Applying Agorism: Homebrew Mead

Here at Logical Anarchy, we talk a lot about “agorism” and counter economics. Instead of just talking about the “theory” behind something, I wanted to show an application of it. It’s all well and fine to have intellectual battles with others about these ideas, but when you show a sliver of how this can work, it opens people’s minds. Agorism is one of those things that anyone can do therefore it is a great way for us Anarcho-Capitalists to show rather than tell. We can include others in agorism who may very well be at odds with us ideologically in pretty much everything. The beauty of a “how to” like this is that anyone can replicate what I am explaining here and make their own mead to do with as they please. Mead is delicious and if you follow my instructions here, you have a tasty batch booze you made yourself. An article like this may seem strange for an anarcho-capitalist to write and post, but it will come together to point.

What is Mead?

So with Game of Thrones being huge right now, everyone has at least heard of mead in some way. Mead is an alcoholic drink that is made from fermenting honey with yeast and water. It’s a wine made from honey rather than grapes. Sometimes fruits and raisins are added to the recipe as well to give different notes of flavor to drink. A drink like this can range from 8% ABV all the way to 20% (I have personally made some really strong stuff myself). This drink has deep historical and mythological roots. In the epic book The Lord of Rings by JRR Tolkien, Tolkien writes: “The years have passed like swift draughts of sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the west.”1 In the epic poem of Beowulf (Which inspired much of Tolkien’s work) it says:

“How many times have my men,…

Sworn to stay after dark

And stem that horror with a sweep of their swords.

And then, in the morning, this mead-hall glittering

With new light would be drenched with blood, the benches

Stained red, the floors, all wet from that fiend’s

Savage assault-and my soldiers would be fewer

Still death taking more and more.”2

We still make references to mead in modern times when we talk about the “Honeymoon” for newlyweds. The term is rooted in medieval tradition where large quantities of mead would be consumed at the wedding. After the wedding, the newlywed couple would be gifted with a months worth of mead from their wedding guests. A months worth is equivalent to a full cycle of the moon hence the name.3 So it is easy to see how mead has influenced our world today even if you have never tasted this sweet nectar of the gods.

What you will need

You will need a bare minimum of supplies to create your own mead at home. You will need the following (links to Amazon provided):

The Steps

Step 1: Clean your equipment. Now that you have all of your supplies ready to go, you need to clean all of the equipment in the sink with the sanitizer. I usually plug up my sink and fill it with hot water. I add about a tablespoon of sanitizer per 1 gallon of water. Put everything in there that will be touching the mead and be used in making it.

Step 2: Make the “must” and activate the yeast. Take your giant sanitized pot and pour about half of your gallon of water into it. Add all 5 lbs. of honey to the water in the pot. You are going to heat this up slowly to about 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to stir it quite often to mix the honey and water together. While this is warming up slowly, take your small bowl and add about half a cup to a cup of water to it. Empty the packet of yeast into the water. Make sure that the water is room temperature. Anything other than room temperature will kill the yeast so don’t just take the gallon of water right out of the fridge or anything. Let the yeast sit in the water and stir it very gently with your small spoon. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Let the mixture of honey and water cool down to room temperature. This mixture you have made is called the “must”.

Step 3: Pour the must into the carboy. After the must has cooled to room temperature, use your funnel and pour the mixture into the carboy. Put your handful of raisins in as well. With your sanitized knife and cutting board, cut the orange into slivers and put them in the carboy with the must. You don’t have to add the raisins or the oranges, but I like the extra sweetness and citrus flavor they add to the wine.

Step 4: Pour the rest of the water into the carboy. With the funnel, add the activated yeast you have in your little bowl to the must. You can now add the rest of your water from the bottle into the carboy. But do not over fill it, there will be some water left over. Refer to the image below to know how much to fill the carboy up. You don’t want to over fill it because later, the pressure from the gases of the fermentation process can cause the top to pop off the carboy. I learned this the hard way and opened my closet (where I store my mead while it is fermenting) to find that the pressure popped the top air locking system off and sprayed mead all over the clothes in my closet. Don’t be a dummy like me.

