsp
yeast nutrient 1 tsp
yeast Red Star Epernay II

Method:

Started 10/22/1988
1.102
Racked, 1/4 tsp K-sulfite added 01/27/1989
1.002
Racked 04/08/1989
1.002
Bottled 05/03/1989
1.002

Notes:

Yield 13 bottles
Afterthoughts My first attempt at mead. Came out ok, enough that I’d eventually try again.
October 2018 My memory of this wine was that it took months to ferment. I recall that at the end of 4 weeks it was only half fermented, and I chalked it up as a loss. I put the jug in a corner and wrote it off — I’d dump it later. Months later I spotted it, checked the SG for giggles, and found that it had, indeed, fermented out. Bottled it and was highly pleased. I have no idea why it took 10 years to do a second batch, and then 20 years to do a third.

Bryan

Long time wine and beer making ....