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Make Mead Like A Viking: Traditional Techniques For Brewing Natural, Wild-Fermented, Honey-Based Wines And Beers

A complete guide to using the best ingredients and minimal equipment to create fun and flavorful brews Ancient societies brewed flavorful and healing meads, ales, and wines for millennia using only intuition, storytelling, and knowledge passed down through generations―no fancy, expensive equipment or degrees in chemistry needed. In Make Mead Like a Viking, homesteader, fermentation enthusiast, and self-described “Appalachian Yeti Viking” Jereme Zimmerman summons the bryggjemann of the ancient Norse to demonstrate how homebrewing mead―arguably the world’s oldest fermented alcoholic beverage―can be not only uncomplicated but fun.  Armed with wild-yeast-bearing totem sticks, readers will learn techniques for brewing sweet, semi-sweet, and dry meads, melomels (fruit meads), metheglins (spiced meads), Ethiopian t’ej, flower and herbal meads, braggots, honey beers, country wines, and even Viking grog, opening the Mead Hall doors to further experimentation in fermentation and flavor. In addition, aspiring Vikings will explore: •    The importance of local and unpasteurized honey for both flavor and health benefits; •    Why modern homebrewing practices, materials, and chemicals work but aren’t necessary; •    How to grow and harvest herbs and collect wild botanicals for use in healing, nutritious, and magical meads, beers, and wines; •    Hops’ recent monopoly as a primary brewing ingredient and how to use botanicals other than hops for flavoring and preserving mead, ancient ales, and gruits;  •    The rituals, mysticism, and communion with nature that were integral components of ancient brewing and can be for modern homebrewers, as well; •    Recommendations for starting a mead circle to share your wild meads with other brewers as part of the growing mead-movement subculture; and more!  Whether you’ve been intimidated by modern homebrewing’s cost or seeming complexity in the past―and its focus on the use of unnatural chemicals―or are boldly looking to expand your current brewing and fermentation practices, Zimmerman’s welcoming style and spirit will usher you into exciting new territory. Grounded in history and mythology, but―like Odin’s ever-seeking eye―focusing continually on the future of self-sufficient food culture, Make Mead Like a Viking is a practical and entertaining guide for the ages.

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (November 4, 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1603585982

ISBN-13: 978-1603585989

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #12,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #1 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Scandinavian #10 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine #11 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Beer

I came at this book as a former home winemaker, with all the sanitizing fuss and bother that goes with that. The idea that you could clean but not have to sanitize equipment and still get drinkable, quality products that wouldn't kill you was a whack across the head for me. But the more I read, the more the author's playful, what-the-heck experimental attitude appealed to me. He's made me want to dig out my carboys and airlocks and start wildly throwing things in to see what happens. I've even looked up a couple of local honey producers.In addition to his playfulness, Zimmerman's passion for all things Viking shines through in this book. He gives a good grounding in Norse mythology and culture, the history of and changes in mead making, and information on a wealth of variants that fall broadly under the "mead" category (even some on beers). Also, he's included recipes he's used and developed--although perhaps it would be better to call them guidelines, since he freely recommends departing from them at your whim.The concept and information on wild fermenting is, I think, worth the cost of the book all by itself. It had never occurred to me (why, I do not know) that yeasts abounded all around me and would be happy to leap into my primary fermenter and start having bubble-making parties. Nor had it occurred to me that the pellicle (a barrier layer) formed by top-fermenting yeasts had a protective function; I always thought it meant "batch spoiled; throw it out" (but then, I was making wine, not beer, and top-fermenting yeasts are important in beer). It's eminently sensible; nobody in neolithic times had packets of yeast, for pity's sake, but they certainly had fermented beverages.

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