Author Topic: Wine and Mead  (Read 848 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pardon_My_French

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 15775
  • Liked: 840
  • Karma: +203/-158
    • View Profile
Wine and Mead
« on: January 19, 2013, 04:21:45 AM »
I really hope to lure Rei back to this thread.

We made Mead last year and it turned out very good for a first effort. I'm not really a drinker but I'm trying to like wine, since I want to make it.

We have a 3-4 year old vineyard - 5 year apple/peach orchard. We'd like to eventually make wine/mead/melomel blends. Mead, a wine made from honey (we also have bees) was touted as the drink of the mythological Valkyrie.

"Let's be perfectly clear, Doug.  I am the smartest person in the room." ~ SchroedingersCat -- Newsrake's most pretentious, pompous and paranoid poster.

Offline Pardon_My_French

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 15775
  • Liked: 840
  • Karma: +203/-158
    • View Profile
Re: Wine and Mead
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 11:37:22 AM »
I've always found beekeeping interesting.  Do you have to take special precaution to ensure that they don't beecome Africanized?

Not really. The biggest problem we're running into is the weakling bees that have been bred to be passive. We've tried introducing some wild swarms (maybe those were African?) but some were quite aggressive. All the chemicals they use to treat mite infestations and diseases is making the bees dependent. This is our 5th year (maybe 6th), and they're fascinating creatures. I used to be a little timid, but not anymore. One of the cool things we've made is Bees Bread. It occurs naturally in the hive when honey and pollen ferment and it creates a really interesting golden gel/paste that is a real pick-me-up. We fermented a batch in the fall and I usually add about a teaspoon full to my morning smoothie.

"Let's be perfectly clear, Doug.  I am the smartest person in the room." ~ SchroedingersCat -- Newsrake's most pretentious, pompous and paranoid poster.

Offline Pardon_My_French

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 15775
  • Liked: 840
  • Karma: +203/-158
    • View Profile
Re: Wine and Mead
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 05:09:50 AM »
And the bees don't resent your taking their stuff?

Sometimes they do - but there are tricks. Beekeepers have smokers and just a little puff of smoke makes the bees docile. Also, if you wear white, you're less likely to be stung. We harvest the frames during the heat of a sunny day. That's when most of the bees are out finding pollen.  Special trays fit in the hive opening and collect pollen from the bees' legs as they enter the hive. It's fascinating, really.

We've been asked about apitherapy - the use of bee stings to treat joint pain, back pain, and other problems, but haven't tried anything like that yet. I really like NOT being stung. Some swear by it, though.

Folks want local raw honey to treat allergies. None of us have allergies, so I don't know if it works, but they claim it does.

I'm really starting to like the beekeeping, although my husband does the heavy lifting. I'm pretty much an observer. I take the pretty yellow beeswax out of the solar melter to make lotions and soaps. This year I think we're finally going to put up a honey house.
"Let's be perfectly clear, Doug.  I am the smartest person in the room." ~ SchroedingersCat -- Newsrake's most pretentious, pompous and paranoid poster.