Mead, the recipe of which has been known since ancient times, is a low-alcohol drink obtained as a result of the fermentation of a beekeeping product. Home conditions allow you to cook and taste it in order to touch the origins of ancient Russian traditions.
History of mead
The oldest and most useful elixir appeared about 7 thousand years ago, its strength ranges from 1 to 16 degrees. Until the time of the Baptism of Rus, it was used at religious festivals, weddings, births and funerals. With the help of sweet nectar, people established a sacred connection with the world of deities and the dead.
From the history: The meaning of the concept of “honeymoon” for newlyweds dates back to ancient times, the young were given a barrel of potion for the wedding, which they had to drink in 30 days.
It took up to 40 years to prepare delicious nectar. Honey, water and berries (raisins and cherries most often) were fermented in oak barrels, poured several times and buried in the ground. Hops were added to raise the honey. Medostation was replaced by mead brewing in the XNUMXth century, as a result of which cheap beer in production became widespread. In the Middle Ages, the recipe was forgotten. The technology revived in the XNUMXth, when honey wine was made from an unusable product on an industrial scale. For example, the city of Suzdal is still engaged in this production.
A similar technology used the recipe for mead without boiling. Rubbed red berries were added to honey water, which acted as a natural catalyst. The drink could be consumed after 8 years, but it was considered underexposed in time. Duration of readiness was a disadvantage, so they began to add hops with cones.
The homemade mead, called “correct”, has an amazing taste and unique properties. It raises tone and mood, helps with colds, improves immunity, promotes normal metabolism, provided it is not overused.
The advantage of this method is that homemade alcohol was consumed after a maximum of 3 weeks. Beekeeping products are diluted with water and boiled for some time. It is advisable not to exceed 5 minutes, otherwise the composition will lose its healing qualities. In this case, it is necessary to remove the foam, excluding the ingress of the contents into the flame.
Fast burning and even ignition requires constant being near.
A simple recipe is replenished with any spices and roots. Diluted yeast is poured into the syrup, cooled to room temperature. Fermentation, which lasts up to 6 days, with its characteristic hiss, cloudiness and gas evolution, is an important step. Cover the top of the container using a water seal or a punctured rubber glove. You can find out about the end of the process with the help of a burning match by holding it to the liquid. The extinguished fire indicates the completion of fermentation, as well as the condition for the glove and rare bubbles from the hose to fall off.
Homemade mead is infused in different ways, depending on the method chosen. At first, it does not have an aesthetic appearance, for ripening and getting rid of yeast residues, after filtration it is poured into glass bottles, washed thoroughly, tightly closed, placed in a cool place. It is under this condition that it brightens, insisting from a month to a year. Age gives the homemade drink aroma and strength. All ingredients during this period saturate the composition with their beneficial properties.
How to choose good honey
You need to buy a natural product. There is bitterness in the chestnut variety, so it is not advisable to take it, and the sweet clover and fireweed species have a faint smell. Homemade mead with a rich amber color is obtained on condition that light varieties are acquired, based on linden, acacia, clover, and rapeseed. A tart liqueur with a touch of caramel comes out of a dark buckwheat type.
Consistency is also important. Acacia and heather species are liquid at any time of the year. Other varieties are candied in the spring.
On a note!
A delicious aroma emanates from natural honey, a homogeneous golden mass does not include inclusions and layers of a different tone.
Depending on how many degrees of mead you want to get, the strength is increased with alcohol or vodka.
Old Mead Recipe
To prepare mead, you will need soft spring pure water, which, in relation to honey, is mainly taken in a 3: 1 ratio. Use fresh beer, wine, baker’s yeast. Sometimes berries do their work, rye bread and boiled grain do the same.
According to the old monastery recipe, a homemade drink is prepared as follows:
- 3 liters of water and 1 kilogram of honey product are mixed and boiled over low heat, removing the foam.
- Add two teaspoons of hop cones, placed in a canvas bag with a small stone. Boiling lasts about an hour with liquid topping up if it boils away.
- After cooling, the composition is filtered and poured into a fermentation vessel, leaving it warm and covered with gauze.
- When fermentation is over, pour in 100 grams of strong tea leaves and strain the mixture. Then pour into containers and put in a refrigerator or cellar to ripen the drink.
If you keep the mead at home for at least a year, its taste will improve much..
Classic cherry mead
The yeast-free recipe is different in that boiling is canceled. Dissolve honey in slightly warmed water in a 1: 2 ratio. After removing the seeds from 4 kg of cherry fruits, crush until gruel and pour over the syrup. The vessel is placed in a warm room, closing the neck with a cloth, where the contents will ferment for a week or more. At the end of this process, the liquid is distributed among the bottles and placed in a cool place for four months.
Cherries are not washed, so as not to deprive them of wild yeast, this is the main condition.
After aging, a refreshing elixir with a slight sourness is obtained, with which you can quench your thirst on a hot day.
Classic raisin mead
To create an original and delicious homemade alcoholic drink, you will need:
- a liter of boiled water;
- 80 g honey;
- 40 g of dry grapes.
The manipulations are similar to the previous recipe. Raisins are poured with honey-water solution and left for fermentation. After filtering the contents, they are poured into bottles and kept cool for 5 months. The taste of the composition can be compared to sweet soda or homemade kvass. On condition of long aging, the taste is noticeably improved.
Mead modern recipe
The old recipes have been corrected by modernity, as a result of which the alcohol has increased degrees, but the honey taste and bright aroma have been preserved. How is mead made at home today? Many people prefer the strength with the addition of alcohol or vodka. Take:
- 10 L of water;
- 3 kg of honey;
- favorite spices, spices;
- 25 g dry yeast;
- half a glass of pure alcohol.
Having combined the first three components, the resulting mixture must be cooked, achieving density.
Strong mead turns out in the end a long cooking.
After cooling, add yeast. When active fermentation begins, pour in alcohol, which will stop this process, promising a strength that will increase over time.
How is mead made from old honey? If the product has fermented, having acquired unpleasant taste and foam on the surface, it is boiled, which will cancel disposal. Otherwise, there are no changes in the technological process.
How to drink mead
Our ancestors took divine nectar as an aperitif on an empty stomach, which caused appetite and stimulated digestion. Homemade mead penetrates the blood quickly, leaving a sober head, but relaxing the body. Chilled elixir is a good thirst quencher. It can be heated in winter. Take small sips to enjoy the berry and fruity notes.
Serving on the table, use small cups or glasses. The tradition does not imply snacks, but it is not forbidden to use pickled berries, pickled vegetables, fresh fruits, pies, salted mushrooms. Seafood is completely unsuitable.
Legends sang mead as a source of eternal existence and wisdom. Traditional medicine recommends using it to increase immunity, with cardiovascular diseases, liver problems. This amazing tincture fights intestinal infections, constipation, flu, with the ability to heal and amuse.