If you have been following this blog from the beginning, then firstly I salute you, and secondly you will know that I have attempted to make mead, which turned out to be rank beyond description - think rough as guts it was that bad.
Since then however, I have learnt to brew reasonably well and so my thoughts at the weekend turned to trying my hand once more at mead, when of course fermentation space allows.
Being the tinkerer I am however, I don't want to make just a plain mead, purely with honey, water and yeast - I want to mess about! When thinking about other things to throw into the mead, my first thought was to use hops - especially given their purpose in beer as a bittering agent to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Using hops in mead is nothing new, having once been an ingredient in braggot, although today it is brewed with honey and malt rather than honey and hops (if I am wrong about that, forgive me - but from cursory searches on Google that seems to be the case).
The questions in my mind then lead me to thinking about boil times, would I have to do a 60 minute boil so as to utilise the various compounds in hops that do their thing at different times in the boil, not to mention the most important question of all, which hops to use?
I can imagine the American C-hops working very well in a braggot, and of as a devotee of the Fuggle hop I would be keen to try that out as well. However, I think to begin with I will use one of my favourite hops on the planet for my concoction, Amarillo! Imagine the grapefruity flavours cutting through the smoothness of the honey!
Have any other homebrewers reading this tried making a hopped mead? If so, what was good, what was bad, what hops did you use? So many questions!