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Brewing in China

I don’t know if we mentioned this before, but we’ve been continuing our homebrewing hobby in China.

Our first experiment started last December. We took some supermarket honey and some bread yeast and brewed it into a rudimentary mead. We used 2.5L soda bottles as our carboys, and a loose screw-on top as our “airlock”. We made 2 batches; one plain, and one spiced with Chinese five-spice powder (cinnamon, anise, etc.). They were slow to start and initially unimpressive, but 9 months later we’ve got two remaining small bottles of the spiced mead, and it’s matured into something surprisingly delicious (albeit a bit sweet for my palate, the bread yeast dies at a lower alcohol concentration than brewing yeast, leaving more sugar remaining).

We didn’t brew anything else until recently. About a month ago, I ordered a set of Oztops from Australia. These are a type of airlock designed especially for brewing in soda bottles. I also got some proper brewing yeast. Once they arrived, we got back into brewing full-swing. At the moment, we’ve made a batch of concord grape wine, three different apple ciders, a mead, a strawberry wine, and a peach/apple blend. Thus far, the results are great! The grape, strawberry, and two of the ciders are already ready for consumption, and the others aren’t far behind. They’ve already proven to be popular with our friends, and we’re thinking of new experiments…

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Scary Aunt Anne | September 26, 2007 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Wow, that takes me back! My first batch of mead was made with bread yeast and supermarket honey, using a cider jug and a balloon for an airlock. Palatable enough for me to make more and get some wine yeast and real airlocks. I haven’t made any in years; I’m really mostly a beer drinker, and found it was far too easy to make more mead than I could or should consume. The only alcoholic beverage production lately has been accidental; a couple times my orange juice has started to take off in the fridge. Never went far, but slightly yeasty, slightly fizzy, slightly alcoholic OJ is actually pleasant.

  2. barbie | September 29, 2007 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    LOL! You two would be amazingly popular with the local heathens over here! I am gobsmacked and envious. :)

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