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We Ferment Mead through the Winter

As a non-commercial mead producer there is a limit to the amount of alcohol we intend to bottle every year. We can’t sell it and we’re not rolling drunk every day.

So, until we can consider licensing and production on a commercial scale (if that ever happens), there’s been no realistic discussion around purchasing the necessary air conditioning equipment or a large cool storage shipping container for fermentation through warmer months. We have no parcel of land. No money. Nothing but mead and a story.

We produce through Winter because it’s a lot easier to blanket carboys of mead from cold than it is to cool the carboys of mead from mid-Summer warmth with water and ice.

Overall this has been a good year and we still have around 100 litres in secondary fermentation – the lime and chilli braggot, a blackberry cyser, an apple and cinnamon melomel and a dark cinnamon cyser (almost ready to bottle). As well as the post-fermentation flavour-infusion experiments of star anise, vanilla or chilli.

The carboy of tart raspberry cyser is half consumed already. It wasn’t perfect but the corrections for next year are reasonably obvious (the blackberry cyser in secondary should retain a honey follow-through). And that cinnamon sack cyser from last year has had explorations in raw chilli, fortification with dark rum, it’s been incorporated into ice cream cocktails and an occasional bottle consumed as toddies.

By far the biggest momentum this year was to explore the potential of mead as a non-wine paradigm – those cocktails, blends and abominations that we mention on Twitter. Mead can be whatever you want it to be – as a mazer, as a consumer or as the recipient of a bottle from a friend. Drink it straight or mixed, warmed or chilled; the bottle is barely a suggestion. Some would even call that mead heresy.

Certainly the most exciting time here is the Winter. We make stuff. We taste stuff. And by September all we have left is to rack and bottle the product for next year’s consumption. We like to think of what we do as making liquor while the bees have their sleep. Amazing little creatures.

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Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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