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Meade Recipe?

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Sam Platt

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Meade Recipe?

by Sam Platt » Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:41 pm

In celebration of St. Patricks Day would anyone happen to have a recipe for meade? Or is it simply fermented as a meade? If not I'll have to drink a hearty stout. Acutally, I'll probably drink a hearty stout anyway.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Redwinger » Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:55 pm

Sam,
I don't know a damn thing about making mead. That said, if you're just trying to celebrate the day, you may want to consider a quick trip to your local wine store/supermarket and pick up a bottle of mead from Oliver Winery in Bloomington. I've never been brave enough to try it so I can't give an opinion on it.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Howie Hart » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:30 pm

I don't have a recipe, but mead is like wine, but instead of fermenting grapes, one ferments honey. It takes as long as making wine. There are some available commercially and might be found in a rather large wine shop. For instance, Premier Wine & Liquors in Buffalo lists 5 different meads.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Bob Ross » Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:09 pm

Sam, a great site for anything related to bees and honey is http://www.honey.com/honeyindustry/

They have a neat pdf file describing how to make mead -- it takes a year or two of aging for good results. We made it a couple of times on the farm, primarily for a Scandinavian festival.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Cynthia Wenslow » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:10 pm

My dad makes mead every year from about 3 different types of honey. Interesting variations. This reminds me to open a bottle tonight.

As everyone has said, you won't have it ready for drinking tonight! Are you sure it's mead you are thinking of?
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Paul B. » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:20 pm

A great topic, guys.

I haven't made mead in a long time, but can say that homemade dry mead is my favourite drink after wine and beer (I don't like spirits).

I used to make mead from buckwheat honey. It would turn out dark brown/amber, was unfiltered (meaning that apiary debris present in the honey wasn't taken out) and was fermented bone-dry to a stength of about 15% alc. I would add some orange rind and cloves for extra flavour. This was a favourite drink to serve with desserts, and was interesting for its honey flavours but palate-cleansing abilities and warming, but clean and dry finish. I think I'll make some more this year as it's been a long time.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Dan Donahue » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:31 pm

I tried a bottle of the Oliver Mead last year. It tastes like wine until the honey aftertaste kicks in. Can't say that I like it, but it was worth a shot.

I've also seen bottles of wine with honey flavoring sold as Mead. Those I have not tried.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Paul B. » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:44 pm

I should add that the only commercial meads I've seen have been more along the lines of honey mixed with liquor than real mead. And most of the ones made at country wineries are invariably weak and sweet. Not my thing at all. The great thing about mead is that you can really craft it according to your preferences: some like it sweet, others don't. I like mine rather alcoholic at around 15% alc. and completely dry, with very bold flavour intensity.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Bill Hooper » Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:26 pm

The best meade available in the states, IMO, are from Britains Lurgashall winery.http://www.lurgashall.co.uk I think they have pretty wide distribution.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Otto » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:13 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:The best meade available in the states, IMO, are from Britains Lurgashall winery.http://www.lurgashall.co.uk I think they have pretty wide distribution.


If that's the best, you're in trouble. Here's my TN on it:

Lurgashall Winery English Mead

Smells of a mixture of urine and honey. The palate is better but just the act of bringing the glass somewhere close to the nose (i.e. mouth) was so much work that I didn't bother to do it more than once. Disgusting stench. Absolutely vile.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Robin Garr » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:45 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:Disgusting stench. Absolutely vile.


You sure you didn't accidentally get your hands on a wild native American grape like Concord? :roll:

"Mead" is an ancient word in English, by the way ... the OED finds it in Beowulf and traces it back to 604 AD:

1. a. An alcoholic liquor made by fermenting a mixture of honey and water.
{alpha} OE Riddle 20 12 Cyning..ne wyrne{edh} wordlofes, wisan mæne{edh} mine for mengo, {th}ær hy meodu drinca{edh}. OE Beowulf 604 Gæ{th} eft se {th}e mot to medo modig.

I believe "meade" is a commercial use/affection, though, akin to "Ye Olde Meade Shoppe."
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Bob Ross » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:17 pm

Otto, have you had Sima Mead? I've had it at Scandinavian festivals in this area -- I guess the name has changed to "Nordic" these days.

I've got a recipe around here somewhere -- basically water, lots of brown and white sugar, honey for flavor, yeast -- let it work for a day or so then add raisins to control for secondary fermentation. Supposedly a May Day drink in Finland, according to some of the folks at the Finland booth at Waterloo Village last summer.

It's not really mead, the alcoholic sort -- "near mead" if that. But cold it wasn't half bad, really.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Paul B. » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:38 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Otto Nieminen wrote:Smells of a mixture of urine and honey. The palate is better but just the act of bringing the glass somewhere close to the nose (i.e. mouth) was so much work that I didn't bother to do it more than once. Disgusting stench. Absolutely vile.


You sure you didn't accidentally get your hands on a wild native American grape like Concord? :roll:

Urine and honey - no Concord would ever smell like that. In fact, I have had wines that smelled like pigeon poop or piss ... but those were invariably vinifera wines, mainly affected by brett gone wild.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Otto » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:31 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Otto, have you had Sima Mead? I've had it at Scandinavian festivals in this area -- I guess the name has changed to "Nordic" these days.

I've got a recipe around here somewhere -- basically water, lots of brown and white sugar, honey for flavor, yeast -- let it work for a day or so then add raisins to control for secondary fermentation. Supposedly a May Day drink in Finland, according to some of the folks at the Finland booth at Waterloo Village last summer.

It's not really mead, the alcoholic sort -- "near mead" if that. But cold it wasn't half bad, really.


Oh yes! We have it every May Day and there are some very good examples that taste fresh and clean despite the sugar levels.
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Re: Meade Recipe?

by Sam Platt » Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:31 pm

Checked at our local wine shop, and the meade selection was quite meagher. In fact it was limited to a single meade. I did buy the Camelot Meade from Oliver Winery here in Indiana, but didn't drink it yesterday. I went with Z-H Gewurztraminer instead. I'll save the meade for another day. Thanks for all the input.
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