View Full Version : What got you started?

07-26-2004, 10:56 PM
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.

07-27-2004, 09:07 AM
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

07-28-2004, 07:10 PM
Beowulf in highschool and my teacher describing how good mead is.

07-29-2004, 01:59 AM
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?


07-29-2004, 06:09 AM
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.


07-29-2004, 09:12 AM
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.


07-29-2004, 09:38 AM
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. ;D

07-29-2004, 02:43 PM
My heritage drew me to mead in the first place. ;D

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!

07-29-2004, 05:08 PM
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.


07-29-2004, 05:12 PM
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.


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. ;D

07-29-2004, 07:07 PM
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).


08-07-2004, 04:33 AM
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.

Dan McFeeley
08-07-2004, 12:09 PM
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.

08-08-2004, 08:09 PM
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".

08-09-2004, 11:15 AM
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. ;D ;)

08-09-2004, 01:06 PM
If you were around then would you have worn that silly helmet? It's very historically inaccurate. ;D ;)

8) I've always been a trend setter.

08-09-2004, 01:19 PM
8) I've always been a trend setter.


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

08-09-2004, 01:28 PM
Thanks. I was just too lazy to keep looking for a more accurate helm.

08-09-2004, 10:04 PM
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.......

08-09-2004, 11:16 PM
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!!! ;D

08-10-2004, 11:50 PM
My first taste of mead was also at a ren fair. I believe it was chaucers. I really liked it i only had a sip along with everything else i drank that day. And then i forgot all about it. Until about 2 years later. A friend of mine who travels around the country a lot had hooked up with 2 cases of mead. Actually it was various melomels, methlgins and traditional meads. After my first taste of the vanilla mead i was hooked and when i was told the guy made it himself i was very impressed. About 6 months after that another friend talked about starting homebrewing and with the aid of his computer i bought everything i needed to begin making mead. The 1st try was a failure but I tried again and willl never give it up. Its nearly 4 years later now and i am such a nut i decided i needed my own bees to cut out the middle man. Next year i should be making my very own mead with my own honey. I also make my own beer now because of the mead making experince. Kinda the reverse of most mead makers huh.

09-27-2004, 06:55 PM
For me it was a lightbulb... I'm not sure who turned it on. But My mother-in-law gave us a bottle of Wash. State Mead a year or so ago... we had some more at the Ren Faire this past year.... then I began researching mead.... (I've been researching mead since Sept 04) ... OH... that would only be about 3 weeks ago... ;D , and my first mead is only 8 days old... ;D , but I have a 5 year plan (buisness wise) ... and if this doesn't work.. it's not cuz I didn't try.
But still... I think I'll have fun with the making of the mead all the same. Perhaps only a gallon a month or more.... who knows. I have about a dozen hobbys and recently I retired a couple of them..... so I'll replace one with mead. 8)
:-* Suzy Q, Brewmistress

David Baldwin
10-08-2004, 09:17 AM
My first taste of mead was in Kaltenberg Germany at the summer medieval festival. I didn't find it again until I found a bottle of Chaucers locally.

That got me started surfing the web in search of my first mead. I've never found it, but did find this web page. I spent over a year doing my research and finally got started on my first batch of traditional sweet mead this Summer.

In the mean time, I've gotten several friends and my brother hooked as well, and he is gathering the equipment to start his own batch.

I think my second batch may be a rhodomel. I've got the rose petals harvested and waiting patiently in the freezer.

12-31-2004, 01:22 AM
I saw a couple Movies in the past refer to Mead, (Robin Hood Prince of thieves comes to Mind) and never knew what it was. Then just a fe months ago, saw the Movie Master & Commander, and hear them talk about drinking Grog. i looked that up on the web, and found a definition somewhere that said it was Mead mixed with Water.

Of course then I Just had to find out what mead was. When I found out it was Wine made from honey iWanted to see how it tasted. I looked around for a place to Buy a bottle, and could not find any. then I looked online only to find that i could not get any shipped to My state :( I mentioned it to a couple guys I work with and found out that one of them made a batch a couple years ago.

Then i started to researching making my own. Kept looking for places to Buy carboys and such, then finally happened on www.homebrewit.com and found out it was less than 2 miles from my work!

Since i started the batchh, i found one bottle of Oliver Mead, but was unimpressed.

