Thursday, March 21, 2013

Game of Thrones mini-MEAD Preview!

Welcome back, Apprentices! I've been busy gearing up for season 3  of Game of Thrones and I'm planning a delicious menu of roasted meats, potatoes, veggies, bread & for dessert, a delicious apple cinnamon tart! Check back next week for the full menu and instructions! But to kick it all off, I decided to do this mini post all about my very first endeavor of brewing mead.

Making booze goes back several generations in my family. My fourth great grandfather, Antonio Molina, was an Italian farmer who came to the United States from Genoa in 1773 to grow grapes and make wine on Thomas Jefferson's plantation, Monticello. The first harvest of grapes froze and shortly after that, the Revolutionary War broke out. Antonio Molina changed his name to Anthony Mullens, claimed America as his home and took up arms in the War. After the War, he had many, many children and passed wine-making down through the generations. During prohibition, my great-great grandmother made wine and corn liquor (moonshine). My great grandfather served time for "running" said moonshine. And my grandfather brewed his own beer in the basement of his old house in Texas. Unfortunately, neither my mom nor my aunt took up brewing so the skills were lost. But who knows? If this turns out well, I might experiment a little more in the future!

ENOUGH about me! On to the MEAD!

In spite of the generational love for brewing in my family, I have not yet gathered the courage to get too complicated with it on my own. So, I bought a kit from Ambrosia Farm. The kit is only $10 (free shipping) and comes with an envelope of pre-measured flavor, yeast, a piece of muslin and a rubber band. I chose the classic Spice Mead for this particular event. The Spice Mead has ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. When you first open the envelope, you get a nose-ful of flavor. Seriously, it smells AMAZING!

All you need is a gallon of spring water and 2 pounds of honey. The directions that come with the kit are very detailed, outlining the process very clearly in 17 steps. I know it sounds like a lot but it's really not that bad. Of course, I say that now...I might have completely screwed something up. I guess I'll find out when I taste it. But according to the directions, as long as you can boil water, you can have mead in 7-14 days! So, I hope you mastered that Boiling Water quest because you're gonna need it!

Sadly, I didn't take pictures of the process. It seemed a little redundant since this isn't a complete lesson and I want you to carefully follow the directions from Ambrosia Farm (if you decide to try it, that is). But here's a picture of my jug of mead-in-waiting.

I'm storing the bottle in the safe darkness of my guest room closet. It's important to keep it in the dark and in temperatures between 70ºF-90ºF. I'm not gonna looks a little dodgy. But once it ferments and I run it thru a sieve, it will be delicious, spicy mead fit for the King of the North!

Remember, guys, cooking is FUN! Get creative in the kitchen and don't be afraid to try new things!

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