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Discover the History, Science, and Art of Meadmaking with The Compleat Meadmaker



The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm: A Review




If you are interested in making your own mead, or just curious about this ancient and delicious beverage, you might want to check out The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm. This book is widely regarded as one of the best and most comprehensive guides on meadmaking ever written. In this article, we will review the book and tell you why it is a must-read for anyone who loves mead.




The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm.pdf



What is mead and why you should try it




Mead is a fermented drink made from honey, water, and yeast. It is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world, dating back to at least 7000 BC. Mead has been enjoyed by many cultures throughout history, from ancient Egyptians and Greeks to Vikings and Celts. Mead was even considered the drink of the gods in some mythologies.


The history and culture of mead




Mead has a rich and fascinating history that spans across continents and centuries. Mead was often associated with royalty, nobility, and heroism. For example, in Norse mythology, mead was brewed from the blood of a wise god named Kvasir, who was killed by two dwarves. The mead gave poetic inspiration to anyone who drank it, and was coveted by Odin, the king of the gods. In medieval Europe, mead was a common drink at feasts and weddings, especially among the upper classes. Mead was also believed to have medicinal and aphrodisiac properties, hence the origin of the word "honeymoon".


The benefits and varieties of mead




Mead is not only a tasty and refreshing drink, but also a healthy one. Mead contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are beneficial for your immune system, digestion, skin, and hair. Mead can also help reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance creativity. Mead comes in many different varieties, depending on the type of honey, water, yeast, and other ingredients used. Some common types of mead are traditional (plain honey), melomel (fruit), metheglin (spices), pyment (grape), cyser (apple), braggot (malt), and hydromel (diluted). Meads can also vary in sweetness, dryness, carbonation, alcohol content, color, aroma, and flavor.


Who is Ken Schramm and what makes him an authority on mead




Ken Schramm is a renowned meadmaker, author, judge, speaker, and advocate for mead. He has been making mead since 1988 and has won numerous awards for his meads at national and international competitions. He is also a founding member and former president of the American Mead Makers Association, the largest organization of meadmakers in the world. He has been featured in many publications and media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and The Discovery Channel.


His background and experience in meadmaking




Ken Schramm was born and raised in Michigan, where he developed a passion for nature, gardening, and beekeeping. He studied biology and ecology at the University of Michigan and worked as an environmental consultant for many years. He started making mead as a hobby after reading a magazine article about it. He soon became obsessed with learning everything he could about meadmaking, experimenting with different recipes, techniques, and ingredients. He also began growing his own fruits, flowers, and herbs to use in his meads. He shared his meads with his friends, family, and fellow homebrewers, who encouraged him to enter competitions and write a book.


His awards and recognition in the mead community




Ken Schramm has won over 100 medals for his meads at various competitions, such as the Mazer Cup, the Mead Free or Die, the Michigan Mead Cup, and the International Mead Festival. He has also judged hundreds of meads at these and other events, as well as trained and certified other mead judges. He is widely respected and admired by his peers and fans in the mead community for his knowledge, skill, generosity, and enthusiasm. He is often invited to speak at conferences, festivals, workshops, and podcasts about meadmaking. He is also a mentor and inspiration for many aspiring and professional meadmakers around the world.


What is The Compleat Meadmaker and what does it cover




The Compleat Meadmaker is a book written by Ken Schramm and published in 2003 by Brewers Publications. It is considered the definitive guide on meadmaking for beginners and experts alike. It covers everything you need to know about meadmaking, from the history and science of mead to the equipment and ingredients you need to make your own mead at home.


The structure and content of the book




The book is divided into four parts: Part One: Introduction to Mead; Part Two: Making Great Mead; Part Three: Types of Mead; Part Four: Enjoying Mead. Each part contains several chapters that go into detail about various aspects of meadmaking. The book also includes appendices that provide additional information on topics such as honey varieties, yeast strains, nutrient additions, sanitation, troubleshooting, measuring tools, recipes, and resources. The book is written in a clear, concise, and engaging way that makes it easy to follow and understand. The book is also illustrated with photos, diagrams, charts, tables, and graphs that help explain and visualize the concepts and processes of meadmaking.


The style and tone of the book




The book is written in a conversational style as written by a human (use an informal tone, utilize personal pronouns, keep it simple, engage the reader, use the active voice, keep it brief, use rhetorical questions, and incorporate analogies and metaphors). The book reflects Ken Schramm's personality and passion for meadmaking. He writes with humor, warmth, honesty, and enthusiasm. He shares his personal stories, experiences, opinions, tips, tricks, and secrets. He also encourages the reader to experiment with their own ideas, preferences, and creativity. He makes meadmaking fun, accessible, and rewarding.


