hist-brewing: Re: Heather Honey Meads

Jeff Renner nerenner at umich.edu
Sun Jan 21 05:31:28 PST 2001

Dan McFeeley <mcfeeley at keynet.net> wrote:
>Wow, that's another old book!  Papazian's _New Complete Joy of Home Brewing_
>is dated 1984, 1991.  When did the first _Complete Joy of Home Brewing_
>come out, some time in the late 1970's?

Well, my copy of _The New Revised and More Joy of Homebrewing_ is 
dated 1976 and 1980, leading me to believe that the original dates 
from 1976.  It's 6"x8.5", 88 pages, soft cover stapled in the middle. 
It's not typeset, just typed on a typewriter (almost certainly before 
word processors), with very 70's line drawings.

His Barkshack Gingermead recipe differed from the  one in his later 
_Complete Joy of Homebrewing_ (p.45):

Boil one hour:

2 gallons water
6 lbs. honey
2-4 oz. freshly grated gingerroot
2 lbs. corn sugar
1/8-1/4 teaspoon irish moss if available (minute
	quantities will aid in clarifying brews)
1 oz. hops
1 teaspoon citric acid

The boiling of the honey may be a necessary aid in clarifying the mead.

Sparge [!] the wort into a pail.  Add a necessary amount of water of 
water to bring the total a bit above 5 gallons.  Beginning specific 
gravity should read about 1.055.


2 teaspoons yeast nutrient (honey is deficient in yeast-type vitamins). ...
finishing hops
and beer yeast when cooled

Quaint, huh?  His later recipes had more honey and less sugar and 
some other minor changes.

I made a mead in the mid 70s, and it was very dry to the point of 
austerity.  I suspect that I used citric acid or an acid mix, and 
probably tannin as well.  I made it a sparkling mead, and that 
increased the acidity, of course, from the CO2.  I never drank it 
all, and I think I threw out the remaining bottles when we moved a 
few years later.  It might have been good by now!

As Dan mentions, in 1986, Charlie Papazian wrote a twenty page 
postscript to the 170+ page, 1948 English publication, Wassail! In 
Mazers of Mead, by Lt. Colonel Robert Gayre, Gayre & Nigg [what a 
family name!].  It was called _Brewing Mead_, with the original title 
as a sub-title.  The original was pretty dry reading, as I recall.  I 
don't remember much useful from it, and looking over it now doesn't 
inspire me to reread it.  But I guess it made Charlie some money, and 
it was no doubt his original interest in mead that reawakened 
interest in meadmaking along with the homebrew revival.

We really were wandering in the wilderness back in the 70s when I 
first started brewing.


Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

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