View Full Version : How do you make Mead?
03-30-2007, 04:28 PM
So I'm a total mead fan! Love it. The real stuff too, just plain honey mead. It's really hard to find a good meadery.
Looks like a few people have done this. Can someone point me to some reference how to start making mead?
03-30-2007, 05:16 PM
I've made a few batches of mead over the years, at least when I was still brewing. I have little book at home about it, I'll get it to you (PM me your address, IOW).
It's basically dumping a whole bunch of honey in a pot, boil it, cool it, pitch your yeast and let ferment for a few weeks. When the activity settles down, put it into bottles and let it age. Mead is like wine in that it matures over time and tends not to spoil after a few months like regular homebrew. I have a few bottles left of my 'Honeymoon Mead', which is a blueberry mead that I made right before our wedding. It's now 8 years old and I open one or two each anniversary. The first couple of years it was very sharp, like sparkling cider. But the past couple have been very mellow, like a champagne almost. They have all been bubbly.
02-26-2013, 05:40 PM
This one tastes pretty good after 6 months or so. Really easy to make also.
02-27-2013, 03:27 AM
Just today I received a package which contained a packet of Lalvin D47 yeast and some yeast nutrient that I am going to use for a 1 gallon batch of mead. I think this will ferment really quickly and be ready to bottle and begin aging in a couple weeks instead of a couple months to a year. The D47 yeast is supposed to do really fast work and with the nutrient it will be like a shot of caffeinated steroids laced with crystal meth. Based on that colorful description I shall call it Speed Mead. My recipe is going to be to warm a gallon of water up to 180 degrees or so, then pour in 3 pounds of honey and hold that temp for a couple minutes before cooling so that it can pasteurize. During that time I am going to heat 2 ounces of water in the microwave for 20-30 seconds so that it gets warm and to kill off any nasties so that I can rehydrate the yeast. After the must is cool I'll take a gravity reading and record it so that I can keep track of that as it ferments. Aerate, pitch yeast and nutrient, airlock and wait.
02-27-2013, 03:58 AM
I don't think I have ever made a mead that did not ferment for at least a year. Bottling too early will result in busted bottles as they explode in storage. Of course you can guess at the time to bottle and get some really good sparkling meads. The smallest batches we do is 3 gallon. My wife prefers the honey only meads. The best so far is Orange blossom. In the case of mead making "better ingredients, makes better mead" is one hundred percent correct. Trying to make mead with off the shelf honey results in some less then good meads. My wife also prefers a sweeter mead so she uses the sweet mead yeast or champagne yeast. I tend to like the dryer meads so I always have to make a couple of batches.
02-27-2013, 03:00 PM
This is only going to be 1 gallon and I'm going to use the whole 5 gram packet of D47 with re-hydration and yeast energizer. I'm going to take a OG reading and see how far I am from 1.000. If it takes longer then it takes longer, I just have a hunch that it is going to go quickly because the D47 is supposed to do fast work.
02-27-2013, 03:16 PM
To keep your bottles from exploding, just make sure you've fermented pretty dry. Also, yeasts tend to release more SO2 and H2S in fast fermentations at higher temps. A longer fermentation at the lower range of a yeast's temp range will result in a product with less molten sulfur nose and will be ready to drink with much less aging. I've also found using good yeast nutrients to help reduce undesired characteristics from the yeast. If you're interested in quick fermentations and stiff products, check out EC1118 as well. Keep us posted!
What does it taste like ? Beer or cider or totally its own thing ? Never had a chance to try it ?
03-03-2013, 02:24 PM
Mead is more like wine or cider than beer in flavor because it doesn't have the bitterness that hops imparts to beer. Like wine, mead also seems to get more complex with age. I made some mead in 2000 that has added pomegranite and prickly pear cactus fruit. It tastes much better now 13 years later than it did years back.
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