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capoeirista13
01-27-2009, 12:28 PM
So I'm in a food/travel and writing class and I have to write two papers, one of which is very open. So I thought I would do it on either homebrewing or just mead in general. I was thinking if I did homebrewing I could talk about some stuff I've read about how homebrewers have impacted beer drinking around the country with the building of microbreweries and stuff. And if I do meadmaking I can go with what mead is, why it is so great to me personally, the history of mead, mead now, mead in the future. So, does anyone here have any ideas on stuff to write about, or any sources for me? I was probably going to rely heavily on The Compleat Meadmaker's history section.

osluder
01-27-2009, 12:51 PM
So, does anyone here have any ideas on stuff to write about, or any sources for me? I was probably going to rely heavily on The Compleat Meadmaker's history section.

I say go with the mead paper. Also, don't forget the main Got Mead? web site as a source as well: Vicky, et al. have amassed quite a bit of information there. -- Olen

Wolfie
01-27-2009, 01:18 PM
the search function here in the forums is a good source as well. Look for history or historical with Dan McFeely as the author--he seems to be the resident mead historian around here.

good luck with the paper,

Z

Vino
01-27-2009, 01:44 PM
You might also want to contact Stonekeep Meadery (http://www.stonekeepmeadery.com/index.asp) in Birdsboro which is less than an hour outside of Philadelphia (near Reading)..ask them how and why they started their business...see if they have any interesting stories to share.

I believe they are the only commercial Meadery in Pennsylvania.

capoeirista13
01-27-2009, 01:51 PM
hey man thats a good tip indeed, thanks a lot!

Also Osluder, good call on using the main site, I'm on the forums so much I forget the main site exists sometimes, lol.

I will be sure to do those searches Wolfie.

Thanks for these tips yal', I already know my prof is gonna like this paper, b/c he wanted me to bring in my petit syrah pyment, lol.

webmaster
01-27-2009, 03:11 PM
Like they say, there is quite a bit on the main site. There are a number of meadery articles, as well as history, archeological reports and tons of other stuff you might find helpful. Feel free to email me to talk if you'd like, too.

capoeirista13
01-30-2009, 11:22 PM
My professor wanted me to do my paper on my experience as an independent homebrewer. So does anyone have any idea as to where I thought I could find out about state-specific (meaning for PA in my case) liquor laws, as well as stuff like homebrewing regulations? I remember some people talking about stuff like you can only brew x gallons before its not considered a hobby anymore and stuff like that.

**I found it here**

http://www.beertown.org/homebrewing/legal.html

http://www.beertown.org/statutes/usa.htm

those were two very useful links, the first concerning law by state, specifically PA, the second concerning age and gallonage restrictions

osluder
01-30-2009, 11:38 PM
So does anyone have any idea as to where I thought I could find out about state-specific (meaning for PA in my case) liquor laws, as well as stuff like homebrewing regulations? I remember some people talking about stuff like you can only brew x gallons before its not considered a hobby anymore and stuff like that.

There is a federal law that exempts 100 gallons per adult or 200 gallons per household from taxation, but the individual states actual control the legality. Have you tried Googling for something like "pa liquor laws"? Most states have either a liquor control board or an alcoholic beverage commission (as in the case of Texas). Try the Google search mentioned and look for one of those two terms or something similar. The American Homebrewers Association (http://www.beertown.org/homebrewing/index.html) may have info too. -- Olen

capoeirista13
01-30-2009, 11:42 PM
I was actually doing that and editing my previous post as you typed your own, lol.

Kee
01-31-2009, 12:34 AM
Try the TTB for info too. They have links to the states' control board sites (http://www.ttb.gov/wine/control_board.shtml).

We'd love to see a draft if/when you're willing to share.

capoeirista13
01-31-2009, 12:44 AM
Yeh no problem, I'll put up a first draft tonight if I can finish it. It is supposed to be a 1500 word paper, but I expect it will end up being longer, and we will just have to trim it down in class. There is just so much information, I have so many directions to go on this paper, I'm not sure which is best.

I'd also appreciate if maybe I write something wrong or just slightly erroneous if anyone here could correct me, or just if you have an interesting anecdote or tidbit of info, or an idea on a different direction. It is only a rough draft due by Monday after all.

capoeirista13
01-31-2009, 02:29 AM
OK, here is my rough draft, enjoy!

Chris Shaw
Food Essay
02/02/08
Jason Wilson
Honors 202-501

NEED A GOOD TITLE

Pennsylvania liquor law states:
(a) Beer.--For purposes of this chapter (except when used with reference to distilling or distilling material) the term "beer" means beer, ale, porter, stout, and other similar fermented beverages (including sake or similar products) of any name or description containing one-half of 1 percent or more of alcohol by volume, brewed or produced from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute therefore. (e) Beer for personal or family use.--Subject to regulation prescribed by the Secretary, any adult may, without payment of tax, produce beer for personal or family use and not for sale. The aggregate amount of beer exempt from tax under this subsection with respect to any household shall not exceed: (1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are 2 or more adults in such household, or (2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only 1 adult in such household. For purposes of this subsection, the term "adult" means an individual who has attained 18 years of age, or the minimum age (if any) established by law applicable in the locality in which the household is situated at which beer may be sold to individuals, whichever is greater. (Beertown)
This basically means that anyone over 18 years of age can legally homebrew in Pennsylvania. They can not, however, legally drink the product that they create. If this person is living alone they can brew up to 100 gallons per year, any more than that and it becomes illegal. If, however, this person lives with at least one more adult, then they can brew up to 200 gallons per year, any more than that and it becomes illegal. If this person lives with 2 other adults, they can not brew 300 gallons. The amount that a household can legally brew is capped at 200 gallons as long as it is not a business. Furthermore, any alcoholic beverage brewed at home can only be used for personal consumption, gift-giving, and competition. It may not be sold without a liquor license. A beverage is labeled as alcoholic as long as it is 0.5% ABV, no matter what it is called or made from. As an interesting side note, distilling is illegal without a license no matter what your age or situation. The reason behind this is that poorly made distilled beverages harbor serious health risks (blindness) and can cause extensive property damage (explosives distillers).

