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Mead, The Vikings’ Drink, Returns
Mead, The Vikings’ Drink, Returns

Mead, The Vikings’ Drink, Returns

By Janet Patton
The Lexington Herald Leader
December 25, 2015

Ever wanted to drink like a Viking? Then you’ll need mead.

Fortunately for you, Kentucky author Jereme Zimmerman has the book for you: Make Mead Like a Viking: Traditional Techniques for Brewing Natural, Wild-Fermented Honey-based Wines, and Beers.

An urban homesteader, Zimmerman makes mead in his home in Berea. He also conducts workshops on how to make it, which is becoming more popular thanks to Game of Thrones and The Vikings.

Zimmerman got into home-brewing beer when he lived in Seattle; his interests in Vikings led him to attempt to make mead, which is often mentioned with Norse mythology.

Mead is pretty easy to make, Zimmerman said, although it takes longer to ferment — often two to three weeks — and continues to age in the bottle.

“The core component of mead is honey,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve seen different numbers, but essentially if 75 percent or more of honey is the main fermentable sugar, then it’s mead.”

He buys local honey but plans to set up beehives in the spring.

What does mead taste like? As with wine or beer, “it can vary quite a bit,” he said. “It can go from a dry sparkling mead to a sweet dessert mead.”

The flavor changes depending on the ingredients, such as fruit.

The alcohol content also can vary widely, from as low as 5 percent to as high as about 18 percent. Standard honey-water mead averages about 12 percent alcohol, or about 24 proof, Zimmerman said.

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About 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.