Mead also known as honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage that is created by fermenting an answer of honey and h2o. It may also be produced by fermenting a solution of h2o and honey with grain mash, which is strained following fermentation Depending on nearby traditions and particular recipes, it may be flavored with spices, fruit, or hops (which create a bitter, beer-like flavor). The alcoholic content material of mead might range from about 8% ABV to 18%. It might be nonetheless, carbonated, or naturally sparkling, and it might be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
Most significant for a good mead would be to selected the best mead yeast and have enough yeast nutrients to make a clean fermentation and produce good tasting mead.
Mead is understood from numerous resources of historic background all through Europe, Africa, and Asia, although archaeological proof of it’s ambiguous. Its origins are misplaced in prehistory. “It may be thought to be the ancestor of all fermented beverages,” Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat has noticed, “antedating the cultivation from the soil.”
Claude Lévi-Strauss makes a situation for that creation of mead like a marker of the passage “from nature to culture.” Mead has played a crucial role within the beliefs and mythology of some peoples. One such instance will be the Mead of Poetry, a mead of Norse mythology created from the blood from the smart becoming Kvasir which turns the drinker right into a poet or scholar.
Mead may have a wide range of flavors depending around the supply from the honey, additives (also referred to as “adjuncts” or “gruit”) which includes fruit and spices, the yeast utilized throughout fermentation, and also the aging procedure. Mead may be hard to discover commercially. Some producers have marketed white wine sweetened and flavored with honey following fermentation as mead, occasionally spelling it “meade.” This is nearer in type to a Hypocras. Blended varieties of mead may be recognized from the style represented; for example, a mead produced with cinnamon and apples may be known as either a cinnamon cyser or an apple metheglin.
A mead that also contains spices (such as cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg), or herbs (this kind of as meadowsweet, hops, or perhaps lavender or chamomile), is called a metheglin.
A mead that consists of fruit (this kind of as raspberry, blackberry or strawberry) is called a melomel, which was also utilized as a indicates of food preservation, maintaining summer produce for that winter. A mead that is fermented with grape juice is called a pyment.
Mulled mead is a well-liked drink at Christmas time, where mead is flavored with spices (and sometimes numerous fruits) and warmed, traditionally by having a scorching poker plunged into it.
Some meads retain some measure of the sweetness from the unique honey, and a few might even be regarded as dessert wines. Drier meads are also accessible, and a few producers offer glowing meads. There are a number of faux-meads, which are really wines with honey added after fermentation like a sweetener and flavoring.
Traditionally, meads were fermented with wild yeasts and germs (as mentioned within the recipe quoted beneath) residing around the skins from the fruit or within the honey by itself. Because wild yeasts can produce inconsistent results, brewers have isolated the various strains in use these days, and these have grown to be related with individual designs of mead.
For that most component, they are the same strains which are used in beer and wine manufacturing. However, a number of commercial labs (this kind of as White Labs, WYeast, and Vierka) have developed yeast strains particularly for mead brewing. Mead yeasts are much better suited to preserve the fragile honey flavors than are wine or beer yeasts, very best is Prestige Mead Yeast.
Mead can also be distilled to a brandy or liqueur strength. A edition called “honey jack” can be produced by partly freezing a amount of mead and straining the ice from the liquid (a procedure referred to as freeze distillation), in the exact same way that applejack is produced from cider.