Posted on 06 July 2012.
A number of different types of wine can be made and not all of them have to be made from grapes or fruit. Mead wine is one such wine and it is made from honey, it also happens to be one of the oldest forms of wine and it is known also known as honey wine. It is primarily made from three main ingredients and these are honey, yeast and water. The yeast is natural and comes from the version which is known as wild yeast.
In modern times these wines are made much more like other versions of wines but they tend to have longer fermenting times and the yeast is used in order to speed up the process. This ancient beverage also comes along with a number of other traditions, one of such traditions comes from the term honey moon which actually refers to an ancient tradition where a couple would take honey wine for a month after marriage because it was believed that it would help them give birth to sons.
At a certain time, people who made mead wine were skilled and specially trained men. The art of such winemaking was also a closeted and respected process, so much so that people who made wines in ancient times were considered very important persons.
For those who wish to change the flavor of their mead, certain things can be added in order to change the flavor. If spices are added to the mix, the name changes to metheglin. What this word means is medicinal liquor and the etymology comes from the welsh language. This name was given because spices and herbs in ancient times were known to cure medical problems and honey wine was used along with the mixture because it didn’t freeze during the cold winters.
Certain people added fruit to their honey wine and called it melomel. This helped these people make their fruit last much longer in summer when such fruit was usually prone to rot. In winter spices would be added and then warmed in order to create a winter delight. If medicinal purposes were intended, lavender or chamomile would be added. In order to spice everything up properly cinnamon or nutmeg would also be added too. Certain fruits were used and mixed along with the honey wine and these fruits included strawberries as well as blackcurrants. If the honey was required to be stronger tasting, more honey was used and the mix was called sack instead. Slavs from the East made honey wine and it tended to come with much more alcohol and they called their version Medovukha. It was much more like vodka with some honey mixed with it. One more type of mead was called Pyment and it was a mixture of honey wine as well as grapes. If white grapes were used in the mix, it was called white mead instead.
Different types of honey were used to make these wines and they all tended to depend on the place were a person usually lived. This honey could either be light colored with a light taste or as dark as buckwheat honey with a heavier taste but regardless, they all tended to result in very good honey wine.
Posted in Recipes
Posted on 22 January 2011.
Have you ever read a novel from centuries ago? It seems that all the characters in these books either drink mead, water or beer. Are you curious as to what mead is and how it was made by these people who did not have the technological advances that we enjoy today? Thankfully, mead is making a big comeback and many people are now making it at home in much the same way that it was made hundreds of years ago.
What is Mead?
Mead is a wine that is made out of honey. The taste of the finished product can be directly related to the type or flavor of the honey that is used to make the wine. This is the first choice that you need to make before starting on your own homemade mead.
• List of Equipment-
1. Large pot that can hold at least six quarts of liquid
2. Bucket for Fermenting
3. Gallon Jug
4. 2-4 feet of rubbing tubing
• List of Ingredients-
1. 1 quart of honey – remember the type of honey determines the taste. Experiment with different honeys to get the flavor you prefer.
2. 1 pound white raisins in a cheesecloth bag.
3. 1 Gallon Water
4. 1 Packet Yeast
Making the Mead
• Step One – Boil the water in the pot making sure to put a mark at the four quart water level. This is going to be used later in the process. Add the honey to the hot water just as it reaches a soft boil stage.
• Step Two – Take the white raisins in cheesecloth and add them to the honey water mixture. Allow them to boil until they reconstitute and become full of liquid.
• Step Three – Take out the raisins and remove the pulp from the liquid by squeezing the cheesecloth bag tightly. Make sure to get as much of the liquid out as possible and save it for the next step.
• Step Four – Put the liquid that was collected from the raisins and return it to the pot of boiling water and honey.
• Step Five – Allow the honey/water/raisin juice mixture to boil down to the four quart level you marked off in step one.
• Step Six – Let the liquid cool off completely.
• Step Seven – Pour the liquid into the bucket where it is going to sit for at least six weeks for fermentation.
• Step Eight – After the fermentation process, rack the wine into a gallon jug. Racking simply means to drain the liquid out of the bucket and into the jug by using the hose to siphon it out. This is going to allow any sediment to stay in the bottom of the bucket and out of the finished wine.
After the wine is transferred to the jug, it needs to sit for at least nine months in order to be ready to drink. It is not a good idea to attempt to drink it any sooner than the nine months or the mead is not going to be mature. The raisins can be substituted for other fruits if experimenting on taste. If this is the first time making mead, then it is suggested that this process be followed exactly before attempting any variations. The more you do it, the better you will become with your mead.
Posted in Winemaking 101
Posted on 17 June 2010.
Making wine on a budget can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, provided that one knows what one is doing. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from gathering all of your own fruit and grapes, then processing them into wine; the novice vintner may find it very efficient and more cost effective to invest money into a winemaking kit for their first few batches.
Most winemaking websites and supply stores have these kits for purchase, and they will include all you need to successfully make a good batch of wine. There are even kits available for mead, specialty and herbal wines. This way is a great way to begin a good batch with all of your ingredients together in place.
If you want to get your fruit and other ingredients in your own area of the country, farmer’s markets are an ideal place to save a ton of money. These markets are a place for local farmers and fruit growers to come sell their produce and are very popular during the summer months.
Since you are not paying for the supply chain and other cost associated with chain grocery stores, you can get a lot of fruit for pennies on the dollar as opposed to what you pay at a store. This is also a great way to support the local community of farmers in your area.
In my own area, I have seen a number of people who start their home winemaking operation by ordering their supplies online. While this is highly convenient, it is probably not the most cost effective way of acquiring fruit and supplies. At a local store, you can find most of the supplies you need without having to pay shipping costs, and it’s much easier to shop in your local area and find good deals.
There are numerous ways to save money by doing the above steps. Wine making in this way is not only fulfilling, fun and give one a lot of satisfaction, it also provides for cost effective solutions in wine making that most people would either overlook or not see when making their own wine at home.
Posted in Winemaking Tips