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Springzym95 Mead

Springzym95 Mead

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Published by: gatodaddy on Nov 08, 2009
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02/26/2011

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33
W
elovemead.Itisthegranddaddyofallfermentedbeverages,perhapsasoldastherstdipofahandintothefer-mentedhoneyandrainwaterinthecrookofatree.Yethereweareinthe1990s,goingtotremendouslengthstobuythefinestBelgianmalts,thefresh-estimportedhopsandmostobscure yeaststrainsforbrewingbeer,butbrewourmeadswithsupermarkethoneyof undeterminedoriginandunspecified,probablyunspeakable,age.Thetimehascometopushmeadmakingin-tothesameanalyticandscientificrealmthatbeerbrewershaveappliedtotheircraftforquitesometime.Webelievethatbyunderstandinghoney, waterandyeastinthesamewayweunderstand yeast,malt,waterandhops,wecanelevatemeadtothesamelevelofqualityandpublicaccep-tancethathigh-qualitybeersenjoy.
By 
Daniel S.M
c
Connell, Ph.D.,
 and
Kenneth D.Schramm
Ingredients,Processes andTechniques
MEAD
S U C C E S S:
PHOTOS BY GALEN NATHANSON
 A
H
A
     R
   E
  S
 E
A
C   
H    
D        
 E    
 P  
  T  
 
M a k i n g Y o u r F i r s t M e a d
F
irst,purchaseoutstandinghoney.
Single-source(varietal)honeylendsawonderfulcharacterandcomplexitytomead.Anylocalorchardcanprovidethenameoftheirpollinatorwhocanunlockatreasuretroveofhoneysuppliers.Alocalfarm-ersmarketalsocanbeagoodsourceofvarietalhoney.Specialtyororganicfoodco-opsaregoodpossibilities.Uniquehoneymakesforuniquemead,andfreshnessisofutmostimportance.We’veusedorangeblossomhoneyherebecauseitiswidelyavailableandknowitmakesaverygoodmead,butsubstituteanyhigh-qualityhoneyyoucanfindinyourarea.
DRYSPARKLINGMEAD
Ingredients for 5 gal (19 L)
10 lb orange blossom honey (4.5 kg)2 tsp yeast energizer (9.9 mL)2 tsp yeast nutrient (9.9 mL) yeast starter culture3/4 cup dextrose (113 g) and3 tsp acid blend dissolved in boiling water (14.8 mL) (added at bottling)fresh yeast culture
MEDIUM-SWEETSTILLMEAD
Ingredients for 5 gal (19 L)
12 1/2 to 15 lb orange blossom honey (5.67 to 6.8 kg)2 tsp yeast energizer (9.9 mL)2 tsp yeast nutrient (9.9 mL) yeast starter culture4 tsp acid blend dissolved in boiling water (19.7 mL) (added at bottling)
Bring4gallons(15liters)ofwater,yeastenergizerandyeastnutrienttoaboilwithyourim-mersionchillerinplace.Addthehoney,stirringwell(crystallizedhoneymaybeliquefiedbyplac-ingthehoneyinapotofhotwater).Thetemperaturewilldroptoasuitablepasteurizationtem-peratureforthehoneymust.Allowthismixturetostand10minutes,thenchillto70degreesF(21degreesC).Whencool,siphontoasanitizedcarboyandpitchtheyeastculture.Allowtofermentatabout70degreesF(21degreesC)untilfermentationhasslowedconsid-erably(fourtosixweeks).Racktoasecondaryfermenterandletstanduntilclear.(Finingsmaybeaddedatthispointtoassistclarification,butweprefertoletthemeadclarifynaturally.)Naturalclearingmaytakesixto12months.Additionalrackingmayexpeditetheprocess.Finalgravityistremendouslydependentnotonlyonoriginalgravity,buthoneyvarietyaswell.Abetterindicatorofcompletefermentationistheabsenceofairlockactivityandvisualclarityofthemead.Whenyouaresatisfiedthatfermentationiscomplete,themeadmaybebottledasastillmeadorcarbonatedbyaddingone-halfcup(118mL)ofhoneyorthree-fourthscup(113grams)ofdextrosein12ounces(355milliliters)ofboilingwater.Itisimportanttoincludeafreshdoseof yeastatbottlingtoensureadequatecarbonation.
Honeyisaremarkableliquid.Inaddi-tiontoarathercomplexmixtureofsugars,honeycontainsmanyenzymes,proteins,organiccompoundsandtraceminerals(White1975).Theseinterestingcompounds,presentinminutequantities,givehoneyitsdistinctiveflavorsandcharacteristicaromas.Manyoftheseflavorsandaromaslendarecognizabledistinctiontothefinishedmead.Inproducingahigh-quality,complexbeveragefromhoney,itisouraimtopre-serveasmuchofthesedistinctiveflavorsandaromasasispossible.Thesubtlenatureofhoneyallowsagreatdealoflatitudeinadditivesdesignedtoen-hancethecharacterandcomplexityofmead. Wehaveexperimentedwithalargenum-beroffruits,vegetables,herbsandspicesaddedtobasicmeadwithbothovertandsubtleresults.Theadditionofvariousin- gredientsproducesmeadsfittingintospe-cificsubcategoriesofthestyle.Showmeadisdefinedasabeverageproducedbythefermentationofhoneyalone.Nutrientsandadditivesareallowed,butnoadditionalspices,fruitsorherbs.Intraditionalmead,smallamountsoffruits,spicesandherbsareallowed,buttheymustneveroverpow-erthehoneyflavorandaroma.Theseaddi-tivesaretoplayasupportiveroleatorbe-lowtheflavorthreshold.Pyments,cysersandmelomelsaremeadsthatincludetheadditionofgrapes,applesandotherfruits,respectively.Metheglinisameadtowhichspiceshavebeenadded.Hippocrasreferstoaspicedpyment,andbraggotisabever-agemadefromhoneyandmaltsugars.Clearlytherecanbemanysubclassesof thesecategories,andthereinliesthenever-endingchallengeofbrewingmead.Thehistoryofhoneyandmeadmakingislongandrich,butunfortunatelyoutsidethescopeofthisarticle.
BrewingMead,Wassail!InMazersofMead
(BrewersPublications,1986)and
 MakingMead
(ArgusBooks,1984)arehighlyrecommendedbooks.
Honey 
 Werecommendtheuseoffreshhoneythathasundergonetheleastamountof processingpossible.Commerciallyblend-edhoney(commonlylistedascloveror
ZYMURGYSpring1995
34

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