Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mead and Some Thought on Fermenting

The mead is finally working a bit. After having it on the kitchen counter for 3 days with no bubbling at all and no changes in the smell of it (just smelled like honey water) I finally researched a bit more and found the suggestion of putting it in the oven with the light on. I tried that, stirring vigorously a couple of times a day, and it helped. There is now a slight yeast smell and some bubbling. So now it is back on the counter in the half gallon jug with the airlock in place. Now it just needs to sit for at least 3 weeks. Then it is supposed to be drinkable. This is something like Ethiopian tej, not mead with commercial yeast in it. The funny thing is I don't really drink much alcohol at all, only rarely a little wine. I just thought it would be interesting to try making it. Of course if it turns out well I could probably find some volunteers to drink it for me.

As far as fermenting in general - I am realizing I have to re-think my attitude about food preparation and safety to be able to do fermenting. Basically I have to be willing to leave food sit out and 'rot' - oh, I mean ferment.  I have really become a child of modern food preparation - refrigerate it, freeze it, or pitch it out. Do not let it sit out for more than an hour or so or it will be spoiled and kill me. Well, that attitude just doesn't work in a person who wants to practice different forms of food preparation such as lacto-fermentation or meat curing (which is next on the list). I am still struggling internally with the idea of leaving sauerkraut out of the refrigerator for months, scraping mold off the top and then still eating it without dying. I guess I'll have to work on my attitude more as I learn these 'new' old methods of preparing food. And then realizing, done right, it is more healthy than some of the refrigerated or frozen foods. I'm working on it...

And the fermented lemonade with a 4 to 1 ration of autumn olive juice in it was very tasty. I had a bit more trouble with scummy stuff growing in it, but I strained it as well as I could through several layers of cheesecloth then refrigerated it. The rest of the debris settled to the bottom and was easy to avoid. A successful experiment.

1 comment:

  1. Well done on venturing out into eating with the invincible attitude of a teenager Sande! :-)

    I think it's so great that you were able to find a way to rescue your mead when it wasn't behaving as it was supposed to.

    Your thoughts on the "modern freshness" craze are very insightful. Food is often made to look fresh by the inclusion of so many additives that it has tipped the scale to unhealthy. Besides, if the food our ancestors ate was bad for them, we wouldn't be here today.

    Pavel.

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