Mead Made Easy


Mead Made Easy


Dave Polaschek


Tim Mitchell

Copyright 1994-1997, Dave Polaschek, All Rights Reserved

First Edition Published October 1994

First HTML Edition Published November 1995

Frontier generated Edition Published February 1997

Online Edition revised December 2001

Online Second Edition Published February 2024


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I'd like to thank the guys at Wind River Brewing and James Page Brewing. Without their help and encouragement I'd never have started on this book, let alone completed it.

I'd like to thank Charlie Papazian, since without his excellent Complete Joy of Homebrewing, I'd never have started brewing in the first place.

Everybody on the Internet The Mead Lovers Mailing List helped more than they can ever know. I'd especially like to thank Dick Dunn for maintaining the list, and Joyce Miller for compiling The Bee's Lees, an online recipe book, from recipes that were posted to the mailing list (some of which are included here).

Thanks to the long-dead Kenelme Digbie for collecting mead recipes in the late 1600s, the oldest surviving compilation of mead recipes I could find.

Thanks to Alex for indexing this when he probably should've been working on one of the many manuals he was supposed to be working on.

And finally, big thanks to Tim Mitchell, who served as my editor and kept me fully aware of the need to keep typing (“This sucks. Change it!”).

For the second edition, I'd like to thank my sweetie, who helped with the copy-editing and providing continuing support for my various hobbies.

#acknowledgements #about

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Mead Made Easy wasn’t a huge commercial success, but I sold all but five of the thousand copies I printed back in the 1990s, and recently had some people tell me it was still a useful book, even though it’s now out of date by more than twenty years. That led to me deciding to bring the book back, along with a number of updates I had made notes on during the intervening years.

As I write this, I have no plans to produce another print version, though has facilities for producing an epub. If you're interested in that, please use one of the contact addresses to get in touch with me.

One of the major additions is adding Dave's Notes to many of the recipes. I've also added recipes. With more experience and time, I think a lot of these recipes illustrate useful principles. A smaller, but perhaps more useful change was updating many of the links. Time moves on, and some websites die, while others are born. I’ve tried to link to the original sites I used back in the 1990s where possible, often linking to the Internet Archive version. But I’ve also tried to add new links where appropriate so Mead Made Easy can be useful for a few more years.

I've almost tripled the original bibliography. Turns out, there's been a lot of good writing about mead in the past three decades. I also have a friend who has been experimenting with kveik yeast and traditional Scandinavian farmhouse brewing which seems like it meshes well with my philosophy of brewing mead. And I think that was the real strength of the book. Brewing mead should be easy. Yeast can digest honey very easily, and the only thing lacking is the nutrients they need. Add those, either from fruit, malt, or commercial yeast nutrient, and yeast will happily turn honey into alcohol, and pretty quickly, too.

I hope you find it useful.


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This book is intended for anyone who wants to make mead. If you have experience making beer or wine, you can skip the chapters on the history of mead and brewing basics. There are complete directions on making mead quickly and easily, followed by sections of Notes for Beermakers and Notes for Winemakers. Each section will have at least one recipe with complete directions. Assorted advanced subjects get a chapter of their own and include meads which will take longer to age and require more patience. These are what many people think of when they think of mead, and are closer in character to what was commercially available when I initially wrote this book. Towards the end of the book there will be a bunch of recipes gathered from various sources.

Making mead should be fun and easy. If it's not enjoyable, why do it? I've tried to write this book with that in mind. Most of the recipes presented here are ones I've tried, and I'm a lazy brewer. I enjoy making good beers and meads, but believe that it shouldn't be hard work. I've been making mead for more than five years now, and haven't had a batch turn out badly. The biggest problem is waiting long enough for the drink to reach its peak flavor.

With that in mind, let's get on to mead.


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Dave Polaschek was a Mac programmer by day, and avid homebrewer (and homebrew drinker) by night and on weekends. He noticed a lack of books on how to make mead when people started pointing it out to him and saying “Hey, you know stuff. You should write a book,” so he did. He’s now retired and made time to finish the second edition of Mead Made Easy he’d been planning for over two decades.

Tim Mitchell is a freelance author and stand-up comedian. Lacking a real job has given him plenty of time and incentive to drink free mead with Dave. He was last seen on a streetcorner holding up a sign which read “Will Edit For Booze.”