Saturday, June 13, 2015
How to make mead
Make Mead easily and Successfully
This is a tutorial on how to make mead honey wine very easily and successfully. This is perfect for the beginner who never made mead but always wanted to. I show you a very stable and successful method of mead making in a one gallon batch size which is easy and inexpensive to do. Lots more mead making stuff on my website at:
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'Mead Makes a Comeback'
Jan Fialkow - The Gourmet Retailer - February 23, 2015
Mead – the medieval drink of fermented honey – may conjure up images of Renaissance Fairs, but it is experiencing its own rebirth with consumers looking for a unique artisan/craft beverage.
Mead is the fastest growing segment in the American alcoholic beverage industry; between 2012 and 2013, mead sales grew by 130 percent according to the American Mead Makers Association (AMMA), exceeding growth rates for beer, wine, distilled spirits and hard cider.
The number of domestic meaderies (wineries that produce mead) has grown from 60 in 2010 to 194 in 2014, accounting for 2.5 percent of American wineries. Mead is popping up on restaurant wine lists, store shelves and bar taps across the country.
Honey is the primary fermentable in mead, but different styles add fruit or spice, Mead can range from dry to sweet and it can be still or sparling. Like wine, craft beer and spirits, it can also be barrel-aged.
It was the main alcoholic beverage for millennia, only being eclipsed when agricultural production became entrenched. At that point, grapes for wine and grains and hops for beer became more readily available than honey, which depended on wild bees for its existence.
A meadery has the legal ability to ferment the sugars found in fruits such as the grapes in wine and apple juice in hard cider, and certain agricultural products such as honey and other sugars. Special ingredients can also be added as long as they are approved by the formulation division of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
The federal government classifies honey as an agricultural product that, when fermented in the absence of cereal grains, is classified into one of several categories such as an Agricultural, High Fermentation or Other than Standard wine. Because these categories are often confusing to both professional mead makers and the TTB, the AMMA is working to restructure the federal classification of mead styles to reflect commonly accepted terminology among the mead making and mead drinking communities.
Such a Braggot!
One issue that raises some problems is the federal regulation that a winery cannot have cereal grains, and a brewery can use fruit juice or honey in brewing but not in the absence of those cereal grains that define the brewing process. The reason for the concern is braggot, an increasingly popular style of mead. It can be considered both a beer and a mead, depending on who is telling the story and the percent of fermentable sugars deriving from either honey or cereal grains. Rabbit's Foot Meadery in Sunnyvale, Calif., is able to make award-winning braggots because it operates both a winery and a brewery. This newly popular craft beverage is present in the line-up of large craft breweries. For example, Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head (Milton, Del.) and Big Ass Barrel Braggot from Rogue Ales, Ashland, Ore. The Viking Braggot Company in Eugene, Ore., only makes braggots.
Check with local authorities to determine if retail licenses to sell beer and wine also include mead.
More information on the mead industry, along with a list of US Meaderies, can be found here in American Mead Maker, the journal of the AMMA.