Ask the Meadmaker – The Meadmaking Community

In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers the most common questions he receives that are not about meadmaking or… not really about meadmaking.
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Show Transcript

Hello, everyone! 

So, if you're anywhere in the United States, possibly around the world, within two weeks of when we film this, you're probably in lockdown because of the Coronavirus. So, this episode is not exactly going to be about that.

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. 

So, our company mission is "Join the feast!" and feasting involves communities gathering. And we've gotten a lot of messages over the last week and a half since Coronavirus started to be a, we'll call it a pandemic, that is the technical term for it. Both people freaking out because of the disease, and freaking out because of the isolation that comes with a pandemic status. And this is something that we're taking very seriously. Obviously, we don't lick every can as it comes through so we're not going to be your disease vector. 

But we decided this week, what we would respond to, is a series of questions we've gotten over the years that aren't specifically about mead making, so if you want to get only mead MAKING questions answered, please stop watching this now before you have to give it the down thumb, but things that mead drinking communities tend to ask us.

Our first question this week comes from more people than any other question. And it's "I'm thinking of getting into home mead making, and I'm worried I'm going to kill all my friends because I'll do something wrong." Well, theoretically, if you made a fermentation that was a combination of honey, water, obviously to get it to ferment, yeast, yeast nutrient, and bleach, you could kill all of your friends. But the nice thing is that right now, no known strain of a pathogen that can harm a human being can survive in a fully fermented beverage above - and I don't remember the exact number, so don't quote me - somewhere about 5% alcohol. So, beer, wine, cider, sake, you'll be safe, it may taste gross, but you're not going to kill your friends and family. 

Here's a really, really, really nice one. A lot of people who watch this video want to support us in some way, but they don't live somewhere where they can get our mead. And, as we've talked about in past episodes, we are not monetized and that is on purpose. We actually believe that we're getting a downgrade from YouTube right now because they can't make any money off of us, because we don't make any money off of these videos. But it's really important for us that we support the homebrew community. We are a community although we're spread around the world. And if you wanted to support us in some way, in most of the United States now you can either buy us off the shelf or through bev.com, there will be a link in the doobly doo. You can buy us online. No but seriously, we were never ever ever going to sell online because shipping mead is complicated, but so many of you have asked and we appreciate it so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

One of the most common questions we got when we started this show was "What do you pair mead with?" As in, "what do you eat with it?" And somehow, we stopped getting those questions and I definitely don't think it's because my two facetious earlier videos about it answered everyone's questions, go back and look at them. One of them I think involves me using a blowtorch. Anyway, I don't know if society is just sort of changed and they don't care about what you're eating and drinking together, but one of the things that really matters to us is mead is amazing, go out and have a hike, bring a mead with you. 

But if you can gather to feast, it's not something we can answer. It is actually surprisingly a matter of personal taste. There is no correct answer. The wine industry sort of pushed that idea out there that this goes with this, this goes with this, this goes with this. But mead, beer, and honestly wine aren't like that. It's what you like, with what you like. So, I'd say if it's safe for you to gather together during these dark times, do it, and do an experimental pairing. 

Our last question this week, I get a lot on tours or tours, if you're from the Midwest, and by email from time to time, and it's "Do you still love it?" So, I didn't have to live this life, making basically no money and getting covered in ice cold mead and on one occasion burning hot glycol. But the answer is yes, I do. I do still love what I do. 

And it's not because making mead is amazing. As I've said in past episodes, if you want to be a pro meadmaker, don't. But it's the people I get to come to work with. My wife is my boss, and she's amazing. I get to bring the little Viking kiddo, upgraded from Viking baby, Nora to work with me everyday still. And we get to have interns and staffs in a socially responsible, environmentally progressive, really fun place to work. Guys, we get to make each other food every week. We have a rotating lunch special that every single person who works for us gets to sign up for and then the company pays for it. How could I not love that? 

So, to redact my earlier answer, if you want to be a professional meadmaker, don't. Unless you're really serious about building a company where you get to spend time with the people you love. So, thank you, stay safe out there, which means not only wash your damn hands, but also be with people whenever safe. Isolation is so dangerous. It's so dangerous, guys. Even if it's just a phone call. I've been calling my grandma every day. And she sends her love too. And so do I. Cheers.

 

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