For those that don’t know, the Digest has been a great source of mead making information. I’ve read it for years, and I’d hate to see it go. Still, Dick Dunn, “the Digest janitor” as he likes to call himself, makes a good point:
it’s wrong to hold out the MLD as a potential resource for new meadmakers, and then not deliver the goods. There are 12 new subscribers just since the last digest, who’ve seen absolutely nothing. And the digest content has been falling year-on-year since 2005
Dick’s announcement triggered an outpouring of support, and he agreed to keep it going for now. The only question now is, will we get meaningful traffic. I don’t know how (or when or if) this story will end, but I just want to say thank you Dick for providing a great resource!
Also of interest to mead makers
Got Mead is the largest mead making forum I know of.
If you could only buy one book on mead making, it would have to be Ken Schramm’s The Compleat Meadmaker.
My own Simple Mead Recipe is a great way to get started making mead.
Apple harvest has begun in my backyard, and that’s got me thinking about wine. I’ve made a lot of apple wine, and processed apples a lot of different ways. Blenders and juicers both work, but you have to chop all the apples and process them in batches. I can’t find the notes, but I remember using sugar extraction for one batch. The trouble with all of these methods is the chopping; it’s tedious and doesn’t scale well. What I’d really like is a way to process apples that’s quick, cheap, and easy.
So I’ve been on the lookout for other ideas, and that’s how I came across Luc Volders apple a day post. What I like about Mr Volders is that he doesn’t just take ideas at face value; he puts them to the test. In this post he rigorously compares several methods of juicing apples.
To me, freezing the whole apple offers a big payoff in convenience over the other methods and I think I’ll give that a try this year. He reported a 68% juice yield, which is slightly less than some of the other methods (70 – 74%). If I don’t have to chop all those apples, it’s a price well worth paying. I’ll probably modify his approach and freeze the apples without coring them, add pectic enzyme and sulfite as they are thawing and allow them to thaw without separating the free run juice. This way, the enzyme and sulfite can work on all the juice.
I’m excited about the new process, and I’ll write about how it works out. Right now, it’s time to pop the cork on one of last year’s bottles and hit the send button …
Update 9/14/2010 – A partial success
I got a 34-36% juice yield from 8 lb of apples, which is pretty low. This method is basically a way to crush apples without a crusher. They still need to be pressed to get a good yield and that’s where I need to do better. Building or buying a small press? Using more fruit so I can use my 3-bucket press? Maybe. Using a sanitized spatula again? Definitely not!
A post about bottling cherry mead caught my eye, I had just bottled my own cherry mead, but when I stayed and read a while I discovered so much more. Where else can find you someone who can discuss raising chickens, making mead, growing hops, and optimizing Windows? Check it out at: