The ice age is the last period in Earth’s history where humans were regularly drinking alcohol. But how did prehistoric people enjoy their drinks? And what exactly type of beverage did they consume? New genetic research suggests that they consumed fermented beverages made from fruit skins, honey, and yeast. These beverages were likely not like the beverages we drink today, since fermentation makes drinks sour.

The past few years have seen an explosion of interest in ancient wine, not just amongst wine enthusiasts, but also in the media. However, it is important to note that while the past few years have seen an explosion of interest in ancient wine, there is no evidence that wine was made at any time in prehistory.

The idea of a 20,000-year-old-drink may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the concept is actually well-thought-out and not so far off. It’s possible that we’ve had early versions of some of the world’s most popular drinks in our history, and the fact that they’ve survived this long is testament to the fact that they’re tasty and well-received.. Read more about how to make mead without yeast and let us know what you think.

Mede is one of the oldest fermented alcoholic beverages in the world. It originated thousands of years ago in the Chinese province of Henan. Historians speculate that rain fell into the honey pot, diluting the honey enough to become suitable for fermentation by air yeast.

Ken Schramm, co-founder and chief producer of Schramm’s Mead, explains that mead has been around for thousands of years in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, although its popularity has had its ups and downs.

In 2011, there were 30 honey shops in the United States, according to Upserve. But by 2020, there were about 450 honey shops in the United States, according to the trade group American Mead Makers Association (AMMA). The group also claims that 50 other wineries and breweries have at least one mead in their portfolio.

The craft beer revolution of the mid-2010s brought on consumers looking for new and interesting beverages, says Bill Quirk, a New Jersey homebrewer who owns a small co-brand called Barrister Meadery. The Met is gaining in popularity as more and more people get the chance to try out new manufacturers. It’s not just what you see once a year at the local Renaissance Festival. And unlike other types of fermentation, simple mead is easy to make at home.

Medium size

In its simplest form, mead is made from honey, water and cultured yeast and fermented for a long time. There are different styles and tastes that can be considered, depending on personal preference.

Mede is an extremely versatile drink, says Quirk. It can be as dry as a white wine, as sweet as a dessert wine, or something in between. Session-Met (known as Mead) can have an alcohol content (abv) of around 3 to 5 %. Standard mead lies between 8 and 12%, while strong or packaged mead can reach 20%.

It’s not just what you see once a year at the local Renaissance Festival. -Bill Quirk of Barrister Meadery

The strength, sweetness or dryness of the mead is usually determined by the ratio of raw honey to water and the yeast strain. Maturation methods may also be a factor.

For mead, an average of one part honey to four parts water is needed. A lighter mead can be made from one part honey to five or six parts water. Some, like the Lacandon-Balché-Met native of Chiapas, Mexico, are diluted in 17 parts water.


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Choosing the best honey is a separate issue, depending on the terroir.

I like orange blossoms, alfalfa and lots of wildflowers, Schramm said. Be careful with them. Wildflower honey can be made from any flower source.

Although cultured yeast is usually added to start the fermentation process, pasteurized honey is best avoided because it does not contain its own yeast. Raw honey also adds a nuanced flavor to the mead.

When it comes to flavors, the possibilities are endless. To enriched must, plants, fruits and/or flowers are usually added. They make complex dishes. But some ingredients can bring acids, tannins, proprietary yeast, nitrogen and other factors that must be taken into account to make your product what you want it to be.

For green drink advocates, food waste is also an issue.

I love working with food scraps and wild-harvested fruit, says Jori Jane Emde, fermenter and alchemist at Lady Jayne’s Alchemy. That’s why I usually make mead with sweeter honey, like wildflower honey, so that the fruit or food waste is more apparent in the final product.

Making mead often involves trial and error, but there are some good practices to keep in mind.

Basics of making mead

Making mead can be very simple: Put raw honey and water in a jar, cover with gauze (or a lid if you want to rely on yeast) and let nature do its work.

Schramm and Quirk recommend preparing this material before starting.

  • Disinfectant: Disinfect all tools and equipment to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. According to Schramm, a bleach solution or Star San, the industry standard, is sufficient.
  • Triple scale hydrometer : It’s the most important tool for the aspiring maid, Quirk says. With the hydrometer you know when your mead has finished fermenting.
  • A plastic fermentation bucket (preferably a 2 gallon bucket) or an airtight jar if you want to start small.
  • Glass decanter (1 gallon) with seal
  • Yeast: Wine yeast is just as suitable as beer yeast.
  • Go-Ferm: Yeast nutrient medium for rehydration of fungi
  • Mermaid O : Nutrient for yeast
  • Automatic adjustment of the siphon and rack pipe: To transfer mead from the first fermenter to the second fermenter, it’s best to use a bottling system, Quirk says. The best thing about this type of setup is that you can add a pouring spout if you want to bottle your mead.
  • Mesh pocket : For fruit, flower or plant mead.

traditional Bill’s base fellow

Courtesy of Bill Quirk, home brewer, Barrister Meadery, Bergenfield, New Jersey.

