We’re thrilled to announce a new stage of our Drink Your Values project!
Starting with Root of All Evil: Maple Edition, we’re introducing a series of collaborations with @Runamok Maple where we brew cool, funky meads with their outrageous ingredients, and donate the proceeds to charity.
We are proud to announce our first charity recipient will be Main Street Alliance of Vermont, better known as MSA-VT.
MSA-VT updates their goals on an annual basis (or sometimes quarterly) to respond to the immediate needs of local communities. Right now their focus is on continued support for small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, continued investment in child care, and a campaign to educate Vermonters on how to Vote-By-Mail.
In their own words, MSA-VT “acknowledges the mutual interests and values shared by business owners, workers, and customers. We embrace the dignity of work that contributes to the wellbeing of our employees and our customers. We are united not only by economic transactions but also by our commitment to the communities that sustain our businesses and enrich our lives.”
For more on MSA-VT, please visit: https://vermont.mainstreetalliance.org/
To suggest a charity for future consideration, please write to Ricky@groennfell.com
Despite there being over 1000 votes in Havoc's Curmudgeon Label Art Contest, it was too close to call! We've invited the three finalists to compete in another round by putting their original designs head to head to head.
This time around, voting will only be open for two days, closing at 11:59 on Thursday night. Each person will only be allowed to vote once.
May the best Curmudgeon win!
vote for your favorite finalist!
Having trouble viewing our survey? Follow this link
We like to say that any day where you don't pour over 100 gallons of mead on the floor is a good day!
Curmudgeon is coming!
Havoc's new maple elderberry mead will be made in partnership with our friends at Runamok Maple, and will be the second in our Sour Series.
Just like Rumble, we're kicking things off with a label art contest! Our call for submissions was answered by so many amazing artists that we need your help choosing the best of the best.
REVIEW ALL IMAGES, AND VOTE AT THE END:
Having trouble viewing on your browser? Try this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/curmudgeon
Thank you so much for your patience!
Patience about what? Oh… just about everything.
Over the last few months we have had a bunch of surprises, delays, and a handful of… stnanks. And all of you have been so incredibly patient as we adapt to doing business in this new world.
We thought we should tell you about some of the issues we’ve had (a few of which were totally our fault) and what we’re doing to address them!
Things on our end:
Things outside of our control:
So, in conclusion, thank you so much for your patience. We have continued to meet our goal of getting every order out within a week, but it has meant long hours and overtime for our tiny team.
And, if it helps, remind yourself that while our mead is lovely, it’s not an N95 mask, lifesaving medication, or hand sanitizer, so the extra few days won’t literally kill you.
This may also explain why there are so many more studies on eating honey than getting stung.
Also, if you're bad at gathering honey, you can accidentally run a study on eating honey THEN getting stung.
In which Ricky the Meadmaker goes back to basics and answers questions about brewing mead with fruit and spices, including when to add fruits and spices, whether to use fruit concentrate, whole fruits, or fruit flavors, whether to sanitize spices before adding them in secondary, and more!
To the Larder! Experimenting with Fruits and Spices
How We Brew Everything We Brew
It's the episode you've all been waiting for, assuming that all of you have been waiting for the episode where I talk about nutmeg.
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. This is part four of possibly four possibly more, depending on the questions I get by the end, of basics about mead making And as promised, it's an episode all about fruits and spices in mead.
And the first one is easy: When do I add fruits? And the reason it's easy is, ooh it's complicated. Uhhh... Let's see. Usually if it's a sugar heavy fruit like cherries. Uh, you add them at the beginning, so that you can ferment those sugars out. And the fermentation process usually won't take up all the flavors. Citrus is usually added at the end. But not always. Strawberries are one of the only common fruits that's almost added always in the secondary fermentation - because although there are sugars in it, it's such a subtle flavor - so the reason it's easy is because, ooh, you're just gonna have to experiment.
Our next question is juice concentrate or natural fruit flavors. And the answer is, concentrate is convenient, and usually you can get things in concentrate that you may not be able to get in pure juice form. Juice is great if you can get it. Natural fruit flavors are, for the most part - there are no hard and fast rules, but for the most part -to be avoided.
Our next question is just as easy as the first one. When do I put in the spices? And the answer is, oh, obviously. Let's see, uh, cinnamon is weird because you can put it in at the beginning or the end, if you put in at the beginning, you'll get some yeast scrubbing, which means it will change the flavors that you extract due to the yeast interacting with some of those compounds. Also, it's a bark technically, which means you can get the effect of oak aging while extracting cinnamon flavors. Uh, cloves are very intense, nutmeg is very intense. (I know you've been waiting for it.) So we recommend putting those in at the end, tasting it every day. And then going, "Uh, that's enough," and racking it right off of those spices and packaging it. Uh, let's see, what other common spices - oh, herbs. Herbs usually go into the secondary. What did I say about that first thing? Oh yeah, you probably have to experiment. I know I keep making it sound like experimenting is a bad thing. It is not. Experimenting is the best because then you have a whole bunch of mead.
We're gonna breeze right over the question of how much spice to add. And you need to see my thing about experimenting. Also, you can add a lot and rack it off really soon afterwards.
So one of the big questions in homebrewing in general is do you sanitize your spices? So you've gone through all this work of making sure you have a clean must when you start your fermentation, and now you have a great mead. Do you have to sanitize those spices? And the answer is, that's a tough one. But the best way to sanitize a spice, if you're going to do it is drop them into vodka, then you get the addition of high ethanol extraction on some of those compounds, and you pour the whole thing into your mead, then it's a little boozier has a lot of spice flavor, and you don't have to worry about the ingredients not being sterile.
And our last question this week is: Are there special dangers about adding spices? This is a curious question because there are things that are safe until there's an ethanol extraction of them. But for the most part, anything you might want to add to your mead would be safe, as far as I know, but I am not a medical doctor. And if you're questioning it, either do a lot of research or don't use it. It's the best advice I can give you. There are so many safe ingredients you can use.
So that was our last question this week. Keep sending them and I'll get to them as soon as possible. Cheers.
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.