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Bryan Brooks stands next to his five gallon glass carboy of French Saison beer he is brewing. - Ben Granderson/Valley Press
Bryan Brooks stands next to his five gallon glass carboy of French Saison beer he is brewing. - Ben Granderson/Valley Press

Continuing an ancient craft

Ben Granderson/Clark Fork Valley Press
June 12, 2015

PLAINS, MT – According to a webpage by “The Ohio State University: Information Extension Research,” fermentation is a process by which cells break down sugars to create energy, when oxygen is not present, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2), energy, lactic acid and in some cases alcohol.

The process of fermentation, which happens naturally in the human body, has been harnessed by humanity for ages. As within human cells, single-celled organisms in the environment break down sugars that can be found in grains and fruits, releasing lactic acid, alcohol and (CO2). People have been purposely introducing yeast, a single-celled organism, to grains to encourage the fermentation process, which not only helps to preserve certain foods from spoiling, but also to conjure up beverages with powerful effects. Cheeses come from the encouragement of lactic acid, while beers, wines, spirits, and liquors come from the production of certain types of alcohol.

In the town of Plains there is a group of fermentation enthusiasts and one in particular has found himself delving into one of humanity’s most ancient alcoholic beverages, mead.

“When you learn about fermented beverages in particular it seems like it is everything… you can talk about the social side of it, you can talk about history, you can talk about economics, you can talk about science, you can talk about just anything.” said Bryan Brooks.

According to Brooks, who makes a variety of fermented drinks, mead is, “Anything that has the majority of its fermentable that is honey… You can add anything else in there, but once it is 51% honey, it’s mead.”

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About Rob

Rob
A novice mead maker, but a huge mead enthusiast! I'm also the owner and Site Administrator of TheMeadery.net and reside in Manchester, New Hampshire.