So now i am Impatiently waiting for My first batch to finish!!

12-31-2004, 03:20 AM
I looked around for a place to Buy a bottle, and could not find any. then I looked online only to find that i could not get any shipped to My state :(

I'll be able to Legally Direct-Ship to Indiana with no problems in 1-2 Months... ;D

As for what got me into Mead...

I've been semi-active in the SCA for a number of years, and a Town Crier in the Guild of St. Blaise at Northern California Faire (RPFN) for the past 4 years. So I knew what Mead was, but only knew of Chaucers.

Then two years ago, I met my girlfriend, Connie. I ran up to Oregon with her to visit her Family, and was totally shocked to find Honeywood Winery's Mead in a store at the Mall. We took a bottle home and came to the conclusion that it blew the socks off of Chaucers. The next trip we made to Salem resulted in us visiting the winery and bringing a case of Mead back with us to share with our friends.

On a side note, I talked with the owner of Honeywood and their Mead was actually formulated with the help of a number of Ethiopian Restaurants. Iím not quite sure if it tastes like Tej, but itís got it at its roots. I'll report back next time I get a chance to do a blind taste test with a few bottles of Tej.

Flash forward to earlier this year... Connie and I were on the way home from an SCA event. Talking to keep awake after a long weekend. And the idea for Knowne World Meads was born.

I've spent most of the past 7 months taking business classes, wading through government red tape, and doing the planning necessary to make things work. (While trying to go back to school to get an AA degree and taking AIX System Admin Classes to keep my computer skills up.)

Since then, the idea has morphed several times... At one time, I was actually seriously considering opening a retail store in a sub-leased portion of a local paint store. (Hopefully we would've made it onto CNN's Offbeat News Section.) And we almost bought a wine tasting room in Downtown Napa. (I figured the owner wanted too much for it once I looked at his assets, and I could see licensing issues since it was a shared space with the Indian Restaurant next door but didn't have a separate street address.) We're still looking into the possibility of opening a Mead/wine tasting bar in downtown Fairfield, but with the Local Moratorium on New Beer/Wine Licenses that's on the backburner till we come up with more starting capital and resolve the tied-house issues that will come up with our being a distributor.

We're now planning on opening our online retail store in about a month, and hope to start selling as wholesalers/distributors/importers to licensed retailers in California by the middle of January. We'll be able to legally direct-ship to consumers in 18 states to start, and we'll expand into another 7 states and Washington D.C. as soon as the supply chain has been shaken down. As soon as we can get our Federal Import Permit, we will also be importing Mead from Canada and overseas. All we need now is for the last few pieces of federal paperwork to fall into place...

And yes, once all of the dust settles, Iíll be looking into making my own homebrew MeadÖ ;D

Michael Ng
Owner - Knowne World Meads

01-14-2005, 03:15 AM
I'm a newby here at GM, but not to mead-making. I started out many years ago by making dandelion wine (I'm a big Bradbury fan). I did this for a few years, when the flowers were in season, but one day I spent several hours gathering dandelions, and planned to start the wine that night. When I got home, I realized that I didn't have enough sugar to begin the job, but I did have a couple of pounds of honey on hand...

So I made a mead without even knowing it (BTW, is rhodamel SOLEY a rose petal mead, or can it also apply to other flowers? I seem to recall reading both points of view from different sources). In fact, though I had heard of mead before, I had no idea at that time what it was.

After sampling my dandelion "wine" about six months later, I saw immediately that using honey instead of sugar gave it far more character and complexity than any of my previous batches. That was fifteen years ago, and I've never made anything but meads since that time -- I guess I had found what I liked.

Not to get all mushy or anything, but this hobby has, at various points in my life, been the only pleasurable thing in it. Certainly, the drinking of mead is ultimately why we make it, but the actual act of crafting it has its own rewards. Nothing is as golden, nothing is as peaceful, and nothing is more wrapped in mystery than an aging vessel of mead. My time on this Earth has been vastly improved by my "discovery" of this drink -- its lore, its history, and its science -- and it would be diminished by an order of magnitude were it to magically disappear right now.


