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  • #342545

    Anonymous

    "The history of mead may go back more than 8,000 years. The oldest known meads were created on the Island of Crete. Wine had not yet been created. Mead was the drink of the Age of Gold, and the word for drunk in classical Greek remained "honey-intoxicated."

    Polish mead produced in LublinMead was once very popular in Northern Europe, often produced by monks in monasteries in areas where grapes could not be grown. It faded in popularity, however, once wine imports became economical. Especially partial to it were the Slavs. In Polish it is called miód pitny (pronounced [mjut pi:tni]), meaning "drinkable honey". Mead was a favored drink among the Polish-Lithuanian szlachta (nobility). During the Crusades, Polish Prince Leszek I the White explained to the Pope that Polish knights could not participate in the Crusades because there was no mead in Palestine.

    Poland's mead making is documented to the 12th century, and for over 1000 years before that, the Slavs made mead there."

    http://www.beer100.com/history/meadhistory.htm

    http://www.realbeer.com/edu/mead/polish.php

    As for an avid drinker of mead myself, I would like to further discuss mead making history in Poland and various types of meads from Poland.  ;) ;D

    #369666

    Anonymous

    Mead was main slavic "party" drink before introduction of distiled beverages. So we can safely say that until around 17th-18th century majority of slavs drinked mead during festivals and other important occasions. Beer was drunked on daily basis but beer always had lower status becouse of lower alcohol content. Mead on the other hand enjoyed same status as wine dose nowdays,

    Mead has become very "expensive" over time becouse its harder to get enough honey than grapes (wine) and grains (beer). Also it is problem that it is harder to make good mead than good wine or beer. Many people dont like mead becouse they only know "sweet" variant but not more "sour" variant which is the mead that ancient people liked.

    Mead was slavic "wine" and they had high regards for mead. In Slovenia mead was popular up to the end of 19th century when industrialisation ended home making of good mead. Now sadly most people dont make very good mead and it is also hard to get true mead. Slovene mead was said to be stronger than wine and slovene farmers had special technique to check out quality of mead with eggs.

    As for Poland i know Poland was main exporter of quality mead in medieval ages.

    #369667

    Anonymous

    Wow! Thank you, Povhec. I knew very little about the invention of mead and where it originated. Most people, would see through media that mead was associated with norse, celtic peoples. It wasn't until recently that I saw that mead was a slavic wine.

    Quote:
    Mead was slavic "wine" and they had high regards for mead. In Slovenia mead was popular up to the end of 19th century when industrialisation ended home making of good mead. Now sadly most people dont make very good mead and it is also hard to get true mead. Slovene mead was said to be stronger than wine and slovene farmers had special technique to check out quality of mead with eggs.

    As for Poland i know Poland was main exporter of quality mead in medieval ages.

    I read that mead in Poland was more available to higher classes since it was expensive. Was that the same everywhere else in Eastern Europe?

    As for Slovene Mead… I need to try it.  :) How do you check the quality with an egg? I'm curious.

    #369668

    Anonymous

    Most people, would see through media that mead was associated with norse, celtic peoples. It wasn't until recently that I saw that mead was a slavic wine.

    Mead is ancient drink of our ancestors. They had high regards about mead becouse sweet products were rare in old times. Remember that sugar didnt exist in europe back then so honey was rare sweet thing. Slavs were pioneers in beekeeping and there was plenty of mead.

    As for Slovene Mead… I need to try it.  :) How do you check the quality with an egg? I'm curious.

    Problem is people in Slovenia dont make mead anymore. The recepie only survived in books sadly. I will try to brew this old style mead but first i will have to make couple of average meads.

    As for egg testing it is hard for me to explain but it goes something like this;

    You mix water and honey to such ratio that egg dosent sink to the bottom of the kettle but it also shouldnt be floating above water & honey mixture. Egg must be about two fingers under this liquid mixture. However most perfect egg position for mead was belived to be if tiny part of egg is above mixture (honey & water). According to folklore egg (chicken egg) must be young.

    After this egg testing you start cooking this honey & water mixture in kettle. Again folklore says that only cherry tree wood is to be used for fire becouse according to folklore other kind's of wood would not produce good mead (i guess this is superstition). During cooking the mixture must boil. Sadly i dont know how long must it boil.

    After cooking they filtered mead through linen cloth and put it in barrels. Barrels were usualy put near stoves or ovens so that it starts to ferment sooner (honey has enough natural sugar's so yeast is not necessary). In few day's mead begans to ferment naturaly. After some time mead is put in cellar and ready to be drinked.

