Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/26/lohan_v2_mead/

LOHAN chap brews up 18% ABV 'V2' rocket fuel

Commemorative Vulture 2 mead will knock your socks off

By Lester Haines

Posted in SPB, 26th February 2014 12:01 GMT

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.

The LOHAN V2 mead label

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.

Flaming bottle of the Devils Venom

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...

The LOHAN team poses with the Vulture 2

...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...

Honey and dextrose

The other ingredients required to make V2 mead

Before getting hands-on, Paul did a quick ABV calculation

Well quite...

Here's the recipe

1: Chuck 1kg brewers sugar in clean, sterilised 5 litre water bottle. Add approx. 1.5 litres warm water, and shake it like mad to dissolve. When you shake the bottle, don't forget to put the bloody cap on or it'll get VERY VERY sticky, VERY VERY quickly.

Brewer's sugar in a 5 litre plastic bottle

2: Pour the honey into the bottle, rinse the jars with hot water to get all the goodness out, and add to bottle. Add another 0.5l water and shake like ballyhoo for about five minutes, until all is dissolved.

The sugar and honey mix in the bottle

3: While this is settling, prepare the "spice mix" (actually no spices used, but it sounds cool!), plus all the chemical-type stuff in the recipe. Bung the "spice mix" in and give the bottle another shake like an epileptic rattlesnake on acid. Let it sit for 10 mins while you prepare the yeast...

The LOHAN V2 spice mix

4: Add 10g Turbo Nutter Bastard High Alcohol Yeast to a glass of lukewarm water with 5g of brewer's sugar to help the medicine go down and activate the yeast.

The LOHAN V2 yeast

5: After 10 - 15 minutes, carefully chuck the cloudy sludge into the water, honey, sugar and spice mix prepared earlier. Yet another violent attack of shaking the mix is needed. Thankfully, this is the last one. Decant some brew into a long sample jar, and test with a hydrometer. My reading was a tad over 1.124, so assuming the yeast does its job, we're looking at a brew of about 18% ABV. NICE!!

The hydrometer test

6: Tip the test jar contents back into the 5 litre bottle, coz we don't want to waste any of the delicious beverage, and screw on a SHAX BUBBLER, which is a homebrew zero maintenance airlock. Pop into a warm dark place for a couple of weeks, and come back for the next instalment...

The completed brew in the plastic bottle with the bubbler

Splendid. Bottling is next up on Paul's V2 mead agenda, and here's his teaser of how the finished brew will look:

A bottle with a mocked-up V2 mead label

Note the volume on the label in this case is rendered in millilitres, rather than the pints on the mock-up label at the top of the article. Both are accepted El Reg units, but we reckon the Bulgarian airbag would be more appropriate. ®

Accordingly, the rest of the LOHAN team is looking forward to cracking open a few 0.8681 Bulgarian airbag bottles of V2 in the course of the forthcoming Punch and Judy flight tests. Cheers. ®