The Bond / Photo: Tyler Zielinski

In a fermenting vessel, mix 12 cups of water with all but one teaspoon of the honey until the honey is dissolved in the wort. Use the hydrometer to determine the initial weight (OG).

Put ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon of spring water in a saucepan. Bring to 110°F (measure with a thermometer). Add 6 grams of Go-Ferm. Mix well. Add the remaining teaspoon of honey and stir again.

Remove the pan from the heat. When the temperature of the mixture has dropped to 40°F, place the packet of yeast on top of the mixture and let it stand for 5 minutes to rehydrate the yeast. Bubbles should form at the surface of the water.

Honey, water and yeast mixture / Photo: Tyler Zielinski

If air bubbles form, add a little wort from the fermenter to the yeast mixture using a spoon or a disinfected bowl to bring the temperature of the two components closer together. (Note: because the yeast mixture is warmer than the wort, the contrast can kill the yeast. This slow process helps them acclimate).

Add 1 tablespoon of the puree to the yeast mixture. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes. Repeat this process twice and wait 5 minutes between each addition. The temperature of the yeast mixture and the wort must be within 10°F. Puis aérez le moût avec un fouet ou secouez le récipient pendant 1 minute.

Add the remaining yeast mixture to the wort and stir vigorously for 30-45 seconds. Place the unit in a cool place (60-70°F), out of direct sunlight.

Fermentation must begin within 8 to 24 hours. Stir after 12 hours and again after 24 hours. During the second shaking, add 2 g of Fermaid O dissolved in 50 g of spring water.

It is important to maintain the correct temperature for the preparation of the honey-water mash mix.

Repeat the mixing pattern on the second day. After 48 hours, add 2 grams of Fermaid O dissolved in 50 grams of spring water.

Measure gravity on the third day. Subtract the current value from the original wort weight. If the difference is at least one third of the original wort minus 1,000, the ⅓ of sugar content has been reached and no more wort needs to be added. (If the wort is z. B. started with 1,100, then ⅓ of the sucrose would be 1,100-1,000, and then divide this number by three.

Yeast attenuation / Photo: Tyler Zielinski


  • Première étape : 1.100-1.000=.1000
  • Step two: .1000/3=.0333
  • Third step: 1.100-.0333= 1.0667, which will be the sugar fraction.

If the ⅓ sugar content is not achieved, add 1 gram of Fermaid O dissolved in 25 grams of spring water. Keep an eye on the fermenter. Measure the original wort level every two days to check whether fermentation continues.

If the hydrometer reads 1,000 or less, you can pour a 1-gallon of coal.

Turn on the yeast / Photo: Tyler Zielinski

Pour the mead into the charcoal using an automatic siphon. Make sure there is no dead yeast or sediment at the bottom of the fermentation vessel in the carafe. Stabilise with potassium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate.

Add honey until you reach the desired sweetness. Let the wine rest for at least a few weeks before bottling. It can take up to two months for Met to be fully cleaned. One gallon will be produced.

Basic Vanilla Mead by Ken Schramm

Thanks to Ken Schramm, co-founder and principal co-producer, Schramm’s Mead, Ferndale, Michigan.

Set aside ½ cup of water.

In a bucket, mix the honey with 3½ gallons of water. Stir to blend. Add the vanilla beans. Ein Löffel reicht aus, aber wenn Sie einen Stabmixer oder einen Küchenmixer zum kräftigen Mischen verwenden, wird der Sauerstoff hinzugefügt, den die Hefe benötigt.

Rehydrate the yeast:

Heat ½ cup of water until it reaches a temperature of 40°F.

Pour heated water into a sanitized bowl. Add Go Ferm and stir until dissolved. Pour the yeast over the surface without stirring. Wait 20 minutes, then stir gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast is moistened. Add the moistened yeast to the honey mixture.

Combine the diammonium phosphate and Fermaid O and mix well. Divide into 5 equal portions.

Add the first two portions of diammonium phosphate and Fermaid O on the first day. Close the bucket, add the airlock and fill the airlock with cheap vodka.

On days 2 to 4, the wort is first stirred gently to prevent foaming, and then vigorously to remove the gas from the liquid. Add another load of Lalvin 71B-1122 after the foam has subsided. Mix well.

This mead must ferment for 14 to 21 days. When the bubbling in the airlock has subsided, pour the mead into the decontaminated charcoal, seal it with the stopper and airlock. Always keep the airlock filled with cheap vodka. Check every 2 or 3 days. Allow the mead to clarify as desired and bottle it.

At the end of the cooking process, the mead should contain about 13% alcohol and a pleasant but not astringent residual sweetness. Prepare five US gallons.Have you ever wondered how a beverage that is over 20,000 years old came to exist? If so, then this post will be very interesting to you. Around 2300 BC, the Sumerians discovered the recipe and began experimenting with it. They used barley, which is the oldest grain in the world. (And it’s still used for brewing beer today.) Brewing the drink was quite simple: the Sumerians would grind the barley flour, add water, and then they would boil the mixture for approximately an hour. After the brewing process was done, the Sumerians would filter the mixture through a piece of reed matting. They would then let the mixture cool before they decided if they wanted to drink it. For some reason. Read more about how to make honey mead and let us know what you think.

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