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Leeham991
07-21-2012, 01:20 PM
Not a question of taste really or preference, but of historical accuracy.

My primary longing for mead which lead me to try it is my love of historical things. I took up archery, but instead of buying arrows I made my own in medieval way for example, and most of my decorating is stuck in the 1400s. Anyway, my thinking is that sweet mead is more historically accurate, mead is described in all documents I've seen as being a very sweet, highly intoxicating drink of honey and rainwater.
But, I know that every country and region and time is different and there might be better info out there I haven't happened across.

It may be totally silly, but if I were to take mead out on a reenactment event I would be embarrassed if my mead didn't fit the period, even though I'd be the only person who would know xD

So ya, what do you guys know about what mead tasted like historically compared to what people tend to go for now? Which cultures would have had dry and which sweet, or if one of the other even existed in certain areas at certain times?

TheAlchemist
07-22-2012, 01:48 PM
I did a Thomas Cook's batch (Cross Polly in the Meadlog) that went dry.

You can find bunches of recipes by Sir Kenelme Digbie (I think I even found his entire recipe book somewhere on here, maybe the syllabub thread in the hive?).

Just try his recipes and see how they turn out.

I also did Digbie's hydromel recipe (Henrietta Maria of France, in the Meadlog) which was dry (and decidedly NOT fit for a queen, according to my tastebuds).

TheAlchemist
07-22-2012, 01:55 PM
Oh! And if you can get your hands on RainWater, I'd like to know where!

Bring it!
Bring on the rain!

fatbloke
07-22-2012, 03:47 PM
Oh! And if you can get your hands on RainWater, I'd like to know where!

Bring it!
Bring on the rain!
We're in the UK. One of the things we haven't been short of lately, is rain.

As there are no examples of genuine mead from the period, or even convincingly authentic data about the exact ingredients i.e. yeast types etc, the only suggestion would be to make something that fits the description.

So highly intoxicating and very sweet ? Something like a sack mead, made to 18% and sweetened to the 1.030 - 1.040 level should do the trick.......I'd have thought.

You could always add a few of the flavours mentioned in historic recipes ?

Leeham991
07-22-2012, 07:48 PM
We're in the UK. One of the things we haven't been short of lately, is rain.

As there are no examples of genuine mead from the period, or even convincingly authentic data about the exact ingredients i.e. yeast types etc, the only suggestion would be to make something that fits the description.

So highly intoxicating and very sweet ? Something like a sack mead, made to 18% and sweetened to the 1.030 - 1.040 level should do the trick.......I'd have thought.

You could always add a few of the flavours mentioned in historic recipes ?

One of the recipes I found says to leave the mead in an open barrel out in the garden for 40 days :D

Chevette Girl
07-22-2012, 11:19 PM
My experiences with a wine that refuses to turn to vinegar indicate there wouldn't be that much alcohol left after 40 days if the ferment was quick... although given the lack of nutrients and attention it'd likely still be bubbling away.