In which Ricky continues to wrestle with the chiller, six batches of mead get made in a week, Ricky preps for the Parking Lot Party, and the BrewMonitor does its thing.
At least the chiller will go almost 20 hours without faulting... that's better than 20 minutes! Thank goodness for the BrewMonitor. Even though I was planning to head in over the weekend to work on the mushroom farm, it was nice to be able to check out the temperature graph and prioritize getting in to reboot it.
Speaking of mushrooms, I am stupidly excited about this project. It's like brewing but with even more patience.
I finally dealt with all of those piles of cans. I'm sure that folks come to these posts to learn about the secrets of restarting a stuck fermentation or figuring out how we balance the spices in our holiday meads, but three hours of my day was spent moving cans and cleaning kegs, so... that's that. And it was awesome.
All four active fermentations are going in lock-step, which is pretty rare but nice to see. The chiller has successfully gone two days without faulting, so that's nice.
My collaboration with Village Garage Distillery just dropped and it's SO GOOD! All of our Barrel-aged products have been made with their barrels, and now their gin is made in one of our mead barrels!
Everything is fermenting at exactly the speed it's supposed to! This shouldn't be nearly as exciting as it is.
In the tank I have Chaos Cinnamon Edition, Root of All Evil, VC, Nordic, OW, and Psychopomp all at the same time! This is so wild! I'm really excited to see how my new Base system works out.
The Parking Lot Party was everything I thought it would be and so much more! I can't believe someone drove 800 miles round-trip for it and someone else flew up in the middle of her semester!
These are all of Ricky’s actual notes on our meadery operation and the mead we make. There might be profanity, usually of the late 19th Century variety. The only redactions are to remove the names of people and businesses when deemed appropriate. Footnotes provided by Jess and Kelly.
Psychopomp is a sleeper hit. I usually am a chad normal honey mead enjoyer without adding a lot of stuff to it, but Psychopomp is definitely pretty good even for someone like me.
Lookers: Cool looking ruby red color with carbonation bubbles clinging to my Glencairn glass. Smellers: Strong tart sour cherry smell, but not overpowering or potent, just a nice cherry tickle in my schnozzle. Tasters: Smooth tart sour cherry in a nice balanced manner. The cherry smoothly slides up in your DM's and is like nah bro no strong alcohol nail polish taste with me, here have so of this sour tart cherry now with some carbonation tickles. Then we will end this dance with some extra sour on the finish. I couldn't really taste honey, but I could feel its essence.
I wish there was a bit more of a honey flavor but others have mentioned tasting the honey, it also might be the fact I drink everything cold. Overall, it is pretty good and that is from someone who does not really care for cherry, or flavored meads for that matter. If you like tart sour cherry then you will definitely like it.
Intro - Valkyrie's Choice was probably the first of Groennfell's craft mead lineup I tried many years ago from the variety case. It was immediately one of my favorites for the price, with Old Wayfarer taking first place. However, I do not know if the formula changed over time if my tastes changed, or if I am remembering wrong because it's not quite the same now as it was back then. With that said even though it's different it does taste cleaner, probably due to them no longer using sulfates and the like.
Lookers - Valkyrie's Choice has a very pretty golden wheat appearance that is much lighter than Old Wayfarer, it reminds me of a Moscato wine appearance. It is a little bit misty yet you can almost look through it, and a slight amount of carbonation bubbles cling to the side of my glass.
Sniffers - The aroma is hard to pick up on, especially with the liquid being cold, as well as my air leaving my nose dry and sad, making it even harder to pick up any smell. It has a very subtle honey smell (who would have guessed) and not much else, I could not even smell any alcohol which is good.
Tasters - Smooth and crisp honey flavor with a slight fizzle in the mouth like it's giving a little hello how are you to me. The honey flavor is very light especially if you are used to "full" bottled mead's, but still nice and honey in my tummy feeling. There is a strange other cereal grainy flavor in there somewhere, but still enjoyable. It is very smooth as I barely pick up any alcohol taste. A faint but obvious fizzy taste tickles my tongue like it is giving me a goochy goochy goo. The aftertaste is a stronger honey flavor and the other mentioned flavor is gone.
Conclusion - If you are like me and you enjoy pure honey flavor mead more than wacky mead flavors like blueberry mead (if mead was supposed to be blueberry flavored then Bee's would be blue :p) then you will like Valkyrie's Choice by Groennfell Meadery. Just keep in mind if you are new to these types of craft mead's that they are much lighter than "full" mead's you would find in a bottle, so do not expect a honey elemental to pop out and slap you across the face.
With that said I do wish it had a stronger honey flavor as it is pretty mild, so you might prefer something with a bit more honey flavor along with a bit extra flavor such as Old Wayfarer or Hop Swarm both of which are in my opinion stronger honey flavors with other additional flavors but don't tilt to the dark side of cherry/blueberry mead. It is still pretty good and worth a try though, the old Barrel Aged Valkyrie's choice was a better version but the new iteration which is Shieldmaiden was much worse (the original release), however I have not tried the new Shieldmaiden formula so take that opinion with a grain of salt.
Nice balance of the cinnamon and vanilla. The heat from the peppers isn't very strong. Color reminds me of some of the meads I've tried when I first started drinking mead
The perfect mead to ride our current epic California storms. This Crisp, refreshing mead has helped me ward off cabin fever and focus on better weather ahead. I'm saving the majority of my order for springtime frolicking in fields of green grass.
I love Nordic Farmhouse so much I would marry it! My favorite flavor profiles are sour and sweet, and this festive mead is very refreshingly tart! I especially love to drink it and serve it to my guests at the cranberry holidays (ie. Thanksgiving and Solstice/Christmas)!