01-14-2005, 08:57 AM
Not to get all mushy or anything, but this hobby has, at various points in my life, been the only pleasurable thing in it. Certainly, the drinking of mead is ultimately why we make it, but the actual act of crafting it has its own rewards. Nothing is as golden, nothing is as peaceful, and nothing is more wrapped in mystery than an aging vessel of mead. My time on this Earth has been vastly improved by my "discovery" of this drink -- its lore, its history, and its science -- and it would be diminished by an order of magnitude were it to magically disappear right now.

*wipes tear from eye*
I'm right there with you, David. I find it to be one of the more relaxing of my variety of hobbies. I find that I really drink far less than I actually make and give more to my friends than anything else. There is only one experience more beautiful than watching a vessel of mead aging in it's golden color.

I would love to see your Dandelion recipe if you're willing to post it in the recipe section? I've always been interrested in the digestive properties of Dandelions and have yet to cultivate enough for me to make a good sized mead out of.


01-14-2005, 11:58 PM
It began with the idea of a "lightning mead" say oh four/ five years ago and then very shortly after learning that vodka, honey and spices should NEVER have been even suggested as a mead replacement a friend (who I had collected violets for her sweet violet wine) took pity and me and my pagan group and said if we had to have mead she would try to make up some. So she made it and it finished fermenting (mostly) and then gave it to us shortly before moving east to nova Scotia. Now the thing we neglected to pick up and were possibly not told about was racking.... That might have been good to know of then.

So two Yule's later were still drinking this stuff and it HAD improved ... but the first few glasses were always best.... so this fall I began researching... And discovered racking. And the general consensus was that this stuff was the ticket! You mean your supposed to see Through it! Wow, who knew. lol :o

So this fall I looked at the glass carboy I'd saved from my mother trying to liquidate family treasures at a garage sale.. all empty and lonely and set about making my first cycer... and then there were two batches of traditional mead and the cranberry Mel and most recently ancient orange. I 've gotten another hobby! Not saying I needed another, but heck. the more the merrier.

04-04-2005, 02:33 AM
Bark Shack Ginger Mead from the Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Out of curiosity, I made a batch, drank it all except one bottle. A year later I opened the bottle and have been hooked ever since. The taste difference from a fresh (green) mead and an aged mead was like night and day, totally incredible. I wont touch any mead I make, unless it's a minumum of year old. Hence my tag, "I will drink no mead before it's time." ;)

Geoffrey Johnson
04-04-2005, 10:37 AM
Back in my AF days in Korea, a large portion of my squadron brewed their own beer. In fact, they had an annual home-brew tasting event which was a very, very big deal. At any rate, at one of these occasions, somebody brought a couple bottles of mead, which he had created in lieu of beer. That was my first introduction to mead, and I must say I enjoyed it.

After returning to the US, I kinda forgot about it, except for every fall when the family would head up to the MD Renn festival. Then, of course, I would have my fill of it!

We have been brewing beer on and off for several years, but after coming back from the renn festival this past year, it struck me that we should give mead a whirl. After some hemming and hawing, and a little research we tried our first batch, which is still going at it in the basement. Since that first 5 gal started, we have four 1 gallon carboy and another 5 gallon carboy going, in addition to the two gallons of bluebeery and blackberry wine.

Unfortunately, our homebrew stash is getting low...damn I need to get more carboys! :P

04-04-2005, 12:20 PM
Hey Geoffrey anywhere near New York? I can probably help with the carboys. Have about a 100 to spare. ::)

04-05-2005, 04:14 PM
The very word "mead" has mystique and romance. I had been making wild beers and wine for three years already when on an herb list I saw a recipe for lavender/rosemary metheglin. I had to try it. Even in the primary, it smelled so heady and good that I thought I would give other meads a whirl. Mentioned this new interest to my Dad, who got excited and asked me to re-create a "med" that his grandmother used to make back in the Ukraine about 120 years ago.

Well, Dad passed away before the "med" was ready, but I named it for him upon bottling, and hope to make some every year (just a plain hopped mead). Once you've made a good batch or two, you're hooked, and I'm no different from anyone else in that respect. At this point I make a wine and a mead starring the wine's fruit or herb, side by side. Maybe someday I'll just stop making the wine and concentrate on the mead, but I do like looking at the carboys and saying, "This one is a strawberry wine, and this one is a strawberry melomel. This one is a raspberry wine, and this one is a raspberry melomel." Although I haven't made a wine to match the prune melomel, which by the way is turning out very well indeed. :D


Geoffrey Johnson
04-06-2005, 02:08 PM

Unfortunately I am located just south of DC in Virginia. Otherwise I would have been to your place already, having read your other post! :-\

I am, however, going to take up Oskaar's suggestion of hitting up all the yard sales around the area. Who knows, maybe I can make a living selling things I find on ebay!! ;D

Thanks for the offer, even though I cannot take you up on it!


