Mead Through the Seasons: Winter

Prepare for this winter with this 14th century honey mead recipe. Its rich, toasted marshmallow-like flavor is sure to warm even the coldest of souls.

| March 2019

Getty Images/Osuleo

Once you make one batch of mead you’ll be hooked. As you develop your base recipe, chances are the urge will strike to venture into other types of mead. There are a few different ways to do this. Like grape wine, mead ranges from dry to sweet. For a one-gallon batch like the starter recipe in this book, one and a half to two pounds of honey makes a light colored, dry mead; three pounds results in a semi-sweet mead; and three and a half to four pounds will produce a sweet mead. Pay attention to the strain of yeast you use. If you want a very dry mead, use Lalvin EC-1118 yeast. For semisweet and sweet meads, Lalvin 47 is your best choice. This yeast is user-friendly and imparts great flavor that complements the honey.

The type of honey used influences the flavor of mead. Traditional mead is best made using alfalfa, clover, acacia, or wild­flower honey. Acacia honey will sweeten even the driest of meads and is a great option if you’re going crazy-dry. Just remember that crazy-dry means even more finicky yeast.

The Buzz About Honeybees

There’s been a lot of buzz about the honeybee population for years now. Why are people so interested, what are the facts, and why does it matter?

There are several types of bees—stinging and sting­less—that make honey, but the one we’re most familiar with is the Western honeybee or apis mellifera (honey-bearing bee). It is the most common bee in the world, having originated in tropical eastern Africa, and present on every continent except Antarctica.

The bee population faces significant threats. In 2016 one third of the colonies in the US died. One major reason is the use of pesticides in large-scale commercial farming. This heralds risk to humans. One bite of every three we take is a result of bee pollination, which means, essentially, that one third of our food source is at risk right along with the bees. Despite this, humans continue to create significant threats to the bee population



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