I didnít know any of this when I first started homebrewing. I just read a description of mead in a fantasy novel and though, wow, this sounds amazing! I also needed to get a gift for my brotherís and sisterís respective weddings, so it was a twofer. I had tried beer years ago and wasnít a fan. I assumed I would grow to appreciate the taste, especially because I was in college now. I was wrong, beer tasted horrible before and it still tastes horrible now, for the most part. Then there was wine. I come from a family that, for the most part, thinks wine is the best alcoholic beverage there is. A small portion the family is loyal to a few select beers, Stella Artois comes to mind, but for the most part my family is a wine family. So naturally I have tried wine as well. I am not much of a fan of wine either, particularly red wines. And I dislike wines for the very reason that other people like them so much, their acids. Supposedly wines match very well with certain meals, and their acids contribute a lot to this, but to me it is just an extra burn which I find unnecessary. So finally there was only this mystical beverage left, mead.
I was on co-op at the time that I reached this conclusion and had a lot of time to kill, so I did a lot of internet searches and came across a website, which is essentially a mead Bible to many homebrewers across the country. It goes by the name of GotMead.com. I learned a lot about mead. The first and mode important thing I learned was that it was made predominantly from honey. Just like beers and wines, it went by many different names, depending on how it was made. A melomel is mead made with fruit, a metheglin is mead made with spices like cloves and cinnamon, a cyser is a cider whose fermentable sugars are at least 50% honey, a pyment is a wine whose fermentable sugars are at least 50% honey, hippocras is actually a spiced pyment, and a braggot is a beer whose fermentable sugars are 50% honey.
I read and planned for roughly 3 months before I finally went to my local homebrew store, Home Sweet Homebrew, and bought the necessary equipment and ingredients. My first mead was going to be a blueberry mead, primarily because my local homebrew store only had blueberry and clove honey, and blueberry sounded much more appealing. Also, we had about 2 lbs of blueberries at home in the fridge so I thought that sounded like a good idea. The ingredients for my first batch of mead looked like this.
Ingredients
10 lbs (1 gallon) blueberry honey
2 lbs blueberries
4 gallons of water
1.5 tsp Irish Moss
2 tsp yeast nutrient
10 g D-47 yeast

My process was pretty simple now that I look back on it, but at the time it seemed incredibly intimidating. First I boiled 4 gallons of water, while slowly adding in the honey. The smell that emanated from this was heavenly, and I thought if the final product is anything like this then I have made the right choice in creating a blueberry mead as my first project. After I threw all 5 gallons of this mixture into my primary fermenter, which was a big white food-grade bucket with a spout on the bottom, I added my yeast nutrient, blueberries, and Irish Moss which I had boiled for 15 minutes. Then I threw the yeast on top of this and mixed like my life depended on it. Then I closed up the fermenter and waited until I started to see bubbles. Over the next week I opened up the fermenter and mixed everything around a lot, this is called aeration and is used to get oxygen into the must to help the yeast to ferment. The must is what you call the original mixture of honey and water. I let this go for about three weeks and then I racked it into a glass carboy. To rack means to transfer from one container to another, you do it to help clear the final product. A carboy is a glass or plastic container for fermenting drinks. It looks like the thing on top of a water cooler. Over the course of the next 3 months I racked it one or two more times and then bottled it. It shouldnít have been bottled yet, truth be told, but I wanted to have it ready for my sisterís wedding as my brotherís had already passed, and I would have to mail him his bottles and accompanying crystal goblets. On the same day I was bottling my mead, my mom was having a small family dinner with some relatives, I thought it would be a good idea to bring a sample bottle of my golden creation and see what everyone thought. I thought it tasted pretty good, a bit like alcoholic honey water. But my family thought differently, the consensus wasÖtastes a bit like beer, I think Iíll stick to my red wine. I thought maybe this just isnít the right demographic, so a week later I brought a bottle to a party at my friendís house. Here the reaction was much different. They ranged from, ďThis is good,Ē to ďWow this is really good, you made this? No way, you didnít make this. Where did you make this?Ē I also noticed that although it tastes pretty good when you are sober, it tastes much better when you are drunk. Sober, it tastes like alcoholic honey water, but has no burn only a slight warming sensation, drunk it tasted like liquid blueberry candy.
I have learned a lot since that first batch, which I have dubbed wedding mead (12% ABV). I plan on making a new revised batch, called anniversary mead. It will essentially be the first one, but remade with all of the knowledge I have obtained since then.
I learned after I had made this that the Irish Moss was an unnecessary addition to my mead. It is actually a clearing agent used in beers, but mead does not mask the flavor well enough. This may have been the reason why my relatives thought it tasted a bit like beer. I would also not boil the honey. I learned later that boiling the honey essentially burns away a lot of the honey flavor and aroma from the final product; that is why it smelled so good as I boiled the initial must. I would also crush the blueberries as opposed to just throwing them in to the must. This would help to give the mead a more blueberry color, as well as a more pronounced blueberry flavor and also to give some nutrients to the yeast. Due to all of this knowledge, my anniversary mead would probably end up looking like this.
Ingredients
10 lbs blueberries in primary
-blueberry juice to fill up secondary
16 lbs blueberry honey in primary (not boiled)
3 vanilla beans in primary
-2 vanilla beans in secondary
10g 71B yeast
4 gals tap water boiled for primary
2 tsp yeast nutrient
2.5 tsp yeast energizer

capoeirista13
01-31-2009, 02:29 AM
Second post because of character limit.

