Archive for the 'mead' Category

fall comes early

It was strangely autumn-like last week despite still being September (in my world fall starts the last week in October and turns to winter around the second week in November). I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of actual proper rain. It was a strange feeling which triggered in me a desire to put on sweaters and wool socks and maybe even a Halloween costume. (the weather didnt last long, it was back up to the 70s again today) All the wintry feel got me in the mood for indoor activities, at least for a few days.

I finished machine quilting and sewing binding to the top of the wedding quilt a few weeks ago. Now we are almost done hand sewing the binding to the back. There has been a distinct lack of photos while Ive been working on it as the hours between 9 and midnight dont have very good lighting (funny how that works)

Ive been spinning again (a little). I picked up some wool after abandoning the silk hankie I had been working on and remembered why I thought spinning was fun.

The mead experiment is going well. My dad added a water trap to the bottle to prevent explosions and we tasted our concoction this weekend. I was very skeptical but it was really, truly, not bad. Im excited to see how it turns out in the end.

And speaking of bees, N and I joined my dad for a look inside the hive using his “bee suits” which are really painters coveralls with mosquito head nets and gloves.

The figs and pears at my parents house are out of control this year.

I recommend baking them and serving over ice cream. mmmm

The kittens are out of control too…

Streak has reached a whopping 4lbs and is twice the size of his sister who is just starting to recover from a really terrible cold. He hardly fits in the scale anymore!

The scenery is always nice up there, but notice the dark color in those clouds. Definitely not a summer look.

Its not a bad view from our apartment either, the cat always seems to find something to stare at

And sometimes I do too.

Adventures in making Mead

My parents have bees. Its my dad’s army of 30,000 (or 50,000 depending on the season).

After extracting honey from the combs using a centrifuge (or gravity + time) there is still a lot of honey clinging onto the inside of the comb. Honey is so viscous its hard to remove it from the wax. My dad decided he was going to make mead from this honey which would probably get wasted otherwise.

We heated the comb in some water on the stove to melt it.

its kind of a disgusting mess of wax and bee parts.

After cooling in the bathtub we removed the now solid wax and bee parts from the liquid.

My dad tested the sugar content of the mixture with his hydrometer (left over from his beer making days) and determined that there was more than enough sugar for the yeast to eat.

yeast and yeast nutrition for mead

getting ready to shake

all situated for fermentation. My dad plans to add grain alcohol and maybe more honey later on. The mead looks relatively vile and is still going to need some filtering but we havent figured that part out yet. It is really just a test batch to see how the process works as there is SO much more honey where this came from…