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Brewing in the SCA

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Mead making demo in Brokenbridge Jan. 21st, 2011 @ 02:54 pm
On Sunday January 23rd at 1pm, there will be an introductory mead making demo by Aquilina of the Sea Cliffs at Foodshed Market farmer's market, The Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn (Canton of Brokenbridge, Crown Province of Ostgardr). This is not an SCA demo, but is SCA friendly. Handouts will be available.
Current Mood: busyThe bizzy bizzy Braufrau!

Beekeeping is now legal in NYC Mar. 18th, 2010 @ 01:28 pm
Today, Just Food celebrates the successful conclusion of our campaign to legalize beekeeping in New York City!!

This morning, the NYC Board of Health voted in favor of lifting the ban on beekeeping in Health Code Article 161, which previously rendered beekeeping illegal. Today's vote is an important victory for all of those who support bees, beekeepers, urban agriculture and a greener, healthier and more sustainable New York City.

Just Food launched our city-wide campaign to legalize beekeeping in New York City in 2008 and has since been working with a coalition of beekeepers, gardeners and community members to encourage the NYC Department of Health to lift its beekeeping ban (read archive of our beekeeping campaign below).

Just Food would like to thank the NYC Beekeeping Meetup Group, NYC Beekeeper's Association, Gotham City Honey Co-Op, our 2009 Pollinator Week Committee, individual beekeepers and supporters, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, former City Councilman David Yassky, and the NYC Department of Health for their collaborative spirit and vital role in making today's ruling possible.

More info here.

Aquilina of the Sea Cliffs
Current Mood: busybusy

John Barleycorn brewing contest Sep. 2nd, 2009 @ 02:45 pm
Greetings unto all potential contestants for the Barleycorn Brewing Contest! Once again the extremely transient Gratuitous Lily Guild (get it, heehee) offers an evaluation of the efforts of the Kingdom brewers for encouragement in their craft, the betterment of their fame and the entertainment of the populace!

There will be prizes offered for all categories: beer, wine, mead, cordial, non-alcoholic and best of show. Contestants are expected to be over 21 if entering an alcoholic category, as are those judging those categories. You may download the entry form here.

Please do not enter more than three entries total, as largesse is appreciated around the night fires but not in the middle of the day by even the most stalwart of our doughty judges. ;-7 Also in the spirit of fairness, if you or your significant other are judging a category please do not enter anything in that category.

As this is an SCA competition, it is not a blind taste test. Presentation is part of your entry, thus labels, pretty and/or period looking bottles are encouraged. Please try to document your entries. Efforts to remain true to historical accuracy are excellent, but your work does not have to be period so long as it is created for the enjoyment of yourself, the populace, and the art of brewing. If you wish to keep your recipe and process secret, that is fine although you will lose points; but all ingredients MUST be listed so as to prevent allergic reactions among the judges. If your entry does not list all ingredients it will NOT be judged.

I am not, repeat, NOT a judge-level member of the InterKingdom Brewer's Guild, but I am using their form and following their judging guidelines - because they're there. :)

All beer and mead will be classified using the 2004 version of the Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines. You can take a look at them here.

As always, we need judges!!! Please contact me directly if you want to judge. This year we will make a vague attempt to judge categories at specific times, so that people wishing to judge a particular category will be able to schedule their participation around the other Barleycorn activities.

Entries must be received by noon. Tentative judging schedule: 12pm: beer; 1pm: mead; 2pm: wine; 3pm: cordial; 4pm: non-alcoholic and best of show.

Kindly forward to other local SCA lists and blogs as is appropriate.

Best of luck to all,

Aquilina of the Sea Cliffs
Current Mood: busybusy

Jun. 24th, 2009 @ 02:15 pm
Hallo! Been a while since I last posted...all of my cordials are turning out well and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to start my first batch of mead before fall arrives. :)

My reason for posting, though, is to ask something I can't seem to find an answer to anywhere. Last night while sweetening a cordial, I accidentally made more of the sugar mixture than I needed and am wondering...does it keep? I threw it in a spare jar just in case...will it be okay to use in a few week's time on another cordial that will need sweetening?

