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  1. Default What inspired you to start brewing?

    I have no clue if anyone has ever asked that before, but I'm curious as to what inspired you to start making mead. It would be really awesome if there was a little story behind it

    Personally, I remember playing Skyrim (RPG for Xbox/PS3/PC for those who don't know), and I was doing a quest in the game where I had to frame this guy who owned a meadery by poisoning the mead he was going to be serving to a Commanding Officer. Since mead is EVERYWHERE in this game, I got curious and looked it up, and when I saw that it was made from honey, I began researching how to make it. I found out that it wasn't too difficult to do and quite rewarding in the end. After a few hours of researching, I decided that I wanted to start a new little hobby for myself by making mead. I'm usually the type of person who gets excited about something they really want to do, and then forgets about it the next day, but I actually stuck to this hobby, and found it to be really enjoyable! I can see myself doing this for nearly the rest of my life.

    So everybody, what inspired you to make mead?
    FUS RO DAH!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
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    8,385

    Default

    Mead? Having tasted some homebrewed meads from a guy I used to know at a yearly pagan festival, and Moniack mead, I knew I liked it and wanted to make some if I could ever figure out how.

    But I got my start in winemaking one year when I wanted to make something other than wild grape jelly with the year's bumper crop of wild grapes, so I carefully cold-juiced a load of them to preserve the natural yeast with the intention of giving it to my uncle who had been making wine for a while. He wasn't interested because it turned out, he'd never done anything that didn't come from a kit, so I decided to ferment it myself. I didn't add nearly enough sugar for the yeast to eat, tried to backsweeten without stabilizing, stained the kitchen ceiling when the removable cork popped a few days later... A friend at the time heard about my adventures and I guess some of her SCA friends suggested a book (Terry Garey's Joy of Home Winemaking) which she gave me for my birthday, and that was my bible pretty much till I found this place. I still refer to it for fruit proportions and their expected acidity/tannin levels. Eventually I bought myself a winemaking starter kit and a Raspberry Merlot kit to go with it (I was most disappointed to find out it had never actually seen a real raspberry but it did still taste pretty good), figured out how to do all the basics, then read up and corrected that first wild grape attempt and made something quite drinkable, and with the rest of the hot-juiced leftover concentrate I'd frozen after I made my batch of jelly, I made some pretty good wild grape wine. Haven't really looked back

    And ever since, I've been looking at life in terms of, "Can I ferment that?" (only occasionally also considering, "SHOULD I ferment that?")
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  3. #3

    Default

    I was at a bar with some friends when I noticed "mead" on the menu. It sounded interesting so I googled it (Redstone brand. Didn't buy any, it was out of my price range!) It sounded more interesting after googling, somehow I came across the JAO recipe on another forum's megathread and read every page. (And then read every page on THIS forum.) Then, I got what I needed and made a batch. Now our bar is full of mead carboys, and a carboy or two of wine occasionally.

  4. #4

    Post

    I have always been interested in the middle ages and mead plays a prominent role in ancient times. I really love good beer of all kinds, and had thought about getting into home brewing several years ago. But, I figured that with so many different beers readily available, why spend all the time, money, effort, etc. to make beer when I could just go and buy whatever kind I wanted.

    Mead, however is not so readily available. I tasted my first mead at a renaissance faire a few years ago and I thought it just tasted like a semi-sweet wine. I just felt that real, authentic mead had to be different.
    Then, last year my son bought a Star Trek cook book which had a mead recipe in it. That got me to thinking about making my own, and I started searching the internet for ideas. I found a variation of the JAO recipe and went for it. Then I discovered Gotmead and the rest is history - (modern, not ancient!)
    All the world's a nail to a child with a hammer.

  5. #5

    Default

    For me, mead making is a fun hobby that has endless variations. I am not a big drinker, have avoided intoxication so far in my life, but have brewed several batches of mead that potentially could be used as cleaning solvent, but that tastes so much better! (est. abv 14%). The ability to add wild ingredients and still have it come out tasting great is a big draw for me. I also brew beer which also has similar variations.

    Mead making requires patience, something I find I lack sometimes. Waiting months, sometimes years for a mead to condition properly is something I didn't think I'd be able to do. Yet somehow, for the most part, I've been able to do it. Experimenting with the yeast and sugar content is also very interesting, adjusting levels of this or that, like a mad scientist!

    Mad scientist... Yeah, I like that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Quincy Massachusetts
    Posts
    28

    Default

    I was attracted to the craft aspect of brewing...... Had made wine and beer for years and so had all the equipment so thought this would be a great way to expand my ability to experiment with a new range of tastes and experiences.... For me nothing beats having a party with my friends and bringing out something completely new and different..... Simply awesome!

  7. #7

    Default

    Twenty-five years ago my ex's boss showed me how easy it was to make homebrew. I was floored. Good beer that easy? Seriously? I was hooked.

    At a RenFest a few years ago my wife tried some of the mead they were serving and really liked it. So I decided to dust off the homebrew supplies and get busy again.

    I made one batch last year, treating it as if it were beer (with the exception of boiling the must) and, much later, found this site as I was preparing my second mead.
    "I said it was good eats, not fast eats."
    -- Alton Brown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Between Jackson and Detroit
    Posts
    2,003

    Default

    A couple of friends in the SCA new I was interested in mead, and practically forced me to participate when they made a couple of batches. After that I just kinda kept playing around and reading.
    Bees stole my signature file!

