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Thread: What got you started?

  1. Default What got you started?

    Ok, this is more of a question or a poll than a tale: What was it that motivated you to make your first batch of mead? I'm sure there are some good stories out there just waiting to be told.

    My own story isn't much to tell. I'd been making beer for just a little while when I saw a mead kit at my homebrew store. I've always been curious about it, and a couple of my friends are big mead fans of it but they've always had a hard time finding any comercial mead, so I figured I'd give it a go. I'm pleased to say that that first kit-batch and several of my own design since have all turned out well. Also, if there are any cinnamon lovers out there, I highly recomend Joe Mattioli's Ancient Mead.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Independence, KY and Greenacres, FL
    Posts
    1,200

    Default Re: What got you started?

    Ok . I'm game. After drinking part of a bottle of mead that my brother in Tennesee bought while in England directly out of a oak barrel in someones basement into the bottle, not really a commercial meadery, I found the sweet and at the same time tart taste and other complexities to be undescribably delicious--- and after failing to find a commercial bottle here in the staes that even compared to it--- embarked on an memorable adventure to experiment and duplicate that fabulous memory of that English mead. Though I have not yet attained to my undescribable memory of that perfect mead--- I have come close enough to keep myself encouraged to continue my quest for that perfect mead.
    Sincerely, Joe

  3. #3
    Rurouni85Samurai Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: What got you started?

    Beowulf in highschool and my teacher describing how good mead is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The OC
    Posts
    7,874

    Default Re: What got you started?

    Lust, simple lust.

    I love the Ren Faires and there were beautiful and lusty mead wenches all over the place. I took one drink of the stuff and said to myself "If I can make some of this, I can have my own mead wenches!"

    What can I say?

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  5. Default Re: What got you started?

    I made mead after making about thirty-five batches of beer and a trip to the Fingerlake Region, which included a visit to a meadery. It was a cinnamon/clov/ginger mead. The first competition I entered it in was the Dutchess County Fair. I won my only best in show for it and received my highest competition score to date, a 48.


    Phil

  6. Default Re: What got you started?

    I guess there are 3 primary things that influenced me to make mead...

    1. When I was growing up, my grandfather always made wine, and it always seems like a neat thing to do. I decided when I grew up, I'd make my own. Unfortunately, I've lived in apartments all my life and never really had the space to get started. I just bought a house, so that hurdle is not gone!

    2. I prefer dessert style wines (Ice wine, muscat), and these wines tend to be real expensive!

    3. I've been attending ren faires for years and always liked the mead. Most of the mead at the faires is a little dry for my tastes, but good none the less. (and after the first 2 glasses, you really don't notice that it's dry...)

    So basically when I bought the house, I had space, knew I could make dessert style wines for a LOT less than I spend at the store, and since I liked mead, that seemed like the way to go. I started my first batch of mead (a cyser) within 2 weeks of moving in, and I'm about ready to bottle it. From the sampling at rackings, I think it's going to turn out pretty good Hopefully it will be ready in time for the holidays.

    Lyle

  7. Default Re: What got you started?

    Women got me started. SCAdian women love a man with a decent mead. And so I went from beer to mead quickly. Ok, maybe it wasn't just the women, maybe it was the sparkling raspberry melomel that I tried, also. But the women had a lot to do with it.

  8. Default Re: What got you started?

    My heritage drew me to mead in the first place.

    When I found out I could make the stuff I was stoked! Plus I being a young man and all, I was naturally drawn to the idea of having alot of alcohol on hand, and for cheaper.

    Brewing beer never made much sense to me though. You can find beer anywhere and no matter what you make, there is bound to be a commercial beer that tastes just like it. Mead on the other hand is hard to find. So it makes perfect sense!

  9. Default Re: What got you started?

    Brewing beer never made much sense to me though. You can find beer anywhere and no matter what you make, there is bound to be a commercial beer that tastes just like it.
    On the contrary!

    Unless you're lucky enough to find a beer that is EXACTLY what you're looking for, you need to homebrew. My wee-heavey recipe (discussed somewhere else in the forum) has a bigger starting gravity than any commercially produced beer you'll ever find. I brew this because I can't get as big a beer as this.


