On the making of an elixir of pain relief
By: George von Einbrauer
What we shall look at here is the preparation of ze ancient elixir of pain relief. Trust not the witch their and their roots and barks; believe in the power of the Lord to embody nature with healing powers. Look at the bee, a noble creature, all of its people know their place in society. They produce a viscous fluid known as honey. This honey tastes good with your cakes and lager, but its true purpose is much, much better.
Perhaps your local smith hath outfitted ye with his latest contraption, and you go to war for crown and lord. Or maybe you try your hand at that French thing, the behourd. Either way, Iíll wager you your local smith isnít as great of a master as he claims. Well his contraption be it maille, plate, or that bizarre contrivance the yellow people wear, probably left you hurting. Well of itís self it didnít, it was likely the zweihander in that huge dopplesolders hands that caused the bruise. But, if youíre reading this, heís probably sitting at a far better table than you. Either that or heís learning another use of a pitchfork...
Now onto the elixir. Youíll need a kettle. A big one for a big batch, or a smaller one for a smaller batch. Try and get one that will not rust (1). Youíll need water... clear water not that swill that bubbles up from the county lake. And youíll need 15-lbs. honey. Get a light coloured one from the apiary. Clover is a good start, as is wild flower. Stay away from hempen honey (2) (itís illegal in most kingdoms), as well as any honey that is much darker than a good German bach. Take your pot, and add two gallons and another half of water to it. Bring this to a boil. When it is rolling, begin stirring, and then add the honey. Keep stirring, you donít want it to burn. As it cooks, it will begin to froth... rake some of the coals out from under it, cooling it down (3). For around 30 minutes, keep watching, and as scum rises, dip it off with a spoon. Now some people will argue that you need to add all kinds of things to the brew. The one that comes up most is cloves. I donít like cloves. Hence I donít use them. Really simple to me. Of course I do find that occasionally adding 3 strong cups of mint tea per gallon of water (4) makes for a pleasant taste. You can also, if honey is in dearth, use fruit juices like apple, grape, peach, berry, or even that new cranberry (5). Play around with it, but remember, never more than half of the batch.
Now you will need a glass carboy. You should be able to get it from a brewerís guild, an apothecary, or even from the trash heap at the monastery (I hear they use a really light glass to hold water for the scribes) (6) add a gallon of cool water to the jar. Then pour in the fluid you just boiled. Top off to the 5-gallon mark with more water. Now you must make a choice. You can either slop the wort as itís called, or lambic it. To lambic (7) it, leave the top off for a while, then cork it up. Run a tube from the cork into a glass of water... it should begin bubbling. I would recommend against it (8), as to be honest, Iíve gotten some bad results and odd flavours from this. Your other option is to back slop(9). If youíre starting out your very first batch, youíll need to buy some slop. If youíre in my area, avoid Meister Fleischmannís slop(10), as it often produces bad elixir. Try monsignor Wyeast, or perhaps Yestlab(11). Do not purchase a yeast made for sparkling wine, it too had bad flavour(12). Once youíve gotten this slop, add it to the carboy(13) and cap as above.
Wait... wait until the bubbles have ceased to rise in the cup of water. At this
point, siphon off the clear portion(14) into another carboy, and the rest can
be used as slop for another batch. Cap the carboy, and let the clear portion
settle out. Wait at least a month or so. Pour into bottles, add a teaspoon of
honey to each
(15), and cork. Affix a retainer for the cork.
Let this set. The longer the better. When opened, the elixir should be
bubbly(16), and mellow.
One quart should relieve most all pain, as well as in inhibitions from the