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skunkboy View Post
    A couple of friends in the SCA new I was interested in mead, and practically forced me to participate when they made a couple of batches. After that I just kinda kept playing around and reading.
    You mean my signature line is from someone whose cop-out answer to "Why do you brew mead?" comes down to "Peer pressure"?!

    "I said it was good eats, not fast eats."
    -- Alton Brown

  10. #10
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    May 2005
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    Between Jackson and Detroit
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivecats View Post
    You mean my signature line is from someone whose cop-out answer to "Why do you brew mead?" comes down to "Peer pressure"?!

    Would you prefer beer pressure? hehe

    So, its a cop out. I'm lazy, and that's a good thing with mead.
    Bees stole my signature file!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkboy View Post
    So, its a cop out. I'm lazy, and that's a good thing with mead.
    Aah, aah, around here we call it "benign neglect".
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  12. Default

    To be quite honest, I've never tasted mead. Which probably sounds crazy to some, and I actually wanted to buy some to taste before my first batch was finished. My boyfriend convinced me otherwise, saying that it would ruin the surprise. I have no doubt that I won't like it since I love many different drinks. I've only been interested in mead making since the beginning of this year, but I've taken it quite seriously(well, not too seriously, I still have fun with the process).
    FUS RO DAH!!!

  13. #13

    Default

    Hi,

    I tried a bottle of Mead last year when we took the kids to Warwick Castle, quite liked it....thought no more of it.

    Back then I was just stopping the hellish Oxford - London commute and happened to mention I was bailing from my city job to an acquaintance that I tended to sit next to (on the 1 day a year you can get a seat on a train to London at 7am !!!) and I really wanted to go back to my country life upbringing - ditch the city, grow some of my own food etc , and he said he was planning a similar thing, and had just started beekeeping...I mentioned my mead experience from the Castle and thought - hey, cheap honey...hmm mead how's that made - no previous brewing anything, check out my newbie questions *g*

    I then googled, as one does and found gotmead, asked questions and now I have 8 gallons of mead bubbling / aging - a 2 month old JAO - my joint first mead -that is still bubbling once every few seconds (fruit nowhere near dropping I think, ), a few traditional and a volcanic mad cherry of which I'll post questions about this weekend I think.

    Alas, his bees all perished over Christmas due to the temperature and I believe a few rats or something, so I'm currently honey experimenting with supermarket stuff (waitrose/gails/rowes).

    But on the plus, I 'gotmead' now - the brew and also the strange drawing power of brewing it - who needs tv when you can watch dive bombing raisins and the plop plop of bubbles in demijohns

    I blame Warwick Castle

    Andy

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    near a lake
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    Default

    Darkness Visible with Simon did it for me.<shrug>
    Making Mead With TLC since 2010

  15. #15
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    May 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAlchemist View Post
    Darkness Visible with Simon did it for me.<shrug>
    Interesting, I'd never heard of this... This stuff, yes? http://www.shamanicstudies.net/studi...d=68&typ=Thema
    Bees stole my signature file!

  16. #16

    Default

    About a year and half ago me and my friends got pretty drunk and one of them asked me if I wanted to make mead... showed me this video. It sounded like a good idea at the time. I did some research and then we started our first batch about a month later. 6 gallons of disaster... then it turned into a problem solving situation. More and more research. Then more and more recipe creations.

    Now I've got a 20 gal oak barrel and carboys everywhere...
    L’esprit de l’escalier

  17. #17

    Default

    Several years ago (okay10+) a buddy of mine handed me a glass and said tried this, I made it last night, its called mead. (he fancied himself a viking type). His idea of "brewing mead" was adding everclear to honey with some spices....needless to say I wasn't impressed.

    Years later I join the SCA and everyone is raving about some of our local mead makers so I thinks to my self that it CAN'T be the swill that my buddy gave me so when they held a class I tried it out.

    The instructer, Bran (who I owe many thanks), gave us a sample of a Cyser, Melomel and Methaglin. The cyser was my favorite and I was hooked! The complex finish, the smoothness OMG I have gotta start making this.

    I've been a cook for 20 years on and off and once I understood the variety of meads that can be created with the proper imagination, it was a natural fit.

  18. Default

    I took a British literature class in high school seven years ago, and while studying Beowulf, our teacher made a very big deal about how much she loved mead... I thought it sounded awesome, but eventually forgot. Then I got skyrim, and was reminded of the existence of this wonderful nectar of the gods, and now I'm hooked!

  19. #19
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    near a lake
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkboy View Post
    Interesting, I'd never heard of this... This stuff, yes? http://www.shamanicstudies.net/studi...d=68&typ=Thema
    Yep. That's the ticket. Sacred Trust.
    Making Mead With TLC since 2010

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian View Post
    The instructer, Bran (who I owe many thanks), gave us a sample of a Cyser, Melomel and Methaglin. The cyser was my favorite and I was hooked!
    Back in my day, he would have been referred to as a "pusher."

    Glad to see you here among the collective Hive Mind. Any and all experiences and suggestions are welcome and needed!
    "I said it was good eats, not fast eats."
    -- Alton Brown

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