If you are just getting into making mead, these books could be an invaluable resource to better understand your new hobby. Perhaps if you have been in the game for a while, this could help bridge the gap from standard brews that taste alright to extraordinary award winning masterpieces. In any case, going back to the source material is always good to brush up on the particulars, and perhaps make your brews a tad more science than art. Here’s my picks for the top 5 books to read if you are a mead maker in any capacity.
Making Wild Wines & Meads is a great book for anyone starting to explore brewing mead, as well as other experimental wines. Gulling and Vargas provide easy to follow instructions on how to create homemade wines, then provide recipes to try. With 120 recipes, this book gives you ample opportunity to broaden your horizons beyond the simple mead recipes you see out there and really hone your craft. Because this book isn’t strictly about making Mead, it will be great when you are looking for something a little different to make. I mean, I doubt you’ll get tired of mead, but I guess it’s possible.
Back when I first started in the home brewing hobby, the gentlemen who worked at my local home brew shop saw the confusion on my face and advised that the first thing I should do is buy this book and read it before doing anything else. Pretty sound advice. This book is a pretty comprehensive book on brewing in general with an emphasis on beer. That being said, the principals taught in this book overlap into any brewing you are doing. A very readable book with funny anecdotes peppered throughout, this book is my go to when I need to look up some procedure on brewing and why it’s necessary. Oh, and there’s also a section in the book devoted to mead! The mead section contains a number of recipes including one that is really out there that is currently on my to do list.
Whenever I am brewing, I usually like to do crazy stuff first, then when it doesn’t work, go backwards to something simple and have it turn out fantastic. I know that’s kinda silly, but hey, it’s what I do. This is a good resource for anyone who likes to experiment. This book combines the perfect mix of recipes, technique, theory, and history. Randy goes in depth into all types of brews and ingredients. Though it has but a small chapter on mead, mead makers can certainly benefit from the recipes, ingredients, and techniques throughout.
This book takes a more technical approach to mead making. This book is perhaps suited to an intermediate level mead maker, but if you are looking to get very scientific with your brew, this is your book. A great resource if you are looking to delve into the chemistry and reasons why it is you do certain techniques of mead making as the author was a professor at Cornell in Entomology.
This is the mead bible. Every mead maker should have this book in their library. This book goes into great detail on EVERY aspect of mead. The answers to all your mead questions are most likely contained within, so whenever I have a question on making mead I take a look at this book and find out what’s up. Along with a history of fermented drinks and mead’s place among them, there’s a chapter devoted to each ingredient in mead. Then the book goes on to explain the different types of mead such as pyment, melomels, metheglin, etc. Finally the book has some great recipes. Ken has made some award winning meads over the years and with the knowledge in this book, you can too!
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