Mead: Delicious Alternative To Beer And Wine
Mead, the traditional drink of the legendary Viking warrior, lifeblood of monasteries in medieval Europe, and beverage of choice in modern-day Renaissance fairgrounds, is staking its claim in the world of mainstream alcoholic beverages. Despite being around for thousands of years, basic knowledge of this honey-based libation is scarce in today’s society. Impress your online culinary school professors and classmates with some facts on mead!
History of Mead
Mead has been made and enjoyed since before recorded history. Traces of a mead-like substance have been found in 9,000-year old burial sites in China. It is described in detail in ancient legends and mythologies as a drink enjoyed by humans, heroes, and even the gods themselves. Rituals revolving around the consumption of mead were practiced by Celtic, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon cultures because the liquid was believed to have mystical powers. Even the term honeymoon finds its origins based on the use of mead. For a full month, couples drank mead after their wedding to boost fertility outcomes (or so it was believed).
How It’s Made
Brewing mead takes some time to gather all the necessary ingredients and equipment. To begin, you must acquire the type of honey you wish to use. Stronger honeys make sweeter meads, while lighter honeys make for great floral batches. Next, get your favorite type of yeast and quality drinking water. Deciding on the type of yeast is important to the process, as various strains promote longer or more complete fermentation. Malic, tartaric or citric acid add to the final flavor of the mead and offset the sweetness of the honey. Sulfites can be used for sanitation purposes. You can also add fruit, herbs and spices, and hops to put your personal signature on the final product. Equipment depends on the size of the batch you want to make, but essentially you’ll need a large (about 4-gallon) stainless steel pot, 2 large (again, 4- 5-gallon) carboys or glass containers with narrow necks, and other standard brewing materials.
Types of Mead
There are quite a few varieties of mead on the market today. Traditional mead is based on fermented honey. Hydromel is watered down mead. Sack Mead is a sweeter type of mead created by the addition of 20 to 25% percent more honey. Spiced mead from herbs or hops is called Metheglin, while fruit-based mead is known as Melomel.
Enjoy while completing your online culinary courses, with a dinner partner, or in the company of friends and family!
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