    Well sadly this recepie is not exact enough so i will have to experiment.

    I read that mead in Poland was more available to higher classes since it was expensive. Was that the same everywhere else in Eastern Europe?

    I dont know enough about Poland but as far as i know mead was also drinked among common folk not just nobles. But it is true that making alot of mead is harder becouse it is harder to produce alot of honey so Poles drinked less mead as French drinked wine. Just imagine how many bee families are needed to get enough honey for whole year supply of mead.

    #369669

    Anonymous

    Is this mead tradition related to Krupnik, Polish Honey Liquer? I would imagine so… right?

    #369670

    Anonymous

    Is this mead tradition related to Krupnik, Polish Honey Liquer? I would imagine so… right?

    Honey Liquer is distilled beverage. Mead on the other hand is fermented drink. It is big difference in production process. Ancient people only knew how to ferment alcoholic drinks. Distillation among common folk only started around 17th-18th century. In some Slovene areas people didnt know what distillated beverage is until 19th century.

    Only similarity is that both mead and honey liquer are made with honey. Other than that it is different drink.

    #369671

    Anonymous

    Interesting Povhec, you mentioned about how people knew more about the sweet variant of mead but our ancestors drank a sour version. I tried some meads that were based off of different types of white wine, some had that sharp pinot after taste and some have a more sweet taste with a honey after taste.

    I'm trying to find some sort of folk lore on mead in Poland, so far I haven't found any but seeing how in Slovene there is quite a bit of folklore. Which makes me even more curious about the history of mead.  :)

    #369672

    Anonymous

    Medovina, as I recall is made like this:


      [li]Dissolve honey in pure water and cook on low heat until it boils. Allow to boil for several minutes. It has to be stired to avoid sedimentation of honey. After boiling, it should cool down and then poured into barrels. Containers should not be completely closed because the solution will create pressure during fermentation. The fermentation process takes up to a month. The water / honey ratio is not strictly defined, but make sure the solution is well sweetened.[/li]

    Medovina was given to warriors, out of belief their wounds would heal faster. It was seen as an elixir of life and potency. Just married couples were forced to drink mead every night for a full month after the marriage. The fruit of this recipe, in that specific month, now called the honeymoon, came nine months later.

    #369673

    Anonymous

    Raise a goblet to bring in the New Year!! Start the New Year with something sweet!  8)

    #369674

    Anonymous

    I'm trying to find some sort of folk lore on mead in Poland, so far I haven't found any but seeing how in Slovene there is quite a bit of folklore. Which makes me even more curious about the history of mead.

    Only thing i know about Polish mead's is that mead variants are sorted, based on water & honey ratio;

    1) Półtorak ( 1 liter of water : 2 kg of honey), is best quality mead becouse there is more honey than water.
    2) Dwójniak (1 liter of water : 1 kg of honey)
    3) Trójniak (2 liters of water : 1 kg of honey)
    4) Czwórniak (3 liters of water : 1 kg of honey)

    Cvetino said this;

    The fermentation process takes up to a month.

    Longer fermentation process means better quality. However any fermented drink can be drunk soon after few days of fermentation but that means taste wont be at it's best. Longer fermentation also means more sour taste (in a good way).

    Some people even say mead should be left to ferment for 4 years to get its true rich taste. In old times people didnt have alot of time so they hastend fermentation proccess by puting mead barrels near stove's or oven's where it is warm (warm temperature hasten's fermentation)

    #369675

    Anonymous

    Ah, lovely, lovely thread! ;D Mead is easy to find in most Polish alcohol stores. Most common mead one can find is made by Apis:

    http://apis.pl/index.php/pl/hnd/

    But there are masses of sites dedicated to it (just type in "Polski miód pitny" to see ;)). Very big part of our culture.

    Trójniaks are most common to find and usually very cheap also. Dwójniak is more expensive, but you can taste difference. It is thicker and has stronger honey taste. This one is ideal and most recommended. Perfect balance. Półtorak is most expensive and purest form of mead, but it really is too sweet for me. I recommend any sort of Dwójniak if you can get it anywhere for best mead experience.

    Historically, mead played very big role in Polish literature and lore (for example in popular classics like Sienkiewicz trilogy), drunk in huge amounts by nobles of PLC era, like Jan Onufry Zagłoba ;D, as well as during medieval times, though roots are obviously from pagan times.

    I will see if I can find some English-language sites on Polish mead when I have some more time and add it here.

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