What is a weirdomel?
The 2015 Beer Judge Certification Program Mead Style Guidelines define category M4C “Experimental Mead” in the following way:
“An Experimental Mead is a mead that does not fit into any other mead subcategory. This could apply to meads that blend multiple mead subcategories... Any experimental mead using additional sources of fermentables..., additional ingredients..., alternative processes... fermentation with non-traditional yeasts..., or other unusual ingredient, process, or technique would also be appropriate in this category. … No mead can be “out of style” for this category unless it fits into another existing mead category.”
2015 Beer Judge Certification Program Mead Style Guide, pp 12.
Back in 1994, Vicki Rowe or Dick Dunn at GotMead proposed calling these style-bending or -breaking meads ‘weirdomels‘ on account of the interesting and sometimes striking combinations of ingredients and process that would appear in the category.
This blog is in part an homage to the late Jack B. Keller, Jr., who wrote one of the first, best, and longest-running wine blogs the internet has ever known. Jack’s approach to wine making was egalitarian and inclusive, with the mentality that anyone can make a good wine out of anything non-toxic and fermentable. He published his recipes freely and openly, and for that I am personally thankful. Those recipes, but with sugar swapped out for honey, were (and still are!) the starting points for many of my recipes.
That’s the motivation behind Weirdomel. Ferment things. Be inclusive. Try to make things tasty. Learn in the process.
But there will be no ‘minimum weirdness’ bar, no quests to be as ‘exotic’ as possible. Experimental is all relative. A process that’s new to one person might be age-old to another. A yeast that’s completely esoteric to one mead maker could be someone’s family heirloom. An ingredient one person finds for the very first time and loves, could have been on another family’s dinner table each and every night in another part of the world.
Your common ingredient is not my common ingredient, but your common ingredient is okay.
Mead making resources that I have found helpful.
YouTubers & Podcasts
FaeWood Mead YouTube
Making Pour Decisions YouTube
Doin The Most YouTube
DIY Fermentation YouTube
Blogs & Websites
Home Winemaking, by Jack B. Keller, Jr.
Radical Brewing, by Randy Mosher and Michael Jackson
The Complete Guide to Making Mead, by Steve Piatz