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1668 (approx) Old Dutch mead recipe

Arjan

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 22, 2007
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Ill now just post the original recipe written in old Dutch.

ill need to examine the 'old dutch' text first :) (look up some words we dont use anymore) before i can post an english translation


Mede, hoe men die maaken zal: Neemt 16 ponden van de best Marseliaansche honing tegen 16 stoop pompwater, en laat dat te samen een half uur kooken altoos wel op het schuymen passende, en den honing moet er niet ingedaan worden voor het water koockt.

Neemt dan 8 soete citroenen en 8 suure citroenen, drukt die schoon uit, en laat het sap door een doek loopen, en giet het dan te samen met een pint brandewyn op een ledig vaatje zonder dat het gekoockt word: neemt dan 8 tot 10 notemuscaaten fyn gestooten, en dit dan met zo veel foelie en nagelen, zo veel als men in tweemaalen tusschen de voorste vinger en den duym vatten kan, en een goed styk kaneel daar bij gestooten, en dan te samen in een wit zakje gedaan, met een touwtje toegebonden en in het vaatje gehangen, en giet hier dan dit koockende water met den honing zoo heet op: en digt toegestopt, en dan tapt met het af als het 10 of 12 dagen op het vaatje gelegen heeft: en als het koel weer is zo wagt men een dag of drie langer, en dan tapt men het af in boeteljes, is heel goed:

english translation:

Mead, how you can make it: Take 16kg of the best Marseillan(?) honey, with 40 liter water, en let it cook together for 30 minutes, and remove the scum, and the honey must not be added before the water boils

Take 8 sweet and 8 sour lemons, squeeze them and let the sap run through a cloth and poor it together with a pint of brandy in an empty keg without having it boiled.
Then take 8 to 10 nutmeg, crushed. And mix this with 2 pinches of mace and clove, and add a stick of cinnamon. Put this in a little white bag, tightened with a robe and hang in the keg,
Poor the boiling water with the honey right on top of it, and close the keg.

Rack the keg after about 10-12 days, and if it has been cold outside wait 3 or so days.. then bottle it.
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Arjan,

Thanks for doing this! I will probably refer to this recipe, with only enough mods to make sure that the fermentation doesn't become problematic (such as adding the citrus juices after fermentation is complete to avoid stalling with too low of a pH), when I go to actually make a mead from my wild yeast starter. Should prove to be an interesting experiment!

Would it be a reasonable assumption to consider the "sweet lemons" to in fact be oranges, and the "sour lemons" to be actual lemons? Seems to me that "citroenen" could refer to either oranges or lemons in old Dutch?
 

Arjan

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 22, 2007
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wayneb said:
Would it be a reasonable assumption to consider the "sweet lemons" to in fact be oranges, and the "sour lemons" to be actual lemons? Seems to me that "citroenen" could refer to either oranges or lemons in old Dutch?
well that was my first though as well, but digging i little through the internet i found out that in old times they made "sweet lemons".
they didnt have refrigerators like we do now.

heres the recipe:

How to make sweet lemons.
Citrusfruit like lemons, they used to preserve them in a way to be able to keep them for a longer time. the recipe is quite special since preserving lemons wasnt done very often in the netherlands back then

recipe:
1kg big lemons
1kg sugar
a glass jar that can be sealed off

cut the lemon in quarts, remove the pips.
Boil the parts until they are tender, poor the the juice into a bowl.
add the sugar, boil up the juice with sugar 3 times more.
put the lemons in the glass jar.
cool down the sirop and poor over the lemons.

close the jar very well
 

Arjan

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 22, 2007
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finished the translation.

2 interesting things in this recipe that makes me wonder why (still a noob ;) )
- the pint of brandy thats added
- the sweet lemons

any idea?
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
My thought on the brandy is that it is there to sterilize the juice addition from the lemons. That way the likelihood of bringing spoilage organisms into the must is lessened. Interesting enough, there is no mention of a "starter" or any other mechanism for inoculation with yeast. Guess they relied on wild yeasts already present in the keg.

It appears that the sweet lemons were made using a process essentially "pickling," or "preserving" the lemons (perhaps those are the English words you were looking for) with enough sugar to prevent microbial growth and spoilage. As to why to use 1/2 fresh lemons and 1/2 sweet, the preserving process would allow oils from the skins to meld with juice from the insides, and would bring more aromatics from the skins into the resulting must. Also, there will be chemical reactions taking place in the sweet lemon liquor as it ages, which would bring different organic compounds into the mix. So my guess is that mead was "originally" made with the fresh lemon juice, but then someone tried the sweet lemon adjunct at one time, and liked it, so it was incorporated into the "new and improved" recipe!
 

Kamabnogs

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 26, 2019
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Panama
1668 approx Old Dutch mead recipe

think i am gonna go with, 1 gallon of honey , 4 gallons of blueberry juice, 5 navel oranges,1/2 pound of raisinsnutrient,brown sugar, and wine making yeast,,,and 1 long year . I know my first mead turned into a melomel way back there , if theres some good reasons to tweak or change this game plan here please feel free to let me know perty please,,,i appreciate the ideas also 17 everybody , Have a nice day/ evening
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,203
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Denver
think i am gonna go with, 1 gallon of honey , 4 gallons of blueberry juice, 5 navel oranges,1/2 pound of raisinsnutrient,brown sugar, and wine making yeast,,,and 1 long year . I know my first mead turned into a melomel way back there , if theres some good reasons to tweak or change this game plan here please feel free to let me know perty please,,,i appreciate the ideas also 17 everybody , Have a nice day/ evening
As Toxxix said it's not good to drag up dead threads. From 2007, really? Your recipe is one headed towards disaster. You need to come into the 21st century and start learning how things are done now. Gotmeadlive podcast start on 9/5/17