High-er Alcoholic Sima (5-6% abv)

§ 2 quarts water – ½ gallon – scale as needed.
§ 1 cup brown sugar- 1.25
§ 1/2 cup honey
§ 1 lemon
§ 1/8 tsp yeast
§ 1/8 sugar for carbonating
In a large stock pot, boil the water, then stir in sugar and honey. Boil until fully dissolved. Add lemon and turn off heat. Cool (use an ice water bath to cool more quickly).
Once the liquid is room temperature, transfer it to a Ball or Mason jar and add the yeast. Cover with Saran Wrap, but make sure to poke a few holes in it so that the CO2 can escape. Unlike the low alcohol version, this will ferment for 10 days on your counter. After the first day, take the lemons out or they’ll start to get pretty funky. The longer the brew ferments, the more alcohol it will get and the dryer it will be in taste. You can experiment to see what you prefer in terms of sweetness vs. alcohol ratio. A rule of thumb is that it produces about .5% alcohol each day.

I like this recipe best after 10 days of fermenting. Any more than that and it gets a bit too dry for my taste, and the yeast flavor comes out a bit too much since it’s no longer masked by the sweetness. Also remember that you probably won’t get more than about 6 or 6.5% ABV no matter how long you ferment for, because there’s only so much sugar that can be converted into alcohol.
After 10 days, sanitize another container (or containers) into which you will transfer the Sima to carbonate.

Transfer the mixture into the sanitized container with 1/8 cup sugar (I usually boil about 1/8 cup of water to dissolve this before adding it to the mixture). Add raisins. Close the container tightly. In 8-48 hours you should see bubbles collecting and the raisins rising to the top of the container. Once the raisins have risen, it’s done! Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Musings and possibly a book.

First and foremost – happy 600 days of “14 days to flatten the curve.”

I am tired of things not being back to “normal” and the new normal is pretty f*cked up.

That said, it has given us all more time at home with our families if we are lucky. That has been the driving factor behind TVD and our stories, experiences and tidbits of info we provide on the blog and instagram.

I was out blowing leaves and was thinking about the blog and being a start up company/entrepreneurs. We provide a product – this blog and its information that is actionable to not only help you in your life and journey but ours as well.
We are passionate about many things and most are covered here in the blog, but one thing that is a top passion for me, besides my family, is my love of fermentation and home brewing. Now – I would NEVER be good enough to be a professional brewer – there is a lot to learn, and buy to even get close, but I can certainly help others find a love for the art and if they then go on to become pros… so be it.

With that all in mind – I am going to try to WRITE A BOOK! About brewing for people who don’t want to know everything but make solid beverages and develop new skills! Plus it will be for quick and lazy brewing! No day long brew days here!

More to come soon!

1* AFD

Stop drinking so damn much!

I know that sounds like an odd thing to hear coming from me, being I am the one teaching you how to make your own hootch at home, but just because you have it doesn’t mean its a breakfast or lunch item every day.

With the onset of the “pandemic” more people then ever before are drinking more and more. I myself am one of them but I am doing so in a controlled manner. I have rules you see. They are very simple.

1. No booze before noon except for brunch on Saturdays OR Sundays… not both.
2. Avoid hard liquor till the evenings unless mixed with seltzer.
3. No beers except on Saturday OR after cutting the lawn (1 max).
4. Dry alcohol or liquor during the week (2 drinks -3 max a day).
5. You MUST workout before you can have any type of alcoholic beverage. – NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Those rules above will keep you from getting drunk, being a slob, killing your gym gains and efforts, lowering testosterone, getting you fat, and wasting your fucking life by drinking instead of spending quality time with your family.

Listen, alcohol is good and enjoyable, as long as you’re not a lush or all around drunkard. Do you want your kids drinking like you? Do you think they want half-bombed or totally bombed Daddy at their parties or sporting events etc? No they don’t.
Be a better version of yourself.

I love my mead/beer/wine/scotch as much or more than the next guy – but I also don’t want to be an embarrassment and addicted to something that will control me if I let it.

Stay sane but stay safe!

AFD 1*

Brew Day 2: Peach Session Mead

Today I am writing about a recent brew I did that I bottled today. It tastes AWESOME. If you like Peach with just a touch of honey flavor on the back end, then you will love this mead.

