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mead-msg - 5/24/13

 

Making mead. Honey based alcoholic beverage. Period and modern recipes.

 

NOTE: See also the files: meadery-list-msg, wine-msg, perry-msg, cider-msg, brewing-msg, beer-msg, beverages-msg, beverages-NA-msg, p-bottles-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: dawyd at dasys1.UUCP (David Gurzynski)

Date: 21 Nov 89 05:02:35 GMT

Organization: The Big Electric Cat

 

To all the good folk who might read this, Greetings!

 

       The following is another mead recipe which I have not yet tried but

I thought that if there were some brave souls out there I might find out

from others how well it works.

                       SPICED MEAD

       4 lbs honey

       4 qts water

       1/4 lb chopped candied ginger

       3 tbs whole cloves

       3 tbs mace

       3 tbs Cassia buds

 

       Mix the honey and water and boil and skim till the scum stops rising,

(those who wish might just use campden tablets to sterilize and boil the

spices

in some water and add this to the must). Place the spices in a muslin bag and

add to mixture and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from the stove and add the

ginger. Then, when cool, add the yeast. Leave the bag of spices in for about

a week.

       After two weeks strain well and rack.  When fermentation is finished

bottle and allow to age AT LEAST three months.

                               ***

       Anyone who tries this, please let me know how it turns out!

I have also heard from someone up in the northeast that there is an SCA

person who is commercially brewing mead and calling it Odin's Mead.  Has

anyone heard of it?  

--

David Gurzynski        Jamaica NY         dasys1!dawyd at cmcl2.nyu.edu

mka. Dawyd z Gury      Ostgardr           73647.233 at compuserve.com

 

 

From: clanhlm!blank at UCSCC.UCSC.EDU

Date: 6 Dec 89 03:14:18 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

 

       I have been trying this mead recipe -- no batch has completed, but

       the intermediate samples are very good.

 

       Somebody might want to try this.  It is modeled on a 14th centuary

       recipe.  It is a working man's mead, with no frills.  You can spice

       it up with the addition of cinnamon or other spices, added during

       the second boiling.  You could also add rose water (I think that

       I will try that in a later batch...)  Other flavors which might

       be good could be orange, clove, nutmeg, or other winter spice.

 

       If you try this, I'd appreciate hearing about it...

 

                                       John

 

       Claymore's Mead

 

       25 lbs wild honey

       10 ounces dried rose hips

       5 gallons clean water

       1 package of Champaign yeast

       yeast nutrient

       6 gallon carboy

       water lock

       siphon

       champaign bottles, 750 ml

       3/4 cup corn sugar

 

       place the honey and rose hips in a large (five or more gallon

       capacity) kettle.  Add enough water to half fill the kettle.

       Stir until the honey begins to dissolve.  If you can't get

       home raised honey, which HASN'T been strained, add the yeast

       nutrient, according to the directions on the package.  Begin heating.

       Stir until the honey is disolved.  Bring to a boil, and boil

       for about 30 minutes.  Add the remaining water (or intil the water

       is two inches from the top of the kettle).  Bring to a boil,    

       and let boil for about 15 minutes.  Boil a small amount of

       water, and then cool (without contaminating) to about 90 degrees

       F.  Add yeast to the small amount of water.  Cool the honey

       mixture to about 70 degrees F.  Add the yeast to the honey mix,

       and let ferment in the kettle, until the activity subsides (about

       5-7 days).  Keep the kettle covered with sterile airtight seal.

       Periodically release the gas.  Sterilize the carboy and water lock.

       When the activity in the honey mixture subsides, siphon into the

       carboy, leaving the sediment in the kettle.  Let the carboy stand

       at a constant temp (about 65 degrees F) until it clears (about

       4 months).  Boil the corn sugar with about 2 cups of water.

       Sterilize the kettle, and decant into the kettle.  Add the

       sugar water to the mead, stirring with a sterile metal spoon.

       Decant into the bottles, leaving about 1 inch of head.  Cork.

       Let sit for about 9 months.  Drink.

 

       Let the sugar water cool before adding it to the mead (when you

       are decanting into the bottles).  Otherwise, you might kill the

       remaining yeast, which would defeat the purpose of the sugar

       water.  It is to make the mead a lightly sparkeling mead.  You

       will have to find a yeast which has a high alcohol tolerence

       (champaign yeast is pretty borderline.  There are very high

       alcohol yeasts which would work better -- I can't get any of

       them locally, unfortunately.)

 

                                       John

 

 

From: ddfr at tank.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Date: 7 Dec 89 01:19:16 GMT

Organization: University of Chicago

 

"I have been trying this mead recipe....  It is modeled on a 14th

centuary recipe." (John)

 

The only two 14th century mead recipes I know of are in Curye on

Inglysch (V9,10). V9 just uses honey and water, fermented; V10 uses

boiled apples, honey, pepper, and cloves. Neither is at all similar

to the recipe you gave; do you have another source?

 

Incidentally, you might note that corn sugar could not have been used

in any 14th century european recipe. The use of cane sugar would be

very unlikely in northern europe, since it was much more expensive

than honey; I do not know if mead was made in Spain or Italy, where

sugar would have been more nearly competitive.

 

David Friedman (Cariadoc)

College of Grey Gargoyles, Middle Kingdom

Chicago, IL

 

 

From: AR.SEG at forsythe.stanford.edu (Steven E Goodman)

Date: 7 Dec 89 19:53:14 GMT

 

It isn't all that tough to make a drinkable mead.  But I don't claim

its good, just drinkable.

 

Sterilize a wide mouth crock with lots of hot water.

Boil a bunch of water, and then cool to luke warm (slightly above

room temp).

Mix some honey and warm water with ale yeast.

Mix a bunch of honey and a bunch of water in the crock (1 gal water

to 1 lb honey).

Mix in the yeast.

(Throw in a tea bag or three, for the tannin)

Place some cloth over the mouth of the crock to keep dust and

airborne stuff out of the crock.

Place the crock in a cool (but room temp) place.

Go away for a month.

 

Come back.

Careful skim all the scum off the top.

(Careful not to stir up any sediment)

Carefully siphon into bottles, trying not to get any sediment.

Cork the bottles.

Put the bottles in the previous cool place (upright).

Go away for three months.

 

Come back.

Chill

Uncork

Drink

 

This should create a somewhat alchoholic, somewhat carbonated,

beverage. Throw in more stuff if you want it to have flavor.

Most important (as Kevin will agree) everything needs to be sterile.

 

The tea isn't really period (I think), but its the easiest way to

add a little tannin.  Lemons and Oranges would probably add enough

acid in place of the tannin.

 

Etienne

 

 

From: ddfr at tank.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Date: 8 Dec 89 00:59:10 GMT

Organization: University of Chicago

 

"The tea isn't really period (I think)" (Etienne)

You are correct. Tea comes into use in England about 1650. So far as

I can tell, it was not being used anywhere in Europe in 1600. I do

not think Kenelm Digby (mid 17th c) uses it. Indeed, the article on

mead in the first edition of the Britannica does not mention tea,

which makes me suspect that its use in mead may be a nineteenth or

twentieth century innovation.

 

This raises the interesting question of what, if anything, was used

to provide tannin in period meads. Does anyone know if they used oak

casks? Would such casks result in tannin in the mead? I believe

acorns have lots of tannin, but have never seen a mead recipe using

them. My best guess is that there was no tannin; if so, using it may

result in a noticably different product from a period mead.

 

Has anyone experimented with the 14th century mead recipes I

mentioned? The first one does not tell you much that is useful, but

the second gives quantities and is not a standard mead, since it has

both apple and spices. John's use of "derived from," (loosely based

on something said to be  said to be said to be based on a period

recipe), while literally correct, reminds me a little of the hundred

year old axe: the head had been replaced twice and the haft three

times, but the axe was a hundred years old and still worked fine.

 

David Friedman (Cariadoc)

College of Grey Gargoyles, Middle Kingdom

Chicago, IL

 

 

From: KGANDEK at MITVMC.MIT.EDU (Kathryn Gandek)

Date: 8 Dec 89 19:50:03 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

 

Regarding the recent comment about making mead palatable to the modern taste versus period, appropriate ingredients and all that stuff...

 

I would like to put forward the theory that the palatability of mead has much

less to do with its periodicity than with the care, attention and restraint

of the brewer.  My lord is Sir Michael of York, whose article on making mead

appears in the Knowne World Handbook.  He gets asked to taste quite a number of brews, and I end up trying them too.  Taste is a relative thing, but I

suspect that,  along with experience, the greatest determiner of how the mead

turns out has to do with the how even more than the what.

 

Michael's mead (informally known as MichaelMead for any of you who may have run

into it without meeting him) when it has appeared in an auction has gone for

anywhere from $6-$10 dollars for a bottle--presumably he is doing something

right. Although Michael's recipes do come from sources such as Digby, the main thing I have noticed is his painstaking attention to the details of the

process

--the cleanliness of the kitchen and tools, the freshness of the ingredients,

the skimming of the scum, and many other things... but it's not for me to give

away any mysteries of the brewing process ;-)  He has worked on the nuances of recipes instead of trying as many as possible.  Consequently, the product is

quite palatable, even for modern tastes.

 

Catrin o'r Rhyd For               Kathryn Gandek

Barony of Carolingia              Boston area

East Kingdom                      kgandek%mitvmc.bitnet at mitvma.mit.edu

 

 

From: crf at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU (FEINSTEIN)

Date: 14 Dec 89 12:15:00 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

 

Greetings!

 

Some time ago, several people noticed my note to Jhanos about having various

addresses for brewers', and asked for the info.  Due to a lack of time, the

best way to reach these people is to post the info.  

 

I hope he doesn't mind my saying so, but I also recommend people contact

Dagonell the Juggler, who is a wellspring of such things.

 

I also have mundane info of a similar nature, such as how to subscribe to

_Zymurgy_, the magazine of the American Homebrewers' Assoc.  Feel free to

write

me with requests and questions, but please be aware that, after this today, I

shan't be at work again until after Christmas.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Interkingdom Brewers' & Vinters' Guild Newsletter

Lord Phillip the Pilgrim

c/o Phil Reed

510 Reed Lane,

Lexington, KY  40503-1228

 

$5.00 and 4 issues per year

 

Info on the Guild itself:

 

Master Solomon ben Jacob, Guildmaster

c/o Sherwin J. Kader

3721 N. Murray Ave,

Shorewood, WI  53211

 

East Kingdom Brewers' Guildmaster:

Robin Argyll du Coeur Aile'

c/o Argyle R. Wolf-Knapp

PO Box 1826

New York, NY  10025

 

                               In Service,

                                   Cher de Bellevue

 

 

From: 504800%UOTTAWA.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU (Kate Sanderson)

Date: 7 Feb 90 03:04:36 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

 

Greetings to all from Gwilym, appearing courtesy his Lady wife, Kasia.

 

A couple of months ago some people were discussing how to get tannic acid into their mead recipes. This was a back burner question that I've just gotten

around to looking up.

 

The chief sources of tannin in period seem to be what we would call berries.

Primarily cranberries and currants, but raspberries, wild strawberries,

elderberries and many of the berries from the tundra and near tundra, were

used in period meads as a tannin source. One Iron Age dig discovered a primary

fermentation pot for mead and it contained cranberries. Sometimes cheap red

wines were also used for a tannin source, especially if the wine had started

to go to vinegar.

 

One of the better secondary sources for this sort of thing is a book called

Food and Drink in Great Britain (I think, maybe A History of ...)

Most of my looking up was a conversation with Mistress Enid Aurelia, so if

there are further enquiries, I will be happy to get a slightly more

concrete set of references, so people can look them up in the library, rather

than Skraeling Althing.

 

Gwilym ap Alun                       Bill Sanderson

Barony of Skraeling Althing          Ottawa, Ontario

Ealdormere, Middle Kingdom           Canada

 

PS. Your Principality Exchequer (Ealdormere) reminds you that there are only

9 days before the tax forms are due.

 

 

From: jim at surya.UUCP (owner)

Date: 17 Apr 90 04:39:51 GMT

Organization: surya.system (sunny side up)

 

brighid at hern.mv.com writes:

> I want to make a dry mead - what ratio of honey to water should I use?

Make it the old fashioned way,

 

Take your pot of (boiling ) water, add honey,

when the solution will float an egg up to the top of the pot, then you

have enough honey.  If the egg shows a spot the size of a quarter, you

will have a sweet (and strong) mead a spot the size of a dime or

smaller will be on the dry side.

Remember also, that the yeast used will affect how sweet/dry the mead

will turn out.

 

R.J. Klessig  Hayward Ca..........Ch'ndra P'nthi Esfenn Mists West.

{pacbell!rencon!esfenn!surya!jim}, an upcomming waffle site.

 

 

are very Viking, with Althings, etc.  They do SCA fighting, often as

mercenaries. I'd guess 50 to 100 members, a fair number are overlaped with

SCA. A fun, rowdy group, with a penchant for fire-jumping and good mead

(from Tellef Thygesen, who also made my helm.  He's gone commercial, and

makes __good__ mead.  Odin's Mead, from The Meadery, Meader Rd, Greenwich, NY,

(518) 692-9669.  I hear they're sold out for the next 6 months of production.)

--

Randell Jesup, Keeper of AmigaDos, Commodore Engineering.

{uunet|rutgers}!cbmvax!jesup, jesup at cbmvax.cbm.commodore.com  BIX: rjesup  

Common phrase heard at Amiga Devcon '89: "It's in there!"

 

 

From: david at twg.com (David S. Herron)

Date: 17 Jul 90 06:59:46 GMT

Organization: The Wollongong Group, Palo Alto, CA

 

       "Although we may little realize it today, when the

        world was young, when the gods walked the earth and

        communed with men, and when men had more ready access

        to paradise than they have had since, mead was the

        liquor drunk by gods and men alike."

 

This is the first paragraph in _Brewing_Mead_ by Robert Gayre and

a chap named Nigg.  Bound in the same book is _Wassail!_In_Mazers_of_Mead_

written by Charlie Papazian.

 

The first half, _Brewing_Mead_, is an in depth history of mead

production world wide through history.  The author makes a lot

of lintuisticly derived arguments to prove that various drinks

talked of in ancient texts are really honey-derived wines & beers.

Along the way there are many "secondary sources" given, reproductions

of pictures and translations of text fragments into modern english.

 

Very fascinating and informative ..

 

The second half, _Wassail!_, tells how to do it.  There's a buncha

recipes here of all major types of mead.

 

Now.. the reason for mentioning this book is..  The first time I

saw it was in the library, and it had all the indications of having

been a first edition.  (Original publication: 1948..)

 

This book I have in front of me is a fresh printing from "Brewers

Publications".

 

       Brewers Publications

       American Homebrewers Association

       PO Bos 287

       Boulder, CO  80306

 

       (303) 447-0816

 

This was a second printing in 1988.  I found this copy in a

wine making store here in Sillycon Valley.

 

Highly recommended..

--

<- David Herron, an MMDF weenie, <david at twg.com>

<- Formerly: David Herron -- NonResident E-Mail Hack <david at ms.uky.edu>

 

 

From: vnend at phoenix.Princeton.EDU (D. W. James)

Date: 3 Oct 90 22:25:10 GMT

Organization: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

 

In article <40182 at cci632.UUCP> dcb at ccird7.UUCP (Corwin of Darkwater, MKA

Douglas Brainard) writes:

)BARLEY MEAD (SCA Recipe, as served to the populace of AEthelmearc,

)             and the Prince of EAldormere)

)by Lord Corwin of Darkwater, AS XXIV

)   Barony of Thescorre, Principality of AEthelmearc, East Kingdom

)Combine 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup amber malt extract (dry), 1/2 cup

)of lime juice, 1/2 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, and 1/4 ginger root.

)Add water to make 1/2 gallon, and bring to a boil. Chill, and serve.

)Keep chilled, or it will ferment, and possibly burst bottles.

 

       Just out of curiousity, why is this called barley mead?

 

Kwellend-Njal

--

 

From: david at twg.com (David S. Herron)

Date: 7 Oct 90 21:32:50 GMT

 

In article <3069 at idunno.Princeton.EDU> vnend at phoenix.Princeton.EDU (D. W.

James) writes:

>In article <40182 at cci632.UUCP> dcb at ccird7.UUCP (Corwin of Darkwater, MKA

Douglas Brainard) writes:

>)BARLEY MEAD (SCA Recipe, as served to the populace of AEthelmearc,

>)             and the Prince of EAldormere)

>)by Lord Corwin of Darkwater, AS XXIV

>)   Barony of Thescorre, Principality of AEthelmearc, East Kingdom

>)Combine 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup amber malt extract (dry), 1/2 cup

                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

>)of lime juice, 1/2 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, and 1/4 ginger root.

>)Add water to make 1/2 gallon, and bring to a boil. Chill, and serve.

>)Keep chilled, or it will ferment, and possibly burst bottles.

>       Just out of curiousity, why is this called barley mead?

Because .. if my memory is correct .. malt extract is made from barley...

The recipe is a whole lot like modern beer recipes and is the

precursor to modern beer recipes.

 

In one of my books at home is a Mead recipe I've been meaning

to type in.

 

(er.. *some* modern beer's that is .. I just realized there's

this Bud Dry commercial on the radio right now.  It's amazing that

they're *PROUD* of making this beer that doesn't have any taste!)

 

--

<- David Herron, an MMDF & WIN/MHS guy, <david at twg.com>

<- Formerly: David Herron -- NonResident E-Mail Hack <david at ms.uky.edu>

<-

From:    Donal Dubh

To:      N2602 U20                                Msg #294, 23-Nov-90 11:08am

Subject: Mead

 

I am the Stargate Brewer's Guild Principle, and I can assure you

that a very drinkable Mead can be obtained in as little as 3

weeks. It will onlky have 5-6 % alc., it will be cloudy, and very

sweet, but it IS drinkable. I have won awards for wassail as

young as 3 months, and my 1 yr old wassail is about to kick

some... make itself known at next weeks Yule revel and Arts &

SAciences. It is, simply:

3 #'s Honey

Red Star Pasteur Champagne Yeast

Water

thats it! Heat (do not boil) the honey and some water, skimming

off the foam that rises, for 30 min. Allow to cool. pour into 1

gal. jug, add water to fill(but not too full) you need airspace.

add yeast. place bubble lock on top and watch it go. drinkable in

3 weeks.

 

later, Donal

 

 

From:    Lady Sparkle

To:      Par Garou

Date: 08-Jan-91 12:35am

Subject: Re: Mead

 

> Lady Sparkle,

>    I have not seen said "easy mead" recipe.  Would you be so kind as

> to post it?

 

I would be glad to!  The documentation states that this recipe was

originally posted in the cooking echo by Rich Harper.  He got them from

the cookbook "Manna Foods of the Frontier" by Gurtrude Harris. The

recipes are a compilation of recipes dating back to the 17th century and

Colonial America and are drawn from old cookbooks as well as family

recipes. This recipe would produce approximately 2 1/2 gallons of mead.

 

4   LBS    Raisins

1   TSP    Grated Nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)

6   MED    Cinnamon Sticks, Broken Up

1          Clove

1   MED    Lemon

1   QT     Honey

2 1/2 GAL  Soft Rainwater (or Soft Bottled Water)

1/2 CUP    Rose Water (I purchased from Hindu grocery)

 

Put raisins through the finest blade of the grinder or food chopper.

Crush the spices in a mortar (I used a blender) and chop the lemon (and

peel) fine; do not let juices run off. Combine all these ingredients in

a large stoneware crock (I used a stainless steel 5 gallon pan). Mix the

honey and water until amalgamated and add to the spice mixture. Set

aside in a warmish place for 5 days, stirring daily. Siphon off the

clear liquid (or let drip through a double cloth bag) and add the rose

water. Bottle and cork tightly.

It is messy to strain and bottle but turns out quite nice.  Good luck!

 

 

 

From:    Lady Sparkle

To:      Par Garou

Date: 11-Jan-91 12:32am

Subject: Re: Mead

 

> Thanks much!  I'll have to give it a try when I have some time and let

> ya know how it comes out.

