Sunday, October 14, 2007

The holy grail ?

Now I don't know if it's me not looking hard enough or whether I'm seeking the holy grail.

"WTF are you on about" I hear you say. Well, I've been looking round the net for recipes.

The ones I've found are either too fucking big to be practical (the things mentioned in todays earlier post about the "rackfest" mean that I'm left with about 12 gallons of mead, of various types, all "ageing" a.k.a. mellowing).

5 gallon recipes might be fine if I know what they taste like, but it's a lot to have to sling down the sink if it turns out fucking horrible - both in money and time/effort.

Why can't these people produce recipes that "scale" i.e. if I want a bigger batch, then I just multiply the ingredients (except the yeast of course because a 1 gramme pack is usually enough to "do" 5 gallons).

It's either that, or they contain ingredients that are hard, if not impossible to get, or ingredients that are either too generalised in name or too specialised.

For instance, BuckWheat honey. What the fucks that? where the fuck am I likely to get that in the UK? Or there was another one, that used Cranberries. Great, except it's damn near impossible to get fucking cranberry sauce outside the christmas season, let alone fresh cranberries! There was another one that said use "Tupelo" honey. What the fuck does anyone outside the US know about Tupelo, except I think that was where "Elvis" was born. What the fuck is their major crop and hence what kind of honey is it likely to be ?

Most specific honey's are either way too expensive or like rocking horse shit!

Come on you knowledgeable types, write some usable recipes that will either scale up or down, with ingredients that might be available outside the fucking States! That way, some of we less knowledgeable types might get enough experience to write some of our own recipes!

Ok end of rant, I'm just getting off my soapbox!


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi fatbloke,

I can understand your frustration with trying to decipher unknown ingredients.

Tupelo honey is produced from the Tupelo gum tree, which grows profusely in the swamps of the Southern USA and along the Chipola and Apalachicola rivers of northwest Florida. In the river swamps, this honey is produced in a unique fashion. Bees are placed on elevated platforms along the river's edge, from which, during April and May they fan out through the surrounding Tupelo-blossom-laden swamps. This river valley is the only place in the world where Tupelo Honey is produced commercially.

Real Tupelo honey is light amber in color, light golden with a greenish cast. Good white Tupelo, unmixed with other honeys, will not granulate.

Buckwheat honey, on the other hand, is pungent in flavor with molasses and malty tones and a lingering aftertaste. Buckwheat honey is also very dark in color. As a general rule, darker honeys tend to be higher in antioxidant compounds than lighter ones. Because of this characteristic, darker honeys also tend to be higher in mineral content on average, as compared to lighter honeys. The buckwheat plant is an excellent honey source, sometimes planted by beekeepers specifically for honey production.

I’ve never used tupelo honey, but I have used Western buckwheat, slightly milder than Eastern buckwheat honey, due to the differences in the buckwheat plants. It produces a very strong flavor and a little goes a long way.

I primarily use clover and alfalfa honey, which is the predominant variety here in the massive hay growing ranches and farms in the Central USA. I’ve also used quite a bit of orange blossom honey and it too is generally light and makes a good mead.

This likely won’t satisfy your need to find a substitute but perhaps it will expand your understanding of these varieties.

Cheers from Nebraska, USA