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.