I have made quite a few batches since that first try. One was a spiced cyser, another was a petit syrah pyment, and a cranberry cider. The recipes for those are at the end of the paper. I feel like homebrewing all of these different things is a really good creative outlet. In fact, the cranberry cider I made was an attempt at making an imitation green apple cider, without any available green apples. That recipe still needs some tweaking. Next week I plan on making an orange vanilla cider whose taste is supposed to mimic an orange creamsicle or at least an orange cream soda. Iím sure Iíll have to tweak this recipe a bit too in order to get it right, but it is a learning process, and a fun one too. And when all is said and done, even if it didnít come out the way you wanted it to, you can bet whatever you make will taste better than what you find in any store, and it is usually cheaper too.

**I wasnít quite sure where this next part would go in the paper**
I hate to sound like Stephen from Top Chef, hilarious as his obnoxiousness is, but my palate has become a bit more accustomed to the things I taste now. Iím nowhere near saying that a wine is made from young grapes of the Burgundy region, or saying a beer is made from the freshest hops out of the Tettnang area from Germany, but I can now tell if something was made with a wine or an ale yeast, and whether it is dry, semi-sweet, or sweet, and even roughly how young it is, although it is a very rough approximation.
**end of unknown section**

Shawís Spiced Winter Cyser
-12 lbs Clove Honey
-5 gals Gala Apple cider
-1 Nutmeg nut
-2 Allspice Berries
-2 Cloves
-3 Cinnamon Sticks
-2.5 tsp Yeast Energizer
-2 tsp Fermax
- 10g D-47 yeast

Not So Petit Sweet Syrah Pyment
-70 lbs of petit syrah grapes
-10g RC 212 yeast
-12 lbs blueberry honey
-1.5 oz Medium Toast American Oak Cubes
-2.5 tsp Yeast Energizer
-2 tsp Fermax

Faux Green Apple Cider
1 gal Cranberry Juice
4 gal Gala Apple juice
2 lbs Cranberry Honey
11.5g S-33 yeast
-2.5 tsp Yeast Energizer
-2 tsp Fermax

Supreme Orange Cream
4 gal Gala Apple juice
1 gal Orange Juice
3-5 lbs Orange Blossom honey
11.5g Danstarís Nottingham yeast
-2.5 tsp Yeast Energizer
-2 tsp Fermax

**I felt this paper was too instructional but I didnít know about how else to go about it**

Bibliography
http://www.beertown.org/statutes/usa.htm

Kee
01-31-2009, 03:03 AM
It's a good first draft. You may want to start with an introduction paragraph rather than jumping into the legal descriptions, but that's just my opinion. Also, you talk about bubbling but don't explain that it's supposed to happen or anything about an airlock. Did you want to clarify?

I like the recipes at the end. It's a nice touch.

osluder
01-31-2009, 03:05 AM
It is supposed to be a 1500 word paper, but I expect it will end up being longer, and we will just have to trim it down in class. There is just so much information, I have so many directions to go on this paper, I'm not sure which is best.

Just a general editorial thought: What is your target audience here? If the Prof was looking for your experiences, are you sure they wanted a cookbook? If you eliminate some of the ingredient lists and detailed processes you will reduce your word count. If you feel you need to, keep them at the end of the paper as reference material and don't include them in your count. -- Olen

capoeirista13
01-31-2009, 03:21 AM
What a perfect example of two conflicting opinions you two, lol. As for the bubbling it probably is a good idea for me to explain a bit more, that part hadn't occurred to me. Good call!

I was a bit concerned about how much it seemed like I was writing a brewlog though. So I probably will heavily reduce the process of making it the first time. I wasn't thinking about a target audience or anything like that, I was just writing. I don't really know what my prof is looking for, we were going around giving our ideas and discussing what would be a good direction to go in, but didn't get to my paper in time, so I wasn't sure which direction he wanted me to take with this.

I'm glad I put this up here, any more input would be greatly appreciated!

osluder
01-31-2009, 03:49 AM
What a perfect example of two conflicting opinions you two, lol.

Nah, no real disagreement. Kee was basically letting you come to your own opinion about the general tone of the paper and offering specific criticism. I was having you step back and really figure out what that tone should be. Besides we do both agree on the recipes going at the end. I would add to her suggestion about the legalese and recommend you elide a lot of it: do you really need a legal definition of beer? ;D I would add citations referencing the detailed laws if someone wants to look it up. I'm pretty sure both the federal and PA statutes are accessible online. As far as your audience, you have to decide if it will be for someone who wants to actually make beer from your description, or someone who just wants to understand it conceptually and is more interested in how it smelled, tasted, felt to make beer. -- Olen

Clurin
01-31-2009, 11:15 AM
For purposes of this subsection, the term "adult" means an individual who has attained 18 years of age, or the minimum age (if any) established by law applicable in the locality in which the household is situated at which beer may be sold to individuals, whichever is greater.

Reading this seems to indicate that an "adult" for purposes of homebrewing in PA (and the other 49 states) is 21, not 18. The line "or the minimum age (if any) established by law applicable in the locality in which the household is situated at which beer may be sold to individuals" is what makes me say this.

You may want to verify this with someone more proficient in reading legalise.

Vino
01-31-2009, 11:20 AM
CAP,

The draft looks interesting...I would agree with Olen that you could eliminate some of the recipes...you might also want to give a little bit more of the history of homebrew.
Maybe mention something about the history of brewing in ancient times like Mead by the Greeks or Beer by the Sumerians.
You might also discuss how homebrewing was outlawed during prohibition, and that when prohibition was repealed with the 21st Amendment, home wine-making was legalised. Homebrewing of beer should have also been legalised at this time, but a clerical error omitted the words "and/or beer" from the document which was eventually passed into law. Thus, the homebrewing of beer remained illegal for several decades.
In 1978, Congress passed a bill repealing Federal restrictions on the homebrewing of small amounts of beer. Jimmy Carter signed the bill into law in February 1979, and many states soon followed suit. However, this bill left individual states free to pass their own laws limiting production. For example, homebrewing is still illegal in the state of Alabama (where I live).

