Mead of Ra is an ancient Egyptian inspired mead for my historical series. This recipe is heavily inspired by the mead found in King Tut’s tomb.
From all my research into ancient Egypt, Egyptians brewed many variations of a red brew. Common ingredients were wheat, barley, dates, honey, ginger and mandrake root. Apparently, mandrake root was considered to be an aphrodisiac. Funny, considering it’s deadly toxic at high doses. At moderate doses, it can be hallucinogenic. Here, I’m using an extremely low dose so that the mandrake serves as a bittering agent like hops (you would die of alcohol poisoning before you hallucinate at this dose). You can omit if you like, but it may turn out too sweet.
Sage is widespread in Egypt, so Sage honey seemed like the best way to go. It also seemed like a good match when tasting the wort. A floral Clover honey would also work.
Ancient Egyptians drank their brew quickly after fermentation because it would spoil so quickly. Generally, it was drunk through a straw to avoid bits of floating grain. They also developed a sort of nested pottery system to cool the brew down. As a result, I’m suggesting light carbonation and chilled for serving conditions. Enjoy this very flowery sip into ancient history!
Mead of Ra - 3 Gallon Batch
1. Bring 1.5 gallons of water to 158 F, then add the following:
-2 oz Roasted Barley (For red color)
-8 oz of crushed dates, remove pit
-6 grams dried ginger root
-6 grams dried galangal root
-2 grams mandrake root (Optional: Mandrake is very toxic in large amounts, but this is historically accurate to use.)
Note: All is contained in a mesh bag except dates.
2. Allow to steep for 20 minutes at 155 F.
3. Remove bag, add 3 lbs of Wheat DME, and bring to a boil.
4. Boil 5 minutes.
5. Allow to cool, then add to carboy.
6. Add 4.5 lbs of Walker Farms Sage honey and mix until it is dissolved.
7. Add 1.2 tsp Fermaid K, 2 tsp Fermaid O.
6. Add water to 1 cup shy of 3 gallons.
7. Place 2 activated smack packs of Wyeast 1388 and carboy into a 70 F fermentation chamber for 1 hour, then pitch yeast.
8. It should finish around 1.002 (unfermentable sugar in the DME should prevent 1.000).
9. Cold crash and bottle with carbonation tabs or keg under 5 psi. Extremely light carbonation.