What is mead? Mead is a very ancient wine made from honey, fruit, and spices. Many ancient peoples use mead for ritual and pleasure. Some attributed mead with powers. Some said it was straight from the gods. So here is the big question, how do I make it myself? Hear is what you will need to make a basic mead.
1. two one-gallon carboy
2. A one step sanitizer
3.A dry yeast (optional yeast enzyme)
4. A drilled cork with airlock (make sure it is the right size for your carboy)
5. 3 lbs honey
6. An orange
7. One gallon of distilled water (do not use water containing chlorine as it will kill the yeast) well water works well (just be sure to filter it and that it is a safe source of water).
8. A funnel
9. A stock pot (3 quart or larger)
10. (Optional) you may choose to add berries, fruit juices (make sure they are 100% juice no preservatives) or Spices
11. A glass measuring cup or bowl for the yeast.
A note on supplies, make sure the berries are clean to prevent wild yeast and mold. Distilled water can be bought by the gallon at Walmart (some have used said they have used chlorinated water after boiling it for a long time however, the effectiveness of boiling the water is widely debated.) If you feel the drilled cork is not a tight enough fit for the carboy this is fine just use a rubber balloon and place over the top of the carboy and use a needle to poke a hole in the top of the balloon.
Let’s get started.
1. Use the one step sanitizer and clean all supplies (but not the honey or fruit. If you would like a food grade sanitizer can be used for the fruit.)
2. Pour a half gallon of the water into the stock pot
3. Heat the water to a boil then turn it down
4. Add the 3 lbs of honey and stir till all the honey is dissolved move to the side and allow to cool to about 60 to 90 degrees depending on your yeast’s temperature tolerance
5. While your honey and water cool are the time to activate your yeast follow instructions on the back
6. Now when your honey and water have cooled to within the yeast’s tolerance pour it in the one gallon carboy.
7. Now slice the orange into small slices and add in other fruit berries or juice just do not fill past the curve of the jug.
8. Now if there is any room left between the liquid and the curve of the carboy add water in till the space is filled.
9. Now add yeast.
10. Place a lid or cork or the ball of your hand over the top of the carboy and gently shake or swirl for five to ten minutes.
11. Fill your airlock with water to the fill mark. Place the drilled cork and airlock on the top of the carboy.
12. Place the carboy in a cool dry place and forget about it for thirty days.
13. At this point the primary fermentation is done. Sanitize the second carboy and transfer the mead to the new jug
14. Clean and sanitize the airlock and place it on the new jug.
15. Now the second fermentation has begun. At this point you can you can either wait 8 months and carefully bottle of the dead yeast sediment on the bottom or you can transfer it off the dead yeast into the other jug once a month (this is called racking) for the next eight months. (this will make for a clearer mead in the end, but you lose a little mead every time you rack it.