View Full Version : A mead reduction?

11-30-2004, 11:58 PM
Has anyone tried to make a mead based sauce similar to a wine sauce - that is, bring it to a boil and let it simmer until the volume is reduced? Then maybe add some cream and seasonings? I'll give it a try sometime, but maybe someone has tried already.

Dan McFeeley
12-01-2004, 12:52 AM
Has anyone tried to make a mead based sauce similar to a wine sauce - that is, bring it to a boil and let it simmer until the volume is reduced? Then maybe add some cream and seasonings? I'll give it a try sometime, but maybe someone has tried already.

I haven't tried a sauce, but have used mead as a substitute for white wine in other recipes. Oddly, I've found that it takes twice the amount of mead as compared to the amount of white wine called for in the recipe. I don't know if this is a personal abberation or not.

12-01-2004, 05:38 AM
By accident ;) I have left some in the freezer, and drained it off the ice to concentrate the mead.

If you are after a more concentrated flavour without the boiling, then this is an alternative.

If you aren't wanting to add too much fluid to your sauce, then concentrating the mead before adding to the sauce may help in some circumstances.

12-01-2004, 09:55 AM
I am sure this has been stated before but just for the uninitiated, doing what JamesP suggested, putting your mead in the freezer to concentrate it, is illegal in the US. Do it if you like as it is a valid technique, just don't go spouting off about it in certain company.

12-01-2004, 10:31 AM
even for personal consumption?? I agree, keep your mouth shut!!!
I Do Not Endorse This Product!! ;D

12-01-2004, 10:38 AM
How does the mead concentrate in the freezer?

David Baldwin
12-01-2004, 06:28 PM
Now, feel free to double check me, but yes I believe that any form of distillation is illegal in the United States without proper licensing and that does include personal use.

I know several people who make thair own moonshine for personal consumption. Every one of those stills would be considered to be illegal.

Fer Mentor,

To answer your question: Pure water freezes at 32 degrees Farenheit or 0 degrees centigrade. Anything added to pure water will slightly or significantly alter the freezing point of the water.

That is the basic priniciple behind antifreeze in your car. That's what allows you to continue to operate in sub-freezing temperatures.

However, left undisturbed, at or below the freezing point of water, the "additives" will tend to start to migrate out of the solution allowing the water molecules to crystalize (freeze) leaving behind a higher concentration of the additives.

I've had a form of maple syrup that was concentrated in that same manner. It was reduced by freezing rather than by boiling. The resulting syrup was VERY different from the syrup you would get in the stores.

12-01-2004, 06:30 PM
Yes, my wife has made many dishes reducing mead exactly as you are saying. Spectacular stuff, let me tell you. ;D Beats the pants off grape wine any day.

Mead concentrates in the freezer because the water freezes, but the alcohol and flavor compounds don't. You pour off the alcohol and throw away the ice. This usually results in about 2-3x ABV, depending on how cold you can get it. The technical term is "fractional distillation", and the BATF treats it exactly the same as normal distillation. That is, a $5k fine and 5 years in prison.

The danger is that in concentrating the alcohol, you also concentrate the methanol. In normal distillation, you throw the methanol away. Fractional distillation was a very common practice in New England in times past with cider, and the concentrated methanol lead to a condition known as "apple palsy". Not good.

Edit: Oops, posted at the same time as David. HI DAVID!!! ;D

Yes, distillation is illegal, except for a couple of more-or-less irrelevant exceptions. Mere possession of a still gets you $5k and 5 years. You can get licensed, but the cost is impractical unless you are running a sizeable distillery.

12-01-2004, 09:13 PM
Hmmm...my original thought was using the reduction for a sauce for chicken, but how about reducing strawberry mead, then pour it over ice cream?

12-02-2004, 03:57 AM
Definitely a goer for ice cream.

The strawberry may be too delicate for the heating process - do it and tell us how sucessful you were :-*

12-02-2004, 05:35 AM
How much of the concentrate do you think you can get per gallon? seems as if you would get very little considering that the water is the body of the mead.

12-02-2004, 06:13 AM
The volume depends on whether you are after flavour or ABV (which is illegal).

As a sauce or syrup, you can add spices/honey/etc to enhance the flavour, and reduce to concentrate the flavour.
This is probably about 3/4 to 1/2 the original volume (but can rely on added honey etc to give more "weight" to the syrup).

Just reducing by heating - is up to you how the cooking changes the flavour for the volume you have.

For freeze concentrating, you end up with from 20-30% ABV, so it reduces to about 1/4 to 1/8 original volume.

If adding like a wine to cooking, then you are using it as it is.

12-02-2004, 06:18 AM
Back to the sauce for chicken,

combining lemon mead with thyme/lemon zest/lime zest while reducing the mead should get a nice lemon/thyme sauce for chicken or fish ::).

12-02-2004, 06:22 AM
thanks JamesP

12-02-2004, 06:44 PM
For freeze concentrating, the standard procedure was to leave a barrel of cider out in the barn and let that freeze. So losing 3/4 of your volume still left you with 15 gallons of applejack. A bit different from freezing a gallon of mead and ending up with 1 bottle. :)

12-12-2004, 07:32 AM
Totally illegal and also very common in the apple-growing regions of Britain. Also if you are familiar with Terry Pratchett, his charcters get trashed on it every now and then (Death drunk on applejack was amusing).