WILD-FORAGED LILLY PILLY MEADE
This recipe was modified from Stephen Harrod Buhner’s “Sacred & Herbal Healing Beers” (Pub: 1998 by Brewer’s Publications, Colorado.)
We are earthlings too. Thus, when a plant uses humans as a transport vector – it may be considered ‘wild’. In this sense, when we choose Lilly Pilly Trees (Syzygium smithii) which are planted by people – this is ‘wild-foraged’ food. Please ensure you do not collect in locations where councils spray poisons. The Lilly Pilly tree will flower in summer and by the time winter arrives, these flowers have grown into fruit. There are many varieties developing different fruit sizes, with colours in the pale & bright: pink & purple spectrums. Choose the most vibrant, fresh looking berries – to get the hang of what this means, use your tastebuds! Try to collect almost a full bucket’s worth (10L bucket) – this will take less time than you think as they fruit abundantly.
When you get home, spread them out to remove bad fruit, leaves & sticks. Place back into the bucket and fill with water. Give them a good gentle wash by rubbing between your hands, but do not squash them. Rinse and fill with water until the berries are just covered. Place in the freezer. This will burst the cells as they expand due to freezing (although the skin will still hold the berry shape). This releases the goodness inside each cell. Defrost and rub vigorously between your hands to remove the skin & pips. You will feel them pop & squish! Once you feel this has been achieved, scoop out handfuls and place into a colander. Squeeze the pulp into balls, allowing the liquid to fall through your fingers. Discard the pulp which will resemble bright pink dough. Save the juice.
- 5L Lilly Pilly juice.
- 1½kg honey.
- 5g yeast (safale US-05)
Note: Those familiar with home brewing may notice the omission of water in the ingredients list. This will result in a more pure alcohol, but more importantly – bring out the Lilly Pilly flavour.
- Place all ingredients into a sterile DIY beer fermentor. Allow to ferment in a dark, warm location for approximately one month. (Note: If you live in a warm climate it is not necessary to place in a warm location. Also, the whole month will likely be in excess. However this will not hurt your batch.)
- Siphon the liquid from the top (or if there are ‘floaties’, just below the surface). Don’t siphon all the way down – leave the bottom sediment (spent yeast).
- Pour into 1.25L bottles (pre-sterilized).
- Add carbonation drops.
- Leave for a further two weeks in a dark location.
The best way to drink this meade, is with a lemonade mixer using a ratio of 1:1 (aka. 50/50). Enjoy!