Justin Montes
on May 21, 2022
Here I made a mixture between an ancient style gruit beer and mead. I made a mash with whole organic oats and buckwheat along with some raisins. I also made a tea with some spices, and after they both cooled to room temperature, I strained them and mixed them together. I took this mixture and added a whole bottle of honey. I dissolved the honey into the mash/must and took a gravity reading with a hydrometer. The readings came out around 1.082 specific gravity which translates to around 11% potential alcohol by volume(ABV).
Now if you're familiar with this process, you know we need a yeast. I do things differently so I'm back slopping with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast(Scoby) that my mother and I created by mixing our own microbial cultures from other fermentation projects in a previous kombucha brew. There are yeast and bacteria present, meaning it's not a pure yeast culture like most commercial alcohol. All ancient brews were exposed to the elements, thus they've always involved bacteria. This is how we've been doing things for hundreds and thousands of years. I am doing the same except I'm using modern equipment in order to create a better, more controllable product.
Contrary to popular belief, this brew will not turn out acidic or like vinegar. This is due to the airlock which is keeping oxygen out of the vessel. The lack of oxygen will not allow acetic acid producing bacteria to metabolize alcohol and oxygen and produce their acids. The same bacteria that produce things like apple cider vinegar are present here but there will be little to no activity from them from the lack of air.
This anaerobic (free of oxygen) environment created by the airlock favors the production of alcohol by the yeast. The Yeast will take over and dominate the environment. It will continue to ferment as far as it can go. The presence of bacteria still affect the essence of this brew and will provide complex flavors and by products which result from microbial fermentation. This will theoretically be a probiotic and alcoholic drink.
I will let this ferment until July and take another gravity reading to see how much the brew has changed. I will bottle it afterwards and drink it on my birthday. Hope it turns out well. This is my first brew where I've actually used a hydrometer so I can somewhat tell what's going on now based on specific gravity measures.
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