Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mead Days in Salem MA are comming soon!

Finally Mead Days are approaching in Salem, and what that means is that we have only 2 weeks left of solitude before all the craziness begins that is Salem "In-Season".  For us this means some big changes from last year.  And Tomatoes (seen here) are finally ready in our garden!

#1. We will be tasting in Kegs this fall, rather than in bottles, it is much quicker, and I think people will enjoy the faster service when the line is really long.

#2. Our great taster Rachel will be back after having her second child and will be serving at Pamplemousse on Saturdays in October (and I think September too) so look out for that.

#3. We are preparring to offer all products in both the 750ml size and the 375ml size.  That way you won't need to carry around a big bottle of Mead all day if you only need a half size bottle.

Hope to see lots of friends and fans back in town soon, but for now, enjoy the tomatoes outside and the REALLY comfortable temperatures!  I think it is sunny and 75 degrees with a 10 mph breeze today, if that isn't heaven, I don't know what is  -  Ian

Friday, July 13, 2012

Salem MA 4th of July Fireworks 2012 - HD Video


Once again the Orchestra and Fireworks came to Salem MA for the 4th of July 2012 Independence Day celebrations.  It was pretty awesome and I hope if you live ANYWHERE in the area you get out and enjoy these fireworks in 2013. With a live orchestra that plays.  Nothing can compare to the intimacy of having 5k-10k people listening and watching as a live orchestra performs and fireworks explode all around you!

If you missed it this year, don't worry, there is always next year!  Enjoy our HD video of the display, and if you wanted to see last years display, check it out at from a post I put up last year.
 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mead Storage Conditions - NO SAUNA PLEASE

Yeah, if I only had a million or so dollars we could create a cave for Isaaks of Salem Mead 1/2 this large!

Anyway, the #1 rule about storage and why people use caves or bury their mead in the ground, is that the temperature under ground is around 50-55 degree's year round.

That temperature is critical to keeping mead aging nicely, and keep it in the 'happy place' that will only help the mead mature and age well.  A wine fridge can certainly get the job done, but I don't have a fridge that can hold 3k bottles of mead!  So, what we are doing is trying to create a 'cave-like' environment, and to get that accomplished (without expensive HVAC installations) you basically just need to keep the mead close to the ground (say on a cement floor) and then insulate the CRAP out of the building where you are storing your mead.

Light, Heat, Moisture, Dryness, are your enemies while storing and keeping mead aging properly. If it's to dry, the corks could 'dry out' and crack, and cause problems allowing oxygen into your mead.  To wet and the corks will get mold on them, spoiling the mead eventually.  To hot and the mead's complex chains of acids and charecteristics break down and don't create smooth flavor profiles. To cold, and the mead doesn't age at all, it just sits there, waiting for it to warm up a bit before creating those complex flavor chains.  Got sunlight hitting your tanks after it streams through a window?  This is probably the worst situation, as light will break down those complex flavor chains as well, and even worse, the sunlight will be intensified by the glass bottle or tank you are storing your mead in and will heat up the mead breaking it down further.

So, you insulate your building so the mead stays cool all year, you block out the sun so it can't break down all your hard work, and you regularly watch your humidity.  If it gets down into the 30% or below range, you need a humidifier, if it gets up into the 75% range, you need a dehumdifier to lower the moisture levels.  Or, you can just attempt to insulate better.  Most times, insulation and gaps in your insulation are why your levels of moisture are changing, and why you might have problems.

More to come with photo's of what we are doing sometime in July I think...(Yeah July, when it supposed to get DAMN hot out here, and put our insulation job to the test)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Find Mead on Tap in Boston MA - Draft Mead


We finally got mead ON TAP in Boston.  You can visit the Sunset Grill and Tap (really the BEST beer bar in Boston) and pick up a 13 oz pour of our Sparkling Pomegranate on draft.  It's a really nice balanced option, with some sweetness, some bitterness from the Pomegranate's and a really clean smooth taste.  It doesn't hurt that we have lots of bubbles in this mead either!  Sparkling mead to the masses, and 13 oz for 8 bucks is a darn good price for a restaurant, so enjoy it while it lasts, I know the staff have been talking it up, and they only have 5 gallons.

Get out there and be one of the first to review on RateBeer.com!

Some of our other Meads have been reviewed there. Check em out.



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Carbonated Mead - Sparkling Mead - Our Story

Sparkling Mead is pretty difficult to make, hard to work with, and requires lots of technical toys.  If you want to make your own sparkling mead, or want to know what goes into making a beverage bubbly, this and the following blog post that will share our story in getting out our first ever Sparkling Pomegranate Mead.

