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The Mead Maker's Page
The basic theme:
If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids,
Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me!
- Pete Seeger
A real multimeadia experience -JC
Mead making, it's a must! -ZS
Honey is to mead as malt is to beer and grapes are to wine. -FC
|Mead Types and Ingredients|
|mead||honey, optional flavoring ingredients|
|sack mead||strong mead made with extra honey|
|show mead||mead made only with honey|
|great mead||mead aged for several years|
|short mead||mead aged quickly|
|acerglyn||honey and maple syrup|
|braggot||honey and malt|
|capsicumel||honey with chile pepper ....try it, it's not very hot ;-)|
|cyser||honey and apples|
|hippocras||honey, grapes and spices|
|hydromel||a less common name for mead, also the French name|
|melomel, mulsum||honey and fruit|
|metheglin||honey and spices|
|miodomel||honey and hops|
|morat||honey and mulberries|
|omphacomel||honey with verjuice, the juice of unripe grapes|
|oxymel||mead mixed with wine vinegar|
|pyment, pyment-claree||honey and grapes|
|rhodomel||honey with attar, a rose petal distillate|
|thalassiomel||honey and sea water|
|weirdomel||honey with other unusual flavorings [RCD]|
|Mead Names from Around the World|
|ayahuasca||Amazonian mind liberating liquid|
|balche, pitarilla||Mayan state altering mead made with balche bark|
|chouchen||Breton (France) mead|
|iqhilika||South African mead|
|madhu||Indian Sanskrit word for mead|
|mézbor||Hungarian honey wine|
|meddeglyn or myddyglyn||Welsh spiced mead|
|medovina||Bulgarian, Czech and Slovak mead|
|medu||German mead (historical name)|
|meodu||Olde English mead|
|mjød||Danish and Norwegian mead|
|mõdu||Estonian honey beer|
|yeyin dvash||Hebrew mead|
|med||Bulgarian and Slovenian|
|medus||Lithuanian and/or Latvian honey|
|mel||Welsh, Brazilian, (and others)|
|ngarlu||Australian Aboriginal honey|
|tapli||Georgian (in the Caucasus)|
Much of the above information has been sent to me by readers of
this page, your input is greatly appreciated.
Mead Related Terms
Filted, dechlorinated, and softened with a little gypsum works best
An interesting yeast test
Dick Dunn's favorite yeasts
Sugar and acid contents of common fruits
Let your imagination be your guide
All recipes are copyright by the recipe authors
Microburst Brewery Mead Recipes
Halley's Comet Mead
High Time Mead
Pleasantly Plumb Mead
Vicki's Naked Mead
Snake Oil Mead
"I am not a crook" Cranberry Mead
S-M Strawberry Mead
Peach Orange Mead
Mead Recipes From The Net
A bunch of recipes from the digest
Ye Old Batte's Recipes
Dick Dunn's Mango Melomel
Richard Webb's Honey Bucket Bracket
Richard Blaszczyk's Traditional Polish Mead Recipes
Jim Mincey's strawberry mead
Sir Kenelm Digby's recipe
Papers, Articles, etc
An Analysis of Mead, Mead Making and the Role
of its Primary Constituents
, a paper by Daniel S. McConnell and Kenneth D. Schramm
The Mead Lover's Digest mailing list is a
good place to discuss mead brewing issues with others.
Subscription information and archives of the mailing list are available
Here's some info on a group called the
American Mead Association
, not to be confused with the other AMA. Also, see the
American Homebrewers Association.
A point of interest: the word MEDicine is
derived from the word MEAD. In other words, it'll
cure what ales you. Never mind what ales will do.
Apparently, the word metheglin is similar to
the Welsh form of the word medicine.
To Boil or not to Boil? That is the question...
My brewing partner and I boiled the must (unfermented
honey and water) for our first 20 or so batches of mead with
no serious problems. Conventional wisdom in the mead making
circles suggests that boiling honey may cause some of the
volatile organic compounds to escape, removing some of the
interesting honey aromas.
We have changed our practices so that we raise the must to a
temperature just below boiling and keep it there
for about 30 minutes, this pasteurizes the mixture and
prevents wild yeast from taking over.
