How To Make Mead
Christmas is over and thoughts are turning to the New Year and merry making. Mead would be a wonderful addition. While it is too late to have some good mead ready for this New Year, it is not too late to have some ready for next or even for mid summer. Take a look at this easy recipe for how to make mead.
Mead making has a long history and is one of the first alcoholic beverages made. Mead is essentially honey wine and is made from nothing more than honey, yeast, and water. There are many spices that can be added to enhance the flavor. You can also use special types of honey, like from clover or orange blossoms to make unique flavors of mead.
Like with All Wine Making, Sanitization is Very Important. You need to thoroughly sterilize the jugs, plastic tubing, fermentation locks and bottles. You can do this with a mixture of bleach for about ten minutes. Make sure you completely rinse them thoroughly before using.
- Large stainless steel pot (at least 2 gallon)
- Candy thermometer
- Something to stir with
- Sanitizer (Unscented bleach or campden tablets)
- 1 – 2 1 gal glass jugs (sterilized)
- 1 – 2 fermentation locks (from wine supply store)
- 3 ft 1/2″ clear plastic tubing
- Enough bottles for your batch (use champagne bottles if you make carbonated wine)
Now for Making Mead.
- 1 packet wine yeast (NOT breadmakers yeast)
- 2 lbs. honey
- 1/4 tsp fresh sliced ginger root
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 strips of orange peel (approx. 2 tbsp.)
- 1 gal. water (distilled)
- Bring 3 qts of water to a boil along with the spices. Simmer 15 minutes. REMOVE SPICES.
- Add honey, stir vigorously until honey is completely dissolved.
- Let water just barely simmer. Skim off the white scum that forms Completely. Make sure you get all of it. Do Not let water come to a full boil.
- Remove pot from heat, cover, and leave until cooled (overnight)
- When the liquid has cooled to room temperature, add the contents of entire packet of yeast. Cover pot again.
- In 12 to 24 hours you will have an actively foaming mixture
- Siphon mixture into sterilized 1 gal. glass jug.
- Insert fermentation lock.
- Let ferment 48 hours until bubbling nearly ceases.
- Siphon liquid off the layer of dead yeast on the bottom into clean, sterilized jug. Reinsert fermentation lock and place in refrigerator overnight.
- Then siphon into sterilized bottles and cap. Leave in refrigerator 1 week to ten days and enjoy. Keep an eye on bottles that fermentation is no longer occurring.
- Keep fermenting wine at 65-70 degrees.
- You can also let sit for another 6-8 weeks with fermentation lock in place and mead clears. Crush 1 Camden tablet per gallon and add to mead to stop fermentation. Now you can siphon (rack) into bottles. At this point, the fermentation should have ceased. These bottles can be left unrefrigerated and let age for 6 months to a year before drinking.
Now, enjoy your Mead.