Why I Love Making Mead

Mead is a magical elixir that can easily stand up to the complexity of wine and beer and match the range of mouthfeel that either can produce. Honey has to be the main fermentable sugar source to be classified as a mead. The beverage was traditionally made in the wine style (high gravity and non-carbonated) all over the world for, according to many resources, at least as long as wine or beer. I have read a few books on the subject (my recommended is the Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm) and I am always on the hunt for books about the history of mead (leave any suggestions in the comments). Many world cultures have mead traditions but I am always transported to medieval Europe when I taste mine; I will even nerd out and put medieval European music on the big speakers. The rich history of monks making mead at monasteries is similar to trappist traditions in the beer world.

The steps of mead making are such:

Sanitize everything

Put honey in a container/carboy (needs airlock)

Fill up with some water and shake or stir

Top it off with more water

Toss hydrated yeast in

Wait

History is only one reason why I like mead, and its not even the biggest. There are at least dozens of varieties of honey with drastically different flavors and aromas; barnyard-scented buckwheat, floral wildflower or lavender, fruity orange blossom and raspberry honeys all come from flowers and contain nothing but pure sweet golden goop. After one has selected what honey they want there is the world of yeast. Different strains of yeast, as many of you probably know, often produce very different flavors (called esters and phenols) that can range from transparent to nutty, spicy, and/or fruity. These yeasts eat sugar to produce alcohol and I have only done dry meads so far (no fermentable sugars left and lower calorie for this reason). You can even add fruits (melomels) and spices (metheglins). Nutrients can be as simple or complex as you want to make it but since honey is nutrient deficient your honey will come out better and faster with them.

One of the things I like most about mead is its versatility. I can make a 5-7% foamy session mead that is ready in about a month and I can make classic wine strength (or stronger) that needs to age for at least 6 months (or longer). I can make a sour raspberry melomel or a dry spicy metheglin. Making mead that is at least as good as most meads you find in big retail wine stores is pretty simple.

For more info look here: https://www.reddit.com/r/mead/wiki/index

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: