Saturday, March 28, 2009

Birch Sap Mead

I decided to brew up a birch sap wine. I have been waiting for spring like a grumpy bear and now is the ideal time for taping some birches. Not owning any birch trees this involves some guerrilla maneuvers. After some scouting of locations in the glamorous industrial estates of Dublin 15 I found an ideal location.

First we cleaned a demijohn. Most descriptions recommend using cotton wool to prevent yeast and such getting in but we had a proper bung so went with that. The description on how to make this brew I took from the wild food year book.

Is it possible to hold a drill without looking mad?

I found a birch tree about 30 meters off the road. This involved wearing a polo neck a hat and singing "breaking the law" from Beavis and Butthead. I drilled slightly upwards to a depth of about 3 centimeters. Some sap started to form. I am not altogether sure this was enough, I will see when I go back tomorrow. It usually takes about 3 days to get enough sap to fill the demijohn. You have to seal up the hole when finished to prevent the tree bleeding to death.

I then snuck back to my car like a ninja rolling as I went and celebrated at home with a newly bottled mead. The mead used an ale yeast and the end was too yeasty to bottle so here is me drinking it. I manage to look mad even without a drill

There are a load more guerrilla recipes in the book so hopefully I will get to post some more over the next while. I will write up the recipe for the mead to make with the birch sap when I collect some.


  1. The black-poloneck-and-drill combo makes you look like someone who's about to "feex zat facking Ranbow Warrieur unce et for all, non?"

  2. Fantastic stuff, looking forward to a lot more geurrilla gastronomy of the "alcohol and sugar" variety, aka "Pretty much specifically for Luke."

  3. Look slike the kinda book my wife would like. She's always looking for decent meadows in the summer for getting salad material. I'd be more inclined towards the cows, but I don't have the butchery skills.

  4. Ah the life aquatic...
    Its a great book. Loads of recipes for making booze from stuff you find. I don't know I would have the nerve to butcher cattle. Chickens might be the first step though.

  5. Did you get much sap in the end?