If you’re a regular reader of our content (thanks for tuning in), you’ll know that we’re passionate about a few things. Among those passions are tradition and good beer. Those two things have a way of bringing people together and we’re all about that. Now you can brew your very own beer at home using a simple traditional method.
Today, we’re looking at ancestral beer. The reason that it is easy to make this beer at home is that the process is ancient. It came about long before modern fermentation practices. How long? Well, this is the same process that ancient Egyptians used to make their suds in about 4,000 BCE. However, we’re going to be showing you how to make mead, the drink of choice for Vikings. Which, honestly, is way cooler.
Florencia Juarez Marrades is a 26-year-old ancestral cooking expert from Argentina. Recently, she spoke to Vice about her passion for bringing ancient recipes to life. It just so happens that one of those recipes is an ancient relative of beer that is simple to make at home.
Juarez and her partner, Nelson Ortega, teach classes on ancestral cooking. However, they aren’t just making ancient food beer for fun. They have a goal in mind. “We’ve brought flavors that were being left behind back to life,” she told the publication.
Make Your Own Viking Beer at Home
Mead is easy to make at home and sits somewhere between beer and wine. It really depends on how long you want to let it sit. Like wine, mead gets stronger as it ages.
You’ll need between 800 grams and 1 kilogram of pure, raw, and unpasteurized honey. That comes out to about 1.7 pounds and 2.2 pounds if you’re using Freedom Units to measure things. Then, you’ll need 2,500ml of filtered or mineral water. This is a little over half a gallon. You put that in a large wide-neck jar, stir it up, and cover it with a towel or cloth. You don’t want an airtight seal on the jar.
You’ll need to oxygenate your mead a couple of times per day. To do this, just remove the cover, give it a stir, and cover it again. After a couple of days, you’ll start to see bubbles. This lets you know that the honey is fermenting and slowly turning to booze.
After about two weeks, your mixture will start smelling like alcohol. When it does, taste it to make sure it’s losing some of its sweetness. If it is, you have a choice to make. You can technically drink the mead. At this point, your home-brewed libation is about as strong as a beer. It’ll clock in at about 4% ABV. However, you could transfer it to a bottle with an airlock and let it sit for a few months. As it sits, it’ll get stronger. It tops out at about 18% ABV.
For extra flavor, you can add cloves, dandelions, or oranges to the mix. However, you’ll want to strain the mead before drinking it or putting it in a bottle to age.