You also give a great example of how you don't like beer or wine...you may expand on this by saying that homebrewing allows you to produce a product that suits your taste...more or less acidic, more or less sweet, adding flavors like orange or blueberry or vanilla to create a drink that might not otherwise be available commercially and in most cases at a reduced cost.

Just a few idea's to consider.

BTW, Go STEELER!

capoeirista13
01-31-2009, 02:45 PM
Good point Clurin, I actually have the phone number for the Pennsylvania liquor control board, but apparently no one is there after 5 PM on Fridays until Monday at 8 AM, and I started my paper after 5 PM on Friday. I plan on calling to verify on Monday, and I was thinking that maybe I could just eliminate the legal part and just use my interpretation to free up some of the wordcount, as right now it is at 2000+, although that includes the recipes at the end.

Vino, EXCELLENT! I plan on using a lot of what you said in the revised version of my paper. I'll try googling all that later if I can so I have a legitimate source. Especially the thing about how it suits my tastes, I think that would go very well in the paper. And yes, go Steelers! At least one PA team will be in there kicking ass.

I probably won't be able to get the new paper up until late tonight or late tomorrow night, as this is only one of the 5 midterms assignments i have due by Monday/Tuesday, and all the other ones are actually tests.

Thanks for all your input ladies and gents, more is welcome!

Xixist
02-03-2009, 10:41 PM
Turn in the paper with a 750 ml. of mead... you'll be sure to get an A
Xixist

Kee
02-03-2009, 11:24 PM
How did all your classes go? I know you said it'd be a busy Mon-Tues.

capoeirista13
02-04-2009, 12:00 AM
Lol, I'd love to turn it in w/ a wine bottle's worth of mead, lol. We actually discussed a tasting but b/c everyone in the class isn't over 21, the university wouldn't allow it.

Bah, I've been studying for a few days straight and as a result I'm kind of burnt out atm. The paper was due by monday, but I was studying for my 2 monday tests and 2 tuesday midterms so I didn't get a chance to revise it yet.

capoeirista13
02-19-2009, 03:56 PM
Here is the latest (and greatest?) edition of my paper, changed a lot due to class and professor input. This is a very trimmed down version, it was supposed to be a 1500 word paper, but I couldn't get the word count down that low even after I cut out a lot. This is STILL over the word limit but it's the best I could do to shorten it w/o making the paper feel incomplete. Let me know what you guys think!

Itís Time to Mead you Maker

The first time that I heard of mead was in the epic Beowulf, back in high school. Mead is, at its most basic level, honey wine. As I got more interested in fantasy novels, I began to see mead mentioned more and more often. As I read about kings, heroes, and knights drinking this mystical beverage, I thought to myself what drink could be more badass than mead? If it was good enough for Beowulf, the hero who slew Grendel, it is certainly good enough for me. However, none of my friends or family knew what mead was. When asked, ďWhat do you know about mead?Ē the most common response was ďMeat? What about it?Ē So, because no one knew about mead, and I was still under 21 and not able to buy my own alcohol, I arrived at the decision that I must make my own. This was partly because of its description in all of the books that I had read and partly because it seemed unattainable. I also wanted to make an alcoholic drink that I actually liked drinking, which I had yet to find before I started homebrewing.
I was on co-op when I reached this conclusion, so naturally I had a lot of time to kill from nine to five. So I did a lot of research and came across a website which is essentially a mead Bible to many homebrewers across the country. It goes by the name of GotMead.com. GotMead is a website with easy to follow mead making directions for beginners, as well as loads of advanced brewing techniques and personal experience from the many members of the site. I learned a lot about mead just reading other peopleís questions and answers. Before I stumbled upon GotMead, the only thing I knew about mead was that it was alcoholic and that vikings loved it. The first and mode important thing I learned was that it was predominantly from honey. Just like beers and wines, it went by many different names, depending on how it was made. A melomel is mead made with fruit, a metheglin is mead made with spices like cloves and cinnamon, a cyser is a cider whose fermentable sugars are at least 50% honey, a pyment is a wine whose fermentable sugars are at least 50% honey, hippocras is actually a spiced pyment, and a braggot is a beer whose fermentable sugars are 50% honey. I also learned about how to measure alcohol by volume, how to choose a yeast strain for a specific recipe, and how to clear a fermented beverage, among other things.
During my co-op I found out that my brother was getting married in November, and my sister was getting married in December, so I could knock out two birds with one stone by making them each some mead. I read and planned for roughly three months before I finally went to my local homebrew store, Home Sweet Homebrew, with my friend Jordan and bought the necessary equipment and ingredients. We got a primary fermenter, a secondary fermenter, racking equipment, a gallon of honey, yeast, nutrients, and some Irish Moss. The man who ran the shop was very knowledgeable, and is a bit of a beer guru in the area. My first mead was going to be a blueberry mead, primarily because my local homebrew store only had blueberry and clove honey, and blueberry sounded much more appealing. Also, we had about two pounds of blueberries at home in the fridge so I thought that sounded like a good idea. As we picked up each ingredient and each piece of equipment we exchanged a look which said ďThis is so cool,Ē which was soon followed by those exact words. The ingredients for my first batch of mead looked like this.
Ingredients
10 lbs (one gallon) blueberry honey
2 lbs blueberries
4 gallons of water
1.5 tsp Irish Moss
2 tsp yeast nutrient
10 g D-47 yeast

