The BaitShop Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > The Library > Recipes, Cooking, Game Processing and Food in General
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Joe Mattioli's "Ancient Orange Mead"
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

This site is completely supported by donations; there are no corporate sponsors. We would be honoured if you would consider a small donation, to be used exclusively for forum expenses.



Thank you, from the BaitShop Boyz!

Joe Mattioli's "Ancient Orange Mead"

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 14557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Joe Mattioli's "Ancient Orange Mead"
    Posted: 25 September 2017 at 10:28

Joe Mattioli's "Ancient Orange Mead"

I have long wanted to try making mead; that is, a wine made using honey as its base. As someone who has an interest in food history as well as brewing and winemaking, it is one of those things that really appeals to me. Also, having a Scandinavia heritage, it seems that I would be destined to try this, at least once. I have seen several interesting recipes and variations...I even bought the honey to start the project at least twice; but other things always got in the way, and I never was able to commence with the actual deed. Over this past weekend, I rectified that oversight, and it looks like my first mead is off to a great start.

Mead can be as simple as honey, water and whatever yeast happens to be floating in the air; I cannot prove it, but I am certain that is how this wonderful beverage originated. Having said that, once people found out how good this is, I am sure that they took some steps to produce the best mead that they could, given their limited knowledge, understanding and resources. One way to help with that is to "feed" the yeast that is fermenting the honey. There are commercial options, but this recipe manages to do that with two "natural" ingredients, oranges and raisins. Were these ingredients available to "the ancients?" Of course they were, either directly or via trade. The addition of some spices was also common, to liven things up.

This recipe comes from Joe Mattioli, and I am posting it as I found it, grammatical errors and all. It is rather "colourfully" written, as you will see, but I believe that it helps the author underscore some key points about the way that the ingredients and method work together to achieve the goal.

Quote Ancient Orange Mead
by Joe Mattioli

For a 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 Fleishmann’s 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...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 siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waited 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 successful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead. When you get ready to make 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 good ancient mead.

When I made mine, I had to make a few very slight variations, due to necessity and what was on hand:

The amount of honey I used was probably an ounce or three shy of 3.5 pounds, but I am sure it will be fine. The biggest share of it was raw, unfiltered Montana honey, while half a pound of it was a blend of Montana honey and Montana huckleberry, just because that is what I had on hand.

I grated what looked like a pinch of nutmeg off of a whole...nugget? Nut? I am not sure what it is called. It might have been a bit more, but I am sure this will be fine, too.

Having no Fleischmann's yeast, I used a generous teaspoon of "Western Family" yeast, which is distributed by a regional grocery chain. As with everything else above, I am willing to bet that this will be fine.

One other variation involved the orange that was used. The Number One criticism of this recipe (other than the yeast, which is generally looked down upon in spite of its being perfectly appropriate for this recipe) is that there is an objectionable bitterness from the pith of the orange that takes several months, if not longer, to age out of the mead. In order to preclude this, I wanted to zest and then juice the orange; unfortunately, I couldn't find one part of my juicer due to some sort of "mysterious disappearance. Undaunted, I zested the orange, then peeled it (pulling off any substantial "strings" of pith), then cut the segments into chunks and tossed everything in. My logic was that cutting the segments into chunks would also be much easier to remove from the fermenter later on. My son, Mike, who has made this before, said that he noticed no bitterness when he made his (pith and all), but by then I had already done it, so we will see how it goes. It will be fine, I am sure.

Between the honey and about half a gallon of water (I used a local spring water that makes great beer), I had about 3/4 of the fermenter filled by the time I was finished. I decided to leave this alone for a few days or so until the most active period of fermentation is complete, then top up to a gallon. This is, of course, in accordance with the instructions.

Fermentation took off almost immediately and has been active since then. The mead looks and smells great, so far, and I think it is safe to say that we are off to an auspicious start. I added about half of my intended "topping-up" water yesterday, and will probably add the rest tonight, in order to be at a full gallon.

From there, I will leave it alone and wait until at least two months have passed; at that point, I will decide what to do with it.

More as it happens, etc. &c...

Ron



Edited by TasunkaWitko - 25 September 2017 at 17:23
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 14557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2017 at 09:35

I checked on my mead last night -

The mead is looking very nice at this stage; fermentation is still active; not screaming-fast or overly-vigorous, but it is chugging along nicely. It has a really nice aroma to it and I think we're proceeding along very well.

Since things were looking good, I topped it up to a full gallon. I may have been a little premature with this, but I am sure things will be fine.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen
Back to Top
Wing master View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
AKA StraightShooter

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4454
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2017 at 23:01
I have never tried Mead. Is it wine?

Wing master
I have always considered myself to be quite the bullshitter, But ocasionally it is nice to sit back and listen to a true professional......So, Carry on.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 14557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2017 at 23:09
Hi, Randy -

Essentially, mead is honey wine. There is probably a little more to it than that, but it's a good enough definition for me. LoL

I'll try to post some additional information tomorrow!

