I am just beginning to learn about the art of mead making and this is one of the first books I bought.
It's a very thin, paperback book that is very quick reading, well laid out, and organized.¬†
Will Kalif begins by introducing the reader to mead, including a little bit of history behind mead, and a very simple overview of the process of making mead including some of the materials you'll need.¬† He continues by going more in depth and not only outlining the exact equipment/materials you'll need, but also cites sources for some of the equipment and includes his personal experiences with some of these materials.
As the chapters go on, he gives step by step instructions for making 1 and 5 gallon batches of mead which yield either 3-4, or 20-22 bottles (750ml) depending on the size of the batch you choose to make.
Towards the end of the book, he includes a trouble shooting section - such as what to do if you notice the lack of a bubble rate during the fermentation process as well as a handy glossary of mead making definitions and terminology.
If I had to pick a negative about this book it's that Kalif does not include a basic pyment recipe.¬† For me personally, I want my first batch of mead that I make to be a pyment.¬† It's not necessarily a big negative as I suppose maybe pyments aren't that common, but given the presence of a basic melomel and metheglin recipe, I would have expected a pyment recipe as well.
All in all, I was extremely impressed with this book and highly recommend it.¬† I bought a basic mead making kit, and have yet to start my batch.¬† I just assumed everything I needed was in the kit.¬† After reading this book, including all of Kalif's helpful tips, I realize now that I don't have all the equipment I really need.¬† As a result, I've compiled a short list of stuff that I'll be looking for at my local beer/wine making shop prior to starting my batch of pyment.
Rob Loszewski, Owner & Site Administrator
"Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt." - Sun Tzu