  

Par Garou -- Please do let me know how your batch comes out.  Rather

than bottling the mead after 5 days I continued to let mine ferment.  It

lost the fruity taste and became very potent.  I believe the next batch

I won't leave fermenting so long.  One of my problems was unsatisfactory

packaging. All I had were the plastic spring water containers to keep

it in.  I closed the mead up in them overnight and when I looked the

next morning I thought they were going to explode from the fermentation.

So...I simply left the valve open and it continued to ferment for

weeks. Although the taste is not bad, I think I would prefer the sweet,

fruity flavor.

                 

From: crf at pine.circa.ufl.EDU (FEINSTEIN)

Date: 21 Feb 91 20:12:00 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

Greetings!

MEAD: While I will have to keep this short, I cannot as a brewer resist the

compulsion to comment on the questions regarding mead.

First of all, boiling a solution containing honey for more than a few minutes

will both drive off the aromatics (thus affecting the bouquet) and (if boiled

long enough) affect the structure of the sugars in the honey.  

Thus, several suggestions are in order.  First, boil any spices, herbs, or

fruits *separately*, and then either strain the resulting decoction into the

rest of your wort, or add the honey after bringing the solution back down to a

simmer. You will still get a scum which you will have to skim off.  Btw-- it  

takes 5 minutes of boiling to pasteurize your initial solution.  Second,  

remember that honey, unless damaged (by boiling, for example), is actually a  

mold inhibitor.  So, don't worry about keeping your wort at a simmer after  

adding the honey.  Not that it erases the need for scrupulous sanitation!!

The other spot I saw potential for trouble was in the statement "...freshly  

washed..." bottles.  Sorry, but that ain't good enough to keep your mead from  

becoming contaminated!  I suggest that you switch to a weak solution of Clorox

in water, which is actually a potent disinfectant.  Soak your bottles in the  

solution for 5-15 minutes, drain, and rinse *well* with *LOTS* of clean  

cold running water.  Boil the bottle caps in water, in an enamel pot, for 5

minutes, and only remove them from the water when you're ready to cap a bottle.

 

There's more where this came from, so anyone wishing to pick my brain is

welcome to do so.  Be advised, however, that if a reply to a query will prove

lengthy, I might request that you contact me by farspeaker.

 

 

                               In Service,

                                   Cher de Bellevue

 

                                   INTERNET: CRF at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU

                                   BITNET: CRF at UFPINE

_____________________________________________________________________________

Cher de Bellevue                  Cheryl Feinstein

Barony An Crosaire                Univ. of Florida

Kingdom Trimaris                  Gainesville, FL

 

               

From: ghost at purg (F.D. Thomson )

Date: 23 Feb 91 08:20:19 GMT

Organization: Purgatory Lingerie and Iron Works

 

eisen at kopf.UUCP (Carl West x4449) writes:

> Moriah asks a multitude of questions about making mead.

>

[Stuff Deleted]

> I would reccomend having a look at George Papazian's book

> _The Joy of Home Brewing_, it's mostly about beermaking, but

> the general techniques are good to know.

>

> Good luck and Happy Brewing,

>

> Frydherik Isenkopf

 

It's actually _The Complete Joy Of Home Brewing_ by Charlie Papazian (c)

1984, Published by Avon Books.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 84-91116

ISBN: 0-380-88369-4

I agree, it is an excellent book.

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

F.D. Thomson                        |  "I am not  nearly  so interested in

Purgatory                           |  what monkey man was derived from as

Edmonton, Alberta                   |  I am in  what  kind of monkey he is

Canada                              |  to become."  - Loren Eisley

atrc!mofh!purg!ghost at pembina.cs.ualberta.ca

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                 

 

From: tighe at inmet.inmet.com

Date: 22 Feb 91 19:40:00 GMT

 

Unto my friends upon the Rialto does Sir Michael of York send

greetings and salutations, and hope that all finds you well.

 

I have heard certain questions about mead-brewing and references

to a recipe in the Known World Handbook.

 

I am the original author of the article in the KWHB, having derived

the recipes from "Sir Kenelme Digbie's Closet Opened", published by

Sir Digbie's son in 1664, and available in reproduction as part of Cariodoc's Cookbook.

 

I recently gave an E.K. University class on mead brewing and

wrote an "update" to the KWHB article, which I will post to the

Rialto as a separate note.

 

One particular posting from "Moriah" (RJHST11 at cis.vms.pitt.edu)

includes a question:

 

> The question arises in that, not infrequently, the

> mead molds. *HORRORS*  How do I prevent this?  What am I doing

> wrong?  The mead, when it works, is *excellent*.  

 

Mold is a natural element in the air we breath, and it will get onto

any food left out in the open.  The fresh lemon-juice squeezed into

the must contains natural yeasts and molds - there is no chance that

you can prevent it completely from growing moldy.  In period, I am

sure that they just skimmed off the mold and drank it.  In addition,

Sir Digbie says that the mead won't keep long - and to drink it

immediately.

 

I would suggest two things:

 

a) When you let the "must" cool, do so in a closed container, such

   as a glass bottle with a balloon over the mouth (balloon should

   be "inside out", as the inside of a balloon is filled with

   talcum powder - trust me on this one! ).

 

   My idea here is that if you put it "hot" into the glass bottle,

   it is hot enough to kill anything bad in the bottle or the must.

   Keeping it "closed" is essential.  You can use cotton balls

   (like in medicine bottles) or cover the mouth of the jar with

   a balloon.

 

   Once it is cool, then remove the balloon and squeeze in some

   lemon juice (use a funnel) and then STOP IT UP IMMEDIATELY,

   using the same balloon or cotton.

 

   This should improve your chances.

 

b) Gently wash the skins of the lemons that you use to squeeze in

   lemon-juice.  Most of the "mold-type" stuff is probably on

   the skin.

 

By the way - instead of adding fresh-squeezed lemon juice, Sir Digbie

says you can "work it with yeast".  This means add yeast to the batch

instead of fresh lemon juice and let it "go".  

 

In all of the cases described here and everywhere, PLEASE don't close

the bottles tight during the brewing process - use balloons or water-locks.

In addition, once bottled, keep it cool (refrigerator) or keep it someplace

you are willing to have it explode (bottom of a covered 50-gallon steel drum!)

Glass grenades are NO FUN!  (I've several stories, all true, which I

revive once and again around campfires - maybe I'll post one....... :-)

 

Good luck, and may your bottles never burst!

 

Sir Michael of York             aka:    Michael Tighe

House du Chat Gris              email:  tighe at inmet.inmet.com

Carolingia, EK   (Boston, MA)   or:     tighe%inmet at uunet.uu.net

 

 

From:    david director friedman

 

1. While it is contrary to modern practice, period mead recipes boil

the honey for a substantial length of time--and it seems to come out

tasting good. The small mead recipe (Digby's "Weak Honey Drink") adds

the orange peel and ginger at the very end of the boiling, so that

they boil for only a few minutes.

 

2. For the small mead, I routinely wash the bottles, do not disinfect

them with clorox, Campden tablets, etc., and have no problem. For

something that ferments more than a few weeks it might be desirable

to take greater precautions.

 

Cariadoc

DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu

 

 

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Date: 27 Feb 91 06:30:28 GMT

Organization: University of Chicago

"I have not seen any period recipes that use tea in mead, but all my

batches that omitted tea were not as good." (Kevin Karplus)

Nor will you, unless you find mead recipes from outside Europe. To

the best of my knowledge and belief, tea did not come into Western

Europe until the seventeenth century. Since it came by sea from

China, it would probably have reached the Middle East even later, but

I have no good information on that.

Your response is that "I am more interested in producing good flavor

that in strict authenticity, so continue to use tea." This is

certainly an understandable preference. But perhaps you should

consider the situation a challenge: Is it possible to produce good

period mead? Perhaps the answer is no--but it might be worth

experimenting a good deal before deciding that. There seems a certain

inconsistency in saying of Kenelm Digby that "I know of no better

source for mead recipes" and then asserting that none of his recipes

produce mead that tastes good--which is what you seem to be doing.

 

Cariadoc/David Friedman

DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu

 

 

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Date: 5 Mar 91 04:36:53 GMT

Organization: University of Chicago

 

Perhaps I have been conditioned by wine drinking to expect a little

tanin with my alcohol. (Kevin Karplus, on tea in mead)

 

Tea is not the only source of tannin--there is no tea in wine. Would

mead stored in oak barrels pick up tannin from the oak? I am fairly

sure that acorns and oak bark have tannin, but do not know if oak

wood does.

 

The earliest usable mead recipe that I know of, which Mistress

Niccola posted some time back, refers to putting the mead in a

particular sort of barrel.  I believe Niccola translated the German

word as "resinous wood" or something similar. Perhaps it is

specifying something about the wood that is relevant to its tannin

content.

 

"Is there a way to brew small mead/weak honey drink which is *very*

low in alcohol content? Say, several glasses = 1 glass of beer?"

(Baroness Jessa d'Avondale)

 

I belive Kenelm Digby's weak honey drink (aka Small Mead) works out

to about 1 % alcohol, which satisfies your requirements. I do not

think I ever tested it, but I remember that as the result Ishmael ibn

Murad got when he did. I generally do not emphasize this fact; one of

the virtues of small mead is that people can feel as though they are

great drinkers without actually consuming very much alcohol.

 

So far as period alcohol-free beverages, there is a  13th century

Andalusian cookbook with a whole chapter of them. They are basically

flavored syrups that you dilute with hot or cold water. Sekanjabin is

the only one that is well known in the Society.

 

Cariadoc

 

 

From: crf at pine.circa.ufl.EDU (FEINSTEIN)

Date: 20 Mar 91 22:33:00 GMT

Organization: The Internet

 

TANNIN IN MEAD:  As has been pointed out, all parts of the oak contain tannin.

It's pretty concentrated in acorns, however, and only extracted by boiling.  So

I wouldn't recommend using them.  Chips have the benefit of exposing a broad

surface area from which the tannin can diffuse.  And by the way:  wood chips

and the like are indeed useful primarily as *clarifiers* in brews.  Which is

why Anheuser-Busch's "Beechwood aging" shtik always cracks me up: beechwood

chips are the traditional method of clarifying classic Pilsener beer.  They

ain't doing anyone any favors.  Finally:  the importance _per se_ of tannin in

mead is as a flavor balancer.  That little bit of bitterness offsets the

sweetness enough to keep the mead from being cloying.  It's akin to the

addition of caffeine to sodas.

 

 

From: acapreol at watserv1.waterloo.edu (CAPREOL A - INDEPENDENT STUDIES )

Date: 7 Aug 91 19:23:06 GMT

Organization: University of Waterloo

Message-ID: <1991Aug7.192306.931 at watserv1.waterloo.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.food.drink,rec.org.sca

 

While I don't know of any commercially available meads, I

do know several books with recipes and how to's.  I also

know several people who are currently attempting to make them.

For How To books, one of the best I've read is

:

MAKING MEAD: HISTORY, METHODS AND EQUIPTMENT by Roger A. Morse

Wiscas Press, NY, 1983.

 

Another one is: MAKING MEAD by Peter Acton and Peter Duncan

               Argus Books Ltd, 1984.

 

               If you are interested in the history ofr mead,

               an excellent book is WASSAIL, IN MAZERS OF MEAD

               although, I don't know the author or date offhand

               

               That should get you started.  There are a group of

               us in Waterloo, Ontario attempting recipes, and I for

               one would be very interested in hearing what is goin

                On with other peoples mead projects.                

 

 

From: passaret at copernicus.crd.ge.com ("Mr. Mike" Passaretti)

Date: 7 Aug 91 22:58:50 GMT

Organization: GE Corporate Research & Development

 

In article <1991Aug7.192306.931 at watserv1.waterloo.edu>

acapreol at watserv1.waterloo.edu (CAPREOL A - INDEPENDENT STUDIES ) writes:

 

   While I don't know of any commercially available meads, I

   do know several books with recipes and how to's.  I also

   know several people who are currently attempting to make them.

   For How To books, one of the best I've read is

 

   [...]

 

Actually, there is one very palatable commercial mead available.

It's called "Odin's Mead" and it's made by Tellef Thygersen.  He

went into the biz a couple of years ago when he got tired of people

asking him why he hadn't gone commercial yet.  You can reach the

supplier at  The Meadery in Greenwich, NY.  (518)692-9669 9-5

Eastern Time Tuesday through Saturnsday.  I'll have a few bottles

at the war, but they usually don't last long.

 

                                                       - MM

--

passaretti at crd.ge.com                     {whatever}!crdgw1!brahe!passaret

 

 

From: karplus at ararat.ucsc.edu (Kevin Karplus)

Date: 10 Aug 91 01:14:56 GMT

 

Bargetto's (in Soquel, CA) makes a drink called Chaucer's Mead that is

reasonably drinkable.  It is distributed mainly in Northern

California, but you may be able to find it elsewhere.  On the East

Coast, you can sometimes find a strong sweet mead from Poland (Wawel).

 

Roger Morse's book is good, but Morse is a little too opposed to

spices for my taste.  The recipes in Kenelm Digbie's collection are

still the best primary source, and offer a wide variety of styles.

 

Here are some records from the UC library catalog (MELVYL) for the

books being discussed:  

 

Making mead (honey wine) : history, recipes, methods, and equipment /

   Roger A. Morse.  Ithaca, N.Y. (425 Hanshaw Rd., Ithaca, N.Y. 14850) :

   Wicwas Press, 1980.

       UCB   BioSci    TP588.M4 .M67

       UCD   Main Lib  TP588.M4 M67

 

The closet of Sir Kenelm Digby, knight, opened: newly edited with

   introduction, notes, and glossary, by Anne Macdonell.  London,

   P.L. Warner, 1910.

       UCD   Main Lib  TX705 .D5 1910

       UCLA  Clark     PR 3409 D5C6

       UCSF  Library   No call number History NonCirc

 

The closet of Sir Kenelme Digbie opened.  [St. Louis? : Mallinckrodt

   Chemical Works, 1967].

     Series title:  Mallinckrodt collection of food classics ; v. 6.

       UCD   Main Lib  TX705 .D5 1967

 

The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. opened /

   Kenelme Digbie.  London : International Bee Research Association, c1983.

     Series title:  Texts of early beekeeping books ; no.7.

       UCB   Main      TP569 .D531 1983

       UCLA  URL       * TP 569 D5 1983

 

The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelme Digbie kt. opened: whereby

   is discovered several ways for making of metheglin, sider, cherry-wine, &c.,

   together with excellent directions for cookery: as also for... [St. Louis],

   Mallinckrodt Chemical Works, 1967.

     Series title:  Mallinckrodt collection of food classics ; v. 6.

       SRLF            A 0005825823 Type EXP SRLF for loan details.

 

The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelme Digby, Kt. opened :

   whereby is discovered several ways for making of metheglin, sider,

   cherry-wine, &c. : together with excellent directions for cookery : as...  

   London : Printed by E.C. & A.C. for H. Brome ..., 1671.

     Series title:  Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 735:17.

       UCSD  Central   MICRO F 524 Current Periodical Microform

 

The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelme Digby, Kt. opened :

   whereby is discovered several ways for making of metheglin, syder,

   cherry-wine, &c. : together with excellent directions for cookery : as...  

   The third edition corrected.  London : Printed by H.C. for H. Brome ...,

   1677.

     Series title:  Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 625:6.

       UCSD  Central   MICRO F 524 Current Periodical Microform

 

Incidentally, my latest batch of mead was a failure: I used Lapsang

Souchong tea as a source of tannin, and used too much.  The resulting

mead has an unpleasant smokey aftertaste.

 

If anyone wants a recipe for my more successful earlier batches, just

send me e-mail.  (Warning for SCA brewers, my recipe has a couple of

modern features, such as using tea for tannin.)

 

Knud Kaukinen                           Kevin Karplus

inactive in the West                    teaching at UC Santa Cruz

                                       karplus at ce.ucsc.edu

 

 

From: bemo at spacsun.rice.edu (Brian D. Moore)

Date: 8 Aug 91 23:40:01 GMT

Organization: Dept. of Space Physics, Rice U., Houston, TX

 

   The following is based upon my own experiences in brewing, and information

that I have gleaned from various publications on wine- and beer-making. First, I will deal with 'long' meads, and then quicker 'short' meads for the impatient

at heart.

 

   Mead is really not that difficult to make.  I am hardly a wizened master

(having only 6 gallons of production under my belt, so to speak), but I will

venture to state that anyone patient and clean enough by nature can make quite

a nice brew at home.

   First, let me say that it is much easier to do if you have a homebrew supply

store in town.  It is possible to get everything you need mail order, but

nothing tops the convenience and inspirational value of actually browsing in a

store. All that you would need to get from there is the yeast and airlocks;

anything else could be found or substituted from other sources.

   So let's get to basics.  Get lots of honey, preferably clover honey

(try your local 'health food' store; mine has bulk honey for 1.19/lb., although

it is not clover).  Use from 2-4 pounds per U.S. gallon of water, depending on

your desired sweetness and alcohol level.  3 pounds should get you a slightly

sweet white wine-ish mead.

   Boil the honey in the water, skimming off the grayish-brown foam which

will form on top, until the foam is no longer formed at a rapid rate (I usually

wait until it takes about 2 minutes to form enough foam to skim effectively.)

   Now you need to add some fruit; for 2 gallons, I usually add a lime and an

orange, with about 1 oz. of ginger to boot.  You can use any citrus you like,

in almost any amount you like.  The purpose of this, besides taste, is to

balance the wine; it also prevents oxidation later on.  Cut it up, throw it in,

but remember to minimize the amount of white pith that goes into the pot, as

it adds an unpleasantly bitter taste to the wine.  I usually grate some peel

into the pot, then squeeze in the juice, with some pulp thrown in as well.

Peel the ginger, cut it up, throw it in; grating will utilize more of the

ginger, but makes it harder to strain out.  Also, nothing beats the zingy taste

of ginger boiled in honey water!  What the hell, eat the fruit too, it's good

for you.

   OK, so you have some hot pre-mead, now what?  Let it cool, preferably

covered, until you can handle it reasonably well.  Now you need a narrow-necked

container, preferably glass.  I use 1-gallon apple juice jugs.  There are also

large plastic tubs, with a tight-fitting lid that has a small hole drilled in it

for the airlock, which works equally as well.  These are available at homebrew

shops as well, and are especially helpful for those big batches.

   The key to preventing any unwanted contamination of your mead is cleanliness.

Clean and sterilize your container, with either sodium metabisulphite (also at

HBrew shops) or with a bleach solution (no more than two tablespoons per gallon

of water).  Chlorine bleach will kill the nasty organisms, but requires a lot of

hot water rinses of the container afterwards.  Sodium metabisulfites are the

sulfites in commercial wines, but they only inhibit growth, and can also cause

allergic reactions.  So if you can't drink commercial wines without a reaction

(except, of course, that pleasant drunk feeling), go with the bleach.  One could

also attempt to use heat to sterilize the equipment (say, the heat-dry cycle of

a dishwasher), but personally I do not recommend this, as it can have a disastrous

effect on the glass (and anything in range if it breaks apart).

   Once it is sterilized and well-rinsed, fill your container with cooled mead.

Try to strain it as you fill; bits of fruit pulp and peel should not be allowed

to remain while fermenting, as it may start to decay and spoil all of your effort.

Cover and allow to cool to room temperature.  Meanwhile, prepare your airlock,

sterilizing it as you did the container.  Fill it halfway with either water or

sulfite solution at the appropriate strength (check the package), and definitely

NOT with bleach solution.  Removing the airlock or pressure changes may suck

some of the solution into the mead, and the bleach would make it undrinkable.

Sulfite solution is preferred (since water could be infected by the dreaded

vinegar fly), and it won't poison the product.

