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For all the mead makers out there! This is a historical recipe taken from a 1500's source. The recipe is verbatim from the book. Notice how the author determines gravity, by the must floating an egg!!! The book has been used for historical research in brewing and cookery. The book is available for downloading at Project Guttenberg (www.gutenberg.org). Title: The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened
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Take twenty Gallons of Spring-water; boil it a quarter of an hour, and let it stand, until it be all most cold; then beat in so much honey, as will make it so strong as to bear an Egg, so that on the Top, you may see the breadth of a hasel-nut swimming above; The next day boil it up with six small handfuls of Rosemary; a pound and a half of Ginger, being scraped and bruised; then take the whites of twenty Eggs shells and all; beat them very well, and put them in to clarifie it; skim it very clean, then take it off the fire and strain: But put the Rosemary and Ginger in again: then let it remain till it be all most cold: then Tun it up, and take some New-ale-yest; the whites of two Eggs, a spoonful of flower, and beat them well together, and put them into the barrel; when it hath wrought very well, stop it very close for three weeks or a month: then bottle it, and a week after you may drink it.


David Lester's picture

Very cool, great find and thanks for sharing. I'll definitely try this.

David Lester's picture

I have been reading this book you recommended and it's strange. There's a recipe named "Cock-Ale" that throws a whole chicken in the boil! Seriously, this would be more of a chicken noodle soup made with beer, drank out of a beer bottle! OK, that sounds gross as a beer, but an interesting idea for chicken noodle soup.


brewmaster411's picture

This is a book from the 1500's. Many recipes were "weird". However the cock-ale is actually an efficient way to get necessary nutrients for the yeast to ferment. Masked with enough herbs, it could be palatable.

In my research of medieval recipes, I am no longer shocked in such combinations. Many banquets were more theater than food. This is where the poem "four and twenty blackbirds..." came from. the birds would be cooked into a "coffin" or pie crust to emerge live when the crust was opened.

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