Making Mead

Strawberry MeadI have another blog (where I do go into a lot of “stream of consciousness” writing, hence my wanting to avoid it here) where I’ve talked at length about making mead.  I am not a drinker, but I because of my academic interests in the Middle Ages, I thought it would be interesting to replicate some of the foods and drinks as used in Central Europe, around the 12th or 13th century.  While one can get a book on medieval foods from just about any bookstore (and seriously – take most with the proverbial grain of salt insofar as their “authenticity” goes), it seems to be much harder to locate one on the creation of medieval alcoholic drinks.  In fact, I came across one such book that provided readers with a recipe for Ypocras, a spiced wine, that essentially read, “Get a bottle of red wine, mix in this list of spices, heat the mixture for about ten minutes, then rebottle it.”  I can understand the idea of making the recipe accessible for a modern audience, but this was a bit ridiculous.

I don’t intend to repeat the various musings I made on that other blog for creating my batch of mead, but I will say that once someone taught me how to do it, the whole process was pretty simple and easy.  Yes, it takes time; a good basic mead will need at least one year to mature, although I initially served mine after just six months.  The photo on the right is of a strawberry mead, the youngest (at seven months) of my meads.  Rather than waiting 12 months to bottle, I moved quickly because I was advised that the time was right: evidently, strawberry meads can go bitter and lose their taste.  I was told that this is due to the seeds reacting to the alcohol.  Rather than risk losing the batch, I heeded the warning.

You know, now that I think on it, I believe I will post a lengthier note on how to create mead.  As I said, the whole production is pretty simple, but it can be expensive, especially if you’re heavily into your product.  Still, it’s fun . . .


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