Thanks so much in advance for any advice. :)

Jun. 6th, 2009 @ 05:38 pm
From June 22-28, Just Food, a non-profit organization that works to develop a just and sustainable food system in the New York City region, will be sponsoring "Pollinator Week", a series of events in Manhattan that highlight the use of local honey in food and drink. In part these events are designed to bring public attention to a drive to legalize beekeeping in New York City.

Kicking off the week will be the First Annual Beekeeper's Ball at Pier 17, South Street Seaport on Monday, June 22 from 6-11pm. On Thursday the 24th, fifteen Manhattan bars and restaurants will be featuring signature dishes and drinks that incorporate locally harvested honey. On Saturday the 26th, the Union Square farmer's market will be having a "honey fest" featuring local beekeepers and their wares.

As part of Pollinator Week, I will be one of the speakers at Jimmy's #43 on June 25th at 6pm. This is a fundraiser for Just Food, admission is $10. The evening includes a screening of "Hidden Hives", a movie about urban beekeeping. Representatives from the Manhattan Meadery and the Long Island Meadery will be present to let you sample their commercially available offerings. I will be speaking about the art of making homebrewed mead, and may have some of my own stuff for people to try.

"Bee" there!
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Other entries
» New member here!
Greetings and salutations!

I'm on my second batch of wine right now. It's mostly-grape with some cranberry thrown in there just to see what will happen. Using White Labs sweet mead yeast. We'll see how it goes. ;-)

My first batch was apfelwein from apples I pressed myself. I had used Red Star dry yeast that was tolerant to 18% ABV and added about 6 pounds of brown sugar to the must to ensure a swweter wine...er, what I wound up with was tasty tasty rocket fuel. It has mercifully mellowed from "napalm with an apple aftertaste" to "delicious apfelwein that takes you by surprise when trying to stand." The only issue I have with it is that there's still fermentation occurring in the bottle, judging from corks popping from bottles at random. I know sulfiting the wine will kill off the fermentation, but one of my friends is allergic to sulfites. Are there any alternative suggestions you may have?
» Some questions about my strawberries...
Some concerns.Collapse )
» Odd question.......
....sorry if I seem to be spamming the community. I'm very curious. :) I asked this in a comment-reply but I'd like to ask everyone, too.

Has anyone ever tried making a cordial with white or green tea leaves? I've got a massive ammount of strawberries (they were on sale for next to nothing, I went a little crazy and now have a lot left over) and I'm tempted to try mixing a handful or three of white tea leaves into some strawberries. I figure black tea is likely too astringent, and I'm not sure how tasty the green tea would be, so I figure...white tea? Someone I know also suggested Rooibos (red tea) but I've never been too fond of it mixed with strawberries.

Any suggestions or thoughts on the matter?
» Odd question.
I'm very new to brewing and allsuch...so forgive if this seems silly.

Last night I was basically instructed on how to make cordials (sp?) and one of the things stressed to me is that the alcohol completely cover the fruit/berries/whatever to keep the air-exposed floaty ones from spoiling/rotting. They also said that almost any fruit or berry can be made into a cordial.

So I was searching for bread to make toast today, opened the freezer, and spotted a bag of cranberries I froze a while ago. I wonder...could one make a decent cordial with cranberries? Has anyone done this, and if so, how was the result? My concern is that they have an annoying tendency to float, so is there a way to keep 'em held down if I were to try it?

Apologies if this seems a bit silly, I'm very, VERY new to this and still figuring it out. :) Thanks in advance to anyone who offers advice!
» Petition to legalize beekeeping in NYC
NYC local meadmakers (and mead lovers!) take note:


Was led to this site by a Scientific American article on the subject.


Sign the petition here:

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