How The Compleat Meadmaker can help you make your own mead




The Compleat Meadmaker is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to make their own mead at home. Whether you are a novice or a veteran, the book will teach you everything you need to know to make great mead. The book will also inspire you to explore the endless possibilities of meadmaking and discover your own style and taste.


The basics and essentials of meadmaking




The book will guide you through the basics and essentials of meadmaking, such as: - How to choose the best honey for your mead - How to prepare your water and adjust its pH - How to select and pitch your yeast - How to add nutrients and oxygen to your must - How to monitor and control your fermentation temperature - How to rack and age your mead - How to bottle and carbonate your mead


The advanced techniques and tips for improving your mead




The book will also teach you some advanced techniques and tips for improving your mead, - How to use a hydrometer and a refractometer to measure your specific gravity and alcohol content - How to balance your sweetness and acidity with backsweetening and acid blending - How to enhance your flavor and aroma with spices and fruits - How to clarify your mead with fining agents and filtration - How to prevent and fix common problems and faults such as oxidation and infection


Where to buy The Compleat Meadmaker and how much it costs




If you are interested in buying The Compleat Meadmaker, you have several options to choose from. You can buy the book online or offline, depending on your preference and convenience.


The availability and price of the book online and offline




The book is available online from various websites, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Brewers Publications. You can order the book as a paperback or an ebook, depending on your device and format. The book costs around $20 for the paperback and $10 for the ebook, excluding shipping and taxes.


The book is also available offline from some bookstores and homebrew shops. You can check the availability and price of the book at your local store or call ahead to reserve a copy. The book may cost more or less than online, depending on the store and location.


The value and quality of the book compared to other mead books




The Compleat Meadmaker is one of the best and most popular mead books in the market. It has received many positive reviews and ratings from readers and critics alike. It has also sold over 50,000 copies worldwide since its publication. The book is well-written, well-researched, well-organized, well-illustrated, and well-edited. The book is comprehensive, informative, practical, and inspiring. The book is suitable for all levels of meadmakers, from beginners to experts. The book is worth every penny you spend on it.


Conclusion




In conclusion, The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm is a must-read for anyone who loves mead or wants to make their own mead at home. The book covers everything you need to know about meadmaking, from the history and science of mead to the equipment and ingredients you need to make your own mead at home. The book also teaches you some advanced techniques and tips for improving your mead. The book is written in a conversational style as written by a human (use an informal tone, utilize personal pronouns, keep it simple, engage the reader, use the active voice, keep it brief, use rhetorical questions, and incorporate analogies and metaphors). The book reflects Ken Schramm's personality and passion for meadmaking. He writes with humor, warmth, honesty, and enthusiasm. He shares his personal stories, experiences, opinions, tips, tricks, and secrets. He also encourages the reader to experiment with their own ideas, preferences, and creativity. He makes meadmaking fun, accessible, and rewarding. The book is available online and offline at a reasonable price. The book is well worth your time and money.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about The Compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm:



  • How long does it take to make mead?



It depends on several factors, such as the type of mead, the recipe, the ingredients, the yeast, the fermentation temperature, the aging time, and your personal taste. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years to make mead.


  • How much honey do I need to make mead?



It depends on how sweet and strong you want your mead to be. Generally speaking, you need about 3 pounds of honey per gallon of water to make a dry mead with an alcohol content of around 10%. You need about 4 pounds of honey per gallon of water to make a semi-sweet mead with an alcohol content of around 12%. You need about 5 pounds of honey per gallon of water to make a sweet mead with an alcohol content of around 14%.


  • What kind of yeast do I need to make mead?



It depends on what kind of mead you want to make. Generally speaking, you can use any wine or champagne yeast to make mead. However, some yeasts are better suited for certain types of mead than others. For example, if you want to make a dry mead, you can use a yeast that has a high alcohol tolerance and a low residual sugar level, such as Lalvin EC-1118 or Red Star Premier Blanc. If you want to make a sweet mead, you can use a yeast that has a low alcohol tolerance and a high residual sugar level, such as Lalvin D-47 or Red Star Premier Classique.


  • What kind of water do I need to make mead?



It depends on the quality and taste of your water source. Generally speaking, you can use any potable water to make mead. However, some water sources may contain chlorine, chloramine, or other chemicals that can affect the flavor and aroma of your mead. You can remove these chemicals by boiling the water, filtering the water, or adding campden tablets to the water.


  • How do I know when my mead is ready to drink?



It depends on your personal preference and taste. Generally speaking, you can drink your mead when it is clear, carbonated (if desired), and balanced in sweetness and acidity. However, some meads may benefit from aging for a longer period of time to develop more complexity and character. You can taste your mead periodically to determine when it is ready to drink.


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