Brewing 101: The Basics of Making Mead – Different Types Explained

Mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water, often with the addition of fruits, spices, grains, or hops for flavor. There are several types and styles of mead, each with its own characteristics and production methods. Here are some common types of mead:

1. Traditional Mead

Traditional mead, also known as “plain” or “classic” mead, is made using only honey, water, and yeast. It showcases the pure flavor of honey and can range from dry to sweet, depending on the amount of residual sugar left after fermentation.

2. Melomel

Melomel is a fruit-infused mead. It is made by adding fruits, such as berries, cherries, apples, or peaches, to the fermentation process. The fruit imparts its flavors, sweetness, and color to the mead, resulting in a wide range of flavors and styles.

3. Metheglin

Metheglin is a spiced or herbal mead. It incorporates various herbs, spices, and botanicals into the fermentation process. Common ingredients include cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, or even herbs like lavender or chamomile. Metheglins can have a wide range of flavors, from subtle herbal notes to bold and spicy profiles.

4. Pyment

Pyment is a mead made with the addition of grapes or grape juice. It combines the flavors of honey and grapes, similar to a wine. Pyments can range from dry to sweet and can showcase characteristics of both mead and wine.

5. Braggot

Braggot is a hybrid beverage that combines mead and beer. It is made by fermenting a mixture of honey and malted grains. Braggots can have a wide range of flavors and profiles, depending on the ratio of honey to malt and the choice of hops and yeast.

6. Cyser

Cyser is a mead made by fermenting a blend of honey and apple juice or cider. It combines the flavors of honey and apples, resulting in a beverage with a balance of sweetness, acidity, and fruitiness.

7. Bochet

Bochet is a caramelized mead made by heating the honey before fermentation. The heating process gives the mead a distinct caramel or toffee flavor, adding complexity and richness to the final product.

These are just a few examples of the types of mead available. Mead production is diverse, and many meaderies create unique variations by experimenting with different honey varieties, adjuncts, aging techniques, and fermentation processes. The flavors and styles of mead can vary widely, offering a wide range of options for mead enthusiasts to explore.