It’s no secret that our meadery is a great place to hang out. We have free samples, discount pints, and even an in-house Nerf© Dart Game called “Save the Mountain.” But the single most commented upon feature is: The Music.
While the exact phrasing may vary, there are essentially only two comments we get. The first is some version of, “Wow, this is awesome. What kind of music is it?” The answer to which is, “Oh, this? This is Electro-Swing.”
The second comment we get is, “Wait, are we listening to a soundtrack from a Muppet movie?” The answer to which is, “Yes. Yes we are.”
That is because here at Groennfell Meadery we have two kinds of music we listen to: The Normal Groennfell Meadery Open Hours Playlist and also the, “The Boss is Out of the Office so Ricky Puts on Muppet Music” playlist.
But what if you want the full visit to the meadery experience without having to leave the warmth and comfort of your own home? Well, now you can! Go out, pick up a 4-pack of Mannaz from your local mead store, and rock out to our newest Spotify mix!
In which Ricky The Meadmaker answers questions about Groennfell, craft mead, and more.
A very common question we receive here at the Meadery is, “How do you get your mead so clear?” The answer is, as usual, a little complicated.
There are a number of ways to clarify a fermented product which can be roughly grouped into four categories:
1. The first one is the easiest to explain: Patience.
If you wait long enough, almost any fermented beverage whether it is mead, wine, cider, or whathaveyou, will clear up. Hazy proteins, frustrating yeast particles, and all the things that cause haze in your beverage will fall to the bottom, and all you need to do is separate the beverage from the sediment. Sometimes this can take weeks, sometimes years. Sometimes it never happens, so on to the next technique…
2. Create a recipe that will self-clarify.
This can be as easy as using a yeast which likes to fall out of solution after fermentation has completed (this is technically known as flocculation). Or, perhaps you simply control your fermentation and aging temperatures to help precipitate particles out of solution. It can also be as difficult as finding a honey which has undergone a sufficient amount of pre-fermentation processing that the proteins and waxes that cause haze are already removed. If you’re using fruit, you might need to use pectic enzyme to break down the pectin which causes cloudiness. Then again, this starts to cross the line into…
3. Using clarifying agents.
The line between a recipe and using clarifying agents is (ironically) a little hazy. Essentially the only difference is whether the agent you are adding has a purpose other than making your beverage clear. For example, pectic enzyme allows for better utilization of compounds found in fruit resulting in greater fermentability, and it also results in a clearer product. Bentonite just makes your mead sparkle. If all else fails, you can resort to…
4. Filtering your beverage.
Filtering a fermented product is a very common practice in the industry, but has some negative consequences. With sufficient filtration there is almost no chance of sediment in the bottle, yet there will almost certainly be a loss of flavor and aroma. There will also be no way to bottle condition your beverage (if you want it to be sparkling), since there will be no yeast in solution at all.
So, which one is the right way? Well, first of all, we have to assume that you want your beverage clear. There is nothing super special about clarified mead other than it looks really pretty. Second, you have to decide how much time you have. And third, it’s your freakin’ homebrew: do it however you want. Don’t let anyone tell you that one way is the right way.
At Groennfell Meadery we don’t filter because we don’t like the slightly flaccid characteristic of the resultant mead, so we use a combination of the first three techniques. Also, we experiment all the time to find out what works for us; you should do the same. Experiments are the second best part of brewing, after, y’know, having alcohol you’ve made yourself.
Well, it was neck-and-neck right to the end, folks. Hopped was up by a vote, then Maple, then Hopped again with Spiced Cranberry left in their dust. About a week ago Maple took a fairly commanding lead. Then, out of the blue, our voting box was crammed full of votes for the Hopped Mead. When we tallied on Friday it was a dead tie.
Finally, at the Eleventh Hour, with one day left in the voting, three online votes tipped the balance: Maple Mead eked out a victory by a mere TWO votes.
So, what does this all mean? It means that we're going to be submitting the final recipe for the Maple Mead to the TTB with the hope that we'll be able to add it as a bottled special release in the future.
In the meantime, keep up the good work. We know it's tough hanging out at the meadery with your friends, getting free samples of Firkin Friday meads, and trying to remember to vote, but someone has to do it.
Groennfell Meadery is Vermont’s premier craft meadery. Inspired by Old Norse legends, brewed with extraordinary ingredients, Groennfell’s meads are unlike anything you’ve had before. Crisp, clean, and astoundingly drinkable, the only way to explain any one of Groennfell’s meads is to try one yourself.