04-30-2005, 04:04 PM
:D This is great. My story is more of a romance novel:Gods I wish.
It all started when I signed up for a pagan weekend adventure, I was at my work and I was asking my boss for advice, I mentiond a Mead class and she said "PLEASE, I LOVE MEAD.. I'll give you extra pay if you make me mead. I go to renfest just for it .. please lex.." So she paid my extra $5 for the class and thus I went to the pagan weekend looking foward to Mead class. Then I meet my Mead instructor in the Body art class. He was cute, funny, and just so sweet. So then I REALY REALY wanted to go to the class.
Turns out the Man's married. But anyway the next moring I showed up for the class in my PJ's (Short Shorts and a tank), and my mead teacher greeded me and gave me everything I needed. So I learned how to make mead, tried to get over my mead teacher.
Now I've made my Mead(Waiting for the first bach to be done) and my boss is paying well. And I still hear from my Mead teacher, who maybe is not so married after all.
And so I may JUST live happly ever after.... because I LOVE MEAD! ;D

04-30-2005, 04:22 PM
Let me refrase that last part, He's married. But he flurts like he isn't.. :-[

05-01-2005, 01:14 AM
I'm obsessively striving for the best, and once I've tasted something that is best of class, I have a hard time accepting anything less, and a compulsive need to prove I can top it, assuming it is something that doesn't require thousands of $ in equipment, although I've done that before too ::).

SCA was a big factor, I've been going to Ren Faires since 1974 in Northern California, never tried mead until last year, mainly because I thought it was a type of Beer, I can't stand Beer, so I had steered very clear of it most of my life. Just after I tried it I went to a SCA fighters school in Wisconsin, ran into my Neighbor of 4 years ago, found out he's making mead, looked online to research it, found GotMead and have been hooked ever since... This forum has a lot to do with my obsession, If it didn't exist I'd probably have never started my first batch.


05-01-2005, 11:20 AM
SCA was a factor in my start in meadmaking too. I went to the Clinton War last year, in Clinton BC, and tried some there. The friend I went with had made mead a couple years before, and mentioned the stuff I'd tried was probably not the best I Could get/make. Popped online when I got home, did a bunch of research and about 2 weeks later, my Orange-Ginger mead was burbling away. Soon followed by the Liquorice, and now some stout, and then another mead and then...and then... ;)

I've become a bit obsessed, as I usually do with hobbies that strike my fancy.

05-07-2005, 05:54 PM
I'm new to this forum, and unfamiliar with SCA, but do seem to recall that there's a local chapter of the Shakespearean socitey somewhere around here...
I colllect beer steins and mugs and happen to have about 20 Shakespearean festival mugs that are very beautiful.

I love beer, I love the beer that I make and cannot purchase anything even close to it in Utah. I like to be self sufficient and I like mead, it's GOOD!

I have probably made 200 batches of beer in everything from a Corona clone, to the heaviest stuff you can imagine. It's all good! I have a refrigerator in the garage for Lagers and my basement just happens to be the perfect temperature for brewing ales during the summer (the computer room upstairs during the winter).

I made my first batch of mead today. I'll let you know in about 2 months how it's going!! I'm stoked!!

This place it great....


05-09-2005, 02:46 PM
Welcome paul84043, I know the feeling of waiting for your first batch to be done. Counting the days. June 22 should be the day mine's finished. Summer Solstice... ;D

05-09-2005, 08:53 PM
two months....Paul this is mead not beer its more like 2 years...lol enjoy your mead dude

05-11-2005, 09:13 AM
I've been away for a while. Life took its turns and twist.... But, I'm back now.

My interest was pricked while studying ancient Euro/UK history. I wished to experience their fermented drink, which is fit for gods. This was about 3 years ago. I did a one-galloner in the bedroom. Now it's difficult to navigate through my cellar, due to carboys, bottles, etc....

