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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mead?

What is a Melomel?

What is a Metheglyn?

Isn't mead beer?

What other types of mead are there?

Do you have a tasting room?

Do you use sulfites in your mead?

Mead is a medieval drink! Aren't you destroying the legacy if you add sulfites?

Do you age in your mead in oak barrels?

My bottle has sediment in it. Is it OK to drink?

Do you use artificial colors or flavors or processed sugars in your mead?

Should I chill my mead before drinking it?

 

What is Mead?

In its basic form, mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting honey (diluted with water) with yeast. It is often refered to as "Honey Wine," and although the main source of fermentable sugars in mead come from the honey, fruit, spices and malt are sometimes added. Adding other things to mead changes the "type" or "classification" or mead, however, it is still mead (see the FAQ for more information). The alcohol content of mead varys and can range from very low to very high.

What is Melomel?

Melomel is a type (or subcategory) of mead made by fermenting fruit along with the honey.

What is Metheglyn?

Metheglyn is a type (or subcategory) of mead made by adding herbs and/or spices to mead.

Isn't mead Beer?

There are styles of mead that are similar to beer, but strictly speaking, mead is neither beer nor wine.

What other types of mead are there?

Mead (M.'ee.d) - made with honey, water and yeast optionally with flavoring ingredients
Hydromel (Hy'.dre.mel) - the French name for mead
Sack mead (Sak') - a sweeter mead, with more honey
Melomel (Mel'.o.mel) - mead made with fruit or fruit juice
Metheglin (Me.theg'.lin) - mead made with spices and extracts
Morat (Mor'.at) - mead made with mulberries
Acerglin (Ace'.cerg.lin) - mead made with maple syrup
Pyment (Pie'.ment) - mead made with both honey and grapes
Hippocras (Hip'.po.cras ) - honey, grapes, and spices
Cyser (Sy'.zer) - honey and apples or apple cider. Can also be made with peach, cherry or pear cider
Braggot (Brag'.got)- honey and malt, sort of a mead-beer
Oxymel (Ox'.ee.mel) - mead mixed with vinegar
Rhodomel (Road'.o.mel) - honey with attar, a rose petal distillate, or rose petals
Capsicumel (Caps'.sic.cu.mel) - honey with chile peppers
Omphacomel (Ohm'.pha.co.mel) - mead and verjuice, the juice of unripe grapes
T'ej (T'.Ej (Ej as in Edge)) - T'ej is honey, water and a bittering herb known as Gesho. It is the national drink of Ethiopia, and has a unique taste
Bochet (Bo-SHAY) - sack mead that has been burnt or charred
Rhyzamel (RISE-uh-mel) - mead made with root vegetables
Lactomel (LACK-toe (as in "big toe")-mel) - mead made with milk

Do you have a tasting room?

We have 2 tasting rooms:

    501 South Reading Road, Boyertown, PA

    77 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

Do you use sulfites in your mead?

Virtually all wines and meads contain some level of sulfites. A small amount of sulfites are naturally produced during the fermentation process. According to Professor Roger Boulton, Ph.D., University of California at Davis, Department of Viticulture and Enology, even if no sulfur dioxide is added to wine, fermenting yeasts will produce SO2 from the naturally occurring inorganic sulfates in all grape juices. Thus, says Boulton, it is impossible for any wine to be completely free of sulfur dioxide. According to US law, all wines containing more than 10 milligrams/liter of sulfites must have a "Contains Sulfites" warning label. Wines that contain less than 10 ppm sulfites are not required to put "Contains Sulfites" on their labels; however, this does not mean the wine is "sulfite-free" or contains no sulfites. The typical levels of sulfites in commercial wines (American, European, South American,
Australian, etc) is 80 milligrams/liter. Our labels indicate that our mead does contain sulfites. We use significantly less than 80 milligrams/liter, but enough that our labels must carry the warning. To learn more about sulfites in wine, see:
http://waterhouse.ucdavis.edu/winecomp/so2.htm
http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Features/0,1197,1612,00.html
http://www.ecowine.com/sulfites.htm
http://www.appellationnyc.com/sulfites.htm
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/096_sulf.html

Mead is a medieval drink! Aren't you destroying the legacy if you add sulfites?

The addition of sulfites (by one method or another) is not a new concept. In the middle ages, to help sterilize their oak barrels, wine makers and mead makers would burn strips of sulfur inside the barrel (a process that is still practiced by some today). The effect of this was to allow the Sulfur Doixide (sulfites) given off during this process to permeate the wood of the barrel, inhibiting the growth of wild yeast, bacteria and other nasty stuff. This sulfur dioxide would then find its way into the wine and help preserve it as well. Modernly, winemakers can achieve this effect chemically.

Do you age in your mead in oak barrels?

We currently age all of our meads in stainless steel tanks.

My bottle has sediment in it. Is it OK to drink?

Don't panic if you find particulates in your bottle of mead. Sediment in the bottle can be caused by several things. One reason can be continued fermentation or re-fermentation. Continued fermentation is when mead is bottled before fermentation has stopped. Re-fermentation can occur when fermentation stops and starts again after the mead is bottled. Another possible cause for sediment is proteins, pollen and other particles found in honey. We try to filter as little as possible, since filtering too much often removes a lot of the taste. In dark berry meads, sediment can formed during the aging process, as anyone who has had a reasonably old bottle of red wine will note. Mead also has more residual sugar which may appear as sediment at the bottom of the bottle. If you do find sediment in your mead, keep the mead cold in the refrigerator. The drop in temperature will halt the fermentation process, if that is the cause. When it's time to serve the mead, carefully decant the mead off of the sediment into a pitcher, just like you would do with an older red wine.

Do you use artificial colors or flavors or processed sugars in your mead?

Our meads, melomels and metheglyns are made from only raw wildflower honey, no corn syrup, no sugar. Our melomels are made only from raw wildflower honey and whole fruit. Our metheglyns are made only from raw wildflower honey and natural fresh or dried herbs, flowers and/or spices. We use no artificial colors or flavors.

Should I chill my mead before drinking it?

The temperature of the mead you drink is really up to you. We suggest that lighter dry meads should be served chilled, like many white wines. Darker, sweeter or stronger flavored meads can be served either at room temperature or chilled.

 
News:
Stonekeep Mead is currently available for purchase. Please visit our tasting room at Frecon Farms in Boyertown, PA, or email us for information about our monthly tastings at the Meadery. Please see the contact page to be added to our mailing list.


Stonekeep opens a full time tasting room in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Stonekeep Meads are now available at The Other Farm Brewing Company in Boyertown, PA.

Stonekeep Meads are now available at Round Guys Brewery in Landale, PA.

Stonekeep Meads are now available at Teresa's Cafe in Wayne, PA.

Stonekeep opens a full time tasting room at Frecon Farms in Boyertown!

Stonekeep Meads are available at Bube's Brewery in Mount Joy, PA!

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