Mead Making 201

mead 201

Event Date


After several weeks of designing, Mead 201 is ready to move online. Join the Honey and Pollination Center as we dive into Mead 201 – sensory driven to help the mead maker learn more about their craft. 

This new on-line adaptation is designed for the mead maker who has made 6 or more fermentations and has a lot of questions about how to improve. This mead maker knows that it isn’t always beginner’s luck and needs to do much more work to learn how to be successful each and every time. 


Mead Making 201
Date: June 22-23 and June 25-26, 2020
Times: Everyday, 8am - 12pm PST


Registration has passed.

The Learning Experience

  • A formal introduction to sensory science 
  • Set up a small lab at home and learn what tools you need to understand the microbiology happening in your carboy
  • Melomels with Ken Schramm, Schramm’s Mead and author of The Compleat Meadmaker 
  • Barrel Aged Meads with Ash Fischbein, mead maker at Sap House Meadery in New Hampshire. 
  • Defects--how to understand and avoid with Lucy Joseph, the Curator of the UC Davis Culture Collection. Lucy can tell what’s going off with just a sniff! 
  • Filtration, Sanitation and Chemistry
  • Virtual tours


How Does this Work?

This is a sensory experience program where everyone will taste, discuss and challenge the meads in front of them.  We will meet online. Each attendee will have their own login ID.

The Center is partnering with VinoShippers to bring you all the meads, honeys and defect samples you will need to take this course from home. Registered participants will be notified how to purchase a heavily discounted sample case. The single shipment will be substantially less than a hotel bill and your flight! NOTE: We are unsure if VinoShippers can ship out of the country. Additional taxes need to be added to the total freight. Once we know, we will publish this information .

You can register for the class now! We will accept only 30 students in this inaugural program. 


Monday, June 22

Meeting room will be open at 7:30 a.m.

8:00 a.m.  Online Check-In

8:15 a.m.  Virtual Welcome and Introduction

8:45 a.m.  Introduction to Sensory Evaluation

Hildegarde Heymann, Distinguished Professor of Sensory Science, Ray Rossi Chair of Viticulture and Enology, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis

Q & A session

9:45 a.m. Break

10:00 a.m. Focus on Melomels

Ken Schramm, Author, The Compleat Meadmaker; Owner and Head Meadmaker, Schramm’s Mead, Ferndale, Michigan

Tasting: Schramm’s Mead: Statement & Blackberry; St. Ambrose Cellars: John Lemon & Razzputin

Breakout sessions and Discussion

12:00 p.m.  Closing


Tuesday, June 23

Meeting room will be open at 7:45 a.m.

8:00 a.m. Online Check-In

8:05 a.m. Tuning the Palate: Honey to Mead Tasting

Amina Harris, Director, Honey and Pollination Center, Robert Mondavi Institute, UC Davis

Understanding varietal honey and its nuances is at the base of a great mead.

Tasting: California Yellow Star Thistle, Oregon Blackberry, California Coriander, Star Thistle Honey, California Orange Blossom; St. Ambrose Cellars: Star Thistle Ambrosia, Rabbit’s Foot Meadery: Melia

Breakout sessions and Discussion

9:15 a.m. Break

9:30 a.m. Defects in Mead

Lucy Joseph, Culture Curator, Wine Yeast and Bacteria Collection, Department of Viticulture and Enology

Using spiked samples (sent in tasting package) Lucy will lead a sniff and taste workshop to help students understand what they want to avoid.           

11:30 a.m. Break

11:45 a.m. Tour the Meadery

Schramm’s Mead; Ferndale, MI

12:30 p.m. Closing


Thursday, June 25

Meeting room will be open at 7:45 a.m.

8:00 a.m. Online Check-In

8:05 a.m. Barrels of Fun!

Ash Fischbein, Owner, Sap House Meadery, Ossipee NH

The world of aging mead in barrels is both mysterious and tasty. Ash will share his techniques of barrel and honey selection.

Tastings: Sap House: Tom Cat (Ggn barrel); Echoes (rye barrel); Superstition Meadery: Snow Melt; Lost Cause Meadery: Coveter B2

Breakout Sessions, and Discussion

9:30 a.m. Chemistry

Andrew Waterhouse, Director, Robert Mondavi Institute, UC Davis

Understanding what is in your mead and the analyses needed during the process of fermentation and quality control.

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. Microbiology in the Lab

Lucy Joseph, Culture Curator, Wine Yeast and Bacteria Collection, Department of Viticulture and Enology

In the Lab setting, Lucy will present simple lab equipment most mead makers in which most mead makers should invest. Students will be presented with an array of lab exercises and demonstrations to help understand the complexity of analyzing mead.

12:00 p.m. Closing


Friday, June 26

Meeting room will be open at 7:45 a.m.

8:00 a.m. Online Check-In

8:05 a.m. Methods: Cleaning, Sanitation, Routines, Filtration and Bottling

David Block, Professor and Chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis;

Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez, Head Winemaker, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis

10:30 a.m. Tour the Meadery

Sap House Meadery, Ossipee, NH

11:15 a.m. Final Tasting Review

Ken Schramm, Ash Fischbein, Amina Harris

Tasting, Breakout Sessions, and Discussion

12:00 p.m. Closing