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Rosehip Melomel
Per gallon; 3lbs flower honey
16oz bottle rosehip syrup
1 pt orange juice
one cup of cold tea

Melomel is Welsh, meaning 'gold of golds'. A 'cerebral' brew, in that you can do the Times crossword, play a brilliant game of chess, but when you try to stand up your legs don't work.
Improves up to ten years.

Yarrow Melomel
(some refer to as 'Cosmic Gaa-gaa Juice' or 'Rocket Fuel')

For 11-12 gals; 28lbs clear flower honey
l lt apple juice concentrate
2 dozen cloves
1 kg chopped yarrow

Demerara can be substituted for honey at half of the cost introducing a 'loopy' quality to the intoxication. Note for above brews nutrient and sherry yeast essential. Honey is defficient in trace elements and a heater is often required. However, after adding yarrow brew is seemingly rendered impervious to temperature change and increases speed at which brew finishes (activates yeast), typical large brews peaking in 3 days and finishing in 14. Make up yarrow as a tea -1oz per pint, then strain in to brew.
Has never lasted long enough to improve.


Beers

Traditional family beer; 4lb malt extract (liquid),
4 gals hard water,
2oz hops (simmer for 10 mins),
3lbs Barbados sugar.

Simple naval beer; 2lbs pale malt extract (liquid),
4 gals hard water,
2 oz hops (simmer for 30 mins),
2lbs dark brown sugar

Using grains; in essence the simplest, and oldest way of making beer. Beware, in particular, of black fungus (stains) on rye, however.

Boil water, then allow to cool until you can see your reflection in the water (yes, this is the way they did it), pour the grain into the water, stir, cover and leave for 24 hours (insulate container with straw for authenticity). Strain, then add yeast.
It is possible to obtain three separate brews from the same quantity of grain used (experiment for strength and flavour), the first brew being of the highest quality, the last being 'small beer' which children drank.


Bacchus, by Michelangelo Merisi da Carravagio,
who, one might say, was an advocate for the odd drink.

* If intellectual satisfaction is required, especially in respect of the extolling of the virtues of nature and wine, good sources include Wang-Wei (699-761), Li Po (701-62), Tu Fu (712-70), Tao Ch'ien (365-427) and Lao Tzu's (604-531 BC) Tao Te Ching, the basis of a religion founded in 142 AD by Chang Tao-ling.

Harvesting the hedgerow


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