Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 32 - Making Wine, Mead, and Cider

Witch Wednesdays Podcast Episode 32 - Making Wine, Mead, and Cider

Episode 32 can be found here and on YouTube here. Looking for the recipes Tara mentions? They are available here.

S: you are listening to episode 32 making wine Mead and cider. this is an episode that Tara has been wanting to do since the beginning, she's very excited about it.

T: I actually wrote the outline this time. 

S: Yes, I do all of the outlines and just make Tara hop on and record with me but this was all her. So you're mostly going to hear from her during this podcast. we are just gonna start with a little bit about incorporating magic and witchcraft into the process and then she's going to take you through the process of making wine mead and cider.

T: yes even if you do not add the magic component it's really easy to make a lot of these so I'm gonna go over the simplest way and then give you some tips on how to get more advanced but don't start the most advanced, I would like to just throw that out there things can explode. So to get started - making magic! there's nothing wrong with making your own cider, mead, wine, there's very simple versions that you can easily make with the tools you have in hand and then there's a lot more fancy tools you can get and you can make some really delicious concoctions. But there's a difference between making it with magic and just making it. There's nothing wrong with either way but magic just takes a little bit more focus, intent and preparation. so of course as everything intent! you've got to have at your intent and focus spot on but to really make the difference I find the preparation is pretty key when making a magical wine versus just making wine. I think that's a pretty important step so going into that a little bit. 

so we talked about it in the bread episode but I find that you need to set your intention before you start prepping everything. I always clean the kitchen I do like a whole cleanse generally and then I create a magical circle which I utilize when I start prepping everything, cleaning the jars I'm going to use and the tools I'm gonna use that's really the difference for me between magical magical mead and making delicious mead I can just enjoy whenever. It's really In both the intent and the preparation I go through, I'm not saying I use dirty dishes to make it it was not magical, but I don't cast the circle, I don't spend time focusing on my intent, I don't bless the tools and the ingredients I'll be using. so making magical wine and mead and cider is a more involved process then just making it but the biggest biggest thing is intent.

S: yes as with all the of everything that we talk about especially in relation to kitchen witchcraft it really just is about your intention what kind of magical outcomes you're looking for when you are making your wine, mead, and cider. So something we kind of talk about at each of the sabbat episodes, we talk about how the food and drink incorporate into those like which correspondences, so before Tara gets started into how to make stuff, I just want to give you some fun correspondences of wine to pair with your sabbats. So going around from like how we started at the beginning of the year necessarily the actual wheel of the year but starting with imbolc the wine pairing is Sauvignon Blanc and the rituals are snow rituals white magic and healing. For Ostara it is riesling and rituals are at new beginnings fertility. for Beltane it's rose which is love spells and attraction. For Litha it's champagne which is a fun one that keeps with the fairy and fun theme. for Lammas is Pinot Noir which makes sense because, and then Mabon is merlot, which makes sense because it's grape season which is why it's pinot noir and merlot, which is at home blessings family ties binding and then for Samhain it is petit syrah which is for scrying, divination, spirits. And then Yule it's actually usually cider for Yule instead of a specific wine. Just wanted to walk you through as another fun way to incorporate those. 

Some other ways, I mean I don't make my own wine like tara is about to walk you through, I will buy it and then add my own ingredients, which is another way if you're not going through the whole process.

T: and there's nothing wrong with that.

S: so if you do it my way a good way to add your intention or your magic spell work into that you can always carve sigils into the cork or the bottle, you can also just make your sigil as you're stirring it you know with your spoon. you can also carve signals onto your cooking utensils if you have wooden ones, it's very easy to just carve sigils onto your stirring spoons and things which is a good way to do it. and that's actually comes from Norse tradition. they believe they would obviously make all of these things making the mead and everything, it goes back thousands and thousands of years, and in norse mythology, it was actually the stirring stick that was consider magic and passed down from generation to Generation and they didn't know this at the time but that's because the wooden stick would hold all of the yeast from each batch that they would stir, so the next batch would infuse more if that yeast into it which was they considered that magic now we know that it was yeast going from the magic stick that they passed down, which is another fun thing to incorporate into your own practice. and the last thing is if you wanted to incorporate on any deities into this the deity associated with all things alcohol is Dionysus also known as Bacchus in the Roman tradition which is where Bacchanalian comes from so he has a great deity to work with if you're interested in incorporating deities into your kitchen magic.

