Learning How to Make Mead

Learning How to Make Mead

Mead was the first fermented beverage ever produced. It’s production dates all the way back to 7000 B.C which predates wine by three thousand years. To make mead is to partake in the oldest of traditions. While mead is not technically wine the process of making mead is very similar and, as a winemaker, you can learn a lot from doing it. Simply put, it involves creating a must that you add yeast to and let it ferment. After fermentation, you rack it, age it, and then bottle it. Why You Should Make Mead The beautiful thing about making mead is that you can make world class mead with honey from just about anywhere. You don’t have to buy Napa or Bordeaux honey. Find a local producer that sells raw and unfiltered honey, or just go to the grocery store. Honey is always available so you can make mead any time you like. You don’t have to wait for a harvest nor do you have to use it immediately after getting it like you do with wine grapes. Honey lasts a long time. To get the most out of your mead making experience skip any kits you might find and source all the equipment and ingredients yourself. It forces you to really think about what you need and how much to use. Picking the yeast for instance involves doing a bit of research to figure out what yeasts produce what flavor profiles. What temperatures work best for what yeasts. How long can you expect fermentation to take. You’ll need to know the alcohol tolerance of the yeast and how that will work with the amount of honey you put into your must. You may be thinking “But I’ve never made mead! How will I know what to do?” Good question. You may have to do a bit of research to iron out all the details for your particular mead. Even with the recipe and process I am providing here you may have to adjust it to suit you. But here’s the good news…mead is very forgiving. There are few mistakes you can make that time will not heal. The main exception being not properly sanitizing your equipment.  My Mead Recipe Here’s the recipe I used to make the mead pictured above. It’s a one gallon batch of dry mead. No spices, juices, or fruit added. Just a plain dry mead. A great place to start. While I’m not a seasoned mead maker I thought I would share what I’ve learned so far including the recipe I used and how I did it. Here we go. Ingredients: 13-14 cups of water 2.5 lbs unfiltered, raw honey 1 packet of dry yeast 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrients Equipment (affiliate links): 1 gallon glass jug long handled spoon drilled plug (#6 for 1 gallon jug) three piece airlock plug for long term aging (#6 for 1 gallon jug) large pot for heating water The Mead Making Process As always begin by sanitizing you equipment. Heat the water to approximately 190-200 degrees (F). This kills anything funky in your water or your pot and gets rid...

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