I’m back, and the mead is jammin’

I’m back and recharged.  Been quite a couple of weeks.  There was a surprise birthday party we were invited to, part of the surprise was us flying to San Jose on one day’s notice.  Followed the next day with 350 miles of driving, out to the Grand Canyon to see the annular solar eclipse.  Got some good pictures through the 12″ Dobsonian telescope.  Just didn’t seem to be able to find the time to sleep.

On a positive note, I did make a new batch of melomel, honey wine with fruit, in this case one pound of cherries with three pounds of honey and about 2/3 gallon of water.  I don’t have any wine yeast unopened at the moment so I thought I would throw in a tsp of standard Red Star bread yeast.  Let me tell you, the fermentation is sure more aggressive then I expected.  This fermentation has a larger krausen then any other that I have observed.  It is possible that the large krausen is a result of the larger amount of yeast I pitched.  I also started the fermentation at a lower temperature then I normally start mead.  I started at 65 degrees, instead of 72 or 74.  Not knowing what characteristics the bread yeast will impart on the wine, I wanted to give them every chance to be mellow and produce fewer phenols and fusels.  I imagine I will rack into secondary after 8 weeks and then age there for 3 or 4 months.  I may make another batch with 1/3 pound of kumquats I harvested from my tree this afternoon.  I think I will make this a combo mead, with some fresh thyme and mint leaves from the garden.