It hasn't escaped some readers' attention that our Vulture 2 spaceplane's moniker might handily be abbreviated to "V2", which got Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton thinking about rocket fuel, and indeed fuel for the human elements of our audacious ballocket mission.
Hitler's Vergeltungswaffe 2 was powered by a liquid ethanol/water mix plus liquid oxygen (LOX), while its ground crews presumably ran on lager and schnapps.
Our rocket ship is propelled by ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP), and its operators have responded favourably to fuelling with a mixture of ale and bacon sarnies.
The liquid nourishment element of that may be about to change, though, with Paul's announcement that he's taken to the reinforced concrete shed at the bottom of the garden to experiment with a commemorative "V2" 18% ABV mead.
Yes indeed, not content with imperilling life and limb wrangling rocket motors, Paul also regularly risks having his socks blown clean off with a range of homebrew concoctions, some of which give "Devil's Venom" (the Russian-brewed hypergolic blend of unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine [UDMH] and nitric acid with a dash of cranberry juice) a run for its money.
Here's the man himself, seen third from left during last year's LOHAN Spanish jaunt with, from L-R, Dave Akerman, Rob Eastwood and Claire Edwards...
...and we'll now bring you details on how you too can get your laughing gear round some meady goodness, and then fall over to awaken later in the hospital surrounded by weeping relatives and nurses bearing biros and organ donor consent forms.
To make 5 litres of LOHAN V2 mead, you will need...
- ...2 x 340g jars Tesco Finest Orange Blossom Honey
- 1 x 340g jar Tesco EveryDay Value Honey
- 1kg Brewer's sugar (dextrose)
- 4 x Vitamin B1 yeast nutrient tablets
- 10g Tartaric acid
- 15g Citric acid
- 2g Tannin - a little bit goes a LONG way
- 7.5g Pectolase - Not technically needed, but I always add it...
- 10g Turbo yeast
- 5g Brewer's sugar
- Ashbeck Spring Water to make brew up to 5 litres
Before getting hands-on, Paul did a quick ABV calculation
- 3 x 340g honey = 1020g
- 1020g * 0.82 = 836.4g sugar
- 836.4g + 1000g = 1836.4g total sugar
- Therefore by using 20g sugar per 1% ABV/litre, (1836.4/20) / 5 = 18.364% ABV
- Close enough to 18% for me!