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Make Mead Like a Viking

Traditional Techniques for Brewing Natural, Wild-Fermented, Honey-Based Wines and Beers

Mead. Vikings. It’s impossible to think of one without the other. So why try? In Make Mead Like a Viking, Jereme Zimmerman unlocks the brewing secrets of the ancient Norse and shows readers how homebrewing mead can be not only simple but fun.

As a homesteader, fermentation enthusiast, and self-described “Appalachian Yeti Viking,” Zimmerman embraces the traditional culture and rituals surrounding mead and will help others bring a sense of wildness, mysticism, and individuality to their home-crafted brews.

In this accessible, easy-to-follow guide, readers will learn how to brew their own drinks such as sweet, semi-sweet, and dry meads; melomels (fruit meads); metheglins (spiced meads); Ethiopian t’ej; honey beers; and grog—opening the Mead Hall doors to further experimentation in fermentation and flavor. In addition, aspiring Viking brewers 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
  • Herbs and wild botanicals for use in flavoring and preserving these healing, nutritious, and magical meads, beers, and wines
  • Recommendations for starting a mead circle to share your wild meads with other brewers as part of the growing wild mead subculture
  • and more

Whether you’ve been intimidated by modern homebrewing’s cost or seeming complexity in the past or are 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 focused on modern self-sufficiency, Make Mead Like a Viking is a practical and entertaining guide for the ages.

Skål!

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

Library Journal-

"Zimmerman originally documented his brewing experiments on his blog, ­jereme-zimmerman.com. After enthusiastic feedback from participants in the author’s mead workshops, he decided to publish a handbook on making mead with wild yeast, a practice at which the Vikings excelled. His recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, frequently including a story or tips to improve it. They often call for not only standard mead but also an unusual ingredient such as mushrooms, garlic, horehound, or marshmallow plant. Zimmerman packs this slim tome with honey-based brewing recipes, Viking mythology, Viking cultural history (as it applies to mead), a history of beekeeping, a guide to picking honey, how to drink mead, and equipment advice. While there are many mead-making titles on the market, the emphasis on wild yeast along with Zimmerman’s philosophy of experimentation and self-sufficiency make this a unique offering. VERDICT: Adventurous mead makers or brewers who want to move beyond the basics will find plenty to savor here.”

Booklist-

"After an exhausting day raiding coastlines and terrorizing natives, Vikings loved to relax with a nice quaff of mead. Over the centuries, mead retreated to merely a historical curiosity. But thanks to creative and adventuresome home brewers such as Zimmerman, mead has roared back to life. Zimmerman promotes natural fermentation from airborne yeasts, but for those lacking bold Viking genes, he offers advice on fermentation from commercial yeasts. Text is clear and very encouraging, and he makes mead accessible to both tyros and experienced brewers. Summarizing relevant equipment and ingredients, Zimmerman emphasizes that his disciples will produce their best meads if they don’t go overboard on sterilizing their equipment nor take all the joy out of mead making. Recipes go beyond basic mead to include Ethiopian t’ej, fruit-enhanced melomel, and metheglin, which scents mead with herbs and spices. A valuable addition to any collection that seeks to satisfy the creativity of home brewers.”   

“A great guide to mead making, full of practical information and fascinating lore.”--Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation

“This is a fun book—and fortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Coupled with the fun parts is a book that is informative and detailed in everything from choosing honey all the way to what kinds of corks to use. As a beekeeper who has always had lots of good raw honey on hand, I have made mead before but only in the kind of sterile environment that Jereme Zimmerman eschews. His book opened my eyes to the possibility of returning to the much more natural and time-honored ways of brewing this fascinating beverage.”--Jeffrey Hamelman, director, King Arthur Flour Bakery; author of Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes

“Tradition meets modernity in this marvelous look at the ancient brewing of honey-based beverages.”--Mike Faul, owner and brewmaster, Rabbit’s Foot Meadery

“I really delighted in this inspired and informative read. Throw caution into the mead-making wind and relish the challenge of some of the more unusual flavorings and ingredients. I now feel more like being a Viking mead maker than ever, and coming from a Celt and fourth-generation mead maker that is something! Enjoy mead and make merry men and maidens.”--Sophia Fenton, director, Cornish Mead Co. Ltd.

“Jereme Zimmerman has captured the wild spirit of mead quite literally—as the quintessential naturally fermented beverage of humankind from the beginning, which reached its apotheosis with the Vikings. Without compromising its mysterious allure, he brings it down to earth for all to make and enjoy.”--Patrick E. McGovern, author of Ancient Wine and Uncorking the Past

Make Mead Like a Viking puts the ME back in mead: my Scandinavian heritage simply sang when reliving the history, reading the recipes, and playing the drinking games he includes. And best yet . . . Zimmerman encourages mead makers to keep their own bees! There’s no better way to get the best honey there is than when you, and the bees you care for, make it happen together. For me, this is the perfect marriage.”--Kim Flottum, editor-in-chief, Bee Culture: The Magazine of American Beekeeping

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jereme Zimmerman

Jereme Zimmerman

Jereme Zimmerman grew up on his parents’ northern Kentucky goat farm, Twin Meadows, where he was also homeschooled. After graduating from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, he moved to the Pacific Northwest, where he immersed himself in the world of homebrewing. As the world’s only peace-loving, green-living Appalachian Yeti Viking, Zimmerman writes, blogs, and speaks regularly on fermentation, mead-making, homesteading, and good eating. He is a regular contributor to various publications and websites, including New Pioneer and Backwoods Home magazines. He writes for Earthineer.com as “RedHeadedYeti.” He currently lives in Berea with his wife, Jenna, and daughters, Sadie and Maisie, where he practices urban homesteading and cavorts with farmers, authors, and fellow sustainable-living enthusiasts.

CONNECT WITH THIS AUTHOR

Jereme Zimmerman Website
Jereme Zimmerman Twitter
Jereme Zimmerman Facebook

AUTHOR EVENTS

August 12, 2017

Jereme Zimmerman at Downtown Richmond Farmers Market

Richmond, KY | Jereme Zimmerman
Education Station - Beer Brewing Workshop

See all Events by this Author

Make Mead Like a Viking

Pages:240 pages
Book Art:Color photos and illustrations throughout
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603585989
Pub. Date November 04, 2015

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 240 pages, $24.95