My process was pretty simple now that I look back on it, but at the time it seemed incredibly intimidating. First I boiled four gallons of water, while slowly adding in the honey. The smell that emanated from this was heavenly, and I thought if the final product is anything like this then I have made the right choice in creating a blueberry mead as my first project. I later found out that boiling the honey in the water was actually robbing the mead of fragrance and flavor. My bad, score one for mead. After I threw all five gallons of this mixture into my primary fermenter, which was a big white food-grade bucket with a spout on the bottom. Then I added my yeast nutrient, blueberries, and Irish Moss which I had boiled for 15 minutes. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to the yeast nutrient, and didnít even know it existed until I went to the homebrew store, so I threw it all in to be safe. It turns out this was the right thing to do, score one for me. All I did to the blueberries was wash them off and then throw them in. Apparently I was supposed to wash them, crush and juice them, and then place them in a muslin bag for easier removal later. Uh-oh, score one for mead again. Finally, the Irish Moss, which is actually a form of dried seaweed used as a clearing in beers, is not supposed to be used in meads because it creates a taste which mead can not mask. Score one for mead yet again. Then I threw the yeast on top of this and mixed like my life depended on it. This was also the wrong course of action, as yeast should be rehydrated in warm water and, preferably, nutrients such as Go-Ferm before it is added to the must. The must is the original mixture to which the yeast is added. Yikes, score one for meadÖagain. Then I closed up the fermenter and waited until I started to see bubbles. Over the next week I opened up the fermenter and mixed everything around a lot, this is called aeration and is used to get oxygen into the must to help the yeast to ferment. This was a good thing for me to do, score one for me! I let this go for about three weeks and then I racked it into a glass carboy. To rack means to transfer from one container to another, you do it to help clear the final product. This was also a good choice, score one for me again. A carboy is a glass or plastic container for fermenting drinks; it looks like the thing on top of a water cooler. Over the course of the next three months I racked it two more times and then bottled it. Final score, 3 Ė 3, I hoped that it would have turned out well.

Kee
02-19-2009, 06:10 PM
Wow. It's amazing how this has evolved.

I have just one thought. You've said in the article you did things wrong. I wouldn't go with 'wrong,' just not the most effective, up-to-date methods. Many people make decent mead using those techniques. You're just learning to make amazing, award-winning mead.

Okay, two thoughts... I think you should win the mead count!

capoeirista13
02-19-2009, 06:48 PM
yikes, apparently i forgot to post the last page of the paper, lol, ill take care of that after class

capoeirista13
02-19-2009, 07:18 PM
**second half**
It shouldnít have been bottled yet, truth be told, but I wanted to have it ready for my sisterís wedding as my brotherís had already passed, and I would have to mail him his bottles and accompanying crystal goblets. I tried the mead, and thought that it was OK, it tasted like slightly alcoholic honey-water, in reality it was 12% ABV. On the same day that I was bottling my mead, my mom was having a small family dinner with some relatives. I thought it would be a good idea to bring a sample bottle of my golden creation and see what everyone thought. My familyís thoughts on my product were a bit different that my own, the consensus wasÖtastes a bit like beer, I think Iíll stick to my red wine. It occurred to be that maybe this just wasnít the right demographic, so a week later I brought a bottle to a party at my friendís house. Here the reaction was much different. They ranged from, ďThis is good,Ē to ďWow this is really good, you made this? No way, you didnít make this. Where did you make this?Ē I also noticed that although it tastes pretty good when you are sober, it tastes much better when you are drunk. Sober, it tastes like alcoholic honey water, but has no burn only a slight warming sensation, drunk it tasted like liquid blueberries. I mailed my brother his bottles, one of them exploded, kind of. The cork popped out and hit my brother in the head from across the room, thatís what you get for bottling early. When he tried it, he said it was good cold, but he doesnít think heíd be able to drink it warm. To me, that marks a failed experiment. But thatís OK, as it was only my first try. I brought a bottle of the mead, as well as a cranberry cider I made, to a friendís 21st birthday party. Both of them were huge hits, with people asking me if I could have any ready for Valentineís Day. My sister has yet to try her Wedding Mead.
I have learned a lot since that first batch, which I dubbed Wedding Mead. I plan on making a new revised batch, called Anniversary Mead. It will essentially be the Wedding Mead, but remade with all of the knowledge I have obtained since then. My anniversary mead would probably end up looking like this.
Ingredients
10 lbs blueberries in primary (crushed)
-blueberry juice to fill up secondary
19 lbs blueberry honey in primary (not boiled)
10 vanilla beans in primary
-10 vanilla beans in secondary
10g 71B yeast
4 gals tap water boiled for primary
2 tsp yeast nutrient
2.5 tsp yeast energizer
1 drop Olive Oil

I have made a lot of different brews since that first batch, and have accomplished my initial goal of finding an alcoholic beverage that I actually like drinking. I have found this drink in mead, dessert wines, and ciders. Below is a recipe that I am currently brewing, I think it is going to turn out great. You may notice that my recipes have gotten a bit more complex.



Ingredients
4 gals of 100% Apple Juice from Trader Joe's
-pasteurized, no preservatives
1 gal of Gala Apple Cider from Trader Joe's
-pasteurized, no preservatives
3 valencia oranges
-used in primary fermentation
-run under hot water, then peeled for zest
-deseeded and then juiced
-did not use pulp, just zest and juice
2 vanilla beans
-used in primary fermentation
-split and scraped
3 lbs Orange Honey used in primary fermentation
0.5 oz Med. Toast French Oak (Primary)
2 valencia oranges
-used in secondary fermentation
-run under hot water, then peeled for zest
-deseeded and then juiced
-did not use pulp, just zest and juice
2 navel oranges
-used in secondary fermentation
-run under hot water, then peeled for zest
-deseeded and then juiced
-did not use pulp, just zest and juice
2 tangerines
-used in secondary fermentation
-run under hot water, then peeled for zest
-deseeded and then juiced
-did not use pulp, just zest and juice
1 vanilla bean
-used in secondary fermentation
-split and scraped
10 vanilla beans
-used at secondary racking
-split and scraped
11.5 g of S-33 Yeast, Safbrew brand
Several drops of Pectic Enzyme
2.5 tsp Yeast Energizer
2 tsp Fermax

Kee
02-19-2009, 08:05 PM
I still think you should win.

capoeirista13
02-26-2009, 05:35 AM
Hey there, so I have a second paper I'm writing for class, this one is on current mead culture, and how people see mead and how their preconceived notions of mead are not quite right. Its nowhere near done yet, but maybe you can help me with that...enjoy!

