Download The Compleat Meadmaker: Home Production of Honey Wine From by Ken Schramm PDF

By Ken Schramm

Mead (honey wine) is the recent buzz between beverage hobbyists as a growing number of shoppers begin to make their very own. This up to date identify tells the beginner find out how to start and the skilled brewer or winemaker tips to achieve this most up-to-date of the beverage arts.

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Additional resources for The Compleat Meadmaker: Home Production of Honey Wine From Your First Batch to Award-winning Fruit and Herb Variations

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The cone shape of skep hives continues to be used as the symbol of beekeepers and their wares. Skeps played a huge role in increasing the availability of both honey and mead in northern Europe. Modern straw skeps could be huge affairs, filled with massive combs of both brood and honey. They were constructed of uniformly sized, coiled bundles of straw supported with interlaced strips of wicker or briar. It is a difficult task to extract honey from a skep, and because brood and honey are together in the lone chamber, skep hives initially required the beekeeper to kill off the colony with smoke (heresy to modern beekeepers) before the combs could be removed and their honey extracted.

THE DECLINE OF MEAD Outside of Africa and Poland, mead has slipped from the mainstream over the course of the last few hundred years. The reason for this “decline” has been the cause for much conjecture. Gayre accounts for the decline as the result of a dramatic rise in the cost of honey during a “shortage” that he writes occurred in Europe in the Tudor era (late fourteenth to early seventeenth century). Gayre does not actually so much document a decline in production to prove his shortage as he documents an increase in the price of honey.

It does seem logical that with sweets in such short supply, sweet wines and meads would be novel attractions, but at the same time such condescension can make one question the line between purist and snob. From the Paleolithic era until well into the Roman Empire, honey was the only sweetener available throughout Europe and the Middle East. Cane sugar did not make its way from its origin among Indian cultures into the Western world until the time of Pliny. Even then, cane sugar was regarded as something of an oddity and did not make its way into common usage in Europe for several centuries.

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