Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (November 4, 2015)
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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