On a similar note, mead folklore suggests that you
skim the scum that riseth to the top of the must during the
pasteurization stage. We have also adopted that traditional technique.
Aging of Mead
Once a mead has been cooked and fermented, the aging process
begins. The flavor goes through fairly significant changes over the
course of the first two years, then typically stabilizes for a number
of years and eventually starts to lose character.
Generally, mead tends to taste a bit like cough syrup until it is about
a year old, blueberry melomel can be an exception. It is normal practice
to start sampling small bottles of a mead batch after six months of aging,
then consume the bulk of the batch between the first and second year.
Around one year old, the mead will lose some of the bitter flavors and
start to smooth out. The mead continues to improve for the next several
years and eventually starts to go downhill. If you have the patience,
meads that are 2 to 5 years old are optimal.
Your author has managed to save a number of meads for up to 15 years
in a dark and cool basement, they were still quite drinkable but had
lost some of their flavor.
Sweet or Dry?
As an old friend said: "There's no accounting for personal taste".
Many of the commercially available meads are of the sweet style,
a few of them are cloyingly sweet. Commercial meads such as
Chaucer's and Bunratty fall into the latter category.
Dry, or lightly-sweet meads are very different animals, indeed.
Dry meads tend to take more time to age but are usually worth the wait.
Fortunately, some of the newer commercial brands have caught on to the
dry mead styles. Brew what tastes good to you.
Mead as an Acquired Taste
Over the years, your author has served what he considers quality mead to
many first-time mead drinkers. There seem to be two types of people:
those who love mead, and those who sample it, say "interesting" then put
the glass down and walk away. My advice is to pour small samples for
guests and not worry about people's varying preferences.
Along those lines, if one drinks mead after consuming other strong-flavored
beverages such as red wine, it may take a few sips to clear the palette
and get the true flavor of the mead.
See "Sweet or Dry" above.
This section is for those who really like the taste of mead.
Anyone who has ever attended a Meading, a mead brewer's tasting
party, knows how wicked a mead hangover can be. One friend reported a
two-day hangover as a result of drinking a fair amount of the tasty liquid.
There is some speculation that the natural preservative ingredients in
honey may have something to do with this effect. The susceptibility to
mead hangovers varies considerably from person to person. Consumption of
water between glasses of mead is recommended.
Some form of moderation is generally a good policy when drinking mead,
as with any alcoholic beverage, your mileage
may vary. You control the vertical, you control the horizontal,
don't drink and drive, tuck your shirt in, etc...
Strawberry mead goes well with a mountain sunset.
That's a cloud image in the glass, not a "floatie".
Links to Elsewhere
Bartholomews Meadery Denmark, WA, Australia
Blue Dog Mead Eugene, OR, USA
Brothers Drake Fine Mead Columbus, OH, USA
Chateau Dorrien Tanunda, SA, Australia
Green River Ambrosia Western MA, USA
LindisFarne Mead Island of Lindisfarne, England
Mace Mead Works Walla Walla, WA, USA
Magpie Farms Winery Bainbridge, NY, USA
Makana Meadery Grahamstown, South Africa
Maxwell Wines McLaren Vale, SA, Australia
Medovina Niwot, CO, USA
Moonlight Meadery Londonderry, NH, USA
Rabbit's Foot Meadery Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Redstone Meadery Boulder, CO, USA
- Walkabout Apiary Honey & Meadery (no web site) Milawa, VIC, Australia
I highly recommend the book "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by
The book provides a great introduction to the
process of making homebrew beer, it also has a chapter devoted to
making mead. Charlie's book is available at numerous homebrew supply stores.
Be sure to look at the Mead-Lover's FAQ (above),
it refers to a number of books about mead.
If you are interested in freedom of speech, you should read:
A Cyberspace Independence Declaration
Regrettably, I get more email questions than I can usually answer, in brief:
Hi, glad you're brewing mead, please read the books, FAQs, and recipes, don't
forget to let it age for a long, long time, good luck!
That said, if you have interesting mead trivia or new links,
please send them to me.
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