Celestial Meads • United States
From Michael Kiker, meadmaker:
“I appreciate anyone who can make a mead (or beer or wine or whisky) that tastes the same every time. But that is not what I do! What I do is make the widest variety of quality meads available. They range from very delicate to ultra-bold, very dry to dessert sweet. I use more single floral source (varietal) honeys than any other meadery. I use whole spices and a wide variety of fruit. Whenever possible, Alaskan fruit is featured. Most of my meads have been put on oak for a while and many of them are downright assertively oaked. Alcohol contents range from 6.5% to +15% ABV.
All of the above means, of course, that I am certifiably insane. Honey is a much more expensive fermentable than either malt or grapes. Even the cheap clover and wildflower honeys that most meaderies use, is more expensive. So a mead made with 100% tupelo or sourwood honey, is even that much more costly to make. But you know what……I love it. And I’m counting on the fact that there are many more folks out there who think it’s worth it.
Honey (like grapes) is an annual crop and therefore varies from year to year. However, Federal Regulations prohibit us from putting a vintage year on our labels. Although a few early batches do not have it, all bottles will now show a ‘batch number’ You can use this batch number, along with the name of the mead to find out more information about that batch. As the honeys and fruit vary from year to year, so to will the resulting mead produced with that honey. By clicking on ‘Vintages’ beside each mead, you can then identify the batch number and find out what state or region the honey came from, notes about the honey or fruit, finish gravity and other information that may enhance your enjoyment of the mead.
There’s no way I can compete on price with meaderies who make cheap, bland mead. But few meaderies can match the variety and quality you’ll find here. You make the choice.
For great mead from the Great State of Alaska, choose Celestial Meads!
We never boil the must (honey & water mixture) as most meaderies do. With healthy honey (honey that has not been heated or overprocessed) it is entirely unnecessary and drives away the flavor and aroma.
All of our varietal honeys are either raw or minimally processed. Overheating, over-filtering and improper storage of honey can destroy the natural enzymes that allow the honey to protect itself from contamination by wild yeast, bacteria or other microflora.
We use the freshest possible fruit, herbs and spices. Whenever possible whole Alaskan fruit is used.
Our meads are fermented at cool temperatures (most at 60f). Most meaderies ferment at 75-80f because fermentation is over quicker. However, this produces fusel alcohols which give the mead a hot, ‘jet fuel’ flavor and cause nasty hangovers.
Acid blend is never used. Acid blend is commercial preparation of malic, tartaric and citric acids, that approximates the amounts of those acids found in wine grapes. Although most published mead recipes call for acid blend added to the must (pre-fermentation), it is almost always counterproductive. A finished mead will have a pH in the range of 2.8-3.4 which is low enough to protect it from almost all microflora. In many cases, it is necessary to buffer the mead during fermentation to assure a healthy, clean fermentation. The primary acid in mead is gluconic acid, which is much silkier and softer on the tongue than either tartaric or malic acids, but it protects the mead from infection just as well, while balancing the sweetness beautifully. In a few cases, citric acid is used (post-fermentation) to enhance the flavor profile.
Sulfiting agents are never used. Most fruits contain naturally occurring sulfites, so there may be small amounts of sulfites in the fruit meads. I am mildly asthmatic and have never had a reaction to any mead.
Our mead is completely gluten free. No products containing gluten are used in making our meads and they are safe for celiacs.”
Meadery Website: http://www.celestialmeads.com/
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