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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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"...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
You don't necessarily HAVE to buy this book before you kill a bottle of Carlo Rossi and start your first batch of JAOM in a closet, but you should. Short of a meadmaking buddy who knows the ropes (or access to r/mead, who will also tell you to buy this book), this book is the best source of information you can get your hands on.
Now, I don't share Ken's thing for sour cherries, but I'll tell you this: that braggot recipe, the Don't Cry for Me, Spargentina? Yeah. That's a good recipe. And by good I mean two cases of it made me the most popular and least remembered person at every event I brought it to. Get brewing, learn, and drink like a viking!
The information about the production of mead provided can easily be used to synthesize your own actual processes for making different kinds of mead. The author rightly encourages you to experiment and keep detailed notes so you know what worked and what did not.
Even after making many, many batches of mead, I find myself referring back to this book over and over. It is a great resource!
Mead has a reputation for sometimes slow, months-long or even stuck fermentation phases. Don't get buried by the biochem jargon in this chapter: you can skim past the ADP->ATP, NADP and permease discussion to find the recommended process for adding nutrients, aeration, and pH control. The author cites research indicating the proper addition of yeast nutrients (now commercially available) are needed along with aeration and pH buffering in the range of ~3.8 using CaCO3 to ensure a strong growth phase followed by speedy fermentation. There are a lot of opinions regarding the correct numbers here, but I prefer to place my trust in people who can cite peer reviewed research.