My name is Christopher J. A. Saint Germain. I am a photojournalist for the Army National Guard. I have been in the active military for most of my adult life and never have had the chance to start brewing. I’ve never lived in one place long enough. The closest I’ve ever come was making a batch of Corn Whiskey when I was stationed in Korea.
A few days ago I was cleaning out the kitchen and I realized that I had a large jar of honey that has been sitting in the cupboard for a year. Now I know that honey never spoils. There are claims of honey coming from the pyramids that is still edible. I’d like a spot of that in my tea!
Anyhow, I had about five pounds of Fireweed Honey sitting unused in the kitchen. I don’t really drink that much tea, so I considered what to do with the honey. I came across Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead Recipe here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes-ancient-orange-mead-49106/ and decided I’d like to give that a shot since I have finally settled into a home.
I live in Olympia Washington, and the nearest beer and wine supply is also a Hydroponics supply. The dreadlocked attendant behind the cash register was complaining about how everybody parks wherever the hell they please.
“Maybe they are sampling their yields,” I chuckled to myself.
The attendant was quite helpful and sold me a 3 gallon glass carboy and some brewers yeast.
I can hear you saying that the JAOM Recipe calls for bread yeast. I’ve never been one to stand on tradition. In addition to the change in yeast, I also added Allspice, Anise Stars, two pounds of Turbinado Sugar and one lime. It’s more of a science project than an attempt to recreate the same flavor that has already been done.
One word here, I went to Safeway to buy cinnamon and they were charging $10 for a small bottle of McCormicks Cinnamon Sticks. I went to the Mexican Supermercado down the street and they had bulk bags of spices for a dollar a bag. I’m going to start doing all of my shopping there from now on!
I did not boil the honey, but I did warm it and the sugar in water on the stove to make it easier to pour. I added two oranges, the spices and four small snack boxes of raisins to the carboy. I poured the honey/sugar mixture in, topped it with water, and gave it a good shake.
One hour later I figured the concoction was at roomtemperature. I added the yeast and waited for the explosion! None came. I figure that must be one difference between the brewers yeast and the bread yeast.
After fitting the airlock, I moved the carboy to a closet, where it now sits, happily bubbling away. I started the mead on the 28th of October. I’m hoping it clears by Christmas.
This payday, I’m going back to the hydroponics lab and getting some more goodies, so I can start experimenting with beer. My favorite is Vitus and I’ve seen a clone recipe on this forum. I can’t experiment with anything else from the hydroponics lab, since I am still in the Army.
This forum has already proven to be an invaluable resource. I feel as if I know some of you already. Thank you for sharing your expertise.