Rhubarb-mead revives an ancient tradition of one of the oldest- alcoholic-beverages known.
A mead from rhubarb is just one of the many recipes that use ingredients to determine mead class-type.
Traditionally, meads were only made with honey, water and the natural yeast produced. Now, a methaglin mead uses additional ingredients like spices such as vanilla and cinnamon.
A melomel mead adds fruit as well.
An apple-juice mead is referred to a cyser mead and so on, and so on.
A "mead" is believed to be the oldest-alcoholic-beverages and is quite in a class by itself. It is not a "beer" and it is not a "wine" either.
Mead is produced by the fermentation of honey and yeast. The yeast in the honey naturally appears over time and the process begins.
This type of mead was easy to make in early civilizations and had an honorable place in those societies. As it was discovered how to make wine though, the wine suddenly became the symbol of "high-class" society and wealth.
The mead continued to be made by the lower classes. It was easy to make and there were no special storage requirements like wines needed.
Over time, beer replaced the mead. It did however regain a place in society as being reserved for special occasions such as weddings or holiday festivities.
Meads have certainly had their place in different stages of history!
The drinks themselves still play a part in different cultures as a traditional alcoholic beverage. They do vary in sweetness and alcohol potency, but are still basically made in the same fashion as they were thousands of years ago.
20 cups (5 pounds) chopped rhubarb
1 package champagne yeast (slow fermenting)
12 cups honey
3 gallons water
1 tea bag
Dissolve the honey in the water and add juice from the lemons. Add the rhubarb and yeast as instructed on package. Stir well.
Place in sterile glass container and let sit for 6 weeks in a dark place.
Filter to remove any solids and repeat as necessary during this
time. Bottle into sterile bottles.
3 lbs. honey
5 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 gallons water
1 quart of mashed strawberries
2 packages of beer yeast
Begin by boiling down the honey and part of the water. Pour into a plastic container with the rhubarb and the strawberries. Add the rest of the water and let cool.
Add the yeast when mixture has cooled.
Add an air lock, cover and let sit in a spot where it will not be disturbed. The fermenting process will now take place and can last for a few months.
Watch the air lock for the bubbling to slow down.
It will be time to bottle when there is no evidence of the honey sweet taste.
Make sure you have sterile containers and siphon off rhubarb-mead into these bottles, being careful not to include any of the sediment. You can filter the mixture through a sterilized strainer first into other containers and then bottle.
Refrigerate and enjoy.
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