Cooking Mead

Brew DateJune 8, 2016
Yield1 gallon
Original Gravity (OG)1.108
Final Gravity (FG)1.005
Estimated ABV*13.51875 %


3 lbs. honey, 1 head diced garlic, 2 cups fresh chopped Shiitake mushrooms, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 30 golden raisins, wild yeast or Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast


This was a recipe inspired by a recipe in the book Make Mead Like a Viking: Traditional Techniques for Brewing Natural, Wild-Fermented, Honey-Based Wines and Beers.

This recipe doesn’t have much in the way on instructions. First I diced and roasted the garlic in no stick pan (so I didn’t have to use any oil). Then I brought 3 gallons of spring water to a boil. Added the chopped mushrooms at the start of the boil. After 5 minutes took the mushroom stew off the burner and added the honey. Once dissolved, the must was brought back to a boil and then the diced garlic and thyme was added. After 5 minutes of boiling the pot was set aside to cool. After a few hours I removed the thyme. The next morning I stirred vigorously, added the raisins, and transferred to a primary fermenter with an air lock.

Brew Notes

We used a locally sold pure honey from Moenck Honey Farms in Lehigh, IA. The Shiitake mushrooms were Monterey brand and the thyme was home grown and dried. The original recipe does not call for thyme, but I had some on hand and threw it in. I took it out after the boil because I was afraid I had put too much in. After it cooled the garlic was the dominant note anyway. The recipe originally called for 4-12 HEADS (not cloves) of garlic! I wasn’t that brave and just did 1 large head.

After a small scare of infection on our Viking Spring Mead recipe and since there were still no signs of a healthy fermentation I decided not to take any chances with this recipe either and reboiled the must, cooled with a wort chiller, and then added some Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast. Perhaps I just got lucky with my first wild yeast recipe, but in the future I plan the first harvest wild yeasts and then create starters from wild yeast strains that show promise (as described in

Tasting Notes

Wow. Just wow. You really need to be a Viking to enjoy or even drink this. I think some chicken could cook up really nicely with a bit of this though, so I’ll have to report back after trying it in a dish.