Mead – the oldest fermented beverage known to man. Ambrosia... Nectar of the gods… known by a variety of names, this delightful drink has tickled the pleasure palates of mankind for nearly 8000 years.





If you have never tried mead before, you don’t know what you have missed. Mead is “homebrew heaven”, and there is not a single homebrew recipe – wine or beer – that cannot be made into mead with very little effort. Please spend some time on these pages learning about this phenomenal drink.







First of all, mead comes in many forms and styles. When you say “mead”, most people think of honey with alcohol in it (actually, most people think they misheard you, and why would you want to drink meat?) In fact, one of the most common mistakes made by the novice medher (pronounced ‘meth’ –er: one who makes mead) is to get a jar of honey, warm it up, and spike it with vodka. This commonly results in an absolutely disgusting concoction that will get you drunk, and give you a bad hangover… but without the pleasurable taste experience of true mead.




But, I digress.


As I was saying, mead comes in many styles:

·         Traditional (or Antipodal): Plain honey, unflavored.

·         Braggot: Honey with a touch of malt. If “honey brown” is a honey flavored beer, braggot is a malt flavored mead.

·         Metheglin: Honey blended with herbs, spices, or condiments.

·         Melomel: Honey mixed with any fruit or juice – several melomels have their own names based on the type of fruit. Some examples are:

~     Pyment (or piment): Honey mixed with grape juice.

~     Cyser (or ciser): Honey mixed with apple juice or apple cider.

~     Perry: Honey mixed with pear juice.

~     Mulsum: Honey mixed with crushed mulberries.

~     Black Mead: Honey mixed with crushed currants.

·         Ypocras (or Hippocras): Pyment blended with spices.


Adding particular spices may also enhance braggot, cyser, and some melomels, but these do not earn their own name. For instance, an apple-cinnamon blend may be known either as “cinnamon cyser” or “apple metheglin”.




Mead also has three distinct forms:

·         Hydromel: Literally “watered honey”. Hydromels are watered down, light bodied, have a faint honey flavor and almost no honey aftertaste, but maintain a good flavor of the additional ingredients. Most hydromels ferment out low alcohol and very dry.

·         Standard: The “1-in-5” rule, plus or minus a little bit – standard meads have a medium body, a good adjunctive flavor with a hint of honey, but the honey comes out in the aftertaste very well. Depending on the yeast type, standards will average between 8 and 13 percent alcohol, and be semi-sweet to semi-dry.

·         Sack: Probably named from the “big ole sack o’honey” it requires, sack meads are high-honey content, very thick, very sweet, and the honey flavor permeates the entire drinking experience. Again, depending on the yeast used, sack meads will be high-alcohol usually 12 to 18 percent.




Any one of the styles of mead listed above can be produced as a hydromel, standard, or sack mead.




Check out the rest of the Mead Corner – browse to your heart’s content. When you’re ready, visit the web store for great deals on beginners’ mead making kits, raw and flavored honey, and all the equipment and ingredients you need to produce quality meads in your own home.





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