   When the mead is fully cooled, you can now add the yeast.  It is considered

best to take a little of the mead in a beer bottle, add the yeast packet, and

let it start off to the side before adding it to the entire batch; this becomes

really necessary if your batch is in several jugs, instead of just one.  Also,

it is very important to use a yeast nutrient, which should be right next to the

yeast when you buy it.  You will need about 1 teaspoon per gallon, since honey

is extremely deficient in the chemicals necessary for yeast to reproduce.

   The choice of yeast could be important; most meadmakers steer clear of ale

yeasts, since they have a low alcohol tolerance (9%?)  and reportedly impart

an unwanted flavor to the mead.  I myself have used ale yeasts, with no

undesirable effects.  Preferably, one should use a mead yeast, but if not, a wine

or Champagne yeast work just as well.

   Now you just add the yeast and nutrient, and fit the airlock over the mouth of your container (a variety of sizes of rubber stoppers are available, so do not be concerned with whether or not your bottle is the 'right' size for the airlock. But be sure to test your stopper first, to see if it will hold the seal).  Put it in a corner somewhere, and watch it go.

   I have had experiences where the fermentation was so violent that mead foam was forced through the airlock.  It is not that large of a concern; just clean it up every once in a while, fill the airlock again (see why you don't want bleach!), and reseal the container.  This is another reason to strain the mixture; you don't want to block the airlock, or your meadmaking could soon become an experiment in bomb making!  Check on it ever once in a while, to make sure the carbon dioxide is escaping.  It will soon calm down, and the soft, steady bloop sounds which brewers all cherish from their airlocks will soon sing you to sleep.

   The hardest part is now upon us -- waiting.  Mead takes excrutiatingly long

to ferment, since the sugars in it are so complex.  This is when it is handy to

have a hydrometer, which is just a cheap device to measure the specific gravity

(and hence the sugar content) of your brew.  If you have one, read the enclosed

instructions; if not, don't worry about it.  You will just have to be more patient

and observant is all.  Watch your mead; a layer of yeast will fall to the bottom

of your container (so clear glass is preferable).  When the layer is substantial,

you will want to siphon the mead into another container, so that the dead yeast

there will not break down and spoil the mead.  This will take on the order of two

to three months, and then again in another two to three months.  After these two

transfers (called 'racking'), the mead should be 'clear'; if it is cloudy, the

yeast haven't finished yet, so let it sit some more.  If the mead is clear but

bubbles are still visible, the yeast haven't finished yet.  If no deposit forms,

it is clear, and no bubbles are visible, then the yeast are probably through,

and you can bottle.

   Sterilize the bottles that you plan to use as you did the other equipment.

Since mead sometimes fools you into believing it is done, Champagne bottles are preferable.  If any bottle fermentation does take place, you do not want it in

regular bottles, or without the cork wired down.  If you wish, regular bottles

can be used, but be sure to use a wine stabilizer, and only after fermentation is

complete. Until you are experienced, better safe than sorry (and messy).  Siphon your mead into the bottles and cork.  Plastic corks are just fine to use, and are reusable.  Cages are also reusable, to a point, if you have trouble getting

new ones.  If you've done it all right, no sediment should form, and you should

have a fine still mead.  If not, bottle fermentation has taken place, you have a

little sediment around the punt of your Champagne bottle, and you have fine

sparkling mead (or else you've cleaned up your winerack, if you used a regular

bottle). Age as long as you can stand, up to two years, but open one fairly

early, as reward and to check for bottle fermentation.

   To intentionally make sparkling mead, you need to have made a low-alcohol

batch (I'd say <= 2.5 lb/gallon), and you really should buy a hydrometer to tell

you when it is finished.  In this case you must use a high-alcohol wine yeast;

ale yeast will not work.  When it is, remove a small portion of mead, boil it,

and add some sugar to the boiling mead, cover and cool, and add back to the

batch. I do not have the reference that I want nearby, but for beer the amount

is 4 oz. per gallon, so that should be about right.  Less is OK, more is not

recommended. Then bottle in Champagne bottles (or beer bottles -- Grolsch

bottles are very good for this, and replacement seals are available).  Wait a few

weeks (longer if honey was used), chill, and pour the mead carefully off of the

sediment (you Chimay ale drinkers know what I mean).  This is why you may want to use less sugar in the bottle than 4 oz; the bubbles released when opening can force the sediment off of the bottom of the bottle and into your glass, so fizzy

mead becomes fizzy yeasty mead, which can be comestibly and gastrically

unpleasant.

   Once you have a few batches under your belt, you can add fruit, hops, more

ginger, whatever you think would taste good.  Amounts are generally a pound or so

of fruit, an ounce or so of hops, per gallon.  Experimentation, though sometimes

yielding unfortunate results, is the key to getting what you want.  However, if

fruit is to be used, do not boil it (it may jellify), and if you can, sterilize it with sulfites and add pectic enzyme to the brew.  Crush it, add it, and make

sure that it does not clog the airlock.  If you use hops, I suggest a mild variety

like Fuggles or Cascade.  More bitter hops could be used, but I would relegate

them only to the quick sparkling meads, where the beer quality is more pronounced and less invasive than in wines.

 

   Now that you have made a long mead, you'll need to make a quick mead to

drink while you wait.  Use about 2-2.5 lbs of honey per gallon; any more, and the

yeast may take to long, depriving you of the relatively quick satisfaction you

seek. Also, I suggest using an ale yeast, despite all convention.  After all,

you are essentially making honey beer here, not wine, which by its very nature

needs to be delicate and well-aged.  Do that mead thing just like before.  Allow

vigorous fermentation to run its course.  In ten to twenty days, the mead should

have settled down.  Ale yeast is a top-fermenting yeast, so it works best in a

warm environment.  Because we want to arrest fermentation, we need to cool it.

Find a place in your fridge where the bottle can stand up with the airlock in it,

and stick it there.  The yeast will slow down and sink, and thus the mead will

start to clear.  When it is clear, bottle in either beer or Champagne bottles,

and leave it out for a day or two if you want it carbonated, then refrigerate.

If you wish, wait a little longer, then transfer it instead into a plastic

thermos, and drink it quickly.  If it's too yeasty, next time wait longer.

Wait a week for the sediment to form, then drink.  Do not wait too long; bottle

fermentation will soon make the mead gush out of the bottle when opened, mixing

the yeast back in the mead.  If this starts to occur, you must rebottle or face

the consequences.  The longer you can wait until bottling, the more unlikely

that you end up with little mead time bombs in your fridge.  This is the other

reason for using ale yeast; its low alcohol tolerance will end fermentation

earlier than wine yeast, lowering the danger limit to your bottles (and yourself).

As anecdotal evidence, I relate the story of my ginger beer, which when opened,

put a plastic Champagne cork imprint on my ceiling, followed by the entire

contents of the bottle, which then proceeded to ginger-bathe my entire kitchen.

(By the way, the kitchen smelled great).  I then had to go in the back yard and

defuse the remaining four bottles, hitting the back fence three out of four shots. Sparkling mead demands respect, and usually gets it from whomever it

wishes. Aged sparkling mead is sparkling mead with an attitude.  Really old

sparkling mead doesn't kill people, people kill people.  I know people who

would rather rip their own heads off than open a bottle of really old sparkling

mead.

   After several batches of quick mead, it will become apparent what variations

to try, and which of these you wish to try with your long meads.  Once again, I

stress the virtues of experimentation, especially with these quick meads, in

which you have invested a lot less waiting and bother, and hence won't be so

disappointed if something goes awry.  The best laid plans o' mice and mead...

 

   While this discussion is by no means a definitive guide on meads, I feel

that it should clear up some misconceptions on the subject, some of which have

been propogated through folios and articles within the SCA itself, including the

first Knowne World Handbooke, which I feel really shows it age in this topic.

The technology and literature on the subject of homebrewing has increased

severalfold since its penning, and it would be folly to discount it only on

the basis of period accuracy and perceived complexity.  Become the life of the

barony, and earn the respect of your heavy fighters.  Kiss up to the king,

and bring your wares to the war.  Everybody loves a brewer!

 

                                                Voue'

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brian D. Moore (Voue' Alechec)|  Homebrewing -- the only sport open exclusively

Space Physics and Astronomy   |                 to anal-retentive alcoholics.

Rice University, Houston TX   |  Relax -- have a home brew.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

TO: All

FROM: Kevin Karplus

SUBJECT: Re: A Question of Mead

 

best. Clover honey works well, but very light honeys (like alfalfa)

generally lack flavor.  If making a true mead (without spices), the

flavor of the honey is more important, and only strongly flavored

honeys should be used.

The yeast is important. Baking yeast is bred for fast carbon dioxide

production, and is not at all suitable for brewing. Some home cider

makers may be used to just letting the sweet cider stand a few days to

ferment on its own.  This technique relies on the wild yeasts present

in the air, on the cider press, and on the skins of the apples.  It

doesn't work for mead.  The wild yeasts result in off-flavors, which

the honey is not strong enough to mask. For strong, still meads (3 lbs

honey/gallon or more) I use a white wine yeast, while for a lighter

beverage I use ale yeast.  A beer yeast should work as well as an ale

yeast, but I find top-fermenting ale yeasts more fun to work with.

WARNING: the "brewer's yeast" sold in health-food stores is dead yeast,

it will not be usable for brewing.

The equipment you need is a large pot (I use a 20 quart canning pot), a

5 foot plastic tube to use as a siphon, and strong bottles.  In

addition, a 5 gallon water bottle with a stopper and fermentation lock

is a very useful piece of equipment.  Everything you use should be

sterilized to prevent the growth of vinegar-forming bacteria.  There

are chemical sterilizing agents available from wine-making supply

stores, but I prefer to sterilize everything in boling water.  I'll

mention sterilizing over and over.  It is the single most important

part of brewing mead rather than vinegar.

If making a still, wine-type mead, any sort of bottle will do for the

final bottling.  However, this recipe is for a fizzy "ale-type" mead,

so strong bottles are essential.  Champagne bottles and returnable pop

bottles are usable, disposable bottles of any sort are not.  I once had

an apple juice bottle explode in my room, embedding shrapnel in my

pillow from 9 feet away.  Don't make the same mistake--use strong

bottles!!

Steps to making the mead:

1. Boil the water, adding the tea and spices.

2. Remove water from heat and stir in honey.  (Note, stirring

implement should be sterilized!)  Some mead brewers boil the honey in

the water, skimming the scum as it forms.  This removes some of the

proteins from the honey, making it easier for the mead to clarify.

However, I don't mind a bit of cloudiness, and prefer the taste of

unboiled honey.  If you are making a wine mead, you can avoid the

cloudiness simply by waiting an extra month or two for the mead to

clarify. If you're buying a clear honey from a supermarket, it may

already have been cooked a bit to remove pollen and sugar crystals, in

which case, a bit more cooking probably won't change the flavor much.

Digby's recipes do call for boiling the honey.

3. Cover the boiled water, and set it aside to cool (to blood

temperature or cooler).  This usually takes a long time, so I overlap

it with the next step.

4. Make a yeast starter solution by boiling a cup of water and a

tablespoon of honey (or sugar).  Let it cool to blood heat (or all the

way to room temperature) and add the yeast.  Cover it and let it

ferment overnight.  The yeast should form a "bloom" on the surface of

the liquid.  (Of course, the cooling and fermenting should be done in

the pan or other sterilized vessel.)

5. Add the yeast starter to the cooled liquid.  Cover and let ferment.

After a few days, it is useful to siphon the mead into another

container, leaving the sediment behind.  Here's where the 5 gallon

bottle comes in handy.  A fermentation lock provides a way to close the

bottle so carbon dioxide can get out, but vinegar-forming bacteria and

oxygen cannot get in. Remember to sterilize the bottle and the siphon first!

6. Ferment for a few weeks in a warm, dry place.  When a lot of

sediment has collected on the bottom of the bottle, siphon off the

liquid (without disturbing the sediment). This process is known as

"racking," and helps produce a clear, sediment-free mead.  Again, make

sure all your equipment is sterilized.  A wine mead may need to be

racked three or four times before the final bottling.

7. For a fizzy mead, siphon into strong (sterilized) bottles a bit

before fermentation stops.  With the strength given here 4 weeks is

about right.  The exact time depends a lot on the temperature, the

yeast, the honey, ... .  I use plastic champagne corks to seal the

bottles (sterilized, of course!).  Crown caps are also good.  Real

corks should only be used for still beverages, since the amount of

carbonation is unpredictable.  Too much carbonation and you'll pop the

corks, too little, and corks are hard to remove from champagne

bottles. Don't wire on the corks, unless you're willing to risk an

occasional broken champagne bottle.  Still meads should not be bottled

until fermentation has completely stopped. I generally wait until the

fermentation has stopped, and the mead has cleared. This can take more

than six months for a strong wine mead.

8. Age the mead in a cool place.  Note: ferment warm, and age cool.  I

sometimes keep the champagne bottles upright in the cardboard box they

came in.  That way, if a cork pops, there is something to absorb the

overflow, and if, despite my care, a bottle breaks, it won't set off a

chain reaction.

9. Drink and Enjoy! The light quick meads should be served chilled

(like beer), while the wine types are better at room temperature or

only slightly chilled.

 

From: dworkin at rootgroup.com (Dieter Muller)

Subject: Re: Mead and Backgamon

Organization: The Root Group Inc.

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1993 22:41:13 GMT

 

In article <1993Apr14.134034.25970 at samba.oit.unc.edu> dennis_sherman at unc.edu writes:

>It is possible to make mead with honey, water, yeast, and nothing

>else, but you have to start with a highly flavored honey and wait.  

>And wait.  And wait.  And when you think you've waited enough, wait

>some more.  We're talking years, not months.  I haven't done it, so

>I'm just guessing based on things I've read, but for any honey-only

>mead, I'd guess you need a minimum of 3 years -- one source says

>minimum of 8 for heather honey.

 

I'm afraid I have to take exception to this statement.  My meads are

usually drinkable within six months, and are very popular after eight.

I've not been able to keep any around longer than a year to find out

what happens after that ;-)  The only ingredients I use are water,

honey, champagne yeast, and sometimes a small smattering of spices

(clove, nutmeg, that sort of thing).

 

I do use one trick that I've not seen referenced anywhere (I stumbled

upon it by accident).  That is to start with a much smaller quantity

of honey, let it ferment out completely, and then sweeten the result

up as much as is desired.  For instance:

 

        3 pounds honey (this is about a quart, alfalfa works quite well)

        water to make a gallon

        1 packet dry champagne yeast

        spices to taste (say, clove and nutmeg, 1 Tsp each)

 

        heat the water some to aid in dissolving the honey (you should

               be able to put your hand into it without injury)

        warm the honey (a microwave works wonders)

        mix the honey and water until the honey is completely

               dissolved

        let the mixture cool to no more than 100 degrees (room

               temperature is better)

 

        while waiting for cooling to occur, mix the dry yeast in with

               a cup or so of warmish water (no more than 100

               degrees)

        add some yeast nutrient if it seems necessary (I don't do this

               step very often, it depends on how tasty the tap

               water's been that week -- if I can't taste it, I add

               some nutrients)

 

        put the dissolved honey into a fermenting vessel

        add the yeast

        slosh the results around to distribute the yeast and get a

               good supply of oxygen in

        put on an airlock

 

        wait about four months, until no more bubbles can be seen in

               the fermentation vessel (this is not the same as not

               seeing activity in the airlock)

 

        rack the fermented product into a different vessel.

        add honey to sweeten the drink up to taste (I like a sweet

               mead, so usually end up adding about another pound and

               a half per gallon)

        bottle (optional, if you happen to have a keg or are happy

               keeping it in the vessel you racked off into)

        age for a month or two

        start drinking

 

This produces a still, sweet mead.  The longer it ages, the better it

gets, but it is quite drinkable after the aging specified above.

 

I've given a recipe for one gallon.  Scale at will.  Multiplying by

five works perfectly well.

 

In Service to the Society, I remain,

 

        Rudeger Marenholtz, known as Dworkin

        Head of the Caer Galen Brewers' and Vintners' Guild

        Caer Galen, Outlands

 

From: ckellogg at saturn.sdsu.edu (Charles Kellogg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mead and Backgamon

Date: 17 Apr 1993 16:09:32 GMT

Organization: San Diego State University, College of Sciences

 

Dieter Muller (dworkin at rootgroup.com) wrote:

 

: I do use one trick that I've not seen referenced anywhere (I stumbled

: upon it by accident).  That is to start with a much smaller quantity

: of honey, let it ferment out completely, and then sweeten the result

: up as much as is desired.  For instance:

 

        Yes, this is one way to produce a "sweet" mead.  I would like to

suggest another method that works quite well.

        When you make your initial batch, let it ferment until the

specific gravity levels out, or there is no more activity.  Add additional

honey, watch the fermentation restart. When fermentation stops, add more

honey. Keep doing this, until, when you add a little more honey, no

fermentaton takes place.  This produces a sweet, more alcoholic mead.  It

works because wine yeasts metabolize glucose in preference to fructose, both

of which are found in honey.  The yeast will digest all the glucose, but

only some of the fructose.  Luckily, fructose tastes sweeter per weight to

humans than glucose.

 

 

:      Rudeger Marenholtz, known as Dworkin

 

               Avenel Kellough

        :Drafn viking; have axe, will travel:

 

 

From: ayen at panix.com (Doug Ayen)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Bad Mead

Date: 13 Oct 1993 17:23:10 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC

 

> > The answer to most of my disasters has been wait a while before

> > tasting again.  They don't always get better, but almost never get

> > worse.  "While" is so far defined as anything up to three years...

 

Something I do with the occasional bad batch is to convert it to vinegar.

Nine times out of ten or so, a bad mead will make a wonderful vinegar.

Just watch out that the brew doesn't get contaminaed with anything else!

Mother of vinegar can be found in many health food stores, or look for an

unprocessed vinegar.

 

--doug

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.winemaking,rec.org.sca

From: ralph at astro.lu.se (Ralph Snel)

Subject: Mead recipe from 1730

Organization: Lund Observatory

Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1993 16:53:16 GMT

 

From:

Geheym der Wynen ontdekt

of

Kunst om alle Blaauwe, Rosse, Lange Verwaayde

en andere onzuyvere Wynen, binnen korten tyd,

zonder mangel schoon te maaken.

 

Printed by Reynier van Kessel,

in 's GraavenHaag

1730

 

RECEPT

Om MEE te maaken

 

Neemt 90. stoop Regenwater, en 10. stoop Honing, die

schoon en wit is, doch, indien gy geen witte kondt bekomen, neemt

Roode die goed is, dat zaamen in de Ketel over het vuur gedaan,

en laat het 20. stoop inkooken, schuymt het wel, doet daar dan

in een ons gestoote Yrias en een paar handen vol Hop, dat moogt

gy alles met vier pond gesneeden lange Rozynen, in een zakje, in

de ketel hangen, beproeft dan met een Ey, zoo het daar op

dryft is het genoeg, laat het dan bynaa koud worden, doet het

dan in een Vat daar eerst Spaansche Wyn in geweest is, of ten

minste met een pint van dezelve het Vat toegemaakt, laat het

zakje met Rozynen mede zoo lang in de Wyn kooken tot dezelve

genoeg is, wringt dan dezelve zak schoon uyt, zoo bekomt

de Mee daar van een smaak als of het goede Spaansche Wyn

was, doet dan wat gist in het Vat, en laat het op een warme

plaats staan, dat hy wel uytgewerkt is: dit moet ten minste

een half jaar leggen

 

Translation/interpretation:

 

Recipe to make mead.

 

Take 90 stoop (1 stoop equals about half an imperial galon) rainwater

and 10 stoop clean and white honey. If you could not get any white

honey take good red honey instead. Put that together in a kettle over

the fire and let it boil down 20 stoop. When (or if, I'm not quite sure)

it's foaming a lot add one ounce crushed Yrias (dunno really what that

is) and a few handsfull of hops that you put in a little bag with 4 pounds

of cut long raisins and hang in the kettle. Test with an egg, if it floats

it is enough (else you should boil longer). Let it get almost cold. Put

it in a barrel that had spanish wine in it before, or at least add a pint

of spanish wine. Let the bag with raisins cook in the wine as well untill

it is enough and squize the last liquid from the bag. Like this the

mead will get a taste as if it was a good spanish wine.

Then add yeast to the barrel and let it stand in a warm place untill it

has stopped working: this should lie at least half a year.

 

Remarks:

-White honey implies crystallized honey. I think the red honey

means liquid.

-Boil a long time.

-The egg-test (tried it at home) gives a SG of 1.100 or higher,

260 gram sugar per liter. After complete fermentation this

would give about 14% alcohol (by volume) or higher. Assuming

that the yeasts of those days were not as alcohol resistant

as they are now and the fact that we're dealing with honey with

just a bit of raisins as nutrients, my guess is that the alcohol

percentage would be around 11 or 12% with a sweet taste.

-Let it mature for at least half a year (!)

-The book I quoted from was printed in 1730. I have however seen

recipes in a book from 1520 that are in name identical to other

recipes from the 1730 book. In 1730 there are however quite a few

extra ingredients to make the (in this case distilled) beverage

look and taste better. So I think the original mead recipe could

easily be from before 1500, possibly without the hops and yrias,

but the technique of making it is most likely identical, passed

on from master to apprentice over those two centuries.

 

Ralph

 

ralph at astro.lu.se

 

 

From: DDF2 at cornell.edu (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period brewing and herbs...

Date: 19 Nov 1993 02:50:17 GMT

Organization: Cornell Law School

 

In article <2cdsr5$oje at uxa.ecn.bgu.edu>, miss059 at uxa.ecn.bgu.edu (Rich

Bainter) wrote:

 

>    I'm doing a little personal research and I'm interested in finding

> out what herbs were used in medieval brewing and why.

 

The recipe for mead in Buch von Gute Speise uses hops, sage and a resined

vessel. It is the only usable pre-1600 mead recipes I know of. Curye on

Englysch has two more, although they do not have enough information, in my

judgement, to make it clear how they are really done. If you do not have

access to a copy, and can probably dig out mine.

 

The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby, Opened, c. 1660, is the first source I know

of with lots of fermented drinks. There are also a few descriptions of beer

making from the sixteenth century. Harrison's preface to Holinshed's

chronicles has one that mentions hops, arras (?), and bayberries finely

powdered, also long pepper as an alternative..

--

David/Cariadoc

DDF2 at Cornell.Edu

 

 

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period brewing and herbs...

Date: 21 Nov 1993 18:27:30 GMT

Organization: The Rialto

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Cariadoc writes:

 

>>    I'm doing a little personal research and I'm interested in finding

>> out what herbs were used in medieval brewing and why.

>The recipe for mead in Buch von Gute Speise uses hops, sage and a resined

>vessel. It is the only usable pre-1600 mead recipes I know of. Curye on

>Englysch has two more, although they do not have enough information, in my

>judgement, to make it clear how they are really done. If you do not have

>access to a copy, and can probably dig out mine.

 

There is also a single recipe for mead (called "Bouchet", but clearly mead)

in the Menagier, listed under dishes for invalids, as I recall.  There is

some difficulty with working out the measures, though.  It is not reproduced

in the Eileen Power translation, but is in the (complete but not commercially

published) Janet Hinson translation that Cariadoc sells.

 

I agree absolutely with Cariadoc that the first collection of recipes

anywhere near extensive enough to tell you anything about customary use

of herbs and other flavorings in brewing is Kenelm Digby.  And the "why"

is far from evident.

 

Cheers,

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mead recipe needed

Date: 29 Dec 1993 05:22:23 GMT

Organization: The Rialto

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Matz Bjurstroem writes,

 

>> But boys and girls, if you check Kenelm Digby, you'll find that even he

>> doesn't use these terms fanatically; and that the generic term he uses

>> for them all is -- gasp -- "mead".

>'Even he'. Might one ask who that is? Should he be master of brewery or on

>Viking history or anything such?

 

Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), an English author, diplomat, and adventurer,

also collected recipes.  A large collection of his recipes were published

posthumously. It includes overwhelmingly the largest early collection of

recipes for meads, metheglins, melomels, etc.  In some cases, it is our

primary source for what went by these terms, at least in England.  The reason

his use of the terms is interesting is that it provides overwhelmingly the

best evidence for how these terms were used in late period (he is, of course,

out of date; but so are all but a very few sources).  We have no reliable

sources for earlier, to the best of my knowledge, that describe clearly what

was _in_ meads; though of course, we have many references to mead, and about

half a dozen recipes I know of that antedate Digby (but that is far too thin

a record to generalize from).

 

"Mead" is an English word, though of course it refers to something that was

made in many places.  In the ordinary English usage, mead does not contain

barley. In its narrowest sense, it refers to beverages made of honey, water,

yeast, and nothing else.  In its broader sense, it embraces melomels,

metheglins, etc., and includes beverages whose predominant source of sugar

is honey, but which may also include fruit juices, herbs, spices, and other

stuff.

 

This is a description of a use of a term; terms don't map conveniently across

languages, and so the corresponding terms in other languages may have somewhat

different coverage.

 

>>                                    Posting "You can't use pears and call

>> it mead" is not, and -- if you're willing to countenance lemons -- isn't

>> even accurate.

>It is very much accurate. Mead was brewed over a vast area of viking settlements

>(and probably both earlier and later as well). Eastern vikings very early went

>south towards Turkey and was mostly merchants. Citrus fruits were traded for

>as well as other 'exotic' fruits.

 

But Norse are not the only people who made mead, nor is their practice overall

definitive. And he was writing in English.  With regard to the English term,

sorry, if it has fruit juice, it's a melomel, which is a variety of mead.

This applies equally to lemon juice or pear: neither is in mead in the narrow

(English) sense, and either one can be in mead in the broader.  For a variety

of melomels with juices other than lemon, see Digby.

 

>One of the eldest receipes of mead found, is (at least was a couple of years

>ago) still used to brew mead at Odinsborg at Uppsala. I have a vague remembrance

>of something citric in that. I'll try to check out for sure though. I don't think

>that receipe is public though....

 

I would be _very_ curious to know their source, especially if the recipe is

in fact at least 400 years old.  

 

>These receipes are more than 500 years old (to my knowledge, one is from 12'th

>century or so).

 

Can you cite a 12th C reference?  I'd love to look this up.

 

Cheers,

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: (none)

From: schuldy at zariski.harvard.edu (Mark Schuldenfrei)

Date: 3 Jan 94 10:30:33 EST

Organization: My own little corner.

 

Baron Terafan Greydragon wrote, when giving a recipe for melomel:

   1 cup VERY strong tea

 

I am an adequate brewer, but I would still ask: I have no experiece with tea

being added to any period recipe I am aware of. What is your source for

adding tea? It does increase the acidity (as lemons did in period) and it

does increase the tannin flavor (as barrels did in period).

 

My solution to the tannin problem, is different. My local health food store

sells "white oak bark chips". I add a tablespoon per gallon to the boil, and

get a nice, gentle oak flavor. I cannot afford oak barrels. I am sure

that the oak chip trick is not period, either, but it satisfies my asthetic

better than tea. You mileage should, of course, vary.

 

        Tibor

--

Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at math.harvard.edu)

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: infomgr at ptri.win.net (Rex Deaver)

Date: Tue, 04 Jan 1994 03:03:35 GMT

Subject: Re: (none)

 

In article <1994Jan3.103034.29433 at husc14.harvard.edu>, Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at zariski.harvard.edu) writes:

>Baron Terafan Greydragon wrote, when giving a recipe for melomel:

>     1 cup VERY strong tea

>I am an adequate brewer, but I would still ask: I have no experiece with tea

>being added to any period recipe I am aware of. What is your source for

>adding tea? It does increase the acidity (as lemons did in period) and it

>does increase the tannin flavor (as barrels did in period).

>My solution to the tannin problem, is different. My local health food store

>sells "white oak bark chips". I add a tablespoon per gallon to the boil, and

>get a nice, gentle oak flavor. I cannot afford oak barrels. I am sure

>that the oak chip trick is not period, either, but it satisfies my asthetic

>better than tea. You mileage should, of course, vary.

 

Tibor. You are making oak tea.  Tea (depending on what teas you use)

is an infusion of roots and/or bark plus sometimes other spices.

Tea is used as a generic replacement for ginger, cloves, etc.  Since

Acton & Duncan write "We must nevertheless confess to being

reluctant to advise the use of lemons and cold tea since many

mead-makers fail to achieve a consistently high average standard of

quality..." one must assume the technique is old and widespread. :)

------------------------------------------------------

Mathurin Kerbusso...but my boss, whose opinions are NOT mine,

calls me;

Rex Deaver      Internet: infomgr at ptri.win.net

               CIS UserID: 70744,3171

               Olathe, Kansas  (913) 780-6566  

 

 

From: jlv at halcyon.com (Vifian(s))

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: (none)

Date: 4 Jan 1994 10:24:41 -0800

Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.

 

Greetings from Jean Louis de Chambertin

 

Tibor Wrote:

>>I am an adequate brewer, but I would still ask: I have no experiece with tea

>>being added to any period recipe I am aware of. What is your source for

>>adding tea? It does increase the acidity (as lemons did in period) and it

>>does increase the tannin flavor (as barrels did in period).

 

Mathurin Responds:

>Tibor. You are making oak tea.  Tea (depending on what teas you use)

>is an infusion of roots and/or bark plus sometimes other spices.

>Tea is used as a generic replacement for ginger, cloves, etc.  Since

>Acton & Duncan write "We must nevertheless confess to being

>reluctant to advise the use of lemons and cold tea since many

>mead-makers fail to achieve a consistently high average standard of

>quality..." one must assume the technique is old and widespread. :)

 

I say:

Mathurin, according to your logic the cup of coffee I'm presently

drinking would qualify as tea (well it would if you substitute 'vegetable

matter' for "roots and/or bark").  The tea being referenced in "1 cup

VERY strong tea" is pretty obviously meant to be tea from the tea plant

(camelia or thea sinesis).  The plant is a native of India and China and

its European usage is probably OOP.  It certainly would not have been in

period a common additive to mead.

 

Jean Louis de Chambertin

jlv at halcyon.com

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: (none)

From: schuldy at zariski.harvard.edu (Mark Schuldenfrei)

Date: 4 Jan 94 21:08:33 EST

Organization: My own little corner.

 

Mathurin wrote:

Tibor.  You are making oak tea.  Tea (depending on what teas you use)

is an infusion of roots and/or bark plus sometimes other spices.

Tea is used as a generic replacement for ginger, cloves, etc.  Since

Acton & Duncan write "We must nevertheless confess to being

reluctant to advise the use of lemons and cold tea since many

mead-makers fail to achieve a consistently high average standard of

quality..." one must assume the technique is old and widespread. :)

 

I am not. I am making an infusion. Tea is black tea, and insofar as I know,

is not a period ingredient. It is an infusion of a particular herb. Acton

and Duncan, so far as I know, are not period sources.

 

I repeat: Is the use of an infusion of black tea in mead a period one? What

is the earliest date that it can be documented to?

 

        Tibor

--

Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at math.harvard.edu)

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: (none)

From: una at bregeuf.stonemarche.org (Honur Horne-Jaruk)

Date: Wed, 05 Jan 94 10:39:44 EST

 

schuldy at zariski.harvard.edu (Mark Schuldenfrei) writes:

 

> Mathurin wrote:

>   Tibor.  You are making oak tea.  Tea (depending on what teas you use)

>   is an infusion of roots and/or bark plus sometimes other spices.

 

> I am not. I am making an infusion. Tea is black tea, and insofar as I know,

> is not a period ingredient. It is an infusion of a particular herb. Acton

> and Duncan, so far as I know, are not period sources.

>

> I repeat: Is the use of an infusion of black tea in mead a period one? What

> is the earliest date that it can be documented to?

>      Tibor

> --

> Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at math.harvard.edu)

>

Unto Tibor, with sincere regret for the necessity of refuting you, does

Alizaunde de Bregeuf send greetings.

        You are caught in an old trap called `linguistic drift.' The word

tea, no capital, meant in period exactly what Mathurin said it meant. When

Chai, chinese tea, came into England (early 1600s I believe) its stimulant

properties made it so popular so quickly that by 1700 or so it was Tea-

with the capital- and all other infusions had been demoted to `(name of

main ingredient)' tea. In other words, all teas are infusions, but all

infusions are not `Tea'. As to the original concern, if you believe our

period goes to 1600, high probability it didn't because it couldn't; If

1650, I have no opinion.

-Alizaunde.

 

 

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: (none)

Date: 7 Jan 1994 22:50:46 GMT

Organization: The Rialto

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Tibor responded to Mathurin:

 

>>   Tibor.  You are making oak tea.  Tea (depending on what teas you use)

>>   is an infusion of roots and/or bark plus sometimes other spices.

>> I am not. I am making an infusion. Tea is black tea, and insofar as I know,

>> is not a period ingredient. It is an infusion of a particular herb. Acton

>> and Duncan, so far as I know, are not period sources.

 

{more snipped}

 

Alizaunde de Bregeuf responded to Tibor:

 

>      You are caught in an old trap called `linguistic drift.' The word

>tea, no capital, meant in period exactly what Mathurin said it meant. When

>Chai, chinese tea, came into England (early 1600s I believe) its stimulant

>properties made it so popular so quickly that by 1700 or so it was Tea-

>with the capital- and all other infusions had been demoted to `(name of

>main ingredient)' tea.

 

According to the _OED_, the word "tea" is derived from the Chinese Amoy

dialect t'e, possibly through the Malay te, thence into French, Spanish,

Italian, German and Dutch, all in forms pronounced roughly "tay", and

thence into the English "tea".  Thus the word is actually derived from

the oriental name for the oriental tea plant.  The Porugese brought the

term "chaa" (Cantonese and Mandarin) from Macao, and this is the first

form reported in English (by a Portugese author) in 1598.  The term

"tea" then takes over.  According the the _OED_, the meaning as "infusion

of the oriental tea plant" is secondary to the meaning as the plant

itself (occuring later), and the meaning as "infusion of plant matter"

comes last, in 1655.

 

In other words, the philologists of the _OED_ document the linguistic

drift in the opposite direction from the one you describe.  

 

Anyhow, it was clear from the context of the posting to which Tibor was

responding when Mathurin chose to "correct" him that when Terafon said

he was putting tea in his mead, he meant the stuff from the tea plant,

and when Tibor said he was putting in oak, he was describing doing

something different.  Tibor claimed that what he was doing was closer to

period practice than anything he had seen documented for what Terafon

was doing, and asked whether Terafon had other documentation that he

did not know about.  I don't see the relevance of Mathurin's comment;

but in any case, from what I can tell, it reflects a modern, not a period,

lexical sensitivity.

 

Cheers,

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: Robert Allen Stevens <meaderyman at delphi.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Viking Mead

Date: Sat, 16 Apr 94 11:40:31 -0500

Organization: Delphi (info at delphi.com email, 800-695-4005 voice)

 

There's a fantastic viking mead made in America. Just call

1-800-MEADERY for mail order shipment. It is available in liquor

stores in Minnesota and in New York.

 

 

From: targon300 at aol.com (Targon300)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Viking Mead

Date: 23 Apr 1994 00:02:09 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)

 

Don't bother... I've ordered the mead from the Meadery.  It is very harsh

tasting with a metalic aftertaste.   This was the same for their Traditional,

Dry, and Spiced meads.

 

 

From: cav at bnr.ca (Rick Cavasin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: brewers HALP!

Date: 16 May 1994 13:32:40 GMT

Organization: Bell-Northern Research Ltd.

 

In article <CpwA8B.5zD at iceonline.com>, petee at icebox.iceonline.com (Pete Eidet) writes:

|> Greetings unto all,

|>

|>    I am looking for mead yeast, and am having trouble locating it.  I am over

|> here in An Tir (Lions Gate actually) and have searched the land....anyone with

|> any leads, PULEEZE help, I want to try and brew a batch before a certain

|> war... =)

|>

|>       Aleron Hauk De Moion, Lions Gate

 

Although special 'mead' yeasts are marketted by the various manufacturers,

any wine yeast will work. Some will be better choices than others, depending

on what you're after (ale yeast will work as well, but most will not tolerate

the high alcohol levels that wine yeast will, and so they will poop out sooner,

leaving a sweeter, lower alcohol mead - may or may not be desireable).

 

If you want a really high alcohol, dry mead, you could use a champagne yeast.

If you want something a little sweeter, you could use something like Red Star

Epernay II.  Your local homebrew supply store should be able to help you

select which of the yeasts they carry would be most suitable.

 

I use the Epernay II.  I doubt that there was much in the way of specialized

yeasts in period (although Digby, who's just post-period, does distinguish

between ale barm and mother-of-wine).

 

Whichever you use, try not to let the temperature get too high during

fermentation (I try to keep the temp between 60 and 70 deg F).  The yeast

works faster at higher temps., but you can get some nasty off-flavours as well.

 

Good luck, Balderik

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Subject: Re: Are Digby's Meads Documentable? (Was Re: Brewing & A&S)

Organization: The University of Chicago

Date: Fri, 3 Mar 1995 05:44:00 GMT

 

"I ask the esteemed gentles on this bridge, would a recipe from

Digby's Closet Opened be considered too late in period to be

documentable?" (Alison of Windy Fields)

 

There is no general answer, since it depends on the views of whomever

is judging. A recipe from Digby will be more nearly period than most

things entered in A&S contests, from what I have seen. Digby is about

fifty years out of period. I know of fewer than half a dozen

in-period mead recipes, and only one or two that are useable (plus

some just OOP and earlier than Digby, in a book whose transation was

only published recently--Domostroi).

 

David/Cariadoc

 

 

From: brgarwood at aol.com (BRgarwood)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mead Info Needed

Date: 1 Jul 1995 13:30:36 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)

 

For further mead reading, try  "Making Mead" by Roger A. Morse

ISBN 1-878075-04-7.   Also there is a Mead Association of some sort that

used to advertize in TI, but I can't find it now.  I'll check with our

local mead maker (Logically named Ian Meadmaker), he has a membership.

 

Berwyn

 

 

From: csl at sst10b.lanl.gov

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mead Info Needed

Date: 2 Jul 1995 01:07:16 GMT

Organization: Los Alamos National Laboratory

 

cfu at mentor.cc.purdue.edu (Cathy Fu) wrote:

> Does anyone know anything about Mead?  I heard that "American Mead something

> or other" has info on kits... does anybody know how to get ahold of them?

>

If you mean the "American Mead Association" (for Mead newsletters)

the phone # is

 

        (970) 243-9116

 

If you want mead making kits then you want the "American Meadmakers"

at (303) 256-1008

 

I think you can reach both of them via snail mail at

 

        PO BOX 4666

        Grand Junction, CO 81502

 

 

From: Jeffrey_Williams at ppp.ablecom.net (Jeff Williams)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mead Info Needed

Date: Mon, 03 Jul 1995 13:41:34 -0800

Organization: Able Technical Services

 

In article <3t8hei$io1 at hippo.shef.ac.uk>, Dunmail

<D.J.Hodkinson at shef.ac.uk> wrote:

 

> Mead is very easy to make.  Most of the kits (and alot of stuff on sale

> as 'mead') make a Melomel, which is a wine with honey used instead of

> sugar.

>

 

JUST TO CLARIFY:

 

MEAD           - Yeast-fermented honey water

 

MELOMEL        - Mead made with fruit

 

PYMENT         - Melomel made specifically with grapes

 

METHEGLIN      - Mead made with herbs and/or spices

 

CYSER          - Yeast-fermented honey and apple juice

 

HIPPOCRAS      - Spiced Pyment

 

Don't worry! Drink some Mead.

Geoffrey of Kirkwood

 

 

From: ansteorra at eden.com (8/17/95)

To: ansteorra at eden.com

sca-lochac Mead Recipe

 

For all of you mead brewers out there, just got this from the Lochac list.

You might have to contact Drake directly to get some Aussie translation,

but here it is:

 

>From: "Craig Jones. 5099" <Drake_Morgan at caa.gov.au>

>Subject: sca-lochac Mead Recipe

>To: sca-lochac at yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au, alec.roberts at bhp.bhpmel04.telememo.au

>Posting-date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 12:00:00 +1000

>I've just brewed up a batch of the most wonderful mead.  Not sure if it's

>period

>but god does it taste like heaven.

>                ----  Sweet Lime Mead ----

>        6Kg of Yellow Box Honey

>        375-500ml of Lime Juice (well stained, no bits)

>        500ml of Strong Black Tea

>        1/2pkg Champaigne Yeast

>        5tsp Yeast Nutrient

>        Dissolve Honey in 6-8L of boiling water.

>        Place honey on low rolling boil and skim off the dross

>                (wax, sticks, dirt, crap, etc...)

>        Take honey off boil when you can't get anymore dross.

>        Cool.

>        Place Honey water, Tea, Lime Juice, Yeast and nutrient in a 4 Gallon

>                (15L) Demijon or Carboy.

>        Ferment for 4 weeks. Pitch sediment reducer (Wine finings) if required

>                at the end of fermentation.

>        Bottle.

>        Ready to drink after 12 weeks.

>Drake Morgan.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

|Nan Bradford-Reid                    |HL Catherine Harwell, CIM, AST       |

|The Department of English            |Barony of Bryn Gwlad                 |

|The University of Texas              |Kingdom of Ansteorra                 |

|Austin, TX, sister city to Adelaide  |~Simplicitas sum Venustas~           |

|512-471-4991                         |Argent, on a fret vert, a rose gules,|                      |n.b-reid at mail.utexas.edu             |barbed and seeded or.               |

 

 

From: ansteorra at eden.com (8/17/95)

To: ansteorra at eden.com

More mead (was Re: sca-lochac Mead Recipe)

 

> For all of you mead brewers out there, just got this from the Lochac list.

 

Here is the recipe that me and Maite use for making mead. It turns out

wonderful. We usually let it go about 9 months total before

bottling/drinking.

 

HAPPY HAPPY MEAD!!!

 

Recipe is from Lord Normaan Boucharde via Lady Damaris who taught

me how to brew. The original recipe is from Lord Alexander.

 

12 lbs   Honey (preferably local)

5 lbs    White Granulated Sugar

6 to 8   Small Lemons

2        Large Oranges

1 1/2    Cups Orange Juice

1 4" pc  Ginger Root (bruise with the flat of a knife)

3 sticks Cinnamon

6 bags   Twinning Earl Grey Tea

2 whole  Star Anise

1/8 tsp  Cardamom (no more than 1/8)

2 pkgs   Champagne or Ale Yeast

 

In a large pot, bring 1 gal. water to a boil.  Add honey slowly, keeping

near boiling.  Bring mixture back to full boil.  Remove sudsy foam.  This

is beeswax and will kill the yeast.

 

Add sugar and dissolve.

Cut oranges and lemons into halves and squeeze into mixture. (use strainer)

Add Orange juice.

Add squeezed peels. (use cheese cloth bag)

 

Remove from heat.

Add tea and rest of seasonings.

After 45 min. remove teabags.

 

Let cool to 98 degrees and add yeast.

Let cool to 80 degrees and remove all seasonings.

(I recommend letting this cool at room temp. so that the seaonings will

have time to steep.)

 

Pour into 5 gal. carboy and add water to 5 gal.  Mix as best as possible.

I'd recommend shaking the bottle once 3/4 full, mixing a full carboy is

difficult.

 

Seal with airlock and store in cool dry place.

 

(Mead is said to be drinkable in a week.)

 

Rack after 2-3 months.  Mead should start to clear after about 3 months.

(This is when I usually rack it.)

 

--

Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with

House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes

pug at arlut.utexas.edu  |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"

 

 

From: ddfr at best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Viking booze

Date: 19 Oct 1995 15:17:34 GMT

Organization: Best Internet Communications

 

> There are many different drinks and the sagas do mention different ones.  

> I have a concordance to many of the sagas that lists all references to

> booze in any form I could think of.  One of the few conclusions that I

> can draw is in complete agreement with Mike -- the translations are awful.

>

> I don't have my medbok on me but from memory

>

> "she handed him a foaming cup of the finest mead"  YUCK!

...

> Ragnar of House Venshavn

> Ealdormere

 

1. I think the original poster was talking about the eddic poems, not

about the sagas, although obviously both are potential sources of

information.

 

2. What is wrong with "a foaming cup of the finest mead?" If you try

making Kenelm Digby's "weak honey drink," which is a small mead--no major

ingredients but honey, short fermentation, low alcohol content--it does

indeed come out foaming like beer. And its good. Are you assuming that

wine meads are the only drink to which the term is appropriately applied?

 

David/Cariadoc

--

ddfr at best.com

 

 

From: brettwi at ix.netcom.com(Brett Williams )

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Source for Honey

Date: 20 Dec 1995 04:03:47 GMT

Organization: Netcom

 

maredudd at blackroot.org (Eric C. Smith) writes:

>I am looking for a source of honey in quantity.  The only stuff I've

>been able to find locally is Orange Blossom honey, which I prefer not

>to use. I have been looking for somthing for the last couple of

>months, but I appearently picked the wrong time of year here in

>florida.

>> 

>Maredudd

 

There is a company called GloryBee in Oregon, who act as

honey/wax/beekeeping suppliers.  They also supply stuff suitable for

the meadmaker as well.  Give ATT Information a call (800-555-1212) and

get their number, then give 'em a call for their catalog.  I don't know

if they have specifically cherry blossom honey, but they certainly have

clover-- and lots of it.

 

They are wonderfully kind, courteous and helpful people-- and delighted

with the idea of the SCA, an organization they have occasional contact

with in the line of their business(es).  GloryBee also does wholesale

orders as well as retail.

 

I have no connection with them other than being a *very* satisfied

customer.

 

ciorstan

 

 

From: bwhaley at access2.digex.net (Brocmael)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Source for Honey

Date: 20 Dec 1995 21:58:58 GMT

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

 

Eric C. Smith (maredudd at blackroot.org) wrote:

: Good gentles:

:

: I am looking for a source of honey in quantity.  The only stuff I've been

: able to find locally is Orange Blossom honey, which I prefer not to use.

: I have been lokking for somthing for the last couple of months, but I

: appearently picked the wrong time of year here in florida.  

 

Here in Virginia, I get mine from:

 

Virginia Honey Co.

P.O. Box 246

Berryville, VA 22611

(540) 955-1304

 

They ship UPS, but you need to call them first to get the price and send

them a cheque - they don't do credit cards.  Their wildflower runs

$5.40 for 5 lbs.  I think honey is 12lbs/gal.  They have quite a selection

of honeys which varies.  They always have clover, though my favourite mead

is wildflower.  Orange blossom made the most boring mead I've ever had.

 

Broc

 

 

From: mjc at telerama.lm.com (Monica Cellio)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Help: Recipi for MEDIEVAL BEER

Date: 16 Jan 1996 15:07:48 -0500

Organization: Telerama Public Access Internet, Pittsburgh, PA USA

 

There is a very tasty mead recipe in "Ein Buch von guter spise", c.1340

(German). It is flavored with sage and hops (!).  (I know the original

poster was looking for beer, but thought a hopped mead might be interesting

too.)

 

A translation of the cookbook can be found at

http://www.mit.edu:8001//people/akatlas/Buch/buch.html.

 

Ellisif

 

 

From: "Steven C. Jerkins" <sjerkins at tntonline.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Mead Recipes

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 00:23:01 -0400

Organization: Images in Mind

 

While exploring a web link recommended to my by a lady friend in

Atenveldt; I ran a cross a database of mead recipes.

 

This is part of the Germanic Heritage Home Page.

 

http://alpha.rollanet.org/cm3/recs/10_toc.html

 

Happy Brewing....

Stefan MacMorrow ap Rhovannon

 

 

From: davemoris1 at aol.com (DaveMoris1)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brewing Mead

Date: 15 May 1996 19:39:47 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)

 

I don't know what sort of grains may have been used, but the one tidbit I

can throw in about something that might make mead more specifically

"celtic" is to use hazelnuts.  I know of at least two sources, a 7th

century manuscript called "King and Hermit" and the story of Dierdre and

the sons of Noisu (sp?), that refer to hazel mead as the best sort.  If

you're interested, I can send some more information.

 

 

From: jpullen at goodnet.com (James)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Liquid Libations.......

Date: Sat, 15 Jun 1996 19:07:16 GMT

Organization: Good Ol' Boys Electronics & Computing

 

For all of you who have been asking about making wines, meads, etc.,

here is the address of a catalog I just received in the mail.  They

seem to have almost everything related to wine making and brewing...

 

E. C. Kraus

P. O. Box 7850

Independence, MO 64054

 

 

From: barat at ionet.net (S. Pursley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Brewing Handbook

Date: 17 Jun 1996 23:51:44 GMT

Organization: Internet Oklahoma

 

In article <4q3n84$2db at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, adamoferin at aol.com

(AdamofErin) wrote:

 

> Unto the Good Gentles of the known world, does Lord Adam send warm

> greetings.

>

> My shire is doing a brewer's handbook as a fund raiser for our Kingdom,

> and we are in desperate need of material.  My Shire is Highland Foorde and

> the Kingdom is Atlantia.  If you would care to donate any recipes to this

> venture it would be greatly appreciated.  I will personally garuntee that

> you will get credit for that recipe. When you send it to me include your

> name (Mundane and SCA), your Kingdom and your shire.  If you want to you

> can e-mail me direct at AdamofErin at aol.com.

>

> Thank you for your time and patience.

 

My name is Lord Barat FitzWalter Reynolds (MKA, Stephen Pursley), I am a

Master Vintner of the Honorable Brotherhood of Brewers and Vintners.

 

You will find an extensive set of documents on the brewing of mead at:

 

www.oklahoma.net/~herron/barat/index.html

 

You may use any of the information you find there.  There are several

paragraphs on basic brewing techniques, a section on equipment (mead, beer

and wine), and many mead recipies.  If you need to contact me, you can

reach me at herron at okc.oklahoma.net.  Or call me, my phone number is on my

resume that's slung off the web page.

 

   Share the Knowledge

   Barat

 

 

Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 08:56:49 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pug Bainter" <pug at pug.net>

 

> >    Do you have any hints on getting mead to ferment any faster?  I've

> > been told to use "yeast vitamins" or some kind of enhancer that makes

> > yeast go wild in the wort, but I haven't found any such thing in any

> > brewing catalog that I've ever read.

> What kind of yeast are you using?

 

There are a lot of yeasts that won't take the high SG of mead. (They go

into shock. *grin*) This is something you have to be very careful with

when choosing one. Your local homebrew shop should be able to tell you

if it'll work or not. (If not, find a new homebrew shop. *grin*)

 

> I've never had any trouble with using two packets of champagne yeast.

 

I'm still using single packets of champagne or whitbread ale yeast. I

have a starting SG of between 1.13 and 1.15 and the champagne will ferment

it down to 1.001 while the ale yeast will ferment it down to about 1.06

(very sweet and very yummy).

 

> Let me know if any of this works for you.  I've .cc'd a copy of this to

> the Ansteorra mail list.  Any of you other brewers out there have any

> suggestions?

 

That's why I was confused when I hadn't seen the original message. *grin*

 

Another suggestion is to use Wyeast. They basically come in their own

starter kit. (They usually ferment much harder in the beginning than dry

yeasts.) Most people recommend Wyeast now adays anyway since it's made

from a "single perfect yeast culture."

 

A few things.

 

I've never had mead ferment as hard as most beers do. This I appreciate

since it means I don't have to clean up blow off messes.

 

As well, the main thing you want to do in order to get a cleaner, faster

fermentation is to have more yeast when you pitch. This is basically

what happens when using more yeast (ie. 2 packets instead of 1), yeast

starters as Damaris suggested, or the Wyeast (since it's basically a

starter in tin foil). I've also found rehydrating dry yeast before

pitching helps a lot. You put the yeast in a cup of warm (90-110) water

for 15 minutes, stir it before pitching, then pitch. (I forget what the

stiring does, but it's recommended.)

 

Be patient. Mead takes much longer than beer or cider to age. (Although

I usually age my mead and cider the same amount of time.) For a good

light clover mead, it takes about 9 months. If you are using something

heavier, it could take even longer to ferment and age. (Yes, I do mean I

leave it in the carboy for 9 months before bottling.)

 

The yeast nutrient is helpful with meads and ciders since they don't

have all of the necessary "food" that the yeast needs for a clean quick

fermentation. The Greenhill recipe adds things like orange juice, lemon

juice and tea. These give it most of the nutrients the mead needs as

well as a nice flavor. (Amazing how a little flavor can go a long way

towards a better taste.)

 

Note: We've tried the Wyeast Dry Mead yeast and it came out way to

"winey" for my taste. We haven't tried the Sweet Mead yeast yet.

--

Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with

House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes

pug at pug.net           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Dec 1996 07:34:49 -0600

From: Damaris of Greenhill <damaris at geocities.com>

To: Darryl <strmridr at magic.bunt.com>

Cc: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?

 

Darryl wrote:

> Damaris,

>    Do you have any hints on getting mead to ferment any faster?  I've

> been told to use "yeast vitamins" or some kind of enhancer that makes

> yeast go wild in the wort, but I haven't found any such thing in any

> brewing catalog that I've ever read.

>

> Thorgrim, a great beer brewer but still having problems with mead...

 

What kind of yeast are you using?  I've never had any trouble with using

two packets of champagne yeast.  You can use what they call a "yeast

nutrient". It comes in a little packet.  If there are no directions on

the packet, use about two tablespoons in a 5 gallon batch.

 

Another thing you can do, is to culture the yeast prior to pitching.

First, make yourself a culture bottle.   You can do this with a sterile

beer bottle and fermentation lock fitted to a bored (please, no puns)

stopper that fits the bottle, although I use a 1 liter Erlynmeyer

flask. Bring about 1 pint of water to a boil and add about two cups of

sugar or honey.  Boil about 10 minutes then remove from heat.  Cool down

to 85 F and add yeast.  Pour into culture bottle and add fermentation

lock. Put in spot that stays about room temperature for about 24-36

hours. Then pitch.  Longer than that and the yeast will start dying

off. A good practice is to culture yeast the day before brewing.  When

you do pitch this into your batch (hence the term pitching which means

inoculating the must with yeast) the yeast takes off PDQ.

 

Let me know if any of this works for you.  I've .cc'd a copy of this to

the Ansteorra mail list.  Any of you other brewers out there have any

suggestions?

 

Damaris of Greenhill

"mead brewer extrodinaire"

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Dec 1996 23:19:04 -0800

From: Sam and Debbie Milligan <miligan at anet-dfw.com>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?

 

Damaris of Greenhill wrote:

> Larkin O'Kane wrote:

> > Can anyone tell me how to stop the fermentation process when the mead

> > reaches the desired alcohol/sweetness point? I relise that keeping it

> > in the refrigerator will do the trick but it only holds so much.

> > Someone suggested heating the bottles of mead but I don't know what

> > temperature is sufficient and how long to keep the bottles at that

> > temperature.

> >

> > Help anyone?

> >

> One thing you can do, is to keep adding sugar syrup.  Eventually the

> alcohol content will get high enough to kill any yeast.  That's not too

> good if you have achieved the level of alcohol/sweetness that you want.

>

> Brewing supply stores sell "yeast stabilizer" which kills the yeast

> supposedly.  I haven't had much luck with it unless I use it in

> conjunction with camden tablets.  If sulfites don't bother you then you

> can use camden alone about 1-2 tablets per gallon.

 

Trying to stop the fermentation process is iffy at best, but I think

Damaris' solution of yeast stabilizer in conjunction with campden is

probably the most likely to work.  

 

I use a generic champagne yeast for my mead that seems to work well.  To

activate it, I boil a cup of honey in a pint of water, pour it into a

sterilized jar and cover it, and let cool to about 85 degrees F.  I add

the yeast and re-cover, and let it work for a minimum of six hours before

pitching. This works well for up to 5 gallons of must, and gives me a

clear, mellow mead that is usually quite palatable within 3 to 4 months

(but it does improve with age - if it's allowed to sit around that long).

Expect each batch to ferment slightly differently, as almost anything

(seasonal changes, passing comets, imbecilic politicians) seems to affect

these delicate brews that we lovingly watch over.  Good luck with the

brewing.

 

Padraig Ruad O'Maolagain

of House Mac an Ghabhann

 

 

From: "PHYLLIS SPURR" <PSPURR at r03.tdh.state.tx.us>

Organization: Texas Dept. of Health Region 3, 2

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date:          Tue, 3 Dec 1996 10:05:24 -0600

Subject:       Re: Mead Brewing?

 

<snip>

> Be patient. Mead takes much longer than beer or cider to age.

> (Although I usually age my mead and cider the same amount of time.)

> For a good light clover mead, it takes about 9 months. If you are

> using something heavier, it could take even longer to ferment and

> age. (Yes, I do mean I leave it in the carboy for 9 months before

> bottling.)

 

I leave my mead out at least nine months also, but I rack the mead

several times.  You DO NOT want your mead sitting in the yuk

(note use of a very technical term).  It can really turn the taste of

your mead.  I rack mine at least once a month into a clean sterilized

carboy.

 

<snip>

> Note: We've tried the Wyeast Dry Mead yeast and it came out way to

> "winey" for my taste. We haven't tried the Sweet Mead yeast yet.

 

I have tried several types of yeast.  My best has been made with Cote

de Blanc.  It is a semi- sweet wine yeast.  My meads tend to be very

sweet, but that's way I like them, and to judge by my friends, they

like them also (I hope!).

 

Eowyn ferch Rhys

mka Phyllis Spurr

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 01:20:07 -0600 (CST)

From: Scott Fridenberg <scottf at galaxy.galstar.com>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: Mead Brewing

 

        A lot of very detailed information on Mead brewing may be found

at the Mead Brewers Homepage and on various pages that can be reached

from there.  The address for this and the Mead Lovers Digest are:

 

   The Mead Lover's Digest

         Dick Dunn, Coordinator, Contact: mead-request at talisman.com.

         

   A WWW Mead Page, created by Forrest Cook:

         http://www.atd.ucar.edu/homes/cook/mead/mead.html

         (This contains, among other things, a link to the digest

         archives.)

        This information was taken from the Mead FAQ which can be

obtained by FTP at the following address

 

   * Internet FTP site: ftp.stanford.edu in /pub/clubs/homebrew/mead/

 

Robert Fitzmorgan

Barony of Northkeep

 

 

From: max at hub.ofthe.net

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?

Date: Thu, 05 Dec 1996 14:59:27 GMT

 

>Can anyone tell me how to stop the fermentavion process when the mead

>reaches the desired alcohol/sweetness point?

 

Go to your local brewing store and ask for a packet of Potassium

sorbate. I have some under the brand name of SORBISTATK, this is the

correct spelling.

 

>I relise that keeping it

>in the refrigerator will do the trick but it only holds so much.

>Someone suggested heating the bottles of mead but I don't know what

>temperature is sufficient and how long to keep the bottles at that

>temperature.

 

        I wouldn't recomend heating your mead it would probably do

something nasty to the taste.

 

        You can also just wait it out and let the little yeasties go

to alchohole tolerance and die.  At that point if you want to sweeten

the mead you may do so without a worry of shatterd bottles or blown

corks.

 

Lord Maximillion

 

 

Subject: Re: Mead Brewing?

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 09:42:00 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pug Bainter" <pug at pug.net>

 

> >I relise that keeping it

> >in the refrigerator will do the trick but it only holds so much.

> >Someone suggested heating the bottles of mead but I don't know what

> >temperature is sufficient and how long to keep the bottles at that

> >temperature.

>      I wouldn't recomend heating your mead it would probably do

> something nasty to the taste.

 

Actually it won't from talking with people who do pasteurize it. It just

means there is nothing nasty living in it that will cause it to turn

nasty. It supposedly continues to taste exactly like it did when you

pastuerized it. (I haven't actually tried any myself though so this is

all hear-say.)

 

>      You can also just wait it out and let the little yeasties go

> to alchohole tolerance and die.  At that point if you want to sweeten

> the mead you may do so without a worry of shatterd bottles or blown

> corks.

 

Be careful what you sweeten it with though and that the yeast actually

is dead. If you let the yeasties go til they stop, it doesn't mean they

are dead. You have to start with a high enough SG that they die cause

of the alcohol. If they stop because of no more sugar. Adding more

before you bottle could cause it to carbonate, whkch may not be a

desired affect. There are non-fermentable sugars out there, lactos and

malto-dextrin (not fully non-fermentable in most cases), but I have no

real experience yet. I am getting ready to add some malto-dextrin to a

raspberry cider though. (Damn thing keeps eating all the sugar and is

too tart, IMO.)

 

As someone pointed out, you could use different yeast than champagne

yeast. One thing you have to be concerned with here is taste. Different

yeasts produce different tastes. Not all of these will be one that is

disserable or one that you want. I've found I (personally) like Ale

yeasts instead of wine yeasts to make it sweater. This gives it more of

the flavor I'm looking for, and not too "winey".

--

Phelim Uhtred Gervas  | "I want to be called. COTTONTIPS. There is something

Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |  graceful about that lady. A young woman bursting with

House Flaming Dog     |  vigor. She blinked at the sudden light. She writes

pug at pug.net           |  beautiful poems. When ever shall we meet again?"

 

 

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 23:50:13 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy at silk.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: pre-1600 documentation on Mead

 

> Our baronial meadbrewers guild is looking for period documentation on mead,

> metheglin, melomel, cyser, pyment, etc......

> Yours in service, Hana Lore (amy.venlos at ey.com)

 

I was just now reading for another purpose in *The Domostroi: Rules for

Russian Household in the Time of Ivan the Terrible*, edited and translated

by Carolyn Johnston Pouncey (Ithaca: Cornell U.P., 1994) [ISBN

0-8014-9689-6], and discovered that on pp. 196-198 there are fairly

detailed recipes (from about 1600) for "Boiled Mead", "White Mead", "Honey

Mead", "Ordinary Mead", "Boyars' Mead", "Mead with spices", and "Berry

Mead". One curious thing is that all the recipes include hops!

 

The book should be fairly readily available; I just bought my copy last

month.

 

With the hope that this is helpful, I am

Your humble servant

Francesco Sirene ( e-mail ddendy at silk.net )

 

 

Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 11:21:46 -0600

From: Stephen Pursley <herron at oklahoma.net>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: Brewing books/methods...

 

> > Barat stated:

> > >But remember, Digby is not period.

> >

> > Yes, but Digby is a starting place for looking.  I have since found recipes

> > from "Cury in Inglishe", "The Good Housewife's Jewel, Parts I & II", and am

> > still looking in other period sources.  These recipes I will pass along to

> > Pug.  

>

> Can you pass these on to me too??? I'd be interested in the period recipes.

>

> Damaris of Greenhill

 

The following are some period and near period recipes.  I have listed

the source and date of each recipe.

 

I have first listed the period recipe, then a modern translation.  The

translation will include such things a yeast nutrient, yeast energizer

and the shaker method (for info on the shaker method of yeast

propagation, see my mead making web page at

www.oklahoma.net/~herron/barat/index.html). These have been added to

reduce fermentation time.  If you wish, you can reproduce these recipes

without the yeast nutrient and energizer. Be aware that fermentation

will take 2-3 times a long to complete without these additives.

 

Note: Most of these recipes rely on an open fermentation to obtain wild

yeast.  While an open fermentation using wild yeast can produce a

quality mead, it is unlikely you will obtain consistent results.  It is

also likely that the mead will become infected if a open fermentation is

used.  Therefore I have listed the use of packaged yeast in the

translations.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The Country Housewife. London. 1762

 

Take eight Gallons of Water, and as much Honey as will make it bear an

egg; add to this the Rinds of six Lemmons, and boil it well, scumming it

carefully as it rises.  When 'tis off the Fire, put to it the Juice of

the six Lemmons, and pour it into a clean Tub, or earthen Vessel, if you

have one large enough, to work three days, then scum it well, and pour

off the clear into the Cask, and let it stand open till it has done

making a hissing Noise; after which stop it up close, and in three

months time it will be fine, and fit for bottling.

 

Translation:

 

*      15 lbs. honey

*      6 Lemon rinds

*      Juice of 6 Lemons

*      Yeast nutrient

*      Yeast energizer

*      Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast

 

Dissolve the honey in 3 gallons of water. We won’t be boiling all 8

gallons of water as in the original recipe, as 8 gallon brew pots are

hard to find.  We will add the additional water to the fermenter.

 

Grate the rinds of 6 lemons and add to the brew pot with the

honey/water.  Simmer and skim (just like the other recipes) till no more

scum forms.  It will boil down a little.

 

Add 2 gallons cold water to a 7.5 gallon carboy.  Add the must to the

carboy, along with the juice of 6 lemons. Add yeast nutrient and yeast

energizer.  Add cold water to the carboy to bring the total volume of

the must to 7 gallons.  Put an airlock on the carboy.  Do not agitate

the must at this stage.  When the temperature is down to 70-80û F pitch

the yeast.  Let the carboy sit for a day, then use the shaker method to

increase the yeast count.

 

After 3 days transfer the mead to a sterile secondary fermenter, leaving

the sediment and the lemon rind behind. Ferment to completion, racking

as needed and bottle.

 

Color: Pale gold

Alcohol Content: 5-8%

Batch Size: 7 gallons

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Mr. Corsellises Antwerp Meath

from Digbie, 1669

 

To make good Meath, good White and thick Marsilian or Provence-honey is

best; and of that, to four Holland Pints (the Holland Pint is very

little bigger then the English Winepint:) (a English winepint appears

to be approximately the same size as a U.S. pint) of Water, you must put

two pounds of Honey.  The Honey must be stirred in Water, till it be all

melted.  If it be stirred about in warm water, it will melt so much the

sooner.  

 

When all is dissolved, it must be so strong that an Egge may swim in it

with the end upwards.  And if it be too sweet or too strong, because

there is too much Honey; then you must put more water to it; yet so,

that, as above, an Hens Egge may swim with the point upwards: And then

that newly added water must be likewise well stirred about, so that it

may be mingled all alike.  If the Eggs sink (which is a token that there

is not honey enough) then you must put more Honey to it, and stir about,

till it be all dissolved, and the Eggs swim, as abovesaid.  This being

done, it must be hanged over the fire, and as it beginneth to seeth, the

scum, that doth arise upon it, both before and after, must be clean

skimmed off.  When it is first set upon the fire, you must measure it

first with a stick, how deep the Kettel is, or how much Liquor there be

in it; and then it must boil so long, till one third part of it be

boiled away.  When it is thus boiled, it must be poured out into a

Cooler, or open vessel, before it be tunned in the Barrel; but the

Bung-hole must be left open, that it may have vent.  A vessel, which

hath served for Sack is best.

 

Translation:

 

*      20 lbs. light honey

*      Yeast nutrient

*      Yeast energizer

*      Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast

 

Dissolve the honey in 5 gallons of hot water.  Simmer and skim (just

like the other recipes) till no more scum forms.  Simmer till 1/3 of the

volume is gone.  Cover, remove from heat and allow it to cool over

night.  Do not uncover the mead until it’s cool (70-80û F) and you are

ready to put it into the carboy, otherwise it may become infected with

wild yeast/bacteria.

 

Add the must to a sterile carboy.  Add the yeast, yeast nutrient and

yeast energizer to the carboy.  Add cold water to the carboy to bring

the total volume of the must up to 3.5 gallons.  Put an airlock on the

carboy.  Let the carboy sit for a day, then use the shaker method to

increase the yeast count.

 

Ferment to completion, racking as needed and bottle.

 

Color: Pale gold

Alcohol Content: 10-12%

Batch Size: 3.5 gallons

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

An Excellent white Meathe

from Digbie, 1669

 

Take one Gallon of Honey, and four of water; Boil and scum them till

there rise no more scum; then put in your Spice a little bruised, which

is most of Cinnamon, a little Ginger, a little Mace, and a very little

Cloves.  Boil it with the Spice in it, till it bear an Egge.  Then take

it from the fire, and let it Cool in a Woodden vessel, till it be but

lukewarm; which this quantity will be in four or five or six hours.

Then put into it a hot tost of Whitebread, spread over on both sides,

pretty thick with fresh barm (Yeast, probably the lees from a pervious

batch); that will make it presently work. Let it work twelve hours,

close covered with Cloves.  Then Tun it into a Runlet wherein Sack hath

been, that is somewhat too big for that quantity of Liquor; for example,

that it fill it not by a Gallon; You may then put a little Limon-pill in

with it.  After it hath remained in the vessel a week or ten days, draw

it into Bottles.  You may begin to drink it after two or three Months:

But it will be better after a year.  It will be very spritely and quick

and pleasant and pure white.  

 

Translation:

 

*      20 lbs. light honey

*      3 Sticks of Cinnamon

*      1/4 - 1/2 oz. Grated Ginger Root

*      1/8 - 1/4 oz. Mace

*      1/8 oz. Cloves

*      Yeast nutrient

*      Yeast energizer

*      Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast

 

Dissolve the honey in 4 gallons of hot water.  Simmer and skim (just

like the other recipes) till no more scum forms.  Lightly crush and add

the spices to the pot.  Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.  Cover,

remove from heat and allow it to cool over night.  Do not uncover the

mead until it’s cool (70-80û F) and you are ready to put it into the

carboy, otherwise it may become infected with wild yeast/bacteria.

 

Add the must to a clean sterile carboy. Add the yeast, yeast nutrient

and yeast energizer to the carboy.  Add cold water to the carboy to

bring the total volume of the must up to 5 gallons.  Don’t completely

fill the carboy, leave 5” head space. Put an airlock on the carboy.

Let the carboy sit for a day, then use the shaker method to increase the

yeast count.

 

Let it ferment for 12 hours, then rack into a clean sterile carboy

leaving the spices behind.  Ferment to completion, racking as needed and

bottle.

 

Color: Pale gold

Alcohol Content: 8-10%

Batch Size: 5 gallons

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Wilt du guten met machen

(How to Make Good Mead)

Ein Buch von Guter Spise (German, c. 1350)

 

The original recipe is in German.  I have translated it into English for

your convenience (unless, of course, you are German).  Please note, this

is a rather loose translation, not a literal one.

 

To make good mead, warm clean water to the point where you can just

stand to place your hand in it.  Use two parts water to one of honey.

Stir with a stick, then let it sit a while.  Then strain through a clean

cloth or a hair sieve into a clean barrel.

 

Put the must back into the brewpot and boil it as long as it takes to

walk the length of an acre and back. Skim the foam from the pot with a

bowl with holes in it.  Pour the mead into a clean barrel and cover it

tightly, so that no vapor escapes.  Let it cool until one can bear to

put ones hand into it.

 

Take a half maz pot of hops and a hand full of sage.  Add this to the

must and boil for the time it takes to walk 1/2 mile.

 

Add the must a half nut of fresh yeast (the amount that would fit into

half a nut shell).  Cover, so that the vapor can get out.  Let it

ferment for a day and a night.

 

Strain the mead through a clean cloth or hair sieve and pout it into a

clean barrel.  Let it ferment three days. Rack it.

 

After fermentation stops, let it sit and settle for 8 days.  Rack to a

clean barrel and let it sit for eight days.  Drink within the next 6-8

weeks for best results. (translation copyright 1997, Stephen Pursley)

 

Translation:

 

*      14 lbs. honey

*      2 oz. Hops

*      1/2 oz. Sage

*      Yeast nutrient

*      Yeast energizer

*      Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast

 

Dissolve the honey in 3 gallons of hot water.  The straining listed in

the translation is not needed unless you are using raw unfiltered honey.

 

Boil and skim for 10-15 minutes.  Cover and let the must cool until it

is only very warm to the touch.  Add the hops and sage and boil the must

for 10 minutes.  Cover, remove from heat and allow the must to cool over

night.  Do not uncover the mead until it’s cool (70-80û F) and you are

ready to put it into the carboy, otherwise it may become infected with

wild yeast/bacteria.  

 

Add the must to a sterile carboy.  Add the yeast, yeast energizer and

yeast nutrient to the carboy.  Add cold water to the carboy to bring the

total volume of the must up to 4.5 gallons.  Put an airlock on the

carboy.  Let it ferment for a day, then rack into a sterile carboy

leaving the spices behind.  Ferment for three days.  Rack into a clean

sterile carboy.  When fermentation is complete, allow it to sit for

eight days so the yeast can settle out. Bottle.

 

Color: Pale gold to amber (depending on the honey used)

Alcohol Content: 5-7%

Batch Size: 4.5 gallons

 

Barat

 

 

Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 16:26:45 -0700

From: Lark Miller <lucilla at ponyexpress.net>

Subject: Re: Re[2]: SC - Responsible use of Alcohol & the SCA

 

>Mead is very popular in my shire.  I would very much like to see a recipe,

also.

>Mercedes

 

Antipodal Mead

15# honey

10-15 grams yeast ( my husband likes champagne yeast)

5 tsp. yeast nutrient

4 tsp. acid blend

1/4 tsp. pectic enzyme

1/2 tsp. irish moss

1 tbsp. gypsum

preboiled 1 gallon water with nutrient,acid blend, pectin, irish moss and

gypsum for 15 minutes.  Added honey and brought to 198 degrees F. for 30

minutes. strained into carboy with 3 gallons chilled water.  Added Yeast

after temperature of batch had dropped below 81 degrees F.

cover carboy and let sit for about a month then rack it over into another

carboy to get it off the sediment and let it sit for a few more months then

bottle it.  We let it sit a few more months before drinking but some people

drink it right away.

 

enjoy Lucilla

 

 

Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 19:57:45 -0400

From: "Nick Sasso (fra niccolo)" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Responsible use of Alcohol & the SCA

 

BLUE VELVET (blueberry melomel)

 

Ingredients: (5 gallon US batch)

15# mountain wildflower honey

9.0# IQF frozen blueberries (any brand)

4 tsp acid blend

5 g sachet Lalvin K1V-1116 all pourpose wine yeast

 

PROCEDURE:

 

Boil honey with 2 US gallons water for about fifteen minutes until a

scum gathers and coagulates on the surface. Skim the scum with a

sanitized strainer like a tea

strainer to get as much as possible. The scum has all sorts of pollen,

wax, resins and bee parts that can contribute off flavors to your mead.

The 15 minute boil

minimizes loss of aromatics from the honey. Add the acid blend and quick

frozen blueberries to the hot must (do not thaw the berries).Steep for

30 minutes at

150∫-160∫ F. Pour boiled/skimmed/steeped must to cold water in glass

fermenter, mashing and leaving behind the berries (srain if needed), and

top up to 5 US gallons. Rehydrate

yeast according to package instructions and pitch when temperature falls

BELOW 75∫ F. Rack after fermantation appears to slow (5 weeks). Rack

again after

about 1 month to leave behind any yeast and fruit carcasses. Let age in

glass secondary in a dark place, and rack when sediment forms. I only

racked the two times.

After you are satisfied it has aged long enough, and it is crystal

clear, bottle into wine bottles.

 

*************************************************************************

 

This is my favorite recipe to date.  It has been replicated 4 times with

stellar results.  You must mash or hand squeeze thoroughly to get the

proper final body of the mead.  Share it with everyone.  It usually ends

up slightly carbonated for me, so champagne or beer bottles may be

best. It tastes better slightly sparkling than totally still.

 

Salut! Brew to the Glory of God and his people!

 

fra niccolo

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Jul 97 08:47:00 -0500

From: "Suzanne Berry"<sberry at primavera.com>

Subject: Re: SC - mead recipes

 

Well, I'll bite.  I have a recipie I've adapted from one that came off

the mead-brewer's digest list that I'm rather fond of, and is drinkable

quickly.  It is not period as I substitute After the Fall Georgia Peach

juice blend for the pear juice; and I do not have documentation at all,

I'm afraid.  At two weeks, this reminded me of an apricot schnapps; my

oldest bottles are now nine months old and they are drying out nicely.

The original recipie was posted by Ronan, mka William Drummond, and is

posted below.  -  Aislinn

 

 

Earl Grey Mead    9/17/94

1st - The Feast of the Mad Jailor

 

24 oz pear juice, unstrained

2 lb honey

2 lb sugar

100 oz water (about)

10 bags of Earl Gray Tea

1/4 teaspoon of bread yeast

1 egg white

 

Boil honey, water and tea for 1 hour.  Near the end add a little cinnamon,

ginger, clove, rosemary and the egg white.

Remove from heat and let stand till warm as removing the scum.  Now add the

yeast, dissolved in warm water.

This brew can be drank in as little as 48 hours, but will be extremely raw.

 

After a weeks time, add 1 lb of sugar and let ferment.  After about 2 weeks

more, add the rest of the sugar.  This will strengthen it and give a better

flavor and keep the mead from "drying out".

 

For fining the wine, take the shell from an egg that has been dried and

powder it with a pinch of salt.  Take this and add it to the white of one

egg and some wine from your vat and gently stir all back into the brew.

Let set for about 2 to 4 days and then filter and bottle the wine.  This is

a nice natural way with out the use of chemicals.

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 11:48:13 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - mead recipes

 

Cariadoc wrote:

On the general subject of period mead, the situation is as follows:

  

There is a reasonably clear mead recipe in _Buch von Guter Speise_.

 

And it is very nice.  It is redacted in Scully's recent work, and my friends

have also redacted it slightly differently.  It is hopped, and is VERY

tasty.

  

There are two unclear recipes in _Curye on Englysche_.

 

Which my local brewers guild has redacted.  Also very nice, short shelf life

for the "Poynant" second recipe.  I'd love to correspond with people who

have independently redacted those recipes.  They can be found online, along

with a few claret and braggot recipes, at

   http://www.math.harvard.edu/~schuldy/brewing.html

 

These are the originals (more or less) not redactions.

  

  I think there is a recipe somewhere in _Le Menagier de Paris_ but am not sure.

 

I don't know that one, but there is a delightful and trivial recipe for

lemmon mead in Fettiplace.  Makes a lovely light and lemony mead.

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997 10:46:10 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - SC-Stump the Cook (Recipe Challenge III)

 

Here are the two consecutive recipes for mead.  Oh, before I forget: when we

were listing period sources for mead, I forgot to mention Maison Rustique.

I yanked these recipes from my web page:

 

   http://www.math.harvard.edu/~schuldy/brewing.html

 

        Tibor

 

OK. This is from Curye on Inglysch, an Early English Textbook reprint and

glossary. Copyright 1985 by Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler Oxford

University Press, ISBN 0-19-722409-1

 

It is a collection of five manuscripts, and the fifth has some brewing

recipes. It is titled Goud Kokery, and the section has many sources.  These

come from the British Library manuscript Royal A iii, a late 14th century

medical collection.

 

These are damned hard to read, and figure out.  But fun to try.  They have

nearly the original typography: which includes ashe and thorn letters.

Those are indicated by me as {ae} and {th} which is how they should be

pronounced, roughly.  stuck.  There is also letter that I don't know

the name of, it looks like a backward 3, and is pronounced "y" or "f",

so I'll mark it as {y}.

 

The recipe refers to "the aforsaid pommeys".  It means "the previously

mentioned apples".  There are no previously mentioned apples....  A

footnote in the book points out that the scribe apparently left out a

recipe.

 

9. To make mede.  Take hony combis & put hem into a greet vessel & ley

   {th}e wei{y}t {th}eron til it be runne out as myche as it wole; &

   {th}is is callid liif hony. & {th}anne take {th}at forseid combis &

   se{th}e hem in clene water, & boile hem wel.  After presse out

   {th}erof as myche as {th}ou may & caste it into ano{th}er vessel

   into hoot water, and se{th}e it wel & scome it wel, & do {th}erto a

   quarte of liif hony.  & {th}anne lete it stond a fewe dayes wel

   stoppid, and {th}is is goode drinke.

 

10. To make fyn meade & poynaunt.  Take xx galouns of {th}e forseid

   pomys soden in iii galouns of fyn wort, & i galoun of liff hony &

   se{th}e hem wel & scome hem wel til {th}ei be cleer inow{y}; & put

   {th}erto iii penywor{th} of poudir of pepir & i penywor{th} of

   poudir of clowis & let it boile wel togydere.  & whanne it is coold

   put it into {th}e vessel into {th}e tunnynge up of {th}e forsaid

   mede; put it {th}erto & close it wel as it is aboue seid.

 

 

From: renfrow at skylands.net

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: mead recipes

Date: Fri, 08 Aug 1997 11:28:02 -0400

 

Hello!  If you're looking for documented mead recipes, you'll find 2

posted at my site:

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/sample.html

 

plus links to many more mead & brewing sites on my links page:

http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/links.html

 

Cindy Renfrow

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 20:41:41 -0500

From: "Sharon L. Harrett" <Ceridwen at commnections.com>

Subject: Re: SC - novice requests - longish

 

       Check out my lord's web page for the "Twelve -Step Method for making

Mankind's Oldest Fermented Beverage" at

       http:\\commnections.com\Rurik\mead.htm

 

This is an instruction manual for the making of meads and related

drinks, worked out for the beginner by Master Rurik Petrovitch Stoianov,

Vintning Laurel in Meads, Trimaris. We worked over it, with myself as

the "test subject" to make sure it was as "idiot-proof" (no offense

intended) as possible. Many gentles here in Trimaris, both mundane and

SCA have found it easy and user-friendly.

 

Ceridwen

 

 

Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 14:53:25 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - novice requests

 

>2. Y'all have fun with a new/old thread on mead, I'm looking for a good

>recipe other than mix honey w/ water and yeast, go away for 11 months.

>HOWZAT? Puck

 

Hello! You'll find 2 documented short mead recipes on my site:

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/sample.html

plus links to other mead sites on my links page:

http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/links.html

 

I've gathered together about 100 documented historic mead recipes in my

book, "A Sip Through Time", as well as recipes for beer, cider, wine, etc.

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th

Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

Recipes"

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 11:30:27 EST

From: Tyrca <Tyrca at aol.com>

Subject: SC - Tyrca makes Pyment again

 

Here is a repost of my letter of the first of November.  If you are not

interested, skip this message now.  I had already given the simple recipe for

5 gallons of White Pyment.  It is 15 lbs of honey, 7 cans of Welch's 100%

White Grape juice, half a bottle of rosewater (I'll have to look up the oz

measure later) 3 tbs ground nutmeg, and water to make 5 gallons.

   Some of this comes in with the basics of mead-making, so those of you

already familiar the hardware and step-by-step will want to skip this.

   A normal 5 gallon batch of mead is usually about 12-15 lbs of honey.  For

Pyment, I used 84 oz of grape juice concentrate.  This means that I bought 7

cans of Welch's 100% white grape juice in frozen concentrate. I also added

some nutmeg, rose water, and yeast nutrient and energizer. More on all of that

later.

   I usually use my 20 qt stainless steel pot just to avoid aluminum

contamination. But it doesn't affect the outcome.  First of all, put 12 lbs

of honey  and just enough water in your pot to keep the honey from scorching.

Since I use an electric range, I use a piece of coathanger right on the

burner, under the pan.  This helps keep the honey from scorching, but not

enough for inattention, and there is no worse mess to clean off the stovetop

than burned boiled-over honey.

   Heat the honey but do not boil, as it is easy to burn it, and make it

useless. As the honey warms, a foam forms on top.  skim this off, and keep

skimming as long as it rises.  This foam is mostly albumen (protein) from the

honey, and keeps mead from clearing, so it is important to remove it.  If the

foam starts to be brown, turn the heat down, your honey is getting too hot.

   After a few minutes (5 to 15, depending on your honey and equipment) the

foam stops rising, and you are ready to start brewing.  Make sure that your

carboy (the big glass bottle we use to brew in) is clean and sanitized.  I

wash it out, and then leave bleach water sitting in it until I am ready to use

it. This is not totally sterile, but at least keeps most bacteria and wild

yeast away from my mead.

   So that the hot must does not crack the carboy, open the 7 cans of thawed

grape juice concentrate, and pour them in the bottom of the carboy, with 4 tbs

of rosewater, 1/2 cup of nutmeg tea (I make this by steeping nutgem powder in

boiling water, and then straining out the powder with a coffee filter, so that

I don't have more floaties in my mead) and a gallon of cold water.  All of

this will cushion the glass from cracking under the hot honey.  With a funnel,

pour the hot honey into the carboy (and be VERY CAREFUL about it because this

can be tricky, especially if your glasses steam up in the process).  Fill with

water until you have 5

gallons, and set aside to cool.  This is called the must.  It is not at all

alchohlic, just sweetened water.

   When it is about room temperature pitch the yeast. This means, pour in the

yeast from the package, or add the yeast from where you have been allowing it

to grow in liquid culture.  I use Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast, which works nicely.

When you pitch the yeast, add the yeast nutrient and energizer, and put the

air lock tightly on the carboy.  Honey does not have quite enough of the

things yeast

likes to grow, and so it is much more productive to add nutrient and

energizer, this will speed your process from an average of 6-8 months to

closer to 2 months.  Definitely worth the effort.  This is why I can maze in

so much lesser time than the 11 months we saw in the TI last year (whew!!)

   I learned one more thing, it is called the "shaker method"  After you

have pitched the yeast, and it has been in the must at least 12 hours, take

firm hold of the carboy, and shake vigorously. This puts lots of  oxygen into

the liquid, and allows the yeast to begin multiplying in preparation for

fermentation.

   Now comes the difficult part, waiting for the mead to finish.  There is

nothing left to cook, just wait.  When your mead blips (this is the sound of

carbon dioxide leaving the air-lock) only once in 15 minutes, it is done

enough to bottle.  If you do it any earlier, you are risking having your

bottles explode under the pressure.  I happen to like sparkling pyment, and

so bottle it when it is blipping about 1 time in 10 minutes.  This means

there is still fermentation going, and still a little bit of active yeast.

   I use champagne bottles (hard to find, best to ask friends and restaurants

to save them for you) and wired champagne corks.  Regular bottles will not

hold the pressure, and you will have geysers of mead all over your floor.

   The brewing equipment and yeast, nutrient and energizer are all available

from a local brewing store, or you can probably find a place on line to order

from. It might be a good idea first to check around and find what kind of

alcohol regulations your state has for home brewing, as everywhere is a

little different.  Here in Oklahoma, I can homebrew with a license that I

obtained free from the ABLE commission.  Check around a little first, you can

probably find information at same brewing store.

   The bottling is another process, and I do not want to make this note

longer. I can even wait for a couple of weeks until someone more experienced

than I can give all of us a few pointers, or until your mead really is ready

to bottle.

 

Good Luck as a Mazer (a brewer is someone who makes beer, a vintner makes

wine.)

 

Lady Tyrca Ivarsdottir

Barony Namron, Ansteorra

autocrat for the Rapier Championship on January 24th

(no, I'm not cooking, I have someone much better for that!)

 

 

Date: Thu, 07 May 1998 10:25:19 -0400

From: Ceridwen <ceridwen at commnections.com>

Subject: Re: SC - peach mead?

 

> Perhaps you have a recipe for nutmeg meade?

> Cessara

 

   Here's one from Digbie:

 

Another to make Meath:

To every quart of honey allow six Wine-quarts od water: half an ounce of

nutmegs, and the peel of a lemon, and the meat of two or three, as you

make the quantity. Boile these together , till the scum rise no more: It

must stand till it is quite cold, and when you tun it you squeeze into

it the juice of some Lemons and this will make it ripen quickly. It will

be ready in less than a month.

 

Ceridwen

 

 

Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 14:49:16 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Lemon Beer- non-alcoholic?

 

Ras asked:

> How does one make non-alcoholic anything when yeast and sugar are put

> together? Alcohol is a digestive by-product of yeasts digesting sugar. I am

> curious about this as even the yeast and sugar mixture used in bread making

> produces a small amout of alcohol.

 

and Corwyn responded:

 

>The way I understand it, natural carbonation of beverages results in minimal

>alcohol content. I've never actually made homegrown sodas, but I've known

>several people who do. They all use bread yeasts and the fermentation time is

>a week or under, so there isn't much alcohol.

 

I make small mead from one of Digby's recipes, usually using bread yeast

and fermenting a week or two.  On the one occasion we measured the alcohol

content it came out around 1 percent.  So, minimal but not zero.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 14:58:34 -0500

From: Carol Thomas <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: [Fwd: Re: Good Mead-Making Books? [SCA]]]

 

>There's also a new one out, "Mad ABout Mead"  which, so far looks good.

 

I got a copy of that one, and a gentle showed me how it recommended a

practice which can poison people - using garbage bags for brewing.

 

When a friend bought it, I warned him about that topic, and I am not

ordering any more.

 

Lady Carllein

Small Churl Books catalog: http://www.neca.com/~scbooks/

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 09:48:01 -0500

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - mead

 

Hello! I have 2 weak mead recipes on my site:

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/sample.html

 

I also have links to other sites with recipes, history, etc., as well as

links to some commercial meaderies at:

http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/links.html

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 19:25:52 -0600

From: Mike and Pat Luco <mikel at pdq.net>

Subject: SC - Re: The Meadery

 

I thought I would share a site that I just came across on the web.  It describes

the medieval period story about the making of spirits and such.  Sorry if you

already know about this site.  I think he/she's SCA, but I didn't see any name

of the author.  They have included period texts and recipes.

 

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/1265/

___

Henri and Antea

Kingdom of Ansteorra, Barony Stargate

Purveyors of fine herbs and spices

http://www.hypercon.com/naturalhome

 

 

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: "Period" Honey available for brewing or cooking

Organization: www.thousandeggs.com

Date: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 20:25:16 -0400

 

> Some poetry for you:

>         Too cheap to buy book

>     He wants everything for free

>             Go to library

>

>         Seriously, if you haven't already, check in with your local

> homebrew club and see if they have the book or will buy it. If they

> don't have it, check in with the local library, and if they don't have

> it, check with a college library near you. One of those groups should

> be able to get it for you. I'd recommend buying it, as it is an

> excellent collection of recipies.. and Cindy Renfrow deserves to get

> paid for her work.

>

> -= Clogar

 

I agree wholeheartedly.  And thank you, Clogar, for the compliment.

 

BTW, I do have a 1393 mead recipe posted at

http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/mead.html

 

plus more mead recipes (from Digby, publ. postumously 1669) at

http://thousandeggs.com/sample.html

 

plus links to more mead info & recipes at

http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/links.html#Brewing

 

Cindy Renfrow/Mistress Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th

Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing Recipes"

http://www.thousandeggs.com -- please come visit my new web site!

 

 

Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2000 02:52:02 +0100From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>Subject: SC - wait people - biscotti - mead - apology to Betty Cook - -- Borde 1542 mentions mead (Furnivall ed. p. 257):"Of meade:Meade is made of honny and water boyled bothtogyther; yf it be fyned and pure, it preserueth helth;but it is not good for them the whiche haue the Ilyackeor the colycke".- -- The 14th century "Buch von guoter Spise" has a German recipe for met:"Wilt du gu:oten met machen.Der gu:oten mete machen wil, der werme reinen brunnen, daz erdie hant dor inne liden ku:enne, vnd neme zwei maz wazzers vndeine honiges. daz ru:ere man mit eime stecken vnd laz ez ein wilehangen vnd sihe ez denne durch ein rein tu:och oder durch einharsip in ein rein vaz. vnd siede denne die selben wirtz geineime acker lanc hin vnd wider vnd schume die wirtz mit einervensterehten schu:ezzeln, da der schume inne blibe vnd niht diewirtz. dor noch gu:ez den mete in ein rein vaz vnd bedecke in,daz der bradem iht vz mu:ege, als lange daz man die hant dorinne geliden mu:ege. So nim denne ein halp mezzigen hafen vnd tu:oin halp vol hopphen vnd ein hant vol salbeyvnd siede daz mit der wirtz gein einer halben mile. vnd gu:ez ezdenne in die wirtz vnd nim frischer heven ein halb no:ezzelin vndgu:ez ez dor in. vnd gu:ez ez vnder ein ander, daz es gesschendewerde. so decke zv:o, daz der bradem iht vz mu:ege, einen tac vndeine naht. So seige denne den mete durch ein reyn tu:och oderdurch ein harsip vnd vazze in in ein reyn vaz vnd lazze in ierndrie tac vnd drie naht vnd fu:elle in alle abende. Dar nach lazzeman in aber abe vnde hu:ete, daz iht hefen dor in kume, vndlaz in aht tage ligen, daz er valle, vnd fu:elle in alle abende. darnach loz in abe in ein gehertztez vaz vnd laz in ligen aht tage vol.vnd trinke in denne erst sechs wu:ochen oder ehte, so ist er allerbeste." - -- Moriz Heyne, Das deutsche Nahrungswesen von den ‰ltestengeschichtlichen Zeiten bis zum 16. Jahrhundert (1901, 334-338) has a lotof stuff and notes on Met (mentiones/ quotes from the Capitulare devillis, Anthimus, Berthold von Regensburg, ...).- -- In the following recipe from the "Mittelniederdeutsches Kochbuch"(15th century), mead is used together with sort of dried cherry drinkpowder to produce a cherry drink:"47. Item wyltu weten, wo me schal maken guden kersdrank, den men vu:ertin den budel, so nym vele kerseberen, wen se ripe sint, unde thobrick deunde thowriff se alle wol also ro. Unde lat se stan eyne nacht. Nym datdunne daraff unde do dat in eynen gropen. Sette dat tho den wure. Latdat seden. Do dartho tzucker, ingever unde neghelken. Lat dat koltwerden. Hud dat denne in vele blasen. Henghe dat bynnen dakes in deluft, dat dat droghe. Wen du des dorvest, dat du wilt kersdrang maken,so nym wyn edder mede eyn sto:vveken unde legge des darin also grot alsoeyn walsche no:et. Lat dat stan eyne halve nacht. Wiltu dat beterhebben, so do dartho me:er tzuckers unde ingevers. So ys dat eyn selsenkersdrang."In other recipes, mead is mentioned as an alternative to wine ("Darmachstu tho nemen wyn edder mede") or vinegar ("myt etycke edder mytmede"). Thomas

 

Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 12:21:23 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

Subject: Re: SC - period mead recipes

 

Aha! I found it! I had a marker there even...

 

In _Curye on Inglysch_, book V. Goud Cookery, p. 150

 

"9 To make mede. Take hony combis & put hem into a greet vessel & ley

thereynne grete stickis, & ley the weight theron til it be runne out as

myche as it wole; & this is callid liif hony. & thanne take that forseid

combis & sethe hem in clene water, & boile hem well. After presse out

thereof as myche as thou may & caste it into another vessel into hoot

water, & sethe it wel & scome it wel, & do thereto a quart of liif hony,

& thanne lete it stonde a fewe dayes wel stoppid, & this is good drinke.

 

10 To make fyn mede & poynaunt. Take xx galouns of the forseid pomys

soden in iii galouns of fyn wort, & i galoun of liif hony & sethe hem

wel & scome hem wel til thei be cleer inowgh; & put thereto iii

penyworth of poudir of pepir & i penyworth of poudir of clowis & lete it

boil wel togydere. & whanne it is coold put it into the vessel into the

tunnynge up of the forseid mede: put it thereto, & close it wel \ as it

is aboue seid."

 

It appears to be a quick mead, but no yeast or barm is mentioned?

 

'Lainie

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 11:26:37 -0600

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - period mead recipes--Le Menagier's Bouchet

 

I think this is it.

 

BOUCHET. To make six sixths of bouchet, take six pints of fine sweet

honey, and put it in a cauldron on the fire and boil it, and stir

continually until it starts to grow, and you see that it is producing

bubbles like small globules which burst, and as they burst emit a

little smoke which is sort of dark: and then stir, and then add seven

sixths of water and boil until it reduces to six sixths again, and

keep stirring. And then put it in a tub to cool until it is just

warm; and then strain it through a cloth bag, and then put it in a

cask and add one chopine (half-litre) of beer-yeast, for it is this

which makes it the most piquant, (and if you use bread yeast, however

much you like the taste, the colour will be insipid), and cover it

well and warmly to work.  And if you want to make it very good, add

an ounce of ginger, long pepper, grains of Paradise and cloves in

equal amounts, except for the cloves of which there should be less,

and put them in a cloth bag and throw in.  And after two or three

days, if the bouchet smells spicy enough and is strong enough, take

out the spice-bag and squeeze it and put it in the next barrel you

make. And thus you will be able to use these same spices three or

four times.

 

Item. ANOTHER BOUCHET KEPT FOUR YEARS, and perhaps you could make a

whole batch more or less at one time if you wished. Combine three

parts water and one part honey, boil and skim until it reduces to a

tenth, and then throw in a vessel: then refill your pot and do the

same again, until you have enough; then let it cool and complete your

batch: your bouchet will emit something like must which works. If you

can, keep it continually full so that it can emit, and after six

weeks or a month you must draw off the bouchet as far as the lees and

put it in a copper tub or other container, then stave in the vessel

where it stands, remove the lees, scald, wash, replace the staves,

and fill it with what you have left, and keep; and do not warm it up

if it broached. And then have four and a half ounces of finely

powdered cinnamon and an ounce and a half of cloves and one of grains

beaten and placed in a cloth bag and hung by a cord from the stopper.

 

Note that the scum which is removed, for each pot of it take twelve

pots of water, and boil together, and this will make a nice bouchet

for the servants. Item, any skimming from honey can be used in the

same proportions.

 

I don't think it corresponds very closely to Digby's weak honey

drink, although since I don't know what a "sixth" is (sixth of a

gallon?) I can't figure out the proportions. But it looks as though

the spices are in a cloth bag that hangs in it while it is

fermenting, not while it is boiling. The second version is clearly

intended to be left a long time. The first version I can't tell--are

you drinking it after you take the spice bag out (two or three days)

or leaving it in the barrel for an unstated length of time thereafter.

 

Suppose a sixth is a sixth of a gallon, a quart a quarter gallon, and

a pint half a quart (anyone with information on measures of volume in

Paris in the 1390's is invited to contribute them--I know their quart

was almost twice ours, but not what the rest of the units were). Then

we have:

 

To make a gallon of bouchet, use 3/4 gallon of honey, boil the honey,

add 7/6 gallon of water, and boil until "it" (the combined liquid?)

reduces to a gallon again. Doesn't sound possible--way too much honey.

 

Digby is using nine pints of water and one pint of honey, and boiling

away about a third of it.

 

So if my interpretation is right, Digby starts with one part of honey

to nine of water, Le Menagier with one part of honey to 14/9 of a

part of water, making the latter almost six times as concentrated as

the former! Even allowing for the fact that Digby's drink is very low

alcohol, it can't be right. Either a "sixth" is more than a sixth of

a gallon or a pint is much less than an eighth of a gallon; my guess

is the latter.

 

The second version is clear enough on the proportions, although I

don't know what "reduces to a tenth" means--maybe "by a tenth?" On

that interpretation it's a little more than twice as concentrated as

Digby's, which isn't unreasonable for something you are going to keep

a long time.

 

David Friedman

 

 

Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 18:19:49 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - period mead recipes--Le Menagier's Bouchet

 

david friedman wrote:

> I don't think it corresponds very closely to Digby's weak honey

> drink, although since I don't know what a "sixth" is (sixth of a

> gallon?) I can't figure out the proportions.

 

I don't have the details at my fingertips, but I vaguely recall that the

original French term was "setier", which we would translate as a

"sester". Presumably either it is derived from originally being a sixth

of something, or from being a unit of X that could be purchased with a

Roman sesterce. This seems to me to be supported by the translated text

reading "to make six sixths of"...well, duh, why not simply say, "to

make one", if a sixth is what you're making six of, um, uh, well, you

know what I mean.

 

Anyway, I've seen "sester" defined as being either roughly one modern

American gallon or two, depending on where and when in medieval Europe

you are. (I recall reading this off some university's medieval online

glossary and encyclopedia, but have since confirmed this elsewhere in

other sources.) A friend and I worked out the math for bouchet, and as I

recall it was either slightly stronger or slightly weaker than the Digby

small mead, but either way eminently drinkable.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2000 03:04:49 -0000From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>Subject: Re: SC - period mead recipes--Le Menagier's Bouchet Anyway, here is one of the mead recipes from the Danish 1616 cookbook Iposted last year:Another methodFor each part good, clear honey, take eight parts fresh spring water.  Pourthis into a large cauldron and simmer together on a slow fire, and  takecare the fire doesn¥t smoke, and skim it carefully and often, as long asyou see any scum rise to the surface. Do this until the water is beginningto be beautifully clear and clean. The longer you want to  keep this mead,the longer you should boil it. When it cools off, then  pour it into abarrel, but do not fill it to more than three fingerbreadths  below thebrim, so there is room for the fermentation.If you want your mead to smell and taste strong and lively, then place  thefollowing spices, well crushed, in a sack and hang it in the barrel.  Forone barrel of mead, take:Pepper, 6 lod*Ginger, 8 lodGrains of paradise, 2 lodCloves, 3 lodGalingale, 3 lodCinnamon bark, 10 lodIf you want less spices, then take for each barrel:Cinnamon bark, 4 lodGinger, 2 lodGalingale, 1 lodCloves, 1 lodGrains of paradise, 1 lodWhen it is well fermented (Some fry an apple** and smear it with yeast  andcast it into the barrel),  then let it stand tightly closed for 3 months,before it is drunk.In certain places in Livonia it is customary to bury the barrel deep intothe ground and cover it with earth and let it lie for a long time. This meadbecomes so strong and potent that it far surpasses wine, when you want tomake sombody drunk.* A lod is 16 grams** The term used is "krigsÊble", literally "war apple"; I’m not sure what ismeant here. Wasn’t toasted bread sometimes used?Nanna

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 22:11:12 ESTFrom: Elysant at aol.comSubject: Re: SC - period mead recipes--Le Menagier's BouchetNanna said:>The term used is "krigsÊble", literally "war apple"; I’m not sure what is>meant here. Wasn’t toasted bread sometimes used?I have several traditional Welsh wine recipes in which the yeast is introduced by spreading it onto toasted bread and then floating the toast on top of the brew.  My grandmother also used this method for her homemade wines.  I have not heard of using fried apples to do this before....Elysant

 

Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 22:24:53 -0500From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>Subject: Re: SC - period mead recipes--Le Menagier's BouchetElysant at aol.com wrote:> Nanna said:> >The term used is "krigsÊble", literally "war apple"; I¥m not sure what is> >meant here. Wasn¥t toasted bread sometimes used?> > I have several traditional Welsh wine recipes in which the yeast is> introduced by spreading it onto toasted bread and then floating the toast on> top of the brew.  My grandmother also used this method for her homemade> wines.  I have not heard of using fried apples to do this before....Yes, there are references to floating yeast spread on a raft of toast inDigby. I think perhaps that in places like Iceland and Finland, grainsin general are much less of an agricultural possibility, so there goesthe toast idea. The principle is the same, though. But why fry theapple? To kill any surface wild yeasts?Adamantius

 

Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2000 23:00:07 +0100

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: SC - Re- period mead recipes

 

>A friend and I worked out the math for bouchet, and as I

>recall it was either slightly stronger or slightly weaker than the Digby

>small mead, but either way eminently drinkable.

 

>Adamantius

 

Hello! I think I posted the upshot of that conversation to my website. I

think the url is http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/mead.html  but my brain

is fuzzy at the moment. I know it's linked at

http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/links.html under " a 1393 mead recipe".

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

cindy at thousandeggs.com

Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th

Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

Recipes"

 

 

From: Norsefolk at egroups.com

Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 10:50:57 -0500

From: "C. L. Ward" <gunnora at realtime.net>

Subject: Mead Flavors

 

Actually, mead + fruit juice is a melomel, while mead + spices is a

metheglin, just terminology-wise.

 

I highly recommend taking a look at the Digby mead recipes to get a sense

of medieval mead-making.  Digby is a little late, but he's got good

recipes. I'd also recommend contacting the best mead-brewer in Ansteorra

(possibly in the Known World), Lady Damaris of Greenhill <damaris1 at ev1.net>

and asking her for suggestions on documentation and recipes, since she

has done a lot of research in this field.

 

All that being said, my favorite melomel of all time thus far was

lingonberry. We got 5 one gallon cans of lingonberries from The Wooden

Spoon in Plano, Texas (and they can be found on-line also, I recommend them

highly) for that batch.  We've also made cloudberry, but that wasn't as

good, probably since we were only able to get the cloudberries as jam.

 

If you are not worried about the medievalness of the mead or melomel, it's

been my experience that the more acidic fruits make the best meads,

probably because they help ensure that the acid balance vs. the sweetness

is perfect.  Some good ones I've had include cranberry, strawberry, blood

orange, and green apple.

 

I have to say that peary (a pear melomel) is probably Lady Damaris' best

mead. She has processed her own pears using a juicer or cider press, but

you can actually buy pear nectar in cans now, and these make it very easy

if you don't have the time to process the fruit yourself.  I've used about

a gallon of pear nectar in a 5 gallon batch of mead, with between 25

and 30 lbs of honey.

 

::GUNNORA::

 

 

From: Norsefolk at egroups.com

Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 09:21:31 -0700

From: mocook <mocook at att.net>

Subject: Re: Re: Mead recommendations

 

Get a clean nylon stocking (leggs variety) and put your crushed fruit in it. tie

it off and leave it in the mead solution in a large food grade plastic bucket or

jar with an air lock in the lid (carboys have too small a mouth to get the fruit

back out. Let this ferment for about 2 weeks. Remove  the stocking with clean

hands and gently squeeze out the remaining juice, (avoid squeezing too much pulp

out as well). transfer to a carboy for the final fermentation. Dont worry too

much about oxygen at this pooint as the fermantation is still continuing and

will burn out any you introduce. Don't use a juicer unless you want really

cloudy mead. The juicer blends the pulp so fine you cant get it to settle out. I

just put the fruit in the stocking, crush it, then pour the hot (160 degree)

honey solution into the containerand cover without the air lock until it is

cool, then add the airlock and yeast. If you put the airlock in while hot, it

will suck the water out of it when the must cools!

 

Hoskuld

 

 

From: Norsefolk at egroups.com

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 16:00:49 -0000

From: "Gunnora Hallakarva" <gunnora at realtime.net>

Subject: Making and clarifying melomels

 

--- In Norsefolk at egroups.com, mocook <mocook at a...> wrote:

> Get a clean nylon stocking (leggs variety) and put your crushed

> fruit in it. tie it off and leave it in the mead solution in a

> large food grade plastic bucket or jar with an air lock in the lid

> (carboys have too small a mouth to get the fruit back out.

> <snippage> Don't use a juicer unless you want really cloudy mead.

> The juicer blends the pulp so fine you cant get it to settle out.

 

It has been my experience that you don't get nearly as much flavor or

juice out of the fruit by this method.  Crushing fruit and then

soaking in alcohol, as for making cordials, works pretty good.  

Soaking in what is essentially a sugar solution hasn't worked for

me. And of course if you use a medieval tool, such as a cider press,

especially on soft fruits such as pears (which were pressed this way

medievally) you get juice and lots of pureed fruit fragments,

comparable to the type of pulp from a juicer.

 

The first key to really effectivly getting juice out of any fruit is

to freeze it.  I usually clean, seed/pit, and cut the fruit into

chunks, then place these into gallon-size ziplocks and freeze.  

Freezing causes water in the individual cells of the fruit to expand,

and this ruptures the cell walls.  This makes it much easier to get

the juice out of the fruit and into your mead where you want it.  

Freezing will add a lot more flavor to your product, because you get

a lot more juice into the brew.

 

I've also had no problems using a juicer.  I juice up the frozen-then-

defrosted fruit and add it right in (before I got the juicer I used a

blender and liquefied it as much as possible).  I usually will do a

primary fermentation in a clean "pickle barrel" -- one of those 5

gallon plastic food-grade barrels.  The tops fit on tightly, so I

drill a hole in the top and insert a sterilized rubber cork with an

airlock. You will get a "fruit cap" on the top of the must, so I

leave a good 6" at the top to keep the fruit cap out of the airlock.  

After a week or two of fermentation, then I rack into sterilized

carboys, leaving most of the fruit pulp behind.

 

The secret to avoiding cloudy mead when using any type of fruit,

whether it's been crushed, juiced, or what have you, is racking over

and over.  If the mead just won't clear, you add pectin, which grabs

the fruit particles in the suspension and drops them to the bottom

(rather like using flocculent in a swimming pool).  You should be

able to get this inexpensively through your local brewing supply, or

through a mail order/on-line source (see

http://www.beerinfo.com/vlib/homebrew.html for several links to on-

line suppliers).  And then you let it sit, then rack some more.  I've

created crystal clear (or more accurately, clear amber) mead starting

with pears or peaches put through the juicer.  

 

The only time I've really had a fruit particle problem has been using

strawberries. The little seeds wouldn't fall out of solution, and I

finally strained the whole batch through about four layers of clean

cheesecloth after racking, which did trap the seeds.  Then I

proceeded normally, racking every 4 to 6 weeks until all fermentation

was completely stopped and the mead was absolutely without cloudiness

or sediment.

 

Note -- to the folks who had the peach mead explode, the problem

wasn't the peaches, it was that you bottled too soon.  You either

have to keep racking and allow the mead to continue fermenting until

all yeast activity is completely stopped, or you have to artifically

kill the yeast, usually with sulfites.  I don't like to use sulfites,

as many people are allergic to them.  Sticking still-fermenting mead

or other alcoholic beverages into a sealed glass bottle is like

asking to be hit with a glass fragmentation grenade.  Master Ragnar

Morkwulf did this, and came home after work a week later to find big

shards of glass deeply piercing the front of his (now shattered) TV

screen and the chair where he usually sat looked like a tiger had

been using it as a scratching post, with glass "knives" driven into

the wooden parts of the back several inches deep!

 

Over and over again amateur brewers' biggest problem is that they are

too impatient.  They don't rack as many times as needed, they don't

allow fermentation to completely end, they bottle before the product

is racked clear or before it's done fermenting, they don't allow the

product to age before drinking.  More patience works wonders with

brewing!

 

A tip for the really impatient is to make two batches

simultaneously. If you can't wait, drink from one batch, but hold

the other one back and let it completely ferment, then rack as many

times as needed to completely clear it, and age it at least a year or

two. This way you can still satisfy your impatience while producing

a vastly superior mead using a bit more time and care.

 

::GUNNORA::

 

Who has watched apprentices struggle with impatience and the desire

to use "shortcuts" that either take longer or harm the product!

 

 

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 12:14:16 -0500

Subject: Metheglin recipe ( was Re: [Sca-cooks] OT: We're in the honey!)

 

On 3 Apr 2002, at 6:31, Avraham haRofeh wrote:

> Recipe, please? If it's too OT, send it privately. :-)

 

This is the original recipe.  It's from "Martha Washington's Booke of

Cookery", a Tudor/Jacobean family cookbook which was inherited

by the first First Lady.

 

To Make Metheglin

 

Take a quart of honey & 6 quarts of wat[er].  let it boyle ye third

part away, & boyle [with] it 3 races of ginger.  when it is cold, put it

[in] a pot which hath a spicket, & put yeast into [it] & let it stand 3

dayes, then bottle it up & put into yr bottles a little leamon & a

stick of cinna[mon] & a few raysons of the sun.  & let it be a

fortnig[ht] befor you drink it.

 

What I did:

 

Mostly I followed the directions.  I boiled the honey and water until

it was reduced by one third. "Races" of ginger are roots.  Because

3 whole fresh ginger roots would be overwhelming, I used slices of

fresh ginger to equal 1/2 oz.  It later occured to me that perhaps

dried ginger roots might be meant.  I'll try it that way next time.

 

When cold, I put it into a gallon glass jug, and added 1/2 TBS

bread yeast, dissolved in a small amount of honey-water.  In one of

his recipes for metheglin (which is spiced mead, if'n you didn't

know), Digby says to use bread yeast or ale yeast.  I put a

fermentation lock on top, and let it do its thing for 3 days.  This

morning, I siphoned the metheglin into another jug containing 2

cinnamon sticks, the juice of 1 lemon, and 1 TBS of raisins.  I

replaced the fermentation lock.  And now I wait.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 18:44:19 -0500

From: "Martha Oser" <osermart at msu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Killing the Yeast in Mead

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Kotek,

 

> I bought a book on basic brewing, and almost all their suggestions for Mead

> is roughly; "Boil up honey and water, add yeast, leave for a week or two,

> then add a campden (sulphur dioxide) tablet to stop fermentation, bottle and

> store for 6+ months before drinking"

 

As to boiling, there are options.  Some folks boil, others simply heat the

honey and water.  Boiling breaks the proteins, and heating too hard can

cause the flavor of the honey to be reduced.

 

Campden is an anti-bacterial and is optional, depending on the yeast you

use. Some yeasts will naturally produce small amounts of sulphur dioxide

(such as Lalvin 1118 yeast).

 

> I've never elsewhere read anything suggesting the sterilization of the brew

> before bottling - I presume this is to keep it sweet and not bubbly (or

> explosive). Is this common, and does the tablet affect the flavor  

> at all?

 

This isn't sterilizing the brew.  To stop the yeast, use potassium sorbate

to put the yeast to sleep and then 36-48 hours later you can rack and filter

into another carboy or bottle for aging.

 

Adding campden can affect some people who have an allergy to the sulphites.

If you get a headache with sharp, stabbing pains from drinking things like

most domestic wines, particularly reds, you may be allergic to sulphites.

This is also a debatable topic.

 

Thus speaketh Lord Gilebert le bracceur de Dijon, through the hands  

of his wife, Lady Helena Sibylla  :D

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 21:15:33 -0500

From: "Elaine Koogler" <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Killing the Yeast in Mead

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

My lord husband, who has been making mead for many years, says he

never uses campden tablets to kill the yeast, only to sterilize the

bottles that the finished product goes into.  He rinses the bottles

out with campden and lets them air dry.

 

He says that he lets the alcohol content rise high enough to naturally

kill the yeast.  He uses a mead yeast for most of his meads.  The dead

yeast will fall to the bottom and he pours the mead off of the top.

If he wants to make a sparkling mead, he'll use a champagne yeast for

a second fermentation.

 

Kiri

 

>> I bought a book on basic brewing, and almost all their suggestions for Mead

>> is roughly; "Boil up honey and water, add yeast, leave for a week or two,

>> then add a campden (sulphur dioxide) tablet to stop fermentation, bottle and

>> store for 6+ months before drinking"

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 07:25:59 -0500

From: "Steinfeld,   Henry S CIV NAVAIR PMA-209T&E/AIR 1.6.3"

        <Henry.Steinfeld at navy.mil>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re Killing the yeast in Mead

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Having brewed mead now for some time, I can say I have never used

campden tablets to kill off the yeast and I feel, based upon the results

of my meads that this has never affected the sweetness of the mead.

That said, I brew to completion and sterilize the bottles with very hot

water prior to filling them.  The yeast I use is a 'mead' yeast and it

produces a sweet nectar.  The principle effect on sweetness, in my

opinion, is the yeast chosen.  I have brewed drier meads, but this was

a choice of yeast to balance against the ingredients I chose.

 

Khadir

 

 

To: SCA Newcomers list <scanewcomers at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Floating your boat

Posted by: "Jeff Johnston" publisher at lilleypress.com jeffthegeek1974

Date: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:34 am ((PST))

 

What about meads..... Forget those mamby pamby beers wines and fruity drinks... make mead :D you can check out my mead site at http://mead.lilleypress.com for lots of research and recipes; period, and not so period ;)

Mead is so fun to make and consuming it is even more fun, I agree you'll have no trouble finding someone to share it with, never had any trouble finding someone to share my mead with :D

 

Cú Allaidh Dona

mka Jeff Johnston

Heavy Fighter, Sometimes Fencer, Occasional Archer, MBCIT

Founder of the Trionvantia Nova Merpegacorn stoolball team

Mazer, working on being a Calligrapher, Maker of Torcs and Circlets

Member of the Bookbinders Guild of Ealdormere

Crewmember of the Good Ship Crimson Star

Seneschal of The Shire of Trinovantia Nova, in the great land of Ealdormere

 

http://cuallaidh.blogspot.com

The Mead Hall - home to all things mead: http://mead.lilleypress.com

 

On 2011-02-28, at 2:25 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

 

<<< Go for what floats your boat!

 

jerusha >>>

 

Yea, Beer! Or perhaps you prefer cider? Or wine? Or cordials? All of these are made by many folks in the SCA. And some probably make enough to "float your boat". You don't have to drink it all yourself, and you probably shouldn't. But if get known for making good stuff, you will find plenty of folks willing to help you consume it. :-)

 

 

To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: family mead

Posted by: "Catherine Koehler" hccartck at yahoo.com

Date: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:13 pm ((PDT))

 

I have recently come across a recipe in my Irish mum's collection that is a few hundred years old (I promise!).  I am not a mead maker, but I request that if anyone does want to try this recipe, please include me in a bottle.  I would love to taste the mead of my direct ancestors!

 

Here tis:

 

Irish Mead

 

Boil together 5 gallons of water, two and a half pints strong honey, one pound raisins (stoned), half a pound of currants, three ounces of eringo root, one ounce of liquorice, one ounce of China root, quarter of an ounce of coriander seed, two sprigs of rosemary, until reduced to four gallons.  Strain; when cool, work it up with yeast as in making ale; put it into another vessel, let it stand seven days; then bottle it.  As soon as it is brisk it is fit for use.

 

Aine ni Shuilleabhain

 

 

To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: family mead

Posted by: "Sean" azhrathon at suddenlink.net macfiepict

Date: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:12 am ((PDT))

 

Thank you very much for the recipe.  With a little research "eringo" seems to be Eryngium. Which is a sort of blue thistle like flower grown as an ornamental plant.

 

I'm guessing that "China root" is probably ginger.

 

I'm really looking forward to cooking up a batch of this.

If you don't mind I'm going to forward this to the Brewers list.

 

Uchtan "Sean" mac Duib

 

 

To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: mead materials

Posted by: "Catherine Koehler" hccartck at yahoo.com hccartck

Date: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:13 pm ((PDT))

 

In response to Bethany Thielman, I admit that I spent the better part of this morning doing research on both of those and have found....not much. :-)  I have pasted two entries from the internet at the end of this e-mail.

 

The eryngo or eringo are more available in the UK and I haven't found a "local" source for it yet.  I do have cousins still in Ireland and I'm waiting to hear from them if they know anything about it.  The sad part is that everything I have read points to it being used prior to the 18th century primarily which is making it harder to track down.  The China Root is more common and I'm still working on that one,

too. Like I said, the recipe is a few hundred years old so now I have a big hurdle to overcome, to get it made, lol!  

 

As I side note, I thought it was interesting that the measurements were already transposed into standard US measurements.  I have no idea when those were made but I suspect it was in the 20's - 30's.

 

**************************************************************************

CHINA ROOT

(Med.) the rootstock of a species of Smilax (Smilax China,

from the East Indies; - formerly much esteemed for the purposes that

sarsaparilla is now used for. Also the galanga root (from Alpinia Gallanga and Alpinia officinarum).

 

ERINGO

The root of a plant called 'sea holly' which was popular in England

between the 16th and 18th centuries. It was either candied or pickled as

had the reputation of being an aphrodisiac.

 

It was also eaten as a vegetable - being either boiled or roast, and tastes rather like parsnip. See 'Aphrodisiacs'

 

<the end>



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