Category: Mead-Brewing

Mead Brewing Seminar in the Works

As Creative Director of TempleCon, the retro-futurist science fiction and gaming convention that I co-founded ten years ago, I am currently in the thick of pre-convention planning for TempleCon 2015. One of the popular features of TempleCon is a tradition of hosting seminars related to the appreciation of (and in some cases brewing or cooking with) various kinds of alcohol, scotch in particular being the drink that started it all. Led by three-time V:tES North American Champion Ben Peal with his extensive knowledge of scotch varieties and history, these seminars turn the classic geek quality of obsessive love for a subject into a lively celebration for the mind and the senses, because in addition to a wealth of information presented by a world-traveled gamer with social skills comparable to his strategic thinking, there are of course delectable samples of the various scotch whiskies to be had, and savored, and discussed with true geek attention to detail. While Ben isn’t the only person to lead such seminars at TempleCon (we’ve had rum seminars, mead seminars, cider seminars, beer seminars, and an absinthe seminar), he is the longest-standing of our seminar leaders, and his events are the gold standard by which we judge proposals for new seminars in this vein.

Since another seminar leader will not be able to join us this year, and since I have a love of home-brewed mead that approaches Ben’s love of scotch, I have been considering hosting my own seminar at TempleCon, and last night sat down to start drawing up a curriculum, which I will admit to consulting Ben on the creation of. Ben was gracious enough to give me some pointers on running this kind of seminar, and while I still have a long way to go on crafting a curriculum that lives up to my standards in this department, I have decided on the topic that I will focus on and the major areas to be covered under that topic: “Mead Brewing as a Spiritual and Therapeutic Practice.”

Of course right off the bat that has to come with the usual caveat and disclaimer: I am not a doctor of any kind and of course mead-brewing should not be substituted for professional treatment. That said, there are a whole host of ways to use mead as a delivery system for tonic herbal therapies and to use the brewing practice as a psychological framework for personal development and spiritual practice. As a brewer specializing in metheglins (herbal meads) and brewing in accordance with lunar cycles and astrological alignments, this is a subject near and dear to my heart, so I will admit that the seminar will likely be filled with anecdotal accounts in addition to any cited research. Nonetheless, I hope to make it as factual and informative as possible, and if nothing else, it will be a great opportunity to share the fruits of my brewing labors. 🙂

The Perfect Goth Refrigerator

The Perfect Goth Refrigerator

The Perfect Goth Refrigerator

…filled with bottles of my last batch of mead, prior to labeling.  Yes, the bottles are red.  🙂  This mead batch is a black morat rhodomel, meaning that it is made with black currant juice, mulberry juice, and roses.  Like all of my meads it is a metheglin, meaning that it is made with herbs (in addition to the roses), and was brewed with magical intent as part of a 15-month cycle, with the steps in its process corresponding to lunar cycles and astrological configurations during that period.  It is fairly strong as a result of multiple fermentations, and has more of a barleywine character than the sweetness that most people associate with mead.

The mead that I am currently brewing is based on killer bee and sunflower honey, with herbs corresponding to its more golden tone.  That one won’t be ready to bottle for many months to come.