martes, 9 de octubre de 2012

How to Make Homemade Mead


Mead is probably one of thel most ancient alcoholic drinks, and is known to have been produced for many thousands of years, although its origins are uncertain.

Basically, it is made from honey and water although many additives may be introduced to produce different flavours. Herbs and spices are often added, but many other ingredients such as fruit juices used to obtain different results.

Many types of honey are used to make mead of individual characteristics. Light honey will make an excellent dry white mead, while darker honey is best used to produce sweet or spiced mead. Pure English honey is difficult to beat, and its quality is well worth its extra cost.

Remember that honey is often inconsistent in taste, depending upon the sort of nectar that the honeybees have been feeding on. Bees collecting pollen from orange blossom will make a honey of quite different taste and quality to that made by bees using a clover field as their source of supply.

Honey is about 75 per cent sugar together with water, mineral salts, and trace
elements. Because honey is so sweet, you do not need to add sugar to make mead, and you will need 1.5 kg (3 lb) of honey per 4.5 litres (1 gallon) to produce dry mead, or 1.8 kg (1.75 lb) per 4.5 litres (1 gallon) for a sweet mead.

For fermentation to take place it is essential to add lactic acid, tannin, and yeast nutrient, because honey does not have enough of these in itself.


Honey is likely to contain unwanted bacteria and these must be removed by sterilizing the honey.

Empty the quantity of honey required for either a sweet or dry mead into the fermentation bin. Boil 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water and pour it over the honey in the bin, stirring until all the honey has dissolved. When the liquid is lukewarm, add two Campden tablets to each 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of honey and water solution.

Alternatively, you can mix the honey with hot water until it dissolves and then boil the liquid for a few moments to sterilize it. This method will kill off any harmful organisms and will also form  a scum of wax and other unwanted material on the top of the liquid which can be skimmed off carefully and discarded.

To the lukewarm solution, add about 15 g (1/2 oz) of citric acid and check the pH with acidity paper, it should be between pH 3 and 4. Add 5 ml (1 tsