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JJMEAD
06-24-2007, 02:46 PM
I read a section in a brewing book I have that mentins a story of a guy who every year burys a few bottles near the top of a 9000 ft summit. He said it tastes incredible when he digs them up after a year or two. Now I know aging is always great for mead and wine and I am sure the purpose of his ritual is to force himself to age a couple of bottles so he doesn't drink them to soon. My questioin is, does altitude have factor in this at all or can just bury a bottle from every batch I make in a lower altitude? I live in NJ and there aren't exactly alot of high peaks to choose from LOL.

zionpsyfer
06-24-2007, 04:19 PM
As the bottles are sealed, the only major factor that I can see the altitude playing with the mead would be the colder ambient temps outside.
My guess is that you'd need to be careful about what temp the mead will reach on summer days. Burying it a few feet under would probably fix most temperature fluctuation issues.



It's an interesting idea, if you try doing it with a few bottles let us know! I'll be curious how they turn out.

beninak
06-24-2007, 04:39 PM
wouldnt the bottles freeze and burst in the winter? I'd be scared to do that here, temps can get down to -20 F at sea level and probably alot colder in the mountains. Plus wouldnt the freeze/rethaw change the flavor?

zionpsyfer
06-24-2007, 05:42 PM
It's all how deep you go. This (http://www.geo4va.vt.edu/A1/A1.htm) page indicates that if you dig a hole 4 feet deep in light dry soil, you'll have a temperature variation of +-10 degrees. 6 feet down would be around half that.

Sounds like a lot of work when a cellar/basement is available though. ;D

beninak
06-24-2007, 08:01 PM
geez no kidding! especially considering how hard it would be to dig a 6 foot hole on a mountain!

youngmeadman
06-24-2007, 08:46 PM
I live in NJ and there aren't exactly alot of high peaks to choose from LOL.


I hear you! living In Saskatchewan, I'm in the same boat, it's hard enough to find a hill, let alone a mountain! In the winter it gets to about -40*C(-40*F) sometimes even lower, and I agree, why dig a hole more then 6 feet deep, when you have a cellur wine fridge. However, if you really wanted to, and you were to dig deep enough you would get a nice stable temperature year around. Look at the concept of geothermic heating.

kaferwerks
07-09-2007, 05:33 PM
I think it is more of the ritual of making the journey each year to add new and taste the old and maybe reflect a little. Probably a little more spiritual than just for the flavor

aenik
07-09-2007, 09:44 PM
I think it is more of the ritual of making the journey each year to add new and taste the old and maybe reflect a little. Probably a little more spiritual than just for the flavor

I second that. I assume most people here recognize this as Charlie Papazian's writeup for Prickly Cactus Pear Mead from Complete Joy of Homebrewing/Homebrewing Companion. Judging from his writing, Charlie seems, to me, to be the type of guy that's quite into the pomp and ritual of brewing and meadmaking - maybe moreso than the type type of guy that's into exactly what chemical reaction is taking place when and where and in what amount.

That said, I'm certain that if you go through the trouble of climbing a mountain, digging a big pit, and coming back N years later, you'll be damn well convinced that you're drinking the best mead ever to touch human lips.

Btw - Charlie lives in Boulder, CO, and seems to be a fan of the area, so my guess is that that 9,000 peak somewhere just west of Boulder in the Rocky foothills.