Ask the Meadmaker – Brewing in Lockdown

Ask the Meadmaker – Brewing in Lockdown

Groennfell Meadery
5 minute read

In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about why mead is (usually) Kosher for Passover, what to expect when brewing with your own honey, whether homebrewed mead can make your friends sick, the worst ingredient he’s ever put into his mead, and more!
Ricky’s YouTube Favorites:
You Suck At Cooking 
CGP Grey
Postmodern Jukebox

Further Reading:
What’s to Worry About?

Hello everybody, I changed out of my pajamas to shoot this. Happy quarantine!
Welcome to ask the meadmaker where I Ricky the Meadmaker answer your questions about mead making, mead drinking, mead brewing, and really any question you’re willing to send to me and I am also on day 22 in a lockdown for the Coronavirus at home with the Viking toddler.
So I miss you guys. Do you miss me? I miss you.
Anyway, our first question given that it is the week of Passover, is why is mead kosher for Passover? It’s a great question. So not all commercial meads are technically kosher. That’s a… it’s a whole thing. We are. We are technically kosher. We have to have a rabbi come and check everything out and we have to send all of our ingredients to be rechecked. [Update as of April, 2022: We have decided not to renew our kosher certification because of our commitment to purchasing from small and local farms, many of whom cannot justify the cost of kosher certification. More on that decision here.] But if you make mead at home, and you know what you put in it, if you care about these things, you can call it kosher.
But the reason it’s kosher for Passover is the only ingredient you cannot have at Passover is grain (anything with leavening which is weird because there’s yeast in alcoholic beverages, but we’re not going into the Talmud right now). So anyway, the reason mead is kosher for Passover and the reason that up until about 140 years ago, a lot of Jews brewed mead at home for Passover was because meat has no grain in it. The honey is an allowable sugar source. Therefore, all mead, if home brewed and you don’t throw, you know, shellfish into it is automatically kosher for Passover. It was also Easter yesterday. So is mead kosher for Easter? Just kidding. I… I don’t know!
Want you all to know that I actually have a master’s in comparative theology, I thought that joke was hilarious.
Here in Vermont, things are only beginning to barely poke through the permafrost. It seems like permafrost. It’s not true permafrost. But apparently in other parts of the country, everything’s in bloom and people are already talking about collecting honey. And someone wanted to know if there’s a real difference between using their own home honey versus a store bought honey. And the biggest difference is you will probably have a richer profile, more of a varietal characteristic from your own honey, but you will have one order to two orders of magnitude greater bragging rights.
I don’t know if you can all hear the Viking toddler talking to her grandparents on Zoom to keep her out of our hair while we shoot this but uh, they are a balm in Gilead, let me tell you.
The next question is a really good one and I would love all of your comments below an answer to this question if you’re a homebrewer. What’s the worst thing you ever put in a mead? And I used to do firkin Fridays, and I had to do, you know, one a week. And so I had some pretty wild things. But I never brewed this one because I got it out of my system as a home brewer. I thought, you know what herb I really like? Rosemary. And there may be people out there that love… it – what do they call it? Cooking wine. But pre-spiced cooking mead was just not my thing.
Our next question comes from John who says, I’m watching this on YouTube. I know you claimed to be a Luddite. But do you watch things on YouTube? And the answer is a yes. I watch four things. I love: You Suck at Cooking. I love “Kurtz-gdz-dat.” Kurzgesagt? Kurzgesagt. CGP Grey. And I will watch things from Postmodern Jukebox if it’s a song I already know. And I also watch as the Meadmaker.
Our last question this week actually comes from Kelly, the boss, who said it might be time to answer the question, can I make my friends sick with my home brewed mead? Again, because apparently everyone’s a little anxious about getting sick these days. So the answer is yes. If they drink too much of it. This is true of all alcohol. Two, Yes. If you put something actually toxic in it, like I don’t know a pint of bleach. And three, no, not really. There’s no known pathogen that can survive in a fully fermented beverage if you follow just the most basic sanitization protocol.
So keep homebrewing, prepare to celebrate with your friends again, keep sending your questions, and I’ll get to them as soon as possible. Cheers. 

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