Redstone Meadery

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The Mead Maker's Page

Mead Highway Sign

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
Type Ingredients
meadhoney, optional flavoring ingredients
sack meadstrong mead made with extra honey
show meadmead made only with honey
great meadmead aged for several years
short meadmead aged quickly
acerglynhoney and maple syrup
bochetcarmelized honey and water
braggothoney and malt
capsicumelhoney with chile pepper ....try it, it's not very hot ;-)
cyserhoney and apples
frankenmelhoney and experimental flavors
hippocrashoney, grapes and spices
hydromela less common name for mead, also the French name
melomel, mulsumhoney and fruit
metheglinhoney and spices
miodomelhoney and hops
morathoney and mulberries
omphacomelhoney and verjuice, the juice of unripe grapes
oxymelmead mixed with wine vinegar
pyment, pyment-clareehoney and grapes
rhodomelhoney and attar, a rose petal distillate
thalassiomelhoney and sea water
weirdomelhoney and unusual flavorings [RCD]
white meadhoney and herbs or fruit that produce a milky color

Mead Names from Around the World
Name Explanation
aguamielSpanish mead
ayahuascaAmazonian mind liberating liquid
balche, pitarillaMayan state altering mead made with balche bark
chouchenBreton (France) mead
hidromelPortugese mead
hydromelFrench mead
idromeleItalian mead
iqhilikaSouth African mead
madhuIndian Sanskrit word for mead
mézborHungarian honey wine
medUkranian mead
meddeglyn or myddyglynWelsh spiced mead
medeDutch mead
medicaSlovenian mead
medovinaBulgarian, Czech and Slovak mead
medovukhaRussian mead
meduGerman mead (historical name)
meisEritrean mead
meoduOlde English mead
metGerman mead
midusLithuanian mead
miòdPolish mead
mjødDanish and Norwegian mead
mjödSwedish mead
mõduEstonian honey beer
nabidhArabic mead
simaFinnish short mead with lemon
tejEthiopian mead
ydromeliGreek mead
yeyin dvashHebrew mead

Honey Names
Name Country/Language
dvashHebrew
hunajaFinnish
honigGerman
honningNorwegian
honungSwedish
medBulgarian and Slovenian
medusLithuanian and/or Latvian honey
melWelsh, Brazilian, (and others)
mielSpanish
mjodRussian
ngarluAustralian Aboriginal honey
tapliGeorgian (in the Caucasus)

Much of the above information has been sent to me by readers of this page, your input is greatly appreciated.

bee on a honeycomb

Mead Related Terms

Ingredients

Honey

Honey Defined

Water

Filted, dechlorinated, and softened with a little gypsum works best

Yeast

An interesting yeast test

Dick Dunn's favorite yeasts

Fruit

Sugar and acid contents of common fruits

Spices

Let your imagination be your guide

Recipes

All recipes are copyright by the recipe authors

Microburst Brewery Mead Recipes

Thrilla From Vanilla Mead
Halley's Comet Mead
High Time Mead
BlueBelly Mead
Pleasantly Plumb Mead
Vicki's Naked Mead
Strawberry Splash
Purple Haze
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
Pre-Meditative Mead

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

Mead Groups

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.

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.

Mead Hangovers

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...

Enjoying Mead

Mead at Sunset
Strawberry mead goes well with a mountain sunset.
That's a cloud image in the glass, not a "floatie".

flying bee

Links to Elsewhere

Commercial Meaderies

Books

I highly recommend the book "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian. 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.

Mead Highway Sign

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.

This page has been brought to you by Forrest Cook, here's how to contact me via email.