A quick update on the Digby mead:
In the two weeks since it was put into the carboy, the mead has been doing its thing. Because I had more than a gallon, I constructed a makeshift carboy for the overflow. I took a 1 liter plastic bottle and cut a hole in the cap. Then, after fitting an airlock in there, I taped up the space to cut back on oxidation. This small amount of mead – about 2/3ds of a liter – is aging better than I thought it would. In the past, excess must would turn very dry because of the lack of air. Another small container never managed to mature at all – it remained “honey water.” But this small bottle seems to do the trick.
It has cleared up significantly, and has a rich, golden brownish color. The sediment that once clouded the mixture, has fallen to the bottom and has a pinkish type color. It has an interesting aroma, but I’ve not yet opened it for a sample – maybe this weekend. If the original recipe is to be believed, this is essentially done – my aging the mixture is my thing. Frankly, I think it’s good to let it age, but I guess that I don’t have to do so. That’s good in the event that I choose to sample some over the Thanksgiving holiday, but that’s just a thought.
It was when I discussed it with a friend that I realized just how much I was going on about this particular mead; I felt so foolish that I immediately apologized. He understood, but . . . The truth is that while I enjoy trying out old recipes, this is the first that I can recall that was taken up completely from scratch. I’ve made cakes and main dishes from vintage cookbooks and used the proper ingredients, but this was the first time that I went out of my way to ensure that everything was accurate. The only inaccuracy, as far as I can see, is in the use of a glass carboy – but from the perspective of ingredients, this mead is 100% correct to those used in 1650. That’s a big deal to me! To finally be in a position to try a food and say, “Gee, this is just how it must have tasted to Sir Kenneth!” is exciting to me.
Yes, as painful as it is to own up to it, I have to confess: I’m a nerd.