View Full Version : Youv'e Got to read this

09-10-2005, 12:46 PM
To My fellow GotMead Forum Members,

Being an experimenter myself, I am all for allowing people to try anything and everything and I would have encouraged this fellow even if I had known in advance about his experiment. I would have, of course, asked him if he really expected the fish to live in such a concenstrated enviornmenteven of honey but nevertheless if he insisted I would encourage him to go ahead for any knowledge he might gain for his experiment. I just couldn't resist posting his post from Mead Lovers Digest so you all could enjoy it with me. I know you will get a kick out of it as I did! ;D


Subject: experimental piscamel results are in !
From: "robscott@freeshell.org" <robscott@freeshell.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 18:46:20 +0000 (UTC)

I thought I had detected a studied disinterest for my March 28 questions
about raising fish and making mead in the same aquarium --- now I realize
that you mazers probably thought I was drunk. My hypothesis was that fish
manures would provide valuable fertilizer to the yeast, the aquarium
bubbler would keep O2 levels high, and the fish would get a nice honey

The result, instead, was 3 "piscamels" flavored by rotting fish.
Description follows.

I prepared three 15-gallon aquariums with 7 gallons of water, and 20
tilapia, bullnose catfish, and goldfish respectively. All fish were ~1oz.
and well acclimated to the aquarium environment. Next I added 3 gallons
(~30 lbs.) orange blossom honey to each for about 10 gallons total volume,
for an OG around 1.130. At this stage the tilapia and goldfish were
visibly distressed, trying to feed at the surface (?) I now suspect they
were dying of low dissolved oxygen, or honey poisoning or some shit.
Anyway, within 24 hours all the fish were dead, and I hadn't even added
the yeast! I made sure to put the fish in a nylon bag before proceeding. I
used Lalvin EC-1118 for a dry finish.

Fast-forward 2 months and I've got 30 gallons at FG~1.000 and I'm racking
off a huuge ammount of sediment (including scales, etc.) in what could
only be described as a nauseating siphoning process. With all the solids
removed, I had a sip. Tastes disgusting, but hey, all young meads are a
little rough, right?

The goldfish piscamel has some kind of jellyfish-like thing growing in it
and I think it is vinegarizing. Lovely dark brown and hazey.
The catfish were preserved by the alcohol (or something) and are now in a
large mason jar. I will donate them to science. The catfish piscamel is a
delightful pink.
The tilapia tastes the best of the three (still: horribly rancid) and is a
sort of swampy green.

If the goldfish batch becomes a balsamic-like vinegar, it might be the
only salvagable output of this disaster. I might try distilling the rest,
or selling it as a weapon to be used in the domain of smell. If you tried
to fight someone, and the catfish piscamel got on you, you might puke.

I will never ferment fish mead again!

Rob Scott


09-10-2005, 01:18 PM
Quite a chuckle. Makes you want to pray to the porcelain Diety just thinking about it. I guess common sense isn't all that common.

09-10-2005, 01:33 PM

It doesnt help that I'm reading this *right* after waking up. Hoo boy. Explaining it to my boy was almost worse!!

He's accusing me of "mead humour" :-[

/goes to find some coffee

09-10-2005, 02:40 PM
Okay so I have been telling all my friends and family about the people on this forum and how it seems like they will try to make mead out of ANYTHING . . . . . I think this story definitely drives my point home. :P

09-10-2005, 04:10 PM
Hmmmm, ::)

I would never . . . ever try to ferment fish . . . I mean my family were all commercial fishermen and well . . . that's just wrong :o

Oskaar <------Putting the lobster and garlic butter back into the refrigerator and stepping away

So much for the lobsterbisquemel

09-10-2005, 06:02 PM
Oskaar, please, describe the taste of the beefjerkeymel, to provide a counterpoint of red meat to fish.