1galloncarboy

Step 5: Gently mix everything and plug it up. Plug the top of the carboy with your bung (that’s why it’s called a “bunghole” by the way). Make sure your thumb is lightly blocking the hole in the bung and make sure your hands are sanitized. Gently roll the carboy filled with all of its contents around until the yeast is thoroughly mixed with everything else in there. Put the carboy back down and take your air locking device and fit it into the bung on the top of the carboy. You can fill the air locking system with water but I actually use vodka. Why? Because vodka isn’t going to grow mold and if any foreign contaminates enter your brew it will affect the fermentation process and ruin the taste of the mead. Within in a few hours you should see the air locking device bubble as the gases of the fermentation process escape.

Step 6: “Rack” the mead once every 30 days. This is a critical part of the process. Every 30 days you are going to need to bust out your sanitizer and sanitize your equipment like the tube, the other carboy, and the siphon. To do this place the carboy full of mead on your counter and an empty and sanitized carboy someplace lower. Take the air lock and bung off the carboy. Connect the tube to the siphon. Place the siphon in the carboy full of mead and the end of the tube in the lower empty carboy. The siphon I’ve linked to on amazon acts as a pump. Just expand and then collapse the siphon once or twice until the mead drains from the top carboy to the bottom one on its own. If you added raisins and oranges leave them behind, you don’t need them anymore (they are gross now anyways). You will see about an inch of dead yeast and gunk at the bottom of the carboy, that’s the stuff we don’t want. If you do not rack the mead every 30 days, that stuff starts to affect the taste negatively and will ruin the batch by giving it a really gross and bitter taste. Mead is supposed to be sweet, not bitter. Do this for a minimum of 4 to 6 months. You can sample it as you go to keep track of the taste.

Step 7: Bottle your booze. When your 4 to 6 months is up (you can go for about a year even if you want), add the potassium sorbate. How I do this is the last time I rack it before I plan to bottle it, I add the potassium sorbate to the carboy. This stops the fermentation process and will preserve your mead. When it is time to bottle, I siphon the mead into the other carboy and then use a funnel on the bottles to fill them up from the new carboy. This way, I do not transfer any gunk or particles to my bottles (that can be unpleasant when you are getting to the end of a bottle). I have added the Potassium Sorbate into the already bottled mead, but have found that I get unpleasant materials in there because of it and I just don’t like it. While all of this is going on, soak your corks. Soaking them will make corking a bit easier. Use your corker (I use the plunger corker, it’s not the best but I it makes for a good work out). You have now made your first few bottles of mead! This recipe should produce about 3 1/2 bottles of mead so enjoy.

So What About That Agorism You Spoke Of?

So agorism is the idea of killing the state through counter economics. It rests on the idea that if enough of us ignore the state in enough areas of our lives, we can start to roll the leviathan back and eventually eliminate it. The concept is that individuals engage in economic activity that is criminalized by the state but is victimless. So agorism can be simply paying employees under the table or getting paid yourself under the table and not paying the taxes on it. It could be starting a side business without the “proper government licences”. Or, it could be making your own mead and selling it on something like Open Bazaar! With open Bazaar you would get paid in bitcoin and remain completely anonymous. People already sell narcotics and other black market goods on there, why not class it up with some artisan homemade mead?

What business does government have in saying you cannot apply your resources towards the production of mead and then sell it to another voluntary purchaser? What right does government have to use violence against you for this? None. So make your mead, consume it yourself with your friends and family and sell it on the black market, just so you can stick it to government and its moronic rules enforced by unjust acts of coercion. By providing a product that is highly regulated and controlled by government on a platform where such regulations cannot touch it means two things. First, 100% of the sale profits go to you instead of a portion going to government and its evil and wasteful government programs. This is how we can slowly suffocate the state; by depriving it of the life blood funds that sustain its evil. Secondly, you are engaging in the true free market. And this is something that even statist can get on board with.

Plus, making your own mead is fun and rewarding!

  1. Tolkien, J. R. (2005). The lord of the rings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  2. Tolkien, J. R., & Tolkien, C. (n.d.). Beowulf: A translation and commentary.
  3. Spence, P. (1997). Mad about mead!: Nectar of the gods. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

EDIT: So some more experienced mead brewers than me corrected me and said that raisins and oranges act more as nutrients for the yeast. I was told it added flavor and sweetness but I trust what these more experienced guys say.

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