Aging: The Secret of the Ages
Being Judgmental, or Why We Don’t Compete
Ask the Meadmaker – Punchdown!
Nora wanted to be in the back. I said it's too dangerous. Then we figured out a way and we compromised!
Nora the Viking Kiddo
Welcome to Ask the Meadmaker, where I, Ricky the Meadmaker, answer your questions about mead making, mead drinking, mead brewing, and really any question you're willing to send to me.
Aaron sent us two great questions, and I'm going to answer them both in one week, which is very exciting, because there are a lot of people that send really good questions that I almost never get to. But Aaron's first question is about reusing yeast from very high alcohol content fermentations. So, the reason we can re-pitch yeast from craft mead is that it's a lower alcohol content and thus less stress on the yeast. The answer is yes. But even wineries are able to reuse their yeast. It all has to do with yeast health overall.
Nora the Viking Kiddo
[NORA SINGS] Baba today, ooh na na na. Check!
Aaron's next question was about a very… cough syrup-y mead that he had. He was afraid that the fermentation got too hot because the fruits sat on the top and made a cap, and then because of the metabolic activity, the heat got trapped inside of it, and he should have done a punch down. This is the second time I've heard about a punch down now, and I'm still pretty certain it's not the problem.
Joey has a very complex question about aging. The good news is I'm not going to answer it. Aging is complicated and nobody fully understands it. There's going to be an article in the doobly doo about how complicated aging is, but he wants to know if it's the higher alcohol content that requires longer aging in wine. The answer is probably! I don't know, it's complicated!
Our next question comes from Jackal Bushcraft and I really hope that's your handle and not your name or else I have to talk to your parents. Anyway, he wants to know, he thinks this is a very interesting question, mind you, about using reservatrol instead of sulfites in his mead and Jackal Bushcraft, sir, that is a very interesting question. Reservatrol is an antioxidant that has antimicrobial properties, and if you want to have an organic wine that uses no sulfites, can you use reservatrol or transreservatrol?
The answer is I have no idea. there's been very little research about it. But more and more is coming out, and I would love to see some science behind this. So, if you're really interested in going down this path, please let me know how it goes.
Res-VER-a-trol. Res-VER-a-trol, res-ver-trol. Nora has been trying to correct me. It's not reservatrol, I know, I did this in like five takes. Res-VER-a-trol. Sorry, internet.
Our last question this week comes from Dylan and a lot of other people. He wants to know how to get into competitions. He wants advice about using glass versus plastic or maybe using metal, temperature control, and all these things, I would tell you that the best way to get into competitions is to enter them.
There are different things that judges are looking for, from what your friends are looking for. I look for different things when I'm a judge than what most people look for. So, what I would say is: figure out a community that you want to be part of and enter your meads in their competition. Forget glass, plastic, sorbate, sulfite, all of those complexities. Just try to make good mead and hope that other people like it. Can't give you more advice than that.
That's our last question. Keep sending them and we'll get to them as soon as possible. Cheers.