Edited by TasunkaWitko - 27 September 2017 at 23:09
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 14557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2017 at 09:42
From Wikipedia:

Quote Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content ranges from about 8% ABV to more than 20%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling; dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.

Mead was produced in ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, and has played an important role in the mythology of some peoples. In Norse mythology, for example, the Mead of Poetry was crafted from the blood of the wise being Kvasir and turned the drinker into a poet or scholar.

Pottery vessels dating from 7000 BC discovered in northern China have shown chemical signatures consistent with the presence of honey, rice, and organic compounds associated with fermentation. In Europe, it is first attested in residual samples found in the characteristic ceramics of the Bell Beaker Culture (c. 2800–1800 BC).

The earliest surviving description of mead is in the hymns of the Rigveda, one of the sacred books of the historical Vedic religion...dated around 1700–1100 BC. During the Golden Age of Ancient Greece, mead was said to be the preferred drink. Aristotle (384–322 BC) discussed mead in his Meteorologica and elsewhere, while Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) called mead militites in his Naturalis Historia.... The Hispanic-Roman naturalist Columella gave a recipe for mead in De re rustica, about 60 AD:

Take rainwater kept for several years, and mix a sextarius of this water with a [Roman] pound of honey. For a weaker mead, mix a sextarius of water with nine ounces of honey. The whole is exposed to the sun for 40 days, and then left on a shelf near the fire. If you have no rain water, then boil spring water.

There is a poem attributed to the Brythonic-speaking bard Taliesin, who lived around 550 AD, called the Kanu y med or "Song of Mead." The legendary drinking, feasting and boasting of warriors in the mead hall is echoed in the mead hall Din Eidyn (modern day Edinburgh) as depicted in the poem Y Gododdin, attributed to the poet Aneirin who would have been a contemporary of Taliesin. In the Old English epic poem Beowulf, the Danish warriors drank mead. In both Insular Celtic and Germanic cultures mead was the primary heroic drink in poetry.

Later, taxation and regulations governing the ingredients of alcoholic beverages led to commercial mead becoming a more obscure beverage until recently. Some monasteries kept up the old traditions of mead-making as a by-product of beekeeping, especially in areas where grapes could not be grown, a well-known example being at Lindisfarne, where mead continues to be made to this day, albeit not in the monastery itself.

Historically, meads were fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria (as noted in the recipe quoted above) residing on the skins of the fruit or within the honey itself. Wild yeasts can produce inconsistent results. Yeast companies have isolated strains of yeast which produce consistently appealing products. Brewers, winemakers and mead makers commonly use them for fermentation, including yeast strains identified specifically for mead fermentation. These are strains that have been selected because of their characteristic of preserving delicate honey flavors and aromas.

The English word mead derives from the Old English meodu, from Proto-Germanic meduz, from Proto-Indo-European médʰu (honey, fermented honey drink). Slavic med / miod, which means both "honey" and "mead", (Russian, Czech, Slovak, Macedonian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Croatian: med vs. medovina, Polish miód pronounce [mʲjut] – honey, mead) and Baltic medus "honey"/ midus "mead", also derive from the same Proto-Indo-European root (cf. Welsh medd, Old Irish mid, Latin mel, Italian miele, Romanian miere, Sanskrit madhu, Sogdian: muð, Avestan: maðu, Classical Persian: مُل mul, Classical and New Persian: مِی mey)....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen
Back to Top
Wing master View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
AKA StraightShooter

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4454
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2017 at 23:12
Very interesting reading Ron.

Their is a Meadery here in town. It's the only one I have ever heard of. After reading this, I might have to go and get some to try.

Thanks for the information.

Wing master
I have always considered myself to be quite the bullshitter, But ocasionally it is nice to sit back and listen to a true professional......So, Carry on.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 14557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 September 2017 at 10:15
I have had a few different means and have really enjoyed them. It is something that is different, but very good. To me, it is especially good on a winter's evening, with snow falling gently outside; it warms the soul!

If you ever want to try making any, this is a good "first recipe" to try. There is also another one that I intend trying; it is straight honey, with no addition of spices of "natural" yeast nutrients. If you're interested, I can find the link to the recipe and post it.
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen
Back to Top
Wing master View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
AKA StraightShooter

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4454
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 September 2017 at 19:10
If you wouldn't mind posting the recipe I would appreciate it.

If you have ever spent much time in northeastern Wyoming you know it's a rare occasion that snow falls gently. Our snow is horizontal.

Wing master
I have always considered myself to be quite the bullshitter, But ocasionally it is nice to sit back and listen to a true professional......So, Carry on.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 14557
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 September 2017 at 23:45
The snow is usually horizontal here, too - but on those rare occasions when it isn't, it sure is nice.

Here is the link to a 1-gallon batch of straight-up mead:

http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/brew-1-gallon-of-honey-wine-mead.htm

The page looks a little strange on my phone. You have to scroll down quite a bit to get to the meat of it. On a desktop computer, It is much easier to follow. If you have any questions at all, let me know.

I am probably going to try this one in the next week or two.

Edited by TasunkaWitko - 10 October 2017 at 16:33
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.047 seconds.