Fruits and Mead with Ken Schramm – BeerSmith Podcast #289

by Brad Smith on September 21, 2023 · 0 comments

Ken Schramm joins me this week to discuss which fruits work best in meads.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:42)

  • This week I welcome back Ken Schramm from Schramm’s Meadery. Ken literally “wrote the book” on mead making called The Compleat Meadmaker (Amazon affiliate link).  Ken was also a founding member of the Mazer cup and has won numerous national awards including a lifetime achievement award from the American Homebrewers Association.  His meadery arguably makes some of the highest rated meads in the world from fresh fruit, spices and honey.
  • We start with a short discussion of Ken’s progress with the farm where he’s growing varieties of fruits specifically for making meads to find out which varieties work best.
  • We talk about the type of mead that Ken makes – which is basically very high gravity fruit meads (Melomels) with a big flavor impact.
  • Ken introduces his “Noble” fruits which he believes are the top fruits to use in meads including fruits like tart cherries, raspberries, currants and blackberries.
  • We discuss how the acidity and tannins provide the flavor and structure needed for a large gravity mead with a substantial amount of residual sweetness.
  • Ken explains why some acidic fruits like cranberries actually don’t work that well in a fruit mead.
  • He also tells us why many stone fruits and lighter fruits like peaches, blueberries and strawberries don’t hold up well to fermentation.
  • We talk about low acid fruits like pears and apples and how they can work with certain mead styles.
  • Ken talks about the importance of family businesses and how many of the problems he is trying to solve actually could span multiple generations.
  • He finishes with a description of why mead making is a team sport and requires a lot of people working together.


iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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