This article was originally published by Survival Life on www.survivallife.com
Learning how to make mead is no rocket science. Dubbed as the nectar of the gods, you can master the process of brewing this heavenly concoction in a snap. Here is how!
How to Make Mead in Six Easy Steps
What is Mead? Mead is a traditional alcoholic beverage that dates back to prehistoric times. It is made of water, honey, and some yeast. For a more enhanced flavor, you can also add fruits of your choice to the mix.
Things You’ll Need:
- 1 gallon of spring, filtered, or non-chlorinated water
- 1-quart jar of honey
- Berries, oranges, or any fruit that you prefer.
- 1 cup raisins
Note: Scale up or down based on your desired quantity.
Tools You’ll Need:
- 1-gallon jug
- Rubber stopper
- Stock pot
- Cheese cloth
- Spray bottle
- Bottle brush
Step 1. Sanitize Your Tools
The secret on how to make mead of the highest caliber starts with a clean working environment. Before you begin, sanitize everything that you will use in the brewing process.
There are two common ways to do this:
- Sodium Percarbonate Method
Sodium percarbonate is a powerful sanitizer for different types of brewing equipment. It effectively sanitizes clean containers and surfaces.
- Bleach and Water Method:
Add a tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water and you got the cheapest sanitizer ready to use. Rinse your equipment with boiled water to remove traces of chlorine.
Step 2. Make the Mead Must
Fill the jug with half a gallon of spring water. Pour the content into the stockpot.
Put the water to a boil then add the honey as the water starts to heat. Stir the honey to dissolve.
Let the water and honey mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it cool to room temperature.
Note: How to make mead with better quality depends on the quantity of honey in the mix. More honey creates a sweeter mead must.
Step 3. Prepare the Fruits
While waiting for the mixture to cool put the berries, orange slices, and raisins into the jug. Melomel is a technical term for mead mixed with fruits.
You can either take this option or not but doing so will enhance the flavor of your mead. Using a funnel, pour the water and honey mixture into the jug containing fruits and raisins.
Pour spring water on top of the must. Make sure to leave at least two inches of space on top of the jug.
Seal the jug with the lid and shake the mixture around a bit.
Note: Raisins adds pure nutrients to the yeast. It will not affect the flavor of the finished product.
Step 4. Add the Yeast
Using a thermometer check the temperature of the must. If it is around but not exceeding 90° F (32° C), add the yeast into the mixture.
After pitching the yeast, put the lid back on the jug. Once the lid is tight and secured, shake the jug for a few minutes.
Note: The type of yeast you use will also affect how to make mead sweeter and drier.
Step 5. Fasten the Airlock
Seal the mouth of the jug with a lid. Attach the airlock to the lid, put a little water on it then seal with a rubber stopper.
You may notice some bubbles rising to the bottle’s neck and the airlock. Bubble formation is a good sign and it means that your mead is active.
Step 6. Let it Ferment
Set the mead aside to ferment. Store the jug in a cool and dark place.
Make sure to keep it away from direct sunlight. You also need to check it from time to time.
This final process is crucial on how to make mead of the highest caliber.
Here’s an instructographic guide.
Need more mead-brewing tutorials? Check out this How to Make Honey Mead vid by Flavor Lab:
Compared to beer or hard cider, mead takes a longer time to ferment. Give at least five to six weeks before bottling. Patience is key if you wish to learn how to make mead. Cheers!