That basic desire to experience Mead as the anceint folks did, blossomed into a passion that is never quinched.

05-11-2005, 12:17 PM
Welcome back Marion. Sheesh, it's been a while, glad to see you back on the forum!!!



05-11-2005, 12:44 PM
Yea, been a while. Thanks for the reception. It's nice to see your witty self still around.

05-14-2005, 12:59 AM
Hi this post will serve as my introduction. My name is Mel and I am about to start my first Mead. I am going to try the Ancient Orange. What got me interested in making Mead was mustard. That may sound a bit odd but it is true. I was looking up how to make mustard and found Leeners. Noticed the link to the Mead kit on the mustard making page and started searching the web and found Got Mead. Been reading the forum and gathering equipment, I went to some local home brewing shops, and am going to start tomorrow.
Mel W.

05-14-2005, 01:23 AM
Welcome to the club Mel,
I started my first batch of ancient orange yesterday, couldn't wait for Saturday. I should have waited, in my excitement I sort of fumbled the yeast part. What got me interested in mead???? Hmmmm.... A show on the food channel filmed partly at the winery where they make Chauncers, my curiosity, the mention of mead in Harry Potter, Okaar and Joe's postings. BTW, Oskaar, did you get your mead wenches? I haven't had a taste of mead yet but I like sweet wines, I collect them ( mostly empty bottles now ::) ). I have a bottle of Chauncers but since everybody keep saying that home made is better, I'll wait.....I gues ;D

Hey Mel, will you be brewing a melomel soon?
Sorry, couldn't resist.
Have fun,

05-14-2005, 02:05 AM
Welcome Mel and Brewbear. May your glasses always be full and your mead ever bountiful!



05-14-2005, 08:30 PM
better late than never right?

I'm a Norse pagan and one of my Kindred members started brewing mead many years ago. He would bribe us to help him bottle with mead ;-) Then at our campouts it seemed Brewers were sprouting up everywhere.

Finally I moved from SF to Chicago to live with JackalGuy and he likes to cook and drink, so I introduced him to mead. Made some not so subtle suggestions and here we are. Fully addicted to the brewing experience. Preaching Talking the word of Mead to all our friends, who, after their taste of the Jadwiga are quite supportive ;D


05-14-2005, 11:16 PM
melw, Brewbear, and (belatedly, sorry) BellaCrow, and anyone else I've missed,

Welcome to the board. This is a wonderful place to learn and pass along knowledge, and it's a great collection of people. Enjoy, enjoy!


05-15-2005, 01:42 AM

Yes, mead is insidious, popping up in strange places to seduce and wind it's wiley way into the minds of the unwary ;D. Worst of all, it's addictive. Addictive to make, and to drink, well...


06-03-2005, 09:24 PM
I am new to the board and brewing mead. I got my first taste from a friend about 10 years ago. Since then I have thought about trying to brew it and finally one day I got off of my butt and tried it. I have three batches so far: the first is still perking along (3mo now), the second is already bottled and tasting great, the third is clearing rapidly and I plan to try to bottle them live within a month or so. I am somewhat suprised by how much I enjoy making mead!


06-03-2005, 09:30 PM
Was chatting with a friend about his cyser brewing experiences. He convinced me that it wasn't difficult, and that since I was a fan of fruity tasting drinks, I'd probably like it. :) After he laid out how little it cost him to start up a small batch, I figured I'd give it a try. My cyser has been bubbling away since May 20th now. ;D

06-03-2005, 10:53 PM
I would like to say it was the 13th warrior, well kind of. While at my friend house, who was a homebrewer, beer, wine and mead, he offered me a choice, port, beer, wine or mead. Since I have my degree in history,and like the 13th warrior, and it is mentioned, I tried it. Got happy :D Since then I have made several with him and will make more. ;D

06-04-2005, 05:50 PM
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.

I started brewing beer in 1994. My first batch was a kit. My second batch was some sort of Dopplebock/Stout/Barleywine thing that after a year of aging rocked. The very next thing I tired was a mead because of some of the things i had read in the new Complete Joy of Homebrewing. That first mead was...heinous. I knew nothing of campden or anything. The stuff fermented violently for 3 weeks, hit about 21% and was absolutely foul (It was the only batch of ANYTHING that I have ever actually dumped). It was so bad that I decided to do it again, I was hell bent on making a drinkable mead so between beer batches I kept making mead. Nowadays my stuff is alright and I'm in the running for North Carolina Mead maker of the year (I took second the last two years running to Steve Peek, a great meadmaker in his own right). I am hooked and I cannot stop!

