Welcome to The Meadcast, bringing you the latest news, interviews, and guides to make your mead better. For a complete list of podcast episodes and the meads we’ve sampled during each episode, check out the Podcast Mead List or continue reading below for the most recent episodes.
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Whether you are a professional or amateur meadmaker, Tysen is always looking for new meads to try on the show. Hit him up on twitter to arrange the swap.
Thanks for stopping by, and we hope you enjoy the show!
Have you every wondered how B Nektar Meadery comes up with such great flavor combinations for their meads? Or how they encapsulate and idea into a final product? In episode 18 we ask them just that, and get some practical information for how you can do the same with your experimental mead ideas.
Episode 17 is a bit different from our previous podcasts. We’ve structured this as a *Bonus* episode, featuring some of the shorter content segments we’ve put together that did not justify a full regular episode on their own. In this *Bonus*, our main content is on planning a mead tasting, but we also have a MeadMakr Spotlight on Dan from CiderSage and CiderSchool, and Tysen mixes it up with a mead cocktail.
The first Saturday of August has been dubbed National Mead Day by the American Homebrewers’ Association. In episode 16, we change things up, presenting a recording of our 2015 Mead Day Mead Tasting, trying three traditional meads. Some of the guests were brand new to mead, others were a bit more experienced having made a few batches themselves. Grab a bottle and join us as we taste these meads. And be sure to check out our tasting cards and evaluation sheets to help you better describe your mead!
Lastly, if you are reading this within 36 hours of its release, be sure to listen to the GotMead Live internet radio show on Sept 1, 2015 at 9pm EST. Tysen and Allen will be on for an interview, and we’d love to hear from you! The dial in number is 818-921-4680.
Quote of the Episode:
For the people who like that kind of thing, that is the kind of thing they like.
In Episode 15, we talk with James Boicourt, meadmaker at Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, MD about oaking your mead. We focus a lot on the commercial aspects of oak barrels, but there are some nuggets in here for the home meadmaker as well. And if you are interested in using oak on the home scale, check out this FAQ put together by Peter Bakulic, president of the Mazer Cup, and hosted by BJCP.
James’s thoughts on the best oak for mead (paraphrased):
In some of the preliminary oaking we’ve tested, we’ve found that a medium char American oak is a really good place to start. I mean, go figure, medium; your options are light, heavy, and medium. Medium has a lot of nice vanillins and works well with mead.
In this episode, we bring on Michael Fairbrother to discuss making mead consistently. Michael is the founder and head meadmaker at Moonlight Meander and the current president of the American Mead Makers Association. His number one tip, make more mead! Michael went so far as a homebrewer to make 60 batches a year to hone his chops. We also discuss yeast selection, batch size, and temperature control.
Michael’s thoughts on honey quantities in mead:
As soon as I got away from trying to think of things from a pound perspective to a ratio perspective, it all just clicked into place, like the magic key that opens the door. So 25% honey, 75% water or juice, depending on the ratio, is my de facto go to recipe for anything I want to make.
In Episode 12, we bring on none other than Ken Schramm, author of The Compleat Meadmaker and owner and head meadmaker of Schramm’s Mead (logo at right). Ken has been making mead for over 20 years, and his book has influenced many meadmakers who have gone pro in recent years. Our discussion starts with a focus on sourcing the best fruits for your mead, but transitions into Ken’s thoughts on using fruit to make great melomels.
Ken’s Philosophy for Balancing Melomels (paraphrased):
The balance of the finished mead is based on a proportional offsetting of the sweetness and the body from the honey with the character and the acidity from the fruit.
Listen to the audio for the rest of the discussion.
It’s time for another bonus episode! In this episode, Amina Harris wraps up our honey discussion with the development of the Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel. We also have some exciting site news! We finally crossed 1000 total downloads, and in the three days since recording the bonus episode you’ve already downloaded another 300+. Keep spreading the word to help us get to 10,000! And if you get a chance, drop us a review on iTunes to let us know what you think!
We also released the BatchBuildr over the weekend. This tool takes your desired batch characteristics, and will provide the original specific gravity and an estimate of the amount of honey you will need for your batch. Give it a try! We hope it helps in your future batching plans.
In Episode 10, we have Amina Harris, Director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, back to guide us through a honey tasting using the Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel. Follow along as we wet your appetite for honey, tasting four delicious honeys that would make fabulous additions to your mead.
If you are looking for a similar directed tasting, pick up the honeys in our Drinks from this Episode section and a copy of the Honey Wheel and follow along. For an even better experience, sign up for the Introduction to Mead Making Course November 13-14, 2015. It is the best in depth short course for learning about mead and meadmaking. Registration opened June 15, and is sure to sell out.
If you’ve ever wondered about what the words raw, heated, filtered, organic or non-GMO mean in the case of honey, Amina explains it all to help you source the best honey to make your mead better. We also make mention of the Honey Flavor and Aroma Wheel (look out for a bonus episode later on its development), which we’ll be using in our next episode to taste some honey with Amina. Look out for it on July 6, 2015.
In Episode 008, we interview Chris Webber, the founding president of the American Mead Makers Association (AMMA) and the owner and head meadmaker at Dragon’s Lair Meads, a subsidiary of Outlanders Keep. We bring Chris on to talk about the AMMA, its mission, ongoing activities, and its path forward. We also discuss the Cider Act, and how with a few tweaks it could be made to address the concerns of the mead industry. Lastly, Chris provides us with some practical guidance for making better mead by tilting the carboy during primary fermentation (a.k.a. The Dragon Tilt).