We washed and sanitized the bottles, briefly soaked the corks in Star San, and then my husband began filling bottles.
Getting them filled to the correct level was a little touch-and-go at first, but we eventually got the hang of it. There was one major hose-down-the-kitchen-with-mead event, but we had spread a bath towel on the floor ahead of time so that soaked up the worst of it (and since our kitchen floor is perpetually in a state of Please Wash Me, it’s always grateful for an excuse to get a good scrubbing — there are worse things).
The corker thingy is an absolute must because there is no way we could’ve gotten the corks into the bottles without it. It’s not great for big bottling projects, though — it’s a little scarily wobbly, and my husband said it made his hands hurt after a while — but for our little outfit, it got the job done. I think we ended up with 22 bottles, or 25…can’t remember.
The mead is drinkable at any point though it should be aged a full year for best results. At that point, the flavor should become more mellow, they say. But I actually really like it as it is now. Like, really, really like it. I don’t know what the flavor compares to. I’m no wine expert, and I was a little shy about sharing the mead with people at first because one) I didn’t want anyone to have to pretend they liked it, and two) I didn’t want to suffer the giant soul crushing of a negative review. But then one girlfriend had some and requested to buy a bottle, and I took another bottle to a gathering and it got all drunk up that very night, and when I have guests over, I notice people helping themselves to seconds, so . . . all good signs, I guess?
I do have one problem, though: where to store it? Our old farmhouse is skimpy on storage space, and what with all my cheesemaking and now mead making, my projects are eating into our living space something fierce. (And I thought I’d have all this extra space once the kids left, ha!)
I guess we’ll figure something out eventually, considering necessity is the mother of invention and all…
This same time, years previous: making the bed, menopause: seven stories, curbing the technology addiction, practical and beautiful, where the furry things are, the quotidian (10.19.15), rich, no special skills, how to have a doughnut party, part 1.