Now I know its cinco de mayo and I will be enjoying a taco salad and cerveza later, but right now I need to express how great this mead is and would go well with some flan or Churros! Now to get on with how I brewed it –

I used a flavorful Peach Tea blend (2 bags) and 3 pounds of clover honey to create this spring/summer sipper in just 5 days. That’s right, just 5 days. Some people will say that is sacrilege, but anyone who has tried this mead will protest! I steeped the tea in 4 cups of water and let it sit till it was room temperature. I then added 3 pounds of honey and .5 oz of Wyeast nutrient into my (clean and sterilized) fermentor and mixed the hell out of the solution. I then added more water to get my final volume to 2.5 gallons. a final stir to make sure everything is all mixed together and a good amount of oxygen taken in, I pitch my D47 yeast (2 packs).

I let the wort ( un-fermented beer or mead/wine) ferment for 3 days at 68 degrees. On the 3rd day I sampled the mead and it was semi-dry, flavorful of peach and some vanilla and petulant ( slightly fizzy). It had a good aroma on it and hazy very hazy ( think Wheat Beer). I did a gravity reading and the mead was sitting at 6% AVB on the nose.

I decided I liked the ABV and flavor so much that I cold crashed the mead by placing in my fridge for 48 hours. Now some will argue that technically the mead was still fermenting and I could have gotten the ABV higher and had the mead clear more if I just has waited. Well screw that. I liked how it tastes, its at the alcohol level I want and it frees up a fermentor for another brew!

I bottled the mead this morning and have enjoyed it chilled with a splash of seltzer as well as straight in a highball glass over some ice. Its very reminiscent of peach tea and can be served similarly.

Brew Day 1 for April: MEAD

As part of my promise to help Dad’s everywhere develop hobbies, stay sane, and learn new skills, I present to you – BREW DAY – The posts that follow what I am brewing, the recipes I use/create, the process I took and other odds and ends as to why I do what I do.

For the first entry in our series I present a simple but tasty Mead that will hit about 5-6% alcohol by volume, so very session-able indeed. The ingredients are dead simple and the process even more so. This mead will technically be a Methglyn – herbs (or dried fruit) and honey mixed. The fruit in this case will be Wild Berry Blend tea which will impart flavor, and the honey will be a mild clover honey.

Items you will need:
• Fermentor- a bucket or gallon jug – total volume today will be 1 gallon.
• Yeast – dry white wine variant (D47 is solid)
• Yeast nutrient
• 1.5-2 lbs of honey – raw is better, local is best but $$$
• 1-2 tea packets – I used wild berry blend
• Stir device
• Airlock
First clean and sanitize anything that will touch your mead. Use hot water and a dash of bleach after you thoroughly clean everything.

  1. Take your tea and steep for 30 minutes or until it’s just warm to the touch in 4 cups of water.
  2. In your fermentor add .25 gallon of water that is warm
  3. Add 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  4. Add your honey, if it’s slow going, put the container in a warm water bath to make it easier to get out
  5. Mix the hell out of that stuff in your fermentor.
  6. Now that the tea is cooled down and steeped, add that to the fermentor and mix like hell again.
    a. Mixing like this incorporates oxygen which is needed to start a fermentation. Where sugar gets converted to alcohol. Once you close you container do not open or allow air to touch again till you bottle to drink.
  7. Level out to one gallon by adding room temperature water.
  8. Carefully open and pitch ( toss in without touching) your dry yeast over the top of the fermentor.
  9. Close lid on fermentor and add airlock – could be the plastic kind in a bung with water or even a ballon with a pin hole in it wrapped over the top of the jug. Google it for pictures)
  10. Let sit at room temperature (62-78 degrees, check temps for your yeast you pick) for a week to 10 days. This really should be finished fermenting in 3-5 days but if your house is on the colder side it will take longer to finish ferment.
  11. After 3-5 days if you see no more air bubbles in the airlock ( or your ballon droops) and the mixture is looking clear and the yeast is on the bottom of the container, you are ready to syphon your MEAD to drinking vessels or a secondary container to carbonate. Chill mead and DRINK. Should be between 5-6% abv and may have slight fizz tingle.
Step 5
Sealed and ready to go ferment

Seal the mead in a gallon jug or keg, add priming sugar or more honey and let the container sit for another 10-14 days. After that time the residual yeast will have eaten the new sugar/ honey you added and convert it into CO2 which will be absorbed into the beverage due to not having and airlock. Then, chill and consume within 2 days unless you individually bottled the mead.


5 gallons of strong honey wine, 2.5 gallons of Melomel (Grape Mead), Today’s 1 gallon test batch of Wild berry Mead

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