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Compleat Meadmaker: Home Production of Honey Wine from Your First Batch to Award-Winning Fruit and Herb Variations

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2003

    A Modern Guide to the Ancient Art of Meadmaking

    Ken Schramm's passion for mead flows from a long-time interest in the bounty of nature. Under the tutelage of his grandfather, he has restored a few neglected fruit trees into a backyard orchard that now bears more than 100 different varieties of apples, cherries, peaches, plums and berries at his home in Troy, Michigan. Shortly after receiving The Complete Joy of Home Brewing as a Christmas present from his brother in 1987, Schramm made a batch of Raspberry Barkshack Ginger Mead, and a love affair began. Since then, he has mastered the full range of mead, from simple honey and water infusions to luscious combinations with his many fruits and refreshing spritzers infused with both exotic and homegrown herbs and spices. In The Compleat Meadmaker, Schramm shares his in-depth knowledge of the ancient and often-mythologized beverage. This concise but comprehensive text begins with simple and successful instructions for the novice making their first batch and later provides proven award-winning recipes that newcomers can readily produce. Once he has introduced the techniques of mead production, he focuses on the key to all good wines, namely the ingredients. Of course this begins with an in-depth look at honey¿including descriptions and USDA data for more than 40 varietal honeys such as clover, orange blossom, mint and Tupelo. Additional sections examine grapes and other fruits, herbs and spices and the many malted grains that can be used in making mead. Through these ingredient chapters, Schramm imparts an understanding of the meadmaker's art that can only come to someone who is broadly knowledgeable in every aspect of the beverage. As a result of his broad perspective, Schramm's text fits comfortably into the hands of many who already enjoy some part of the process. Brewers who have dabbled in mead will find the keys to greater success. Beekeepers who have tasted but never made honey wine will discover the simple steps needed to make their own. They'll also see the benefits that their varietal honeys can provide to their meadmaking customers. Gardeners and orchardists will find new and flavorful ways to use their harvests to delight their friends. Others will find joy in Schramm's guidance because of mead's healthful and ancient roots. Schramm takes a fresh look at the history and development of mead from before recorded history, to its early role as 'Nectar of the Gods' and the favored drink of the Vikings. He also comments on the virtues of beekeeping, and the natural purity of honey and homemade beverages. Although mead and its history may be ancient, Schramm's advice is rooted in the present, providing modern meadmakers the tools and information they need to create delicious meads easily and consistently, without stress or fuss. His love of fruit, honey and the many variations of mead is evident throughout the book. With enough depth to make it interesting, and enough humor to keep it a pleasant read, The Compleat Meadmaker fills a long-lingering void in the literature on mead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

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