Mead
Not Just for Knights and Men in Tights

Nowadays, it is pretty rare to find someone that knows what mead is. Its honey wine by the way. But there wasnít always a time when meadís existence wasnít so obscure. During the middle ages, honey was plentiful and cheap. This was when mead was most popular; it was the drink of kings and nobility. Alas, honey became expensive and in turn so did mead. This is when mead started to die out as the drink of the elite. In recent years mead has seen a revival in popularity, but seems to remain outside of the mainstream drinking scene in its own niche.
When people actually know what mead is, they tend to have two preconceived notions of it which are very wrong. The first idea that people have about mead is that it is only for renaissance fairs and the people that attend them. People often imagine a man in green spandex boasting a plastic bow and a quiver full of plunger-tipped arrows, singing songs about a fair maiden with his friend the knight, dressed in home-made armor with a Halloween-store sword and shield while they while away the time it takes for their respective moms to come pick them up. The problem with trying to convince people this isnít true is that mead is often available at Ye Olde Renaissance Faire. It is also the drink of choice in many poorly-written CVS fantasy novels. But these are not the only people who drink mead. Many people who are interested in mead are the ones who make it themselves. They are the homebrewers and the ones who run the meaderies that make quality products. There are also people who are just looking for something new, something different, who happen upon a bottle of mead and decide to try it out. Mead has even made its way into a few cooking recipes. The honey, spice, and fruit notes match well with baked goods, unlike most wines.
The second notion of mead that people have is that it must be sweet, because it is made with honey. Oddly enough, most people donít automatically associate wine with sweetness, even though the sugary grape juice used to make wine could cause a five year old to purse his lips together in distaste. And what most people donít know about wine is that a lot of wines are fortified with pounds of sugar. If everyone knew that a major amount of wineís fermentable sugars came from cane sugar as opposed to grape juice, perhaps their perceptions of the drink would be different. By the same token, no one associates beer with multi-grain bread, or the flavor of the grains that make it. The problem with this is that most of the commercial meads being sold are too sweet by a half (think along the lines of alcoholic Gatorade), so it is hard to show people that not all mead is saturated with sugar. I think Pete Bakulic, resident mead guru of Gotmead.com, said it best when describing people with this notion.
"Ömost people are ignorant of what mead is and the many styles, flavors and characters of mead. The most common one I run into is ĎMead is made from honey, ooh, that's too sweet for me.í I just kind of cock my head to one side, smile and start the explanation, then follow it up with some bone dry traditional or dark fruit melomel. In no time they're asking how much more I brought with me."
Mead is really just another type of wine, like blueberry wine. The only different is that honey is used for the bulk of the fermentable sugars, as opposed to fruit juice or cane sugar.
These problems have the same root. There are not many meads available to the general public, commercial or otherwise. In addition, there has been no outcry for a better product from the few people that drink mead because they donít know any better. If Natty Light was the only beer available, beer probably wouldnít be as popular or wide-spread as it is today. The same would go for wine, if something like Franzia was the only option. Luckily for all the beer and wine lovers out in the world there are options. And luckily for mead lovers, some new options are beginning to appear as well. There are a number of meaderies springing up as people rediscover the drink. Good meads are typically found in meaderies, not wineries or vineyards, but some wineries have branched out into brewing mead as well. No longer will people have to drink Chaucerís brand mead, which only reinforces the negative connotations attached to mead by its name and flavor profile. Now people can buy quality meads from the likes of Redstone Meadery, B. Nektar Meadery, Rabbits Foot Meadery, or even a locally run business like Shields Demesne Winery or Plum Run Winery.
And yet, that is not all that is wrong with mead. Because people donít really know what mead is, they donít really know how to market it, or even where to put it in their stores. After all, with retailers it is all about moving a product and making a profit. But if you canít move a product because you and your consumer are both confounded by it, you will make no profit. Because of this mead is not widely marketed, except for a few meaderies and even less wineries. On the rare occasion that you do find some mead in a store, it may be in the wine section as it should be, but sometimes it will be found among beer, or even among drinks like Twisted Tea or Mikeís Hard. In order for mead to become more mainstream, the producer, retailer, and consumer all need to be reeducated about the product. I donít know how this is best done, but I do know how I can try to educate the public about it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one bottle at a time.

Dan McFeeley
02-26-2009, 01:23 PM
Hello! I missed the start of this thread, have a lot of things going on at home at the moment and haven't been reading the boards as often as I was. I'm working at rectifying that -- it's not good to be away from mead folk and conversation for too long!

Looks like you're off to a good start, although you could expand the history references. Mead in the Medieval period is an easy association -- most people when they first think of mead, they think of Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, Celts, and Medieval banquets. It springs to mind very quickly.

Honey, and anything made from honey, has been ubiquitous throughout known history. Do a search on this site for Jiahu, and you'll find posts and links to articles on the oldest known artifact showing the making of a fermented beverage, 9,000 years old and from Jiahu China. Ingredients are rice, grape or hawthorn berry, and honey. Two of our forum board members have been involved with recreating this beverage on both commercial and home meadmaking levels.

