It is a common misconception that Vikings drank a lot of mead. While this may have been true for special religious ceremonies, the reality is that the Viking brew was a combination of what they could beg, barter, or pillage. After much research, I've come to an approximation of what a Viking brew would be like (with the exception of the hallucinogenic mushrooms; i.e. the real source of berserker rage).
This brew is predominantly mead, but I've decided to stay true to Viking tradition of adding whatever you have and add a bit of dried malt extract (DME). The DME is only 20% of the fermentables, so it is mostly mead.
Hops were unheard of to Vikings. They used a combination of foraged herbs that we term gruit (See my Experiments section for more about gruit). These are stimulating herbs with an underlying wintergreen type flavor that are very tasty!
1. Add 1 quart of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the following:
-8 oz Golden DME
-5 grams Sweet Gale
-3 grams Yarrow
-3 grams Marsh Rosemary
-3 grams Juniper
-3 grams Holy Basil
2. Boil 10 minutes and cool in an ice bath. Taste: Very nice and herbal. Reminiscent of hops with a refreshing menthol type flavor.
3. Add strained wort to a carboy with 2 lbs of Orange blossom honey to carboy (SG ~1.1).
4. Add 0.4 tsp Fermaid K, 0.7 tsp Fermaid O and 1/4 tsp K2CO3.
-Add 0.7 tsp Fermaid O again at 1.076 & 1.043.
5. Add water to half gallon and swirl vigorously until honey is dissolved.
6. Add water to 1/2 cup shy of gallon.
7. Add a smack pack of Wyeast 1388.
8. It should finish around 1.003 (unfermentable sugar in the DME should prevent 1.000).
9. Cold crash and bottle with carbonation tabs.
SG - 1.102
FG - 1.003
ABV - 13%