Author Topic: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?  (Read 7242 times)

Offline robertpreed

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Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« on: November 16, 2011, 08:52:30 AM »
As my Ale is sitting in secondary waiting to be bottled after Thanksgiving, I was talked into making some cider for my non-beer drinking friends.   Taking the advise on a previous CIDER thread and what I found via google, I am going to make an apple cider, tart cherry, honey cider on Friday.

Someone else pipes up, "hey, what about making wine or mead?".   Living in Houston, we do not have cellars/basements and without getting a FOURTH fridge, making wine would be impractical.  However, looking around at mead recipes, I see that mead would be totally practical.

I've seen a lot of references to "Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe" and most of the comments in various forums seem to be, "not a bad little mead".

Has anyone tried it or are they any comments from the more experienced mead folks out there?   I was thinking this might be fun to try one gallon.

Thanks.



Ancient Orange Cinnamon & Clove Mead

This is one I have shared before but it may have got lost in the rebuild. It is so simple to make and you can make it without much equipment and with a multitude of variations. This could be a first Mead for the novice as it is almost fool proof. It is a bit unorthodox but it has never failed me or the friends I have shared it with. Wikdwaze, you might like this one better than your Chancers since it will be both sweet, complex and tastey.

1 gallon batch

3 1/2 lbs Clover or your choice honey or blend (will finish sweet)
1 Large orange (later cut in eights or smaller rind and all)
1 small handful of raisins (25 if you count but more or less ok)
1 stick of cinnamon
1 whole clove ( or 2 if you like - these are potent critters)
optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice )( very small )
1 teaspoon of Fleismanns bread yeast ( now don't get holy on me--- after all this is an ancient mead and that's all we had back then)
Balance water to one gallon
Process:

Use a clean 1 gallon carboy

Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in carboy

Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice in eights --add orange (you can push em through opening big boy -- rinds included -- its ok for this mead -- take my word for it -- ignore the experts)

Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill to 3 inches from the top with cold water. ( need room for some foam -- you can top off with more water after the first few day frenzy)

Shake the heck out of the jug with top on, of course. This is your sophisticated aeration process.

When at room temperature in your kitchen. Put in 1 teaspoon of bread yeast. ( No you don't have to rehydrate it first-- the ancients didn't even have that word in their vocabulary-- just put it in and give it a gentle swirl or not)( the yeast can fight for their own territory)

Install water airlock. Put in dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour. (Don't use grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away in the 90's)( Wait 3 hours before you panic or call me) After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don't shake it! Don't mess with them yeastees! Let them alone except its okay to open your cabinet to smell every once in a while.

Racking --- Don't you dare
additional feeding --- NO NO
More stirring or shaking -- Your not listening, don't touch

After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. (How about that) (You are not so important after all) Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and syphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waitied that long. If it is clear it is ready. You don't need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (like in a cabinet) likes a little heat (70-80). If it didn't work out... you screwed up and didn't read my instructions (or used grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away) . If it didn't work out then take up another hobby. Mead is not for you. It is too complicated.

If you were sucessful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead. When you get ready to make a different mead you will probably have to unlearn some of these practices I have taught you, but hey--- This recipe and procedure works with these ingredients so don't knock it. It was your first mead. It was my tenth. Sometimes, even the experts can forget all they know and make a good ancient mead.

Enjoy, Joe

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 08:57:32 AM »
It is an entertaining recipe at least. I don't see anything wrong with the recipe except the bread yeast but who knows.
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Offline ryang

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 10:29:24 AM »
It is a tried and true recipe/process.  It makes as good a mead as the ingredients you make it with (as fresh as possible).

While I've not made it myself, I've tried numerous examples made by others, and as long as you have a clean simple process, it makes a delicious mead.

Give it a whirl.  It's a good intro-to-mead, mead.

Offline robertpreed

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 10:57:36 AM »
Cool guys, thanks.

I think I'll make this right after thanksgiving and then let it sit for 2-3 months and see what I got.   I think it will be hard waiting on it.   Fortunately, that is what beer making is for.....filling up all that time and keeping your mind off it.

Offline punatic

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 01:46:08 PM »
I'm guessing the "not a bad little mead" comments are from SCA forums.

Inspite of my first taste of mead being one made from this recipe, I saw the potential and continued on to become a big fan of meadmaking.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 03:27:19 PM by punatic »
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Offline robertpreed

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 02:09:18 PM »
I'm guessing the "not a bad little mead" comments are from SGA forums.

Inspite of my first taste of mead being one made from this recipe, I saw the potential and continued on to become a big fan of meadmaking.

You did not like the taste?

Offline punatic

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 03:24:09 PM »
I do not like the taste of cloves.  I am not of fan of metheglins of any spice combinations.

The ancients used spices in mead to hide the off-flavors from fermentaion infections.

Two suggestions:

Unless you mess up pretty badly, the chances are that you are really going to like your first mead.  This recipe will yeld less than 1 gallon.  It will be all gone in the blink of an eye.  Start with 5 gallons instead of just one.  Even 5 gallons will disappear in a hurry.

Start with a fruit mead.  Fruit provides natural yeast nutients and pH buffers.  A fruit mead (melomel) will ferment faster and mature sooner.  Don't be afraid to taste it at every step along the way.  It will taste good at every step along the way.  It will taste best when it has had some time to clear and age a bit.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 03:42:19 PM by punatic »
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Offline robertpreed

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 03:40:51 PM »
Yeah, I was wondering about doing just 1 gallon as I would probably REALLY like it, then have to wait 3 or more months to have more and that thought filled me with sadness.

I was thinking of doing 3, and maybe 5 gallons.    I have a 3 gallon carboy that I have never used, so I thought this might be a good time to use it.

And yeah, the cloves would be cut way back for me as well.

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 07:08:14 AM »
This is a mead that I have new mead makers try for their first mead.  Relatively fast turn around, lots of flavor.  I made this for my daughter's wedding to give out as favors in 6 oz. bottles.  Total time was 4 months.  This is also the mead I served at this year's NHC on Friday's mead forum.  One change, use a 71B yeast, not the bread yeast.  It makes a difference if you can regulate the fermentation temps in the low 60's.
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Offline robertpreed

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Re: Joe's Ancient Mead Recipe?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2011, 03:40:40 PM »
Well, brewed 3 gallons of it and on the advice of others, removed as much of the pith as I could and only used 2 cloves and not three. 

Fingers crossed.