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Ken Schramm wants to prove it’s possible to make mead that’s every bit as fine as the finest wine, and over the past decade his eponymously named meadery has pioneered a number of new processes and approaches to help achieve that goal. From shortening the honey supply chain and eliminating intervention and heat degradation, to hand-picking fruit for ripeness from their own estate orchard, Schramm’s has found ways to elevate the production process while making rich, developed, and nuanced fruit meads.
In this episode, Schramm and son-in-law James Naeger discuss how the Ferndale, Michigan, meadery has elevated the technical processes behind meadmaking while also searching for the most exquisite and flavorful expression of fruit in their meads. Along the way, they discuss:
- mead’s quality problem
- pumps versus pails
- building a foundation to understand the components of honey, including sugars and acids
- how to sample and evaluate honey
- carefully managing yeast assimilable nitrogen to end fermentations without sulfites or sorbets
- understanding the difference in fruit formats, from fresh to frozen
- the ways varietal differences in fruit affect certain meads
- harvesting fruit with the same kind of focus, timing, and decision-making of fine winemakers
- what corks do and don’t do
This episode is brought to you by:
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