09-10-2005, 08:08 PM
Checked my email after work, saw this in the mead lovers digest, was going to post it here myself but you beat me to it. Personally I saw his original post... I didn't think he was drunk, I thought he was on Crack or he was just $*#@$(! with the MLD. I hope he didn't use a lees stirrer, and it's a wonder he didn't boil the must.
Jmattioli - This story is just wrong on so many levels and definitely didn't even spark a single cautionary thought in his mind... about his fish or his mead. If I even thought for a second he was serious I would have emailed him to stop this.
First fish use their gills to filter oxygen out of the water... of course the honey was going to kill them quick. 2nd fresh water fish don't drink, not even water, they absorb it. Saltwater fish do drink and expel the salt. So let say his fish could still breathe, remember there's an oxygen pump in the mead, but you only oxygenate mead intermediately during the first 3 days... not for 72 hours straight. What was he planning on doing after three days? Turn off the pump and suffocate his fish? Make vinegar buy continuing to aerate his mead? Was he planning to feed his fish "fish food" while the mead was fermenting or did he figure the honey would be enough for them. Was he planning a pickled fish feast for himself or did he figure he'd have honey marinaded fish in 6 months.
All I can say is this guy is a prime candidate for the Darwin Awards, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if he manages two in one go.

Scout - this was a member of Mead Lovers Digest, not GotMead as far as I know... So you're still safe... but only just.


09-10-2005, 08:57 PM

Didn't really intend for anyone to address being wrong or right. Just wanted all to enjoy the post. Its okay to make mistakes. Even though some may deem it plain stupid. I have done some stupid things myself though I didn't think so at the time.

As you can see from the end of the post he learned from it. It was both humerous and he learned from his experiment. We can't learn for other people. We can only advise people. Sometimes we even go too far because we see the foolishness that they may not and we try to control their actions. This does not seem wise to me.

As long as he is not hurting himself then his experiment was good for him. He will be a little wiser the next time for his loss of honey and we get a good chuckle in the process. Its all in FUN. I meant no criticalness in posting it and hope you didn't either in your response.


09-10-2005, 09:55 PM
While this fellow certainly couldn't be considered to be following in anyone else's footsteps, there actually is some historical precedence for adding live animals (which quickly die) to mead. In Alcohol in Ancient Mexico by Henry J. Bruman, in a section dealing with the intentional addition of psychoactive chemicals into liquor drinks, we find these passages, concerning a drink made in the Balché region (now the Yucatan Peninsula), by the Cakchiquel people of Mixco; the first being a primary account from the early seventeenth century by one Thomas Gage; the next being a comment by the author Bruman:

...nay in some places I have known where they put in a live Toad, and so close up the Jar for a fortnight, or a months space, till all that they hove [sic] put in him, be throughly steeped and the toad consumed, and the drink well strengthened, then they open it, and call their friends to the drinking of it, (which commonly they do in the night time, lest their Priest in the Town should have notice of them in the day) which they never leave off, until they be mad and raging drunk. This drink they call Chicha, which stinketh most filthily, and certainly is the cause of many Indians deaths, especially where they use the toads poyson with it. Once I was informed living in Mixco, of a great meeting that was appointed in an Indians house; where I found four jars of Chicha not yet opened, I caused them to be taken out, and broken in the street before his door, and the filthy Chicha to be poured out, which left such a stinking scent in my nostrils, that with the smell of it, or apprehension of its loathesomeness, I fell to vomiting, and continued to be sick almost a week after.


In the case of adding a toad to a fermented drink, as described in detail by Gage for the Cakchiquel, the problem of what is the desired constituent becomes rather simple: (1) No tannin is introduced into the beverage; (2) the addition of fermentation organisms, if, needed, could certainly be accomplished in other ways than by adding a live toad; and (3) the flavor of the beverage with the toad is far less desirable than the flavor without the toad -- the final result probably "stinketh most filthy" even to the drinker. Even rational human beings will not ordinarily take to something with a repulsive stench unless some craving is thereby satisfied. Furthermore, in consuming decayed flesh an individual is taking a great risk of poisoning, since the ptomaines are common decomposition products of protein putrefaction, especially at somewhat elevated temperatures. Apparently the Cakchiquel who made mead with a toad often suffered as a consequence, for, as Gage remarks: "This drink...is the cause of many Indians death, especially where they put the toads poyson with it." These deaths may occasionally result from ptomaine poisoning, but they may also result from an overdose of the cardiac stimulant, resulting in systolic arrest of the heart. [Toad poisons are not saponins, but are structurally related to cardiac poisons of vegetable origin and have similar properties.]

The reason for putting in the toad must be some inherent quality in the toad itself, a quality powerful and desirable enough to overcome a natural revulsion against the effluvium of decayed meat. There can be only one explanation: the heart stimulant. As suggested before, small quantities of these substances increase the pulse rate and apparently heighten the general state of excitement, thus aiding in the realization of a condition that is ritualistically desirable. Gage records that the Indians who drank this concoction became "mad and raging drunk."