T: and going back to additional times, Water was unsafe to drink because people just threw their sewage into the streets and water and make people sick so wine, mead and cider became standard fare for a lot of people to drink because it will keep them actually healthier because they boil the water to make these things so if they just boiled water we probably would not have as much wine, mead and cider variety in our world today.

and there's nothing wrong even if you start making your own wine, mead and cider it takes time for all of these things to be made so I highly encourage, I still do this if my batch isn't quite ready or I'm just feeling lazy or There's a global pandemic and I just I'm too stressed to figure it out, there's nothing wrong with going and getting a commercially made wine and blessing yourself. I really like the sigils. a lot of times I will put it in under moonlight for one full cycle of the moon as a blessing. there's a lot of ways that you can incorporate Magic into commercially made. so if you don't wanna go through all these steps to make your own, you can just go buy a cheap bottle.

S: that's what I do.

T: I like to make my own but sometimes it does take a while and so yeah sometimes it's just easier to go buy one. nothing wrong with that. there is a special equipment I'm going to mention everything you don't necessarily need it but it makes your life easier if you have it. we're gonna start with wine. You can make wine in a prison toilet so I'm going to Start with saying you don't need a lot of supplies or ingredients to make wine. to make good wine you're gonna need some things but they can make wine in a prison toilet you can make wine almost anywhere. if you're going to get into making wine especially if you're gonna make mead which is a honey wine, I'm gonna suggest a specialized tools - a glass wine fermenter with a stopper and a bubble airlock. this is because as your fermenting the sugars which is actually creating the alcohol it creates gases and this is where a lot of people when they first get started have trouble because if those gases can't escape they can cause explosions. so I remember the first time my brother and I were trying to make mead, it explode at all of our parents basement which wouldn't have been that big a problem but we had hidden it in the utility room. So keeping that in mind, be careful where, when you're making these. 

you can use mason jars to make wine just don't seal them all the way you just have to be able to let the gas escape you're also not gonna fill the mason jars completely, and that allows some room for the gases to be without causing the explosion. I prefer glass jars I think plastic and sometimes leave a weird taste and also it's just icky and not recyclable and terrible for the environment and it's made with oil and you don't want to ingest that, so I suggest glass jars. mason jars are very handy and everywhere anymore so that's why I am going to suggest mixing them in mason jars. 

so if you're going to use the fermenter and I'm gonna go more into that in mead, but I'm just gonna give you a really simple recipe for wine right now you just need fruit juice yeast and sugar, that's all you need. If you want to go buy fruit juice from the grocery store, that is what I do honestly it's easier it's simple. you can also use fresh fruit and if you use fresh fruit there's actually yeast in the skin so you can let it sit longer or if you want a faster developing wine you can add some additional yeast. if you buy the commercially bottled fruit juice all the yeast is dead because they sterilize it for your safety which is a good thing but you're gonna have to add more yeast into your batch in orange for the sugar to ferment and to make your wine, so keep that in mind but you can use either fruit juice, way easier. if you're using fresh fruit you're probably gonna need a press and a Sieve and some filters and we'll talk about that a little bit more when we get to ciders but there's a lot more equipment needed. so when you're first getting started fruit juice it is.

so just keep that in mind the more into this you get, and if you use your own fruit, pulp and things you can make some amazing concoctions, like don't be afraid to experiment once you decide you like this process and you like homemade wine. but you can easily spend several thousand dollars buying equipment if you're gonna go whole hog right away and that's not how I roll. 

