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Mead Basics

Ingredients for one gallon

  • 2.5-3 lbs honey
  • for melomels, add 0.5 gallons fruit juice
  • filtered water or spring water to make 1 gallon
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • champagne yeast

Instructions

Clean and sanitize carboy, funnel, fermentation trap, and stopper. We use iodine in a ratio of 0.1 oz to 1 gal, let sit for at least 10 minutes, empty, and then air dry. Put juice or cold water in carboy. Boil the honey, yeast nutrient, and a little of the water for 10 minutes in a non-metallic pot (glass or enamel; jury is still out whether stainless steel is acceptable). Skim the scum off the top. Add boiling must to cold liquid in carboy. Let cool covered to protect from wild bacteria and yeasts.

Activate the yeast in about 1/2 cup of must and let sit for 24 hours. Add yeast to the rest of the must, and cover. Primary fermentation will be quite active if it's working, and there will be many bubbles. Rack into another sanitized carboy when the bubbling slows down significantly. Let sit for a couple months, and rack again. Do this as often as you feel necessary. Usually this process is complete in 6 months. Let sit for several days and rack into a sanitized bottling bucket. Bottle, cap/cork, enjoy the left over mead that won't fit a bottle, and comment on your labors. Let age for about a year past that. It'll be yummy.

Notes

One of the honey suppliers said that if honey is boiled, it will take longer to age. The National Honey Board also says to not boil honey, but pasturize it at 176 degree Farenheit. We haven't tried this yet, though it's likely we will in one of our upcoming new batches.

When making melomels or metheglins, it is often wise to do the primary fermentation in a sanitzed and covered bucket that is larger than the carboy that will hold the secondary fermentation. Huge messes have been known to be the result if you in fact start in the carboy.