So, in addition to risking death by actually tasting his fish mead, this fellow missed out on a good opportunity by not using one of those poisonous Japanese blowfish! ;D


BTW, Fugu Hire-zake is grilled blowfish fin put into a hot sake drink. But at least this is after fermentation!

09-10-2005, 11:42 PM
While I don't claim to be free from foolish mistakes (i.e., saying things I shouldn't) mine are usually not mistakes in planning. I could not condone this even as a test, to me it's on the same level as keeping your goldfish in a blender and using the mixer to aerate the water... never thinking there might be a chance they'll get sucked into the blades. This guy is beyond totally clueless... and that's the only thing that makes the article funny.
Learned his lesson... I doubt it, more likely it's just a snippet of the same quality decisions and reasoning he applies daily. This guy should be kept away from all pets and children... probably women and the general population as well. And that's being nice, if I were mean and I thought It might get the guy put away... I'd notify the police and submit it as evidence of animal cruelty... but I think he'd learn the wrong lesson (again)... Something like "I'll never make posts about my engaging in animal cruelty."

Sorry to suck the humor out of this thread, but in reality it is only his stupidity that makes it funny (admittedly quite funny), without that it is just animal cruelty. If he had done it as an experiment, keeping a detailed log that included at what brix levels his fished unexpectedly died, I doubt we'd find it funny.


09-11-2005, 01:28 PM
Yeah but I think this is one of those psychoactive toad people lick and I don't thinkit was til the alcohol was getting up there.

09-14-2005, 04:39 PM
What a waste of good honey. >:(

09-14-2005, 05:39 PM

Guys, wanna *warn* me before you make me kitten Sprite out of my nose?

Vicky - who will never look at an aquarium the same way again

09-14-2005, 06:10 PM
Hey Fortuna,

Beef Jerky mead is great as a marinade but sorely lacking as a mead. Sweet/salty spicy with soy, worchestershire and citrus. More in balance for soaking big fat dead cow than for drinking.



09-14-2005, 06:53 PM
"We drink elixir distilled from the juices of the dead"... - Jello Biafra -


01-13-2009, 11:58 PM
I logged into last night's chat and all I got was a piscamel recipe. My angelfish better start showing me some respect!

01-14-2009, 01:18 PM
BBBF darn you for bringing this post to my attention. I think i threw up a little in mouth reading that.

01-14-2009, 01:34 PM
I still can't figure out if it's supposed to be a joke or if he really did it. I'd hope he didn't, that's just plain stupid. But funny...

01-14-2009, 02:18 PM
I still can't figure out if it's supposed to be a joke or if he really did it. I'd hope he didn't, that's just plain stupid. But funny...

Yeah, when I was reading it, all I could think was "This is PURE 100% Comic Gold." Then I read some people's responses and began to wonder if they couldn't take a joke or if I think everything is a joke.

And for the record, if he did provide a detailed brewlog... I might still be laughing.

01-15-2009, 11:04 PM
Maybe if you used fish sticks instead of live fish....

01-16-2009, 01:30 AM
Maybe if you used fish sticks instead of live fish....

That would certainly eliminate both the "fish manure" and the animal cruelty angles. Something tells me it still wouldn't make the mead much better...

01-16-2009, 06:02 AM
..I still maintain that it's likely just a snippet of the same quality decisions and reasoning he applies daily. This guy should be kept away from all pets and children... probably women and the general population as well.


01-16-2009, 10:33 AM
..I still maintain that it's likely just a snippet of the same quality decisions and reasoning he applies daily. This guy should be kept away from all pets and children... probably women and the general population as well.

Roger that one, the dude is sick/dumb enough to think that is ok, who knows where he will go...

01-16-2009, 03:52 PM
Funny. I always took this guy to be a comic genius. It never occured to me he might be remotely serious!

01-17-2009, 04:39 PM
It's great to see this thing get dredged up again every so often. This is one of those monumental bad ideas that I always refer my friends to.

If he'd just had the guts to taste it it could have been a Darwin award to boot.

01-20-2009, 11:04 AM
Glad to see some of the newer members are getting a view into some of the older posts.... I've been gone a while and have to admit that I do miss the funny stuff that goes on over here. None of the other forums are this funny, not even the BN forums......