    Phil

  10. Default Re: What got you started?


    On the contrary!

    Unless you're lucky enough to find a beer that is EXACTLY what you're looking for, you need to homebrew. My wee-heavey recipe (discussed somewhere else in the forum) has a bigger starting gravity than any commercially produced beer you'll ever find. I brew this because I can't get as big a beer as this.


    Phil
    Yeah but I looked at your recipe and that sounds nothing like a traditional Lager! I have to admit, I havn't gone to a local Safeway and seen a Wee Heavy.

  11. Default Re: What got you started?

    Wee heavies are a far cry from lagers. Scotch ale yeast ferments better at lower temperatures. You don't want any esters in the beer, just malt.

    And I sincerly doubt you'll find it at the local Safeway. I have trouble finding it at the better beer distributors (and I live in New York City where you can supposedly buy anything).


    Phil

  12. Default Re: What got you started?

    This is a fun question.

    My motivation is that I was born 1300 years too late. If I can't pillage and plunder the countryside like my Viking brethren at least I can drink like them.

    Oh, and beer bores me.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What got you started?

    I had a security job at my alma mater, working my way through college and all. Making rounds through an unused building I came across a copy of the Whitehouse Cookbook, published in the late 1800's, featuring recipes from the Whitehouse of that era. In the beverage section there was a recipe for mead, very simple, honey and water in a crockpot. I gave it a try and it worked. Wanting to know more about mead (and remembering it from a book on Norse myth I'd read as a kid) I started researching the Internet and finding out more about the history and lore of this fascinating topic.

    <><><><><><><><><><>
    <><><><><><><><>
    Dan McFeeley

    "Meon an phobail a thogail trid an chultur"
    (The people's spirit is raised through culture)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
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    654

    Default Re: What got you started?

    I read an article about mead in a "country lifestyle" magazine. It sounded interesting.

    Then I came across the Mead Lover's Digest, and read a few years worth of digests in a few months.

    Then I took the plunge - cheaper or about the same cost as kit wine, but easier to get the ingredients, and more complex flavour than "country wines".

  15. Default Re: What got you started?

    This is a fun question.

    My motivation is that I was born 1300 years too late. If I can't pillage and plunder the countryside like my Viking brethren at least I can drink like them.

    Oh, and beer bores me.
    If you were around then would you have worn that silly helmet? It's very historically inaccurate.

  16. Default Re: What got you started?


    If you were around then would you have worn that silly helmet? It's very historically inaccurate.
    I've always been a trend setter.

  17. Default Re: What got you started?


    I've always been a trend setter.


    Try this on for size. http://hurstwic.org/logos/gjermundbu_hjelmen1.gif

  18. Default Re: What got you started?

    Thanks. I was just too lazy to keep looking for a more accurate helm.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 1996
    Location
    Youngsville, NC
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: What got you started?

    Drinking mead at faire got me started. After growing up watching my dad make wine, I figured it couldn't be too hard. I remember picking every damn dandelion in the 3 acre yard so Dad could make dandelion wine.......

    I also found out that if you've a dry mead, mixing it half and half with cider (called a Beesting) is a very yummy way to sweeten it up a bit, and provide a yummy little side trip from mead all by itself......

    Vicky - sitting in TN for work this week, but gearing up to attend the MDRF in Sept. and the Texas Ren Faire Hallowe'en weekend.......
    Wassail!

    Vicky Rowe
    Owner & Webmistress, Gotmead.com
    Executive Director, American Mead Makers Association
    http://www.mead-makers.org
    Making Mead since 1995

  20. Default Re: What got you started?

    For me, it was drinking Chaucer's at the Faire. I had a beehive when I was 12-15 and have always loved honey. When my wife kept coming back from pagan gatherings talking about this person and that person making mead, I decided to look into it.

    I began in January of this year. We have started a sweet mead, apple cyser, pear melomel, pineapple melomel, blackberry melomel, and a lavender methyglin. Now the challenge will be to let any of them age!!!

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