Brewing Mead – The Beginning

File 2016-03-27, 5 09 00 PMAfter my minor success at making mulsum, I was left with more honey than knew what to do with, and a taste for honeyed wine. Well, the next logical step was to use that honey to brew myself some proper, honest-to-goodness mead. I found another of Will’s tutorials on stormthecastle.com for making mead cheaply, without specialized equipment. Instead of a glass carboy and a bubbler, it uses a milk jug and a balloon. I had just enough honey left to make the recipe work so a went for it. I made sure to carefully sanitize everything before mixing my ingredients together. The balloon over the mouth of the jug has a small pin hole in the top. This allows the gasses created by fermentation to escape without allowing air back in. The next morning, the balloon was inflated and small bubbles were making their way up the sides of the jug. This was a very simple process, the hardest part will, I suspect, be waiting patiently for my mead to mature.

Because I used oranges for flavour, this mead will technically be a melomel. Melomel is just the name for a mead which contains fruit. Hopefully, the orange flavour will stand out in the final product, only time will tell.

Ingriedients:

4L of Spring Water 2 cups of Natural Alfalfa & Clover Honey
Lalvin EC-1118 Yeast 25 Raisins
2 Mandarin Oranges 2 Cloves

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Welcome In Our Circle Stay – Wiccan Quarter Call

Northern Earth I call upon,

Stoney shore and mountain.

Eastern Winds I summon thee,

Raging storms and whispers.

Southern Flame I welcome you,

A warming fire before us.

Western Waters flowing forth,

Ocean tides and rivers.

Welcome in our circle stay,

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Welcome In Our Circle Stay

Song and prayer have always been interwoven for me. I was raised Jewish, and I still love to sing the beautiful hebrew prayers which I learned as a child. When my path turned towards paganism, I lost that for a while, but I was lucky enough to find a pagan choir after moving to Vancouver. Now, none of my personal rituals are without a song or two. I’ve even started writing my own. This is an original song which I wrote as an invocation of the four elements.

Blessed Be.

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Tasting Pseudo Mead (White Wine Mulsum/Conditum)

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Mulsum prior to dilution.

In anticipation of Ostara I brewed myself a bottle of mulsum/conditum as a quick alternative to a fully brewed mead. The recipe told me to let the mixture sit for a week or two, but since I wanted to use the mead for my Ostara ritual, I only let it be for five days. When I tasted the drink for the first time before the ritual, the sweetness of it was at first overpowering. I had created a drinking syrup! With a little distilled water, however, the drink took on the sweetness of Manischewitz. It took me a few sips to get used to the heavy sweetness, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed it. Yes, watering down the wine lowered the alcohol content, but my stomach is easily upset by alcohol so I didn’t mind. Next time, I will start by adding much less honey to the wine since I can always add more to taste.

Creating a Westerosi Duet: The Rains of Castemere

When I made “The Dragonborn Comes” music video, I recorded the video after the audio since the scene took place outside next to a busy road. One problem which I encountered was that the cold Canadian weather made accurately playing the ocarina impossible. I had to carefully cut the video to hide the mistakes. Even so, some of the finger movements that did make it into the final video don’t quite align with their audio counterparts. This time around I was determined to learn from my mistake, so I filmed myself recording the two tracks I wanted to use for the video in real time. I filmed against a wooden wall which helped hide the seam between the two videos, and actually allowed me to reposition the two since they overlapped.

Since “The Rains of Castemere” is best known for its ominous role during Red Wedding, I drew my inspiration for the look of the video from the scene itself. I added the balcony railing and Lannister tourney banners on the wall in post using images from the internet. I chose an aggressive colour grade to give a flickering firelight effect and a harsh vignette to darken the footage.

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The Rains of Castemere – Game of Thrones | Ocarina Cover

In anticipation of Season 6, here is my rendition of “The Rains of Castemere.” This foreboding ballad, immortalizing the fall of House Reyne of Castemere at the hands of Tywin Lannister, is most infamously remembered as being played during the Red Wedding. Sung and performed on the ocarina by Callum Pengelly.

I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, so of course I had to do this one. BTW, I’m available for any and all wedding events 😉 After I heard Bronn sing this song in season two of Game of Thrones, I replayed the episode and learned the lyrics. I’ve been singing the Lannister Song ever since, just “with no one there to hear.” But now their is someone there and I hope you enjoyed it. If not, remember: “The Lannisters send their regards.”

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