In February of 2012 we were stocking up Pamplemousse in downtown salem with our Sweet Kiss Valentines mead.  Diane asked if we could do something special for thier annual Spring Fling, and as she loves Pomegranate she was pushing for that flavor style.

I find that doing whatever our customers want is a good way to keep customers, so of course I said yes.  However, making a simple flat Pomegranate is boring, it didn't really say 'Spring Fling' to me.  This event is a pretty rocking party, and always has a GREAT band, so I wanted something that was going to not just taste like spring, but look like a mead for a celebration of spring.  So, like the gullible guy I am I decided to make our first ever sparkling mead.  I had 6 weeks to get it done.  But time in mead making is similar to dog years.  Every week is you have to do something, takes 3 weeks to get done!

Anyway, I quickly blended up some pomegranate POM Wonderful with our Sweet Tooth and got it filtered by around March 5th.  So things were doing REALLY well time wise to already have the taste adjusted correctly but ...(remember the dog years thing) I soon realized I was WAY behind on making this thing a Sparkling Mead.

We got down to the home-brew store the following week (remember this was a trial batch, so we could use smaller sized equipment) and picked up some soda kegs with the fittings (160$ later) I had a container to carbonate a Mead.  However, after filtering and pouring it into the kegs, we still needed a C02 Tank, a regulator and all the hoses to apply C02 pressure to our tasty mead.  I had to order those as well, and get the tank filled, it is now March 15th with one week left and we finally had all the equipment.

I proceeded to put our mead under 25 psi of pressure in a 50 degree winery.  I thought from the posts I read online, that this was going to be PLENTY of pressure to carbonate the mead.  After walking away for a week or so, like all the internet posts said to do, I came back and found we had almost 0 carbonation.  No bubbles at all and only 2 days before Spring Fling!

I quickly found this chart for carbonating mead, and learned that I needed at LEAST 2x the pressure I was using to get a good carbonation at 50 degree's!!  This was a bad thing, as I only had two days left to turn up the pressure.  The good news is that after turning up the pressure on our mead I thought I would be all set.  So I came back the next day with only 1 day to go to Spring Fling, and found we had BARELY any carbonation.  DOH! Again!

A quick call over to some brewery friends who make beer told me I could agitate the keg to create more surface area of the mead (shaking or rolling the keg apparently makes it easier for the C02 to be absorbed into the mead) and the C02 would carbonate the keg MUCH faster.  Literally 2 hours before the event we finally had a good level of carbonation.  We rushed over to The Old Town Hall in salem, setup our TAP (which we had created the night before at about 1am) and were ready to pour.  JUST IN TIME!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Salem Spring Fling 2012 - Mead, Food, and A PARTY!

The Salem Spring Fling hosted by Pamplemousse is always one of the truly exceptional events found in our small city.  400+ salemites, friends and family of our community crushed into the 'Old Town Hall' in the center of salem for a drink, some small foods, and one REALLY great time.

We launched our Sparkling Pomegranate Mead at the event, and as we had it on draft, we were able to offer anyone who came to the table a really nice taste of our FIRST EVER bubbly mead from Isaaks of Salem.

Attendee's of the spring fling loved the light pink hue and the sea-foam of bubbles on their lips.  Combine those things with an ice-cold serving temp, and this mead was a huge hit.

We gave out 4 gallons of the stuff (equivalent to 600$ in mead) so a HUGE warm thank you goes out to Pamplemousse and the rest of the sponsors for providing a 100% salem event.

(The photo of a living art installation that served cold cheeses and other anti-pasta was once again a step above last years living art performance.  To see more photo's of the entire event goto: http://festpics.com/p441458119 )

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Fling 2012 - FIRST EVER SPARKLING MEAD!

Spring Fling 2012 is happening this Saturday in Salem MA at the Old Town Hall from 7- 10pm.  The AMAZING thing about this event is that we are premiering for the first time ever a sparkling mead!

Our Sparkling Pomegranate is our first ever Sparkling Mead.  It was made at the request of our event sponsors Pamplemousse exclusively for the Spring Fling event in Salem.  The bubbles are what make this the BEST drink for celebrating in spring, and the great light pomegranate flavor sings on your lips as the bubbles dance on your tongue.  I am not making this up, this is how it tastes!

It will be on sale at Pamplemousse starting this Friday (when we drop it off) and we will be serving it on-tap at the event on Saturday.  Expect normal 'wine' sized pours (this isn't beer remember!) and we want as many people as possible to enjoy the celebration and get a chance to taste this truly awesome new mead from Isaaks of Salem!

Have fun and be responsible this Saturday night!