hist-brewing: Strength of Mead

Chuck Graves chuck_graves at mail.hq.faa.gov
Fri Jun 27 06:09:26 PDT 1997

On Wed, 11 Jun 1997, Baden,Doug wrote:

> Cysers and metheglins were developed to extend the honey with 
> cheaper ingredients.

To which "Daniel W. Butler-Ehle" <dwbutler at mtu.edu> responded:

>I believe it was more likely the other way. Cyser and pyment were 
>developed to extend the apple and grape juices with a cheaper, less 
>flavorful ingredient (honey).  

I certainly would have to agree with Doug on this one.  Honey has always 
been a limited commodity.  Historically, it was NEVER inexpensive.

>It just takes too much boiling to get apple juice to a respectable 

That is a curious statement.  Do you have a source which shows the boiling 
of ANY fruit juice?  Every recipe I have ever seen (including quite a few 
medieval sources) for cider amount to the following:
        1) squeeze apples to get juice;
        2) place juice in receptacle;
        3) add yeast (optional);
        4) wait until it's cider.
For wines, substitute the word grapes for apples and the word wine for 
cider.  One does not cook to produce wine or cider.

Any steps involving cooking are due to the need to clear the honey...if at 
all.  It is a singular step from mead making.

Both historically and currently, grapes and apples are cheap; honey is 
expensive.  Just check your local market...compare 3 lbs of honey to 1 gal 
of apple juice.


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