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Thread: Mead resources

  1. Default Mead resources

    Obviously, there’s a wealth of great info on this page. The difficulty of searching the forums is one can only look for what one knows exists here.

    So I ask: “If you were to recommend three books for a seasoned wine maker that’s diving head first into mead making, which three books would you recommend?”

    1) best for ‘recipes’ and concepts related to developing them
    2) best for understanding the process in layman’s terms (a book that explains -what- to do.)
    3) best for understanding the process in, quite possibly, very technical terms (a book that explains -why- it’s done.)

    I’m most interested in ‘why do we do’ instead of ‘what do we do.’ Once I understand ‘why,’ successful experimentation becomes intentional rather than accidental.


  2. Default

    I don't know about specific books on the subject, but I'd start by looking here. This is a post by another member here (EricHartman) that gives info and links on a vast amount of information all consolidated into a single post.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Brookline, NH


    Unfortunately, the books are 16 and 5 years old. Some important developments in the mead making process have taken place since they were written. Those developments can be found in the podcasts and posts that Eric Hartman has taken the time to consolidate.

    The Compleat Meadmaker : Home Production of Honey Wine From Your First Batch to Award-winning Fruit and Herb Variations Paperback – June 9, 2003
    by Ken Schramm

    The Complete Guide to Making Mead: The Ingredients, Equipment, Processes, and Recipes for Crafting Honey Wine Paperback – July 30, 2014
    by Steve Piatz

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Ottawa, ON


    Rob Ratliff's "Let There Be Mead" series is good for recipes. I think the first one also has adecent overview on fermentation.

    Understanding the whys will come with time and research into fermentation. There are plenty of places to read about that, including the books Darigoni suggested and various articles in this forum like rb2112br suggested, also I think we still have a Newbee Guide, and the Mead group on Facebook has some papers on its page that are good info. Fermentation hasn't changed over the years, what has changed is how we manage it.

    And when you find conflicts in your research, ask questions here.
    "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, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Saratoga Springs , NY


    My two cents? I think if you are looking for recipes you are thinking about mead- (or wine-) making the wrong way. Those who need or want recipes really don't understand the underlying principles and in truth, a recipe is really not going to be very much help largely because all recipes are are accounts of one person's methods and processes recorded at one moment using very specific ingredients and under very specific conditions that may or may not all be provided and if provided not necessarily be similar to the conditions under which you make your meads.

    Far better (in my opinion) than having a library of recipes is having a good grasp of the underlying principles and the best means to really understand those principles is to focus on making what is called traditional (trad) meads. A trad mead is simply honey, water, yeast and nutrient. A trad mead can be low in acohol, high in alcohol and anywhere in between. It can be sweet or dry, it can be carbonated or not... but it is just honey, water, yeast and nutrients, and when you can make a delicious trad mead with your eyes closed then you can make anything because everything else is simply icing on the cake - You can add flowers, or herbs, or spices, or nuts or fruit but like baking bread: once you understand the underlying structure you don't need recipes. You simply begin to think about every and anything as a possible ingredient AND you understand that simplicity is everything and more is almost always too much.
    What to do? Consider how you might make three very different batches of mead using the same kind of honey.

  6. Default

    I’m right there with you! As I mentioned in my original post, I’m not looking for info on ‘what to do’ nearly as much as ‘why we do things.’

    What is the chemistry that is happening?
    What principles, when followed, produce the ‘best’ flavor profile?
    What attributes of ingredients tend to contribute this/that/the-other-thing by the end of a ferment?

    I’m not so interested in ‘recipes’ aside from admitting that they can be a good starting point.

    Thanks to all who have responded and any that do in the future.

    (Random note... my first three meads (melomels) have been bottled... a red currant, blueberry-black currant, and blueberry-black currant-aronia. Each is good, but could be better. I feel like I overestimated the impact the fruit would have on the flavor profile. Next year, more fruit! This year, 15 gallons of melomel to enjoy!... really curious to see how they evolve in the ‘cellar.’)

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