I've started my first batch of mead. I feel so medieval. Mead was one of the first brewed beverages made by ancient European people. Experts disagree as to which came first, beer or mead, but mead is so easy, my vote is for mead as the First Hooch.
It's quite simple, 4:1 water to raw honey. Stir and wait.
This batch is 20 oz (2.5 cups) honey to 80 oz (5 cups) water.
If I had access to local fruit, I'd have added a cup or so of fruit. It adds another layer of useful yeast. As it is, I have to rely on the yeast in the honey and the wild yeast in the air to ferment the honey water.
The honey water is to be stirred vigorously, several times a day for a week or so. The author uses cool or room temp water (oops, I used warm water) and stirs clockwise then counterclockwise to create the 'vortex' that rapidly aerates the liquid (in the biodynamic style), nurturing an optimal growth environment for yeast.
Making mead is a really Portland thing to do. Frankly, I'm the last of my cohort at work to take a crack at the stuff. I did try elderflower wine last spring, but it spoiled before the yeast could ferment the sugared water.
If it works, I'll make a batch as soon as the berries start to roll in. I also have raspberry bushes in the back yard so I may make mead with my own fruit.
I don't think I'd be doing any of this stuff -- from fermenting to brewing -- if I didn't live in such a DIY place.
<sigh> I ♥ Portland.
I'll report back in coming weeks.