So what you're gonna do is you're gonna get the fruit juice, and you will add yeast to it. there is specific winemaking yeast that you can purchase online you can purchase at your grocery store you can add pretty much any kind of yeast but the winemaking one doesn't make as much byproduct and sediment and it has less gases so I recommend just splurging and getting some wine yeast if you're gonna go through juice route and buy splurge I mean it's like a couple bucks. so once you get the fruit juice and the yeast in there, you add a little bit of sugar in there, the sugars actually was going to turn into alcohol. so you do you want to add that the process of the yeast eating through the sugar is what makes it alcoholic. Don't go too crazy on the sugar, but a tablespoon or two for a gallon of juice is going to be plenty, Because you do have natural sugars in your juice.

then you're going to want to put in your mason jars with the lids on like I said don't seal them completely but I and then you're gonna wanna put it in the store in a cool dry place. and you're gonna wait at least three months and that during that process, check on it so it doesn't explode and you can see the gas is bubbling in there and things. you also want to make sure that it's sitting on a towel sometimes the gases well force the lids open a little bit and if you filled them too full the liquid will come out of it so that you don't care about because this one will stain and then wait like I said three months, six months would be preferable, if you can wait a full year it's gonna be delicious. I usually wait a year so I do it all for the Sabbat I'm going to drink it but a year in advance. so keep in mind the longer you wait the better it will taste. I wouldn't let your homemade wine sit for 10 years, but At least three months you're going to need in order for it to the yeast to work it's magic in six months is preferred, I would wait at least a year.

so next up I'm gonna talk about mead. Mead honey wine so instead of adding sugar you're using honey to start the process and the fermenting, so it's very very similar to winemaking. however because of the complexity of sugar I have never been able to make it in a mason jar. I've always had to use a glass fermentor with a stopper and the bubble air lock that I talked about a little bit earlier. so the recipe that I'm going to share and I will post to be is on our website because I know it's kind of weird just me talking about these things, but I've never been able to do this in a mason jar so I did go out and buy the fermenter and the air lock, but I also make these things a lot and it's not expensive, you can get it on Amazon for $20, the whole set up. So Keeping that in mind it is a little bit of an expense if you want to make these but if you're making them multiple times a year I think go out and get them. 

so for mead, mix 2 pounds of honey, it sounds like a lot and it kind of is but it's not a huge amount. with 3 quarts water and one packet mead yeast and you stir until it completely dissolved and then you put it in your glass fermenter. you're going to cap with the rubber stopper and the twin bubble airlock for 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature. I always store this in another cool dry place. I actually put in my laundry room, but it just the gases need a place to escape and you don't want it in the sunlight can cause issues. at this point after I got everything in the glass fermenter, if I making magic magical mead I've done all of that part in a circle in a magical circle, so this is when I take down my circle before I'm actually storing it but everything is in the jar and ready to work. After 2 to 3 weeks, you can see in the glass the bubbles and everything from the yeast working at Magic so after about 2 to 3 weeks it'll start to slow down you won't see as many bubbles coming up and at that point you can leave it or if you want like a finer drinking experience in my mind, you sieve the mead into a clean jar and you leave the sediment behind there will be some sediment at the bottom and so you don't need that step but I prefer the taste of you leave the sediment out and then you let it go for another six weeks. again this is something that you're gonna wanna leave for six months to really get a good taste but I always make it a year in advance, same thing.

you can also after six months you can bottle it there's so many pretty bottles out there guys like don't go too crazy but there are some very pretty bottles. I also always a blessing on each bottle before i bottle it and then I put a sigil on each one for what it's for and what that incorporates what spell work I'm working with that. so something to keep in mind.  