Check out the Makana meadery, run by Dr. Garth Cambray in South Africa. He feels that the oldest meads were made by African bushmen, and he may very well be right. If so, we're talking about really really ancient stuff. Here's a link to the Makana meadery:

http://www.iqhilika.co.za/

Take a look at the History of Mead forum and you'll find lots of info there also.

There's a few good articles on the main web site. I contribted a short essay on the late Dr. Roger Morse, and you'll find other good material on historical background to mead.

The Medieval assocations -- it's a good lead in for a paper, but you can use that as a jumping off point for a few more sentences in the paragraph on just how well known the making of fermented beverages from honey is to world cultures, through out history.

Hope this is helpful!

webmaster
02-26-2009, 01:29 PM
I have the Jiahu article in the main site, as well as articles about the Midas mead and other historical finds.

Cap, when you finish your papers, if you're willing, I would *love* to publish them on the main site.....

Vicky - coughing pretty much continuously with this bronchitis, but can still type....LOL

Dan McFeeley
02-26-2009, 01:31 PM
Oh yeah, just for fun, go to gocomics.com and take a look at the Ink Pen strip:

http://gocomics.com/features/87

Click on the calendar and go to March 17th 2008, although you may get a message that the archives are for Pro Users only. Sometimes you get this but the strip will still be on the bottom of the page. March 17th 2008 was the start of a good series on mead.

The artist is Phil Dunlap, and in this particular sequence he had a little fun with mead and meadmaking. One of the characters, a Norse god by the name of Tyr, hangs out at the bar and always orders a flagon of mead. It's a bit of fun with the historical stereotypes, i.e., the only folk who drank mead were Vikings, ect. As it turns out, the out of work Tyr ends up as a PR man for mead, mead snobs are lampooned, ect. A lot of funny stuff.

Phil does seem to know a great deal about mead, in spite of the satire (that's actually what made the satire so good), and seems to have lurked on these boards. Rumor also has it that he hangs out with Oskaar, but so far Oskaar isn't saying anything. :)

capoeirista13
02-26-2009, 05:23 PM
lol, awesome, I actually wanted to write more of the historical/informative stuff into the paper, but these essays are supposed to kind of mimic the writing styles that we see on a website, tablematters.com, and they tend to be more humorous/sarcastic than 'educational'

Oskaar
02-27-2009, 04:18 AM
...snip... Rumor also has it that he hangs out with Oskaar, but so far Oskaar isn't saying anything. :)

I'm sure we'll end up on TMZ!

capoeirista13
02-27-2009, 11:57 PM
I have the Jiahu article in the main site, as well as articles about the Midas mead and other historical finds.

Cap, when you finish your papers, if you're willing, I would *love* to publish them on the main site.....

Vicky - coughing pretty much continuously with this bronchitis, but can still type....LOL

I'd be honored to have them on the site!

capoeirista13
03-19-2009, 02:55 AM
OK so this is the revision of my second paper. It is currently awaiting revision by my friend who is an English major.

Part 1 (because it was too long for just one post!)

Mead
Not Just for Knights and Men in Tights

ďMead, thatís like moonshine right?Ē That was the response from my roommate as I told him I was going to write a paper on mead for class. Nowadays, it is pretty rare to find someone that knows what mead is. Its honey wine by the way. But there wasnít always a time when meadís existence wasnít so obscure. During the middle ages, honey was plentiful and cheap. This was when mead was most popular; it was the drink of kings and nobility. Alas, honey became expensive and in turn so did mead. This is when mead started to die out as the drink of the elite. In recent years mead has seen a revival in popularity, but seems to remain outside of the mainstream drinking scene in its own niche. You can actually buy mead anywhere you can buy wine, but it is most likely going to be found at a renaissance fair, a meadery, or an outgoing winery.
When people actually know what mead is, they tend to have two preconceived notions of it which are very wrong. The first idea that people have about mead is that it is only for renaissance fairs and the people that attend them. People often imagine a man in green spandex boasting a plastic bow and a quiver full of plunger-tipped arrows, singing songs about a fair maiden with his friend the knight, dressed in home-made armor with a Halloween-store sword and shield while they while away the time it takes for their respective moms to come pick them up. The problem with trying to convince people this isnít true is that mead is often available at Ye Olde Renaissance Faire. It is also the drink of choice in many poorly-written CVS fantasy novels. But these are not the only people who drink mead. Many people who are interested in mead are the ones who make it themselves. They are the homebrewers and the ones who run the meaderies that make quality products. There are also people who are just looking for something new, something different, who happen upon a bottle of mead and decide to try it out. Mead has even made its way into a few cooking recipes. The honey, spice, and fruit notes match well with baked goods, unlike most wines.
The second notion of mead that people have is that it must be sweet, because it is made with honey. Oddly enough, most people donít automatically associate wine with sweetness, even though the sugary grape juice used to make wine could cause a five year old to purse his lips together in distaste. And what most people donít know about wine is that some wines are fortified with pounds of sugar. By the same token, no one associates beer with multi-grain bread, or the flavor of the grains that make it. The problem with this is that most of the commercial meads being sold are too sweet by a half (think along the lines of alcoholic Gatorade), so it is hard to show people that not all mead is saturated with sugar. I think Pete Bakulic, resident mead guru of Gotmead.com, said it best when describing people with this notion.
"Ömost people are ignorant of what mead is and the many styles, flavors and characters of mead. The most common one I run into is ĎMead is made from honey, ooh, that's too sweet for me.í I just kind of cock my head to one side, smile and start the explanation, then follow it up with some bone dry traditional or dark fruit melomel. In no time they're asking how much more I brought with me."
Mead is really just another type of wine, like blueberry wine. The only different is that honey is used for the bulk of the fermentable sugars, as opposed to fruit juice or cane sugar.
These problems have the same root. There are not many meads available to the general public, commercial or otherwise. In addition, there has been no outcry for a better product from the few people that drink mead because they donít know any better. If Natty Light was the only beer available, beer probably wouldnít be as popular or wide-spread as it is today. The same would go for wine, if something like Franzia was the only option. Luckily for all the beer and wine lovers out in the world there are options. And luckily for mead lovers, some new options are beginning to appear as well.
There are a number of meaderies springing up as people rediscover the drink. Good meads are typically found in meaderies, not wineries or vineyards, but some wineries have branched out into brewing mead as well. No longer will people have to drink Chaucerís brand mead, which only reinforces the negative connotations attached to mead by its name and flavor profile. Now people can buy quality meads from various meaderies all over the country. If you are in Boulder, Colorado you could visit Redstone Meadery and pick up their award-winning Traditional Mountain Honey Wine. Or perhaps if you are in Ferndale, Michigan you could check out B. Nektar Meadery and buy their award-winning vanilla cinnamon mead. If youíre on the west coast, particularly in Sunnyvale, California, you could stop by Rabbits Foot Meadery and get yourself some award-winning Orange Blossom mead. Although Pennsylvania is not saturated with meaderies, there are a few places to get it locally. There are a few wineries that sell mead, like Shields Demesne Winery or Plum Run Winery. However, there is only one commercial meaderies in Pennsylvania, and that is Stonekeep Meadery. Stonekeep Meadery offers various types of meads, including traditional meads, melomels, and metheglyns.

