South by Southwest

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I’ve started something kind of crazy: I’m fermenting agave nectar, a low-glycemic sugar obtained from the nectar of the agave plant.  If you distill it, you get tequila.  If you ferment it, you get something that I don’t know its name.  Add a little clover honey from Charlotte, NC to make sure everything works well, sprinkle in some sage to spice it a little bit, and you get “South by Southwest”, my most recent experiment.  Next batch I’m going to tone it back and go for a plain ol sweet mead again.

Recipe:

  • 1 gallon (=11lbs) agave nectar
  • 3/4 oz of fresh sage, chopped and sanitized in boiling water
  • 1/4 gallon (approx. 3 lbs) clover honey
  • 5 tsp fermax yeast nutrient
  • 4 gallons distilled water
  • 1 packet Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast, prepared according to the packet

And stats:

  • Started: 16 May 2010, 8:27p
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Rural Glyn: Sweet and Delicious

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I finally put in enough sugar to keep a batch of mead sweet: the rural glyn is very sweet, has a strong maple taste to it, and, though expensive, may be one of my best batches yet.  From an initial taste test, it maintains sweetness with a high alcohol content, which is about ideal.  It is still very cloudy, but in a month or so I will clarify it and bottle it.  So tasty!  Stats:

  • Started: 8 March 2010, 9:00p
  • First rack: 5 April 2010, 9:53p
  • Second rack: 16 May 2010, 7:39p (with potassium sorbate)

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Strawberry Mead: bottled and waiting

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I got some new equipment for bottling (long time coming, really): a bottle filler, which is really a tiny spring-loaded spigot at the bottom of a tube, a clamp for the tube to stop the flow if necessary, and a clip that holds the racking cane to the side of the bucket/carboy.  It really helps out a lot to have these things–I tried to cheap out earlier on and not buy them, but the whole kit was maybe 10 bucks, so I was just trying to cut corners and it didn’t work out.  Anyway, all said bottling the strawberry mead was very easy.

The strawberry mead is a bit drier than I wanted, but I didn’t back-sweeten with any more honey, so I suppose that’s my own fault.  I kind of like them a bit dryer anyway, and the taste is delicious.  I am okay with leaving it for longer, though, and let it really ripen.  It has a beautiful golden-pink color.  Final stats:

  • Started: 6 January 2010
  • First rack: 25 January 2010 (onto strawberries, in carboy)
  • Second rack: 14 February 2010 (off of strawberries, in carboy)
  • Third rack: 5 April 2010 (starting to clarify, in fresh carboy)
  • Bottled: 8 May 2010 (after potassium sorbate to impede any living yeast and a clarifier)