09-04-2005, 01:21 PM
Part of it is coming from a punk rock DIY ethic. I want to brew my own because I'm not so psyched about liquor companies. Also, being from WV I come from a tradition of moonshining. My daddy ran the stuff.

But what really got me started (and I just started) is that I have a chronic illness. As part of treatment for my condition, I have to severely limit my sugar consumption and alcohol is definitely off-limits. So I am making mead, which takes at least a year to mature enough to be really good (and more to be great). By the time my mead is ready, I'm hoping to be healthy again. It forces me to think about a time when I won't always be in pain.

09-04-2005, 03:26 PM
Well, I guess this is as good a place to introduce myself as any (since some others have done so as well). Hi, my name is Scout, and I have C.A.D.D. (Crafter's Attention Deficit Disorder). My usual support group only meets once a month, so I have to find a lot of stuff on my own. :) Only halfway joking, as I currently knit, embroider, sew, do beadwork, make beads, do altered art, cook, and well just about anything I can get my hands on without making my husband shake me for spending way too much money.

I was actually researching home winemaking when I came across these forums, and well, to be honest, it was y'all who got me started in mead making. You all seem so friendly and helpful and excited and funny, I knew I had to at least make one batch just so that I could not feel guilty for reading this *big grins*. That and when I told my husband that for my first "tester" batch (to test if I like doing it), I could get all the equipment for less than $10, he was more than happy for me to give it a whirl.

My first batch, Joe's Ancient Orange - of course, is bubbling away as of this morning. I can't wait to see what it tastes like! :)

Oh, and I tend to ramble . . . sorry. - Scout

09-04-2005, 03:34 PM
Hey Scout!

Welcome to the forums! We're glad to have you aboard and actively making mead! Congrats on the batch of Joe's Ancient Orange.

Feel free to dive right in read everything you can and ask questions.



09-07-2005, 03:01 AM
I'll bite,
About eight years ago I was watching the OLN and they had a special where they were talking with a sheep farmer in England. He took the reporter out to his shed and showed them his mead, bubling away in a plastic pail with a damp cloth on top of it. I remembered reading about mead all my life and I thought to myself "I can do that..." :o. And so I did a lot of research and even more experimentation over the years. I am still learning and trying new things, but one thing is sure. My love for mead will never die, it just grows stronger each passing year. I wish I could make more, it never seems to last very long, but I am happy with what I have. And one more thing...I am not greedy, I always have mead to share! ;D

09-08-2005, 02:32 PM
I won't bite, but I'll gulp.

I am a beer lover and home brewer. I lived in England for many years and know the wonders of a good Ale or Bitter served at just the right temperature. I also savored many a fine Cider having lived close to Hereford, where the best Scrumpy Jack is made (if you go there, try it. There is no better cider!!). I was always trying different drinks and looking for the perfect one.

When I returned to the States, I bought the Complete Joy of Home Brewing, and noticed the section on Mead. Perhaps my Celtic ancestry woke up, for the idea of a strong honey beverage sipped in front of a roaring fire started me thinking. Unfortunately, I am not a wine lover (which is what I thought Mead was). Truth is, I just don't like it. So I did not attempt to make it. But last year, I went to the Wisconsin State Fair and was pursuaded to try some local wines. None changed my opinion of wine until I saw the Sweet Mead from White Winter Winery. Understand, I love honey. I put honey in Peanut Butter sandwiches and have even put it on pancakes and French Toast.

So I quaffed. It was delicious!. I quaffed again, and again. This was everything I had dreamed a Mead should be. Sweet, yet not cloying, with a light honey taste that stayed on the tongue long enough to last till the next sip. This was the drink I had been looking for. No more beer brewing for me. I had found my new obsession.

Fedelm Dub
09-09-2005, 12:16 AM
For me, it was the SCA and trying other people's mead. As someone with a Celtic ancestory, it was just the thing to get into. Before I started my first mead, I had done one ale, and several cordials. I just sampled my first mead, and it's starting to clear so it's nearly time to bottle! This was a 5 gallon mulled mead that is going to be sooo good when it's had time to age.

