Some time ago I made a potion known as mead. Today I made my second batch.
It looks about the same as the first batch, and it’s made in roughly the same proportions — 15-ish pounds of honey to five-ish gallons of water. The very dense mostly-honey/water mix collects at the bottom with the activated yeast; the lighter mostly-water/honey mix collects at the top.
Many mead-makers tell me the bottle should be more stirred up, more thoroughly mixed. I didn’t find that particularly easy to do two years ago, and it’s less easy now. I’ll have to trust in a combination of magic, floor and bottle washes, sigils, prayers and the alliance of the unseen ones to get this to work reasonably well despite those handicaps.
But very likely? It will work. Chemistry and particularly fermentation is not a form of transformation that goes easily awry. It manifests in its usual paths, sometimes with the accidents that result in vinegar (Kevin M. Dunn says something like, “if you meant to do it, you have vinegar; and if you didn’t mean to do it the technical name for it is garbage.”)
The starter fermentation began with honey from my uncle’s hives. On the one hand there’s nothing to it besides honey. It’s basically liquid sugar, right? On the other hand, it has a certain undefinable taste that seems to be marsh grass and beach plum and rose hips and salt air. My uncle’s hives are less than three miles from the sea— probably less than a quarter mile at high tide if you count the marshlands where he collects clams and mussels and oysters in their season.
But I don’t think I’ll have garbage. I think I’ll have a beautiful traditional mead, unflavored with anything besides honey. Gives a man a halo, mead does.