View Full Version : To Each His/Her Own

03-02-2004, 07:42 PM
I'm a newbie, as you can very well see. But, I would like to see some more dicussion on this subject. Thus, my stirring the pot.

It seems there are, basically, three schools of "Meadist".

1: The Naturally Historical Cult: It seems this group, as a general rule, has a keen interest in history, even to the point of living it, within their own soul. Being scarred as we are, we tend to think we should use basic, "earthy" recipes, that may have been common or similar during the time period we immortalize.

2: The Naturalist Cult: Although this cult tends to blend with the Naturally Historical Cult and visa-versa, it also has a following of its own. These persons micro-manage everything the place in their mouth. If its not "earthy", without any additives, forget it. It's poison.

3: The Modernist Cult: These guys tend to take advantage of every new gadget that comes on the market. They devour chemistry material like a first year pharmacy student. Making Mead, without measuring all these chemical balances/imbalances and utilizing the most modern efficient means in insuring bacteria is non-existant in their must, would be akin to building a boat in total darkness.

Then, I suppose there could be a cult #4, which is a healthy balance of all the above. But, nah, that wouldn't be any fun.

03-02-2004, 08:36 PM
Heh heh. I guess I'm a mix then. I'll do whatever I need to do to make my mead taste just the way I want it to taste.

03-03-2004, 12:41 AM
Of those cults you have extremeists of every stripe... Disclaimer: I tread close to the 2nd option


1 . Historical ... often involved in Renactment societies.... Historical refrences like the Digby. Personally I'm of the opinion Very little mead is actually made this way. If it is it involves Boiling, skimming, flowers in the must, and an Egg used as a hydrometer.

2 . "Natural Meadmaker Cult" (NMC) more detail because I run closer to this pole - Prefer to minimize MANMADE chemicals as a starting approach. Certainly most of us still use them in select and limited ways. When I don't have Buckwheat honey I use about 40% (recipe say 5 tsp, I'll use 2) of the recommended amount of Fermax to feed my yeast. I Use Pectic Enzyme in my Cysers and Melomels to remove Pectin (haze stuff... makes fruit into jelly).
Recipes by this group tend to use.
Raisons/Buckwheat-honey/Fruit-juice for Nutrients,
Citrus Juice/fruit for acid,
Tea for Tannins.

Quality of ingredients Varry, Ingredients carry more complex taste profiles, Recipes are less reproducable because of changes in natural sources from year to year. Most people on this approach will borrow selectively from Chemistry. Potassium-metabisulfite and Pectic Enzyme. Like the chemistry folks, most recipes add the ingredients before fermentation. NMC approches try to use ingredient with naturally occuring properties to solve as many of the problems of mead making as possible. Since Nutrients are a problem for mead - most of these recipes will use buckwheat honey in limitied amounts, Raisons, or fruit juice to provide better nutrients for the yeast.

3 . "Better Mead through Chemistry" - (BMtC)(this group often seems to be Alchemists trying to make thier mead into wine to me) Recipes for this group use the following (before fermentation if they are extemists)
Processed Acid Blends,
Powdered Grape Tannin,
yeast food/energizer/nutrient
DAP DiAmoniumPhosphate - Nitrogen for healthy yeast
Potassium-metabisulfite 24hours before pitching yeast

Potassium Sorbate at the end to prevent renweed fermentation.

Typically the recipes are more reproduceable, more controlled, and the processed additives are one dimensional and consistent. Perils on this route are the over use of something by someone who thinks... well if 1 tsp is good 2 are better. Such overuse is considered by the "Natural Meadmaker Cult" as one of the main reasons for posts about "Listerine Flavor" requiring extensive ageing.

Edit: I really like the Acronyms NMC and BMtC, so I added the second acronym and this note.

03-03-2004, 12:43 AM
I agree..i tend to like to do things completely naturally...i use fruit for nutrients and acid rather then powders...however if something isnt going the way i want it to i will intervein with whatever necessary to get the product i want.

03-03-2004, 12:49 AM
Agreed Joe. Unless your an extremist, it is just a starting point.

03-04-2004, 08:40 AM
I will say that I want to avoid chemicals additives as much as possible but I will add them if I absolutely need to...

03-05-2004, 01:21 AM
I don't really care for chemical additives such as nutrient but if it was for acid I would add some lemon juice or whatever. I could very easily hop from one group to the other.