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Old 07-11-2012, 04:48 AM   #1
Onihige
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Default Old recipe - rainwater mead (77 AD)

Found it on a Swedish site.

Quote:
Fit vinum et ex aqua ac melle tantum quinquennio ad hoc servari caelestem iubent. aliqui prudentiores statim ad tertias partes deco**** et tertiam veteris mellis adiciunt, deinde XL diebus a canis ortu in sole habent. alii diffusa ita decumo die obturant. hoc vocatur hydromeli et vetustate saporem vini adsequitur, nusquam laudatius quam in Phyrigia.
That's the original latin.

I'm gonna translate the Swedish translation. :P

Quote:
A wine made from just water and honey. For this rainwater that's been saved for five years is recommended. Others that are knowledgeable use rainwater as soon as it's fallen and boil it down to a third and add a part of old honey to third parts water. Let the mix stand in the sun for 40 days after Sirius rise. Others take it after nine days and seal it. This drink the Greek call "hydromeli" and with time it will taste like wine. It's appriciated the most in Phrygia.
The recipe is from 77 AD, written by Plinius the Elder.

Anyone wanna try it? :P

There were some other old recipes, I might re-translate them later. A bit too tired right now.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:56 AM   #2
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I would most definitely be interested in reading and attempting more ancient brews! ! ! Thanks for the last post I may just try it next year when I brew up my next batch of mead.

Cheers,
Kev

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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LOL I love following that kind of thing too. But I live in a big city where I am really close to a deisel refinery and an international airport. I bet I dont have the best of rain water.

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Old 07-11-2012, 07:11 PM   #4
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Yeah, im not sure your going to get anything that tastes even remotely drinkable where most people live. Maybe if you know someone living in the amazon or some desert island somewhere...
It's not just where you live that matters, you wan the entire flightpath of your storm cloud to be untainted!

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Old 07-12-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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How about using "instant rain water" ? a.k.a. reverse osmosis water, from the nearest aquarium shop.

Either way, it's just gonna make for a "show" mead i.e. water, honey, yeast, so it would likely need careful management, which is likely to take a long time.

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Old 07-12-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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I get the feeling the point of this particular recipe is to have the flavour of the water come through in the final product, RO water is pretty close to distilled and has no flavour profile at all.
I guess the "leave it for 5 years" part is to have evaporation of the water without losing any flavour to vigorous boiling, though probably a bit long winded for little gain.
I guess the obvious equivilent would be to find a good bottled spring water for a faily strong and distinct taste and to reduce that through boiling to strengthen the flavour, though I still can't help but feel that anything other than the lightest of honeys will completely overpower it anyway unless you use something like water from the Bath mineral springs... urgh, eggy mead.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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In ancient times rainwater was as close to distilled water you could get, since there was no air pollution to speak of.

Interesting that they specify 'old honey'. I wonder if it would have more wild yeast than fresh honey. Maybe that's why they age the water, to pick up more yeast.

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Old 07-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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There are plenty of things in the atmosphere that rain will pull down that we didn't put there. If this isn't the case and it is indeed practically mineral free, why the requirement to reduce it?

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