The original resource on authentic Honey Wine - THE Reinheitsgebot of MEAD!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mead: "A long time."

Mead has a reputation of taking forever to ferment, age, and be ready to drink. Many Mead makers say that their Mead does not taste good for at least several years. There are many reasons for this.

1: The yeast was not handled correctly (hydrated and fed).

2: The wrong strain of yeast was chosen.

3: Not enough yeast was used or it was outdated.

4: The Mead was not given the proper amount and type of nutrients, or added at the correct times.

5: Poor quality honey was used (just like quality grapes make quality wine).

6: The Mead must was boiled or pasteurized.

7: The Mead was fermented at the wrong temperature and or inconsistent temperature.

8: The pH of the must was not addressed and the yeast became stressed and produced off flavors.

If you follow my directions you can make a Mead that is delicious in just a few short months. I brought some of my Mead to Leon Havill, of Havill's Mazer Meadery in New Zealand it was less than 5 months old. Leon is THE Mead God and has been doing it the longest. Here is what he had to say about my mead: 

“It was a pleasure to taste some Authentic Mead from the USA, it was excellent almost too good to be true - we could hardly believe our taste buds. Over the years we have tasted many American offerings a lot of fruit wine with added honey labeled '' Mead '' which it is clearly not. It is great to find someone who has taken the time to produce some very, very good Authentic Mead. You appear to have the skills so get out there and sweep these would be if they could be Mead makers right off the shelf with a quality product.” – Leon Havill, Havill's Mazer Mead Company, Rangiora, New Zealand.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Heat vs. Cold process?

The majority of professional Meaderies are started by home beer brewers who know nothing about professional white wine making (but with passion and good intentions!) and that is why you still see the antediluvian practice of heat pasteurizing or boiling the honey must, and or because the Meadery owner(s) does not want to invest in the equipment or labor necessary to cold-process their honey wine. In addition, they may just be are unaware that it can be done cold. The Meadery might make a great product with heat, and I have tasted many of these Meaderies imbibes that were quite good, but there is no question their product would be even better if they cold processed it. Grape wineries do not heat pasteurize or boil their must for a reason, they know what they are doing. If they heated their must you would see a damaged product. There are even more delicate flavor components in honey than there are in grape sugar and grape compounds that are negatively affected by heat. So the argument if anything should be that Mead, more so than grape wine, should never be heat pasteurized or boiled.

It is unlikely that an established Meadery that heat pasteurizes or boils their product will change their methods do to this information. However a new startup Meadery can and should follow a cold process protocol. If you want to start a Meadery, I  can help. I consult with several Meaderies and I teach how set up the cold-process way.

Another thing to consider is that there are many compounds in honey that are beneficial to your health. When you heat pasteurize or boil your honey you destroy much of that health advantage.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Redstone and me

The always colorful, David Myers, from Redstone Meadery stopped by to say hello. He went home with some of my Mead which I think is about time since I have drank so much of his over the years! ;) David is a good guy. Be sure to pay Redstone (Redstone is one of the largest Meaderies in the world) a visit when in Boulder. Prost! ~dr

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kookoolan Dwójniak

Kookoolan Dwójniak by Traditional Mead
Kookoolan Dwójniak, a photo by Traditional Mead on Flickr.
Here is my first offering as a wine making consultant for Kookoolan World Meadery. It is a traditional Mead made with a massive amount of Orange blossom honey. One part honey to one part water, which means 8 pounds of honey per gallon! I then aged it to perfection in bourbon oak barrels. We released this imbibe and in 3 weeks was completely sold out. I have been told by many that it is the best Mead they have ever had.