Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mead in America

Last weekend, we brewed the first concoction of the year: a classic mead. AKA honey wine. AKA worst hangovers ever.

Honey is amongst the first substances ever fermented. Last I checked, the oldest evidence of mead was discovered in pottery jars in Northern China, dated to 7000 BCE. The chemical analysis revealed a fermented mixture of rice, honey, and fruit. So it's more of a sake/mead. I suggest this brew also resulted in mean hangovers, especially for the scientists involved.

According to the Masters of the Public Domain, the first known description of mead is in the hymns of the Rigveda, one of the sacred books of the Historical Vedic religion, dated around 1700-1100 BCE.

Here is pic of our mead, post brew, cooling down in the bathtub so we can pitch the yeast. Note the sterile conditions, which is very important when performing science.

Brewmaster Brian was forced to supply one of his freeweights to prevent the kettle from tipping over. Yes, it's true that the barbell is, in fact, saturated with Brian's sweat, but this actually improves the science due to a phenomenon we have identified as "tainting it with the taint." In a sacrifical taint, we ensure the quality of the rest of our sterile environment.

Sounds stupid, doesn't it? It works.

Assuming the yeast will take ("Hey look, we're in a sea of food! Let's poop out some alcohol!"), our mead will be drinkable by summer, delicious by winter, and absolutely divine in about a year.

Not too sure about 9000 years from now.


z said...

Hmm. Do you have to keep it in the bathtub that long?

And also re: "tainting it with the taint," last I knew, taint meant something totally different... something that would not keep the mead sterile OR be something you'd want anywhere near your food.

Or do I just have a dirty mind? (Highly likely...)

dungan said...

The taint yer referring to (don't get testy with me) can be considered to be under the umbrella of the larger taint of the world, which is basically our own subjectivity. The world is tainted, through and through, by our sweet taint. Science is tainted, objectivity is tainted, and the whole dualistic endeavour itself is tainted. So, once you realize this, you can relax a little. No harm done, what's a little taint?