Brad Dahlhofer
03-24-2009, 12:17 AM
Or perhaps if you are in Ferndale, Michigan you could check out B. Nektar Meadery and buy their award-winning vanilla cinnamon mead.

Hey, thanks for the plug. :)

capoeirista13
03-25-2009, 08:18 AM
no probs! my prof. suggested that I include specific meaderies so the concept would seem more concrete

capoeirista13
04-09-2009, 05:21 PM
I got an A on the paper, and subsequently an A in the class

wayneb
04-10-2009, 11:52 AM
Congrats!!!

capoeirista13
10-28-2009, 11:34 AM
Just took a look back at this thread and realized I never posted the second part of the essay because it was too long for one post and I forgot! Here is the second half...

A meadery is much like a winery. Meaderies are businesses that profit through the creation and sale of honey wine. Like wineries, meaderies often have public and private tastings for potential consumers to try out their product. Although some would argue that mead must be drunk from a horn or a goblet, they are not necessarily correct. Mead can be appreciated in a wine glass, just like wine. In fact this is how most meaderies will allow you to sample their products. Like wineries, meaderies often have a number of staple products as well as some seasonal products. Unlike wineries, however, it seems that a lot of the meaderies that are springing up tend to have exotic test batches. This may be a juneberry/blueberry blend, or maybe even a lime and ginger mead. But that is one of the great things about mead; it is flexible in ways that wine and beer are not. As such, when visiting a meadery you are likely to find all kinds of imaginative drinks in a meadery which you wouldnít find at a winery or a beer brewery. If you are interested in mead, or maybe just a bit curious, it would be good to visit a meadery. Not only would a stop by a meadery help to give you an image of what mead really is, but it would also give you a new option when you get tired of wine, beer, and alternative beverages like Twisted Tea.
And yet, that is not all that is wrong with mead. Because people donít really know what mead is, they donít really know how to market it, or even where to put it in their stores. After all, with retailers it is all about moving a product and making a profit. But if you canít move a product because you and your consumer are both confounded by it, you will make no profit. Because of this mead is not widely marketed, except for a few meaderies and even less wineries. On the rare occasion that you do find some mead in a store, it may be in the wine section as it should be, but sometimes it will be found among beer, or even among drinks like Twisted Tea or Mikeís Hard.
When it comes to marketing, beer and wine sell themselves because their place in society is set in stone. Beer is a manís drink; that is to say that real men drink beer. Wine is a more refined beverage, for the classy drinker. Mead does not sell itself, and neither do the drinks from the malternative universe of alcoholic beverages. This includes drinks like Twisted Tea and Smirnoff Ice. So why have drinks like Bacardi become popular and somewhat mainstream, while mead sits in its dark little corner of the local Wine and Spirits? Well for one thing, almost all of these malternative drinks are sweet, and they taste pretty good too. They are also typically low enough in alcohol that the consumer doesnít notice the alcohol. However, mead has all of these pros going for it as well, so why isnít mead popular? The one thing that all of the malternative drinks have in common is that they are marketed as a cool party drink to younger consumers. Their target demographic is trying out whatever they can in order to get drunk more efficiently, and they will try anything to accomplish this goal. These drinks are marketed through billboards, commercials, movies, and television shows. Mead, on the other hand, is often not marketed through any of these forms. I have never seen a mead billboard, I have never seen a mead commercial, and I have never heard of mead being mentioned in a television show or a movie. I have, however, heard of mead being reviewed in local papers and various food magazines. The average reader of the newspaper is a middle class adult, probably 40+ years old. These people are already set in their ways. They have habits and routines which have been honed by repetition for decades, and they are not likely to change these routines anytime soon. If Mr. Average Joe decides to have a glass of red wine every night with dinner, seeing a mention of mead in this weekendís food section isnít going to change his mind. So perhaps mead marketers should try to aim for a more receptive, or at least a more easily influenced, demographic. Celebrity endorsement of mead would be a blessing. Think about the rise in sales of Cristal Champagne after it was popularized by hip-hop and rap artists.
In order for mead to become more mainstream, the producer, retailer, and consumer all need to be reeducated about the product. For example, dry black currant mead would go great with a steak, and sweet vanilla mead would go well with a chocolate cake. I donít know how this is best done on a large scale but I do know how I, as a meadmaker, can try to educate the public about it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one bottle at a time.

Kee
10-29-2009, 01:43 AM
I just saw that you got an A on the paper. Congrats!