DIY DIVA
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Adventures in Beekeeping: Mead Tasting

April 12, 2016 | 12 Comments | Uncategorized
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There have been so many amazing things about having bees on the farm, and this one is definitely going toward the top of the list…

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That was the beginning of the taste-test of the first batch of mead I made (by “made” I mean “watched my experienced friends make”, obv.) Mead is basically¬†honey-wine, but depending on how you brew it you can make something that’s more (or in my case, less) sweet, and you can bottle and carbonate like beer if you want. Our first mead-making adventure was a total shot in the dark, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect.

The mead we brewed (with most of the “brewing” happening back in January) used about a 1/2 gallon of honey and 3-4 pounds of raspberries. (This year I’m planning to freeze raspberries from my own bushes to use.) After brewing it sat fermenting under the desk in my closet for about 9 weeks, until Sunday afternoon when we did this…

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Yes, in the middle of my torn-apart kitchen.

Also, none of this equipment belongs to me. My friend Chris is an awesome brewer and he brought over a keg and a “beer gun” to use to fill the bottles.

I decided to use some fancy bottles (but didn’t have enough of them, so we also filled 4 wine bottles I had sitting around, and a couple of quart-sized mason jars on top of it.)

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This was the Moment of Truth…

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I’ve had some cloyingly sweet mead and I hated it, but guys… this was amazing. Super dry (no sweetness at all) with hints of raspberry and a tart finish. We may have “tasted” a whole bottle… or two. I couldn’t have asked for anything better, and I’m so proud that this came from my bees.

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Unfortunately we didn’t write the recipe down, but I’m confident I’ll be able to replicate it in coming years. And once the fruit trees start producing we may be able to have peach and pear versions as well.

And, in even more exciting bee news… I’m adding two new hives to the one that made it through summer (and hoping to maybe catch a swarm and make it 4 this year.) The new bees should be here at the end of April, in just a few short weeks. Having hives on the farm has been such a fascinating and enriching part of the last year, I can’t wait to get started again this Spring!

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    Comments

  • Wanda


    Sooooo jealous!

  • Leslie


    Yum! Super cool project.

  • Kit's Mom


    Can’t wait to taste it!

  • Jack


    Pretty awesome indeed! Yep, you really can’t judge the taste and effect until the bottle’s empty, much like eating steak, one bite isn’t going to work. This is truly a value-added addition to making Black Feather self-sustaining and beyond. impossibleisnothing :)
    ps; do keep in mind Kit when drinking or serving guests ” Buzz driving is drunk driving ”
    sry couldn’t help it :)

  • Stacy


    OMG I love your blog and want you never to stop! I live vicariously through you because I will not be getting a farm any time soon and also…. I just don’t really have the energy to do what you do either!

    Rock on with the awesome Mead!

  • Virginia


    I love how you make use of everything on that farm!! You go girl!!

  • Reenie


    How kewel!! :)

  • Lucy


    Oh no, only one hive made it. I guess that verifies your interpretation with the infrared camera. I knew the mead tasting would be impressive. I did expect photos of multiple bearded guys lounging around though. Maybe that’s taste test no. 2.

  • Todd


    Mike is probably so thankful we live in town because beehives totally seem like a think that I would be into. Although, when we’ve had samples of Blackfeather Honey I’m lucky if I get much of any, so maybe he wouldn’t be that opposed.

    Also, I had to laugh at the comment on the “4 wine bottles I had laying around”.

  • Nine Dark Moons


    I would love to see your farm catch a swarm. Not entirely sure what that means, but I’m guessing you set up an empty hive and hope some passing bees stop by for a permanent visit? Awesome/impressive looking mead. love the color! I hate beer, so have always assumed I’d hate mead, too. but i didn’t know it was made from honey. maybe i’ll try it sometime.

  • Steph


    Yum! Fantastic job! Love mead.

  • Amy Beardsley


    To be honest, when I think ‘Mead’, I think ‘Vikings’. This is such an interesting post, I love that you use fresh raspberries and can control the sweetness. Fun!

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