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The Compleat Meadmaker : Home Production of Honey Wine From Your First Batch to Award-winning Fruit and Herb Variations Paperback – June 9, 2003
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From the Publisher
With easy-to-follow procedures and simple recipes
author Ken Schramm shows how you can quickly and painlessly make your own mead at home.
Part One: Background.
1. From the Beginning to a Modern Revival.
2. Defining the Styles.
Part Two: Process.
3. Changing Honey into Wine.
4. Beyond the Basics.
5. Yeast and Fermentation.
6. Conditioning, Aging, and Using Oak.
Explore flavorful variations on the basic theme that leads
to meads flavored with spice, fruits, grapes and even malt.
Part Three: Ingredients.
7. All About Honey.
8. Fruit and Melomel.
9. Grapes and Pyment.
10. Spices and Metheglin.
11. Grains and Braggot. Part Four: Recipes.
12. Putting the Process and Ingredients Together.
13. Appreciating Your Mead.
"...hands down the best mead how-to book... If you make mead... you *need* this book... " -- Vicki Rowe, Webmistress and meadmaker, www.gotmead.com, July 15, 2003
From the Author
My goal in writing this book is to begin bringing to meadmakers the breadth and depth of knowledge and resources that are available to beer brewers and winemakers. I sought to cover the many aspects of meadmaking in a comprehensive but easy-to-read fashion, and to provide readers with an understanding of the role quality ingredients play in creating a really pleasing mead.
This complex, diverse and romantic drink deserves more attention than it has received in print. It can range from bone dry to profoundly sweet, and can be crafted to complement any type of food. If I spread some of my enthusiasm for mead, and for this simple, fun and remarkably rewarding hobby, then I will have succeeded at my task.
Top customer reviews
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This is the "Betty Crocker Cookbook" of mead making... No it doesn't have tons and tons of recipes but it does have a fair number of them and tons of ideas to create your own recipes. The book covers everything from how much honey and of what kind to use, spices, fruits, sanitation and a good history of mead and chapters on honey and a bit of general Chemistry.
I have found the "No Heat" method of mead making (as explained in the book) to be simple and produce wonderful results.
My own notes in addition to the book are as follows. Although the book walks you through the mead making process in great detail the one error is the book doesn't tell you how to make your mead taste like mead in the chapters that explain how to START making mead. The process as the book describes converts almost all the honey to alcohol but leave few sugars to even taste like mead. The actual answer to this problem can be found in the index under sweetening but that's in a different section.
The short version is convert the honey to alcohol, get fermentation to finish and then add more honey or whatever juice to sweeten it and get the flavor to suit your taste... the books instructions are more complete than mine but keep in mind you will have to look up that section it is not in the section for beginners.
Lastly there is an orange red airtight cover for glass carboys that has two holes, the central hole is obviously for a racking cane to drain liquid but there are no instructions for what the other hole is for... The other hole is to blow into in order to create air pressure that starts the racking process (siphoning).
This doesnt seem to be covered anywere even though theres no way for a novice to know it...
The book is great overall and well worth the price.
Mr. Schramm explains the vintning process very well... I use the term "vintning process" because mead is a honey wine. Though it is not "wine" in the truest sense per se, Mr. Schramm explains over and over that the mead must (juice prior to fermentation) is much more similar to wine must than beer wort and actually, after studying both, have concluded that the basic steps are the same. 1) Must creation, 2) Fermentation, 3) Racking/Stabilizing/clarifying 4) Aging 5) Drinking.
I am truly looking forward to creating my very first batch of mead out of Orange Blossom honey and have only this book to thank. Bottom line: If you want to make mead, and already have some experience with home brewing, this is THE book for you. Enjoy!
P.S. My wine making skills will be enhanced in the future as I have gotten into testing my wine musts for PH due to this book.