Stupid Question

RobertMcC

Member
Is mead ever made of anything but honey? Just a stupid question, but I'm totally new to mead, heck I haven't ever tasted it so I'm curious. Does it taste a lot different than beer? What's the alcohol level in mead? Is it stronger than beer. Curious ain't I. :p
 

Marcia

New Member
I don't think this is a stupid question. I don't know the answer myself. In school, we were taught that mead was a drink made with ale and honey, so naturally I associate it with that. I don't think the Vikings had access to sugar cane, so of course they used honey. Maybe another sweetener might work.
 

wild

Moderator
Mead is made with honey, water, and yeast. Other things can be added like fruit, spices, and herbs. Honey and barley is used to make Braggot. Mead has the consistancy of wine. It can be still or sparkling, sweet, semi-sweet, or dry. The average mead ABV is between 12 - 16% and it can go higher. Most of all, it tastes nothing like beer. Hope that helps.
 

FrostyMug

Member
Don't feel bad RobertMcC. I had to research mead because I had no idea what it was also, so I too am probably asking a boatload of stupid questions! It sure sounds good though and simple enough, but I think I will use orange blossom honey for starters. I've learned this type honey will make a plain traditional honey wine. Correct anyone? I'm also curious how traditional tastes since I've never tasted it. I'll step up the game later. I need to learn the basics first!
 

wild

Moderator
Traditional means that you aren't adding any flavors to the mead and that it is basically water, honey, and yeast. Orange blossom is a nice light tasting honey and you can add more nose to the mead by adding orange blossoms at the end of the boil.
The questions you'll need to ask yourself are:
  • How strong do you want it?
  • Do you want it sparkling or still?
  • Do you want it dry, semi-sweet, or sweet?
Don't forget to add a good yeast nutrient to give your yeast a much needed boost. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

FrostyMug

Member
Do you mean orange blossoms right off the tree, Wild, or the honey itself at the end of the boil? What are some good nutrients to add to the yeast, also? And what is the difference between sparkling and still? Sorry, for these rookie questions, they probably drive you nuts sometimes!
 

wild

Moderator
Questions don't drive me nuts at all. Being president of a homebrew club puts me a position to learn from a lot of masters and, in turn, help others in my club just starting out.
Yes, I meant the orange blossoms right off the tree. The fragrance will enhance the nose of the mead.
For yeast nutrients, I'm a fan of Fermax but here are some others.
The difference between sparkling and still is simple. Most wines are still meaning no carbonation. Sparkling means a carbonated beverage such as champagne. If you do plan to carbonate your mead, be sure to use the correct bottles to reduce the chance of bottle bombs.
 
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