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Ok, Over the weekend I got together the two primary batches that will eventually become the Blueberry Vanilla and the Bamboo Jasmin.

Blueberry Vanilla
     I started with the blueberry vanilla.  I put 12 pounds of buckwheat honey that should be a good base for the blueberry and give it some legs and a more complex flavor.  My plan after the primary is to get 2 large bags of blueberries and render to juice again.  This I have done twice before.  It should yeild about a gallon and about 1/4 of Blueberry Juice.  The Blueberry Lemon taught me that to enhance the blueberry flavor it is best to add some lemon, so I plan on using 2 cups of lemon juice.  I am thinking on using vanilla extract, home made, for this brew.  That way I can keep it liquid for the additions and only need to use the glass carboy.  The primary should last just under 2 months.  It should be good.  I was thinking about 3/4 cup of home made extract that I have in the jar at the moment.  So this one is bubbling away in it's primary fermentation as I type.

Bamboo Jasmin
    For those that are unaware, I am a part of a Shinai club.  Just a group of friends that get together about 1 to 2 times a month and beat eachother with sticks.  Ok, the "Stick" is a Shinai which is a split bamboo sword held together with leather and a plastic disk for a hilt.  I have constructed myself a Double Shinai or a Shinai Staff.  That is what I wield.  But the point is in about 2 years or so we will be coming up on our 10th year.  This mead is to inaugurate this.  We are even having a tournament in April 28th, I think.  People can send me a message if they are intrested in participating or even just coming and watching.  The Bamboo Jasmin will be a batch that will be aged and ready for our 10th aniversery Sharps party.  That's our yearly party where we bring out the blades and slice apart 2 liter bottles filled with water, great fun.

So with this one, I searched for bamboo leaves of an edible variety to put in the primary to no avail.  I found the Pacific Ocean Market, which has all sorts of great food.  They had lots of stuff and I could put together a mead with an orential flavor on it.  Still no fresh bamboo leaves for eating.  Best I could find was bamboo shoots in water.  I found sour bamboo but that had preservatives in it.  I found caned, bamboo tips boiled in water with no preservatives.  I also found some Lotus Root.  Fresh.  So I took both, chopped up smalll and boiled it for about 1/2 hour or so.  Then blenderized and ran through a siv.  Then put the Juice in the primary.  I am hoping that it didn't have any anti-baterial qualities.
   I made the primary with about 11 pounds of honey, 5 pounds of Buckwheat and 6 pounds of Orange Blossum.  This will give the mead a bit of complexity.  My plan for the secondary is to backsweeten with more orange blossum and to "Oak" with dried bamboo leaves.  To make sticky rice and other items in much orential cooking they wrap it in bamboo leaves.  These leaves are not ingested but are more of a garnish and add flavor when steamed.  So I plan on sticking a couple of leaves in the secondary as it's clearing, after backsweetening it.  It should be a very good batch.
    As of yet the mix has not yet started to ferment or bubble.  Which is why I am worried about the anti-baterial qualities of bamboo or lotus root.  I may have to dose with more yeast.

Well that's all for now.

Dave

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October 2012

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