2 weeks ago, I started my first batch of Joe's Ancient Orange and it's comming along nicely. What's funny about the Ancient Orange is that my boyfriend asked what that smell was, and it was that mead in a cupboard.;D I may do another beer, but I'm hooked on meadmaking. Before we went to the local Highland war, my boyfriend made me very happy by giving me yet another empty wine bottle.

09-09-2005, 01:05 AM
I canít remember when I first hear about mead, but been a student of classical things I got intrigued. So I played with fermentation in small jars, just with bread yeast. Tasted like, well I cant really describe the taste so we will just say bin water. I went and got some mead from the local bottle shop, tasted it and thought, thatís nice but I like stuff sweeter. Since there was no other mead there for me to buy, and since I was doing medieval studies I thoughtÖ.Practical. So I got myself a carboy, and all the other stuff I needed, and got my first batch under way, very sweet just the way I like it. Itís still bubbling away, in itís third week.


09-10-2005, 01:33 PM
What got me started......Hmmm. OK, not so much how but why. My parents are both European mum's a Scot and Dad's as German as they get. Pride in your heritage wasn't only encouraged it was expected. Any way I always loved any thing outdoors. Camping, hunting, fishing. Any thing to do with the land. I love rough housing too. So when I met up with a few people from the SCA at an Orphans Christmas the spark was struck for all things Mead-eval. I first tried mead then and it was good. I never liked comercial "as in swill" beer just stouts and porters and bourbon. so I was hooked and now I do it my self. Now I just need to learn to make elk and moose sausages, my own cheese and build my own cabin in the woods. Ah valhalla.

10-01-2005, 04:14 PM
Two years ago I discovered that I like my father could not eat of anything that came from grains containing gluten. For thole that dont know, gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley. This was a hard blow to a guy whod only enjoyed being 21 for six months or so, obviously all beer and whiskey was out.

So I decided "Screw this! I'll learn how to make beer myself! Without the damn wheat!" and began looking into it. It quicky became apparent that this was actually a bit of a complex task.
So I searched up wine! But was eventually frightened off after trying to understand pectins, acids and the lot, plus processing the several bags of chardonay grapes from my friends vines...
And than I came across mead, I had of course had mead at the Ren Faire, and somehow through this it had never occoured to me!
When I learned the process it was like "thats it?!" I felt so deceived!
:) Two birds with one stone! One: a simple fermentable drink that I can make myself and Two: Mead Wenches.
Ofcourse over time I have learned that it's not allways so simple. But it's easy to start and hard to put down.

Today I am giving away the last bottle of my first batch (at a year and a half old--they grow up so fast dont they? :'( ) for a friend that is getting married

10-03-2005, 09:53 AM
I've brewed a few dozen batches of beer, but never even tasted mead before. I'd been wanting to make a semi-sweet dessert sweet-cherry white-peach wine, and decided to make it as a melomel. It's about to get bottled later this month.

I bottled three Grolsch bottles from the last racking (which I then topped off with more honey and peaches). It tasted wicked strong, and kinda harsh, but in a month's time it has mellowed quite a bit. I can hardly wait to see how it will taste after I bottle the rest and let it age till my birthday in late January. It's a beautiful color, too.

I'm thinking about making vinegar from the earlier, now-"dry" bottles. Sweet-cherry white-peach vinagrette salad dressing sounds tasty :) I also plan to make a marinade for grilling pork and chicken.

10-20-2005, 10:34 AM
I'm a danish dane from, born, bred and living in Denmark, with a great-grandfather from Iceland, so I am pretty much obliged by heritage to drink mead.

Normally, I'm not that much of a DIY kind of guy; if others can do it better than me, I'll gladly pay them to do it - but when it comes to mead, I haven't been able to find any comercially available around here that I liked enough to keep drinking it. Also, almost any commercial mead I've found has been fortified, and I wanted to try some stuff closer to what they drank back in the very olden days, before the - otherwise noble - art of distillation was invented. So, only reasonable thing to do was to go and try for myself, which I started to do a couple of months ago.

A report of my first steps has been posted in the newbee section. It was quite succesful; this stuff has potential, and I like it better than any of the commercial brands I've tasted. So, bottoms up.