Mead - What Does That Have To Do With Experimental Homebrewing?

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TLDR - Read this about some meadmaking adventures I've had Anniversary Meads - A Tale of Honey and Fun!

One of the things I have no clue how it happened - how did brewers decide to incorporate Mead in their bailiwick? Well, not legally of course. If you want to open a meadery in most states, you need a winery license. A brewery license won't cut it. But, homebrewerly speaking, mead seems to be a well adopted brewer thing. Maybe it's the fact that so much of early homebrewing was about adapting British techniques and styles that we just naturally scooped up British/Celtic mead traditions in the mix and went "eh, why not?" Or maybe it's that once you're used to heating up water and performing fermentation, mead seems too damn easy to ignore.

Regardless, when I can get up the gumption (and money for the honey) to make some mead - I do and I never regret it. What does this have to do with Experimental Homebrewing?

Two things!

  1. The use of staggered nutrient feeding vs. no nutrient vs. all the nutrient at once is a great experiment. These days the preponderance of results indicates that staggered feeding works like a charm to make great mead faster
  2. The wine world has a base practice of always tasting and adjusting even as you head into the package. I think brewers can learn an awful lot from that.

I just wrote this up for the Maltose Falcons' 40th Anniversary Party where we took 78 pounds of honey and made 25 gallons of mead. Additionally, I made five additional flavor variants using some of the techniques we talk about in the book - so read on up!