I started my first mead – fermented honey wine – today. I used my own honey, of course. This little jar was from our last extraction (09/26). All the air bubbles that were “invited” into the honey when spinning it had risen to the top, taking the wax and propolis that had hitched a ride up with it.
It creates a nice, creamy wax seal.
This stuff is okay to eat if you like the texture. I read in Katz’s book, The Art of Fermentation, that adding wax cappings during the first phase of mead adds flavor. So in it all went, 1 part honey with 5 parts dechlorinated (charcoal filtered and then boiled) water. This is called the must. Shake it vigorously (for that, screw the cap on tight), then open the cap to release pressure buildup from the fermentation.
The honey is alive with yeasts, so it should start “boiling” soon. This phase of the process can take a couple of weeks, during which the must must be shaken every day.
We also extracted 13 more pounds of honey today. This from 6 frames (so about 37 oz. per frame). This was disappointing: our last extraction of 8 frames yielded 22 lbs, that is, 45 oz. a frame). But these last frames had all kinds of honey in them: some light and runny, some (I presume the second honey flow) very dark and viscous, almost impossible to extract. DH and I spent hours spinning it. Still, it’s another 13 lbs. This brings our total to 54 lbs and 12 oz.!