I come from a family of fantastic home-brewers and I've been home brewing for quite a while now. I guess, once you’re beaten by the brewing bug there is no stopping; at least that is my experience.
I also try to convey my herbalist side into all these brewing experiences by infusing fresh or dried flowers, spices and herbs in already fermented mead witnessing how the essences of all these elements influence the finish, (mouthful or dryness) and also the bouquet as well as the complexity of the mead.
Even though, honey and fruits are both sweet; their sugar content is a bit different when comes to fermentation. I have also noticed that infusing dried fruits in aged mead compliment the mead complexity more than fresh fruits. So, instead of brewing Malomel - fruit meads, I opted out for making wines. And the outcome was satisfactory that the fruit shines and thrives by itself and not competing with the honey.
Comparatively, the fermentation and aging process is somewhat similar in both mead and wine making with a bit more detail in wine making.
I dabbled in home-brewing adding to my repertoire of kitchen adventures and my first mead tasting ጠጅ ቅምሻ, I said to myself, “Goodness gracious! What do you know? Indeed, our Ethiopian ancestors were genius.” If it counts, my anecdotal finding shows that just a glass or two of tej ጠጅ - honey mead, which is divine on your palate not only keep the blues at bay, but help digestion, when paired with those rich spicy Ethiopian foods. What’s more, unlike tella ጠላ (Ethiopian black beer), it’s relatively easy to brew tej ጠጅ at home. However, when it comes to brewing tella, all I can say is that it's not for the faint-hearted.
Even though, some fun gadgets like auto-siphon, bottle filler, bottling Bucket, bottle Caps, airlocks, hydrometer etc., make home brewing a breeze; a miniscule mishap could create big time mess like a splash on the face and eventually on the floor; place you in a panic mood, end up cleaning the mess and not to mention that lingering smell of brewery in your house for days. But still, I wouldn't trade home brewing for the world. Besides the big payoff comes after waiting for months; opening the first bottle and pour some in your favorite glass [Yes, it has to be your favorite glass wares and decanters as shown on display below] and take one sip and you know you’re are going to be happy. How happy? Happier than the classic, “You don't look your age,” compliment. Trust me, when you’re sixty something, compliments like, "Oh, my God! You look fifty something." is sweet music to one’s ears. Even better, sometimes a few kind souls would say, “You even look forty something,” and before you have a chance to say, "Really?" - the reminder echo of your whet inner voice - "They’re not wearing their glasses!"
So what is it really about my inner geek that drives my passion for home brewing? I will assure you it’s not only about the the spritz, so, as it turns out, it’s equally about the process of brewing and also the anticipation that engages and excites every single one of my senses. So I suppose it’s also about nurturing my inner creativity as well.