Mead (honey wine) is the new buzz among beverage hobbyists as more and more consumers start to make their own. This up-to-date title tells the novice how to begin and the experienced brewer or winemaker how to succeed in this oldest of the beverage arts with easy to follow procedures and simple recipes. 212 Pages.
Reads like a grad school thesis padded to meet the length requirement. Dense and stilted; in half the space it could have contained all the same information and had room left over for a few hundred more recipes. This might be helpful for someone who churns out a dozen batches a year, but for a beginner it is excessively and inappropriately vague. Here is the crux of the melomel chapter: "you can add fruit or juice to your mead, but it's difficult to say how much because everyone's tastes are different." ...and he took 19 pages to say it.
The grape chapter is similar, as is spice chapter. You just saved yourself 60 pages tedious "I can't tell you what to do".
Another hint about beginners: they aren't going to be travelling halfway across the country to look up one of the artisanal honey suppliers referenced; they're going to go to the local warehouse super store and buy two mega-jugs of Sue-Bee for half [or less] the price. Save the two pages of trivial distinctions between honey sources for the hypernosmic snob. Beginners won't use this.
Beginners don't need a ponderous treatise full of data; they need to know what to do. "What" is answered by recipes, of which there are a grand total of 11 - at the far end of the book.
Next they need to know how to do it. Let's face it: "how" is not terribly difficult. Iron age bumpkins who knew nothing about biology or chemistry managed to make mead, so an average high school graduate can be told how in less than the 150 pages Schramm takes. Those curious about experimenting also need to why. "Why" can be understood by a 7th-grader with a short course on the relevant biology and chemistry.
Choose a different book to start your mead making hobby.
Hands down the best book for mead makers. You can't get any better than Ken Schramm. If you want to make the best mead possible this is the book I have gained so much information it is a little overwhelming!
If you want to make Mead this is the book. Its got all the basics, and some of the advanced material. The only thing it lacks is the staggered nutrient editions that you can search for.
I enjoyed reading it and learned about mead making. If you have experience making wine then a lot in this book you already know. Even so it's worth reading.
Since wring this book the author has written about staggered nutrient additions which are the key to modern mead making. Using SNA you can speed up the process from years to months. A mead maker using just this book will need to supplement their reading with additional articles.