so for cider there's two types of cider there's hard cider, which is the alcoholic version, and soft cider, which is the non-alcoholic. I'm gonna talk about a recipe for soft cider because you can do that very quickly day of, you don't have to wait a long time because you don't need the alcohol. hard cider you're gonna want to make it ahead, quite a bit and let it sit same with the mead and wine because you want that fermentation process to give you the alcohol. keep that in mind. so again cider and there's a lot of stuff that you can buy to make cider if you're going to spend $1000 to get yourself a press and to get yourself storage and the fermenter, you can spend a lot of money very quickly. I know a couple people that actually invested in a press for their fruit but they went in like five couples and so it wasn't crazy but presses can be very large if you get a traditional style press, they work wonderfully or you can make some home made ones there's a Ton of ideas online. my favorite was one guy that just had his two-year-old and a three-year-old run across some plywood that he put the fruit under at an angle like just run up and down up and down in that mashed, the fruit pressed it was great seems really messy though. also if you get a traditional press they're large so keep in mind that you're gonna have to store it and if you're only making cider a couple times a year it takes up a lot of space.

you can use apples and pears and pretty much any sweet fruit you can make into cider. Remember, if you're going to make hard cider, The sugars in the fruit is what's gonna translate into the alcohol so the sweeter the better, which is why you're really gonna want to use ripe fruit. Yuletide cider is very traditional because you picked the fruit three months earlier and if you make into cider right away it technically is ready at Yule. again I would wait longer make it a year in advance but that's why Yuletide cider is so traditional is because that's how, based on when you pick your fruit and pressed your fruit and everything that's when it's ready.

so not going to hard ciders for the kind of gone through the fermentation process on the other two here's the lovely soft cider recipe: use a crockpot super easy so easy. get some sweet and tart apples some orange I like a cinnamon stick and some cloves and a little bit of sugar. place everything in the slow cooker crockpot, crockpot is a specific brand but whatever slow cooker you want. I suggest going kind of light on the sugar, until you let it sit for awhile because you don't know how sweet you're going to want it, And I like a less sweet cider where some people like it to hurt their teeth. so you're going to add water just enough to cover the fruit so this recipe really it's very easy to add more or less so if you for a big group add more fruit we have more corresponding water if you're making it for yourself add just a couple apples and just a little water. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for three hours doesn't matter this is a very forgiving recipe do it feels right it's gonna smell amazing just a heads up. at the end of that six hours or three hours depending on if it's high or low you're gonna mash the fruit you can use a big old spoon for this. I have a specific masher that I use it was originally intended for mead this is what I consider one of my ritual tools I use it specifically to make cider for yule, mash everything until There's no like big chunks floating anywhere. then you're gonna want to simmer for another hour just to make sure everything is nice and blended and then you're gonna strain and you have fresh cider and it's delicious. I highly recommend this recipe. it's a soft cider but it's worth it.

like I said hard cider you're gonna have to wait a lot longer gonna have to wait for it to ferment and for the gases to escape and it's there so yeah. I wrote like two pages on how to make all this stuff and this is why Steph does not put me in charge outlines.

S: but like Tara said she is going to put all this up on our website which is witchWednesdays.com so you can refer back to that to get all of the recipes, ingredients in case you are interested in making any of these for yourself.

T: and don't be afraid to always start simple like I said I've when I make my own wine I'm not going to make it the Highest grade wine ever, I use fruit juice. 

S: and hopefully when we, and be we I mean I, get my act together and post more YouTube videos, I usually make cider I would say pretty much every Sabbat in the dark half of the year. So mabon, samhain and yule I make cider for, but I do a way more cheater route than Tara does and I just use like lots of store bought ingredients and it's not so much making it, but hopefully I can make it during some sort of YouTube video and just show you how I kind of incorporate magic into it even though I'm using store bought ingredients.

T: I particularly like the crockpot method just because when you're doing other Yule preparations your whole house just smells amazing feel like Yule has arrived.

S: but that is all we have for you today to check out the website if you are interested in learning about this further and we will see you next week.

No comments:


Latest Posts

Follow Me