I started my mead experiment about a year ago. At first I tried doing it lambically, just exposing it to the elements – the idea being that yeast that already resides in the honey will begin fermenting once water is added (kind of like Sea Monkeys – just add water). I was following a recipe from the amazing book The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz – incidentally, this is a must-have book for you aspiring fermenters.
Maybe I did something wrong, because yeast wasn’t the first thing to colonize, some other fungus was, and it looked suspiciously like that stuff you find on moldy oranges (maybe Alexander Fleming actually discovered penicillin while trying to make mead). Not being one to waste good honey, I scraped the mold off, added some yeast, and threw on the airlock. In a month or so the glucose had become alcohol, but it was still kind of sweet, so following Katz’s advice, I let it continue to ferment.
About nine months later, this baby was ready – the yeast took care of business with the remaining fructose, and I now have in my fridge something that may or not resemble mead. I haven’t had actual mead, but the stuff I have is definitely something – no longer sweet, certainly alcoholic, and, shall we say, an acquired taste. I’ve had a few sips here and there – much better with ice. Maybe I’ll add a little honey and see how that goes.
Time to get some more juice from the store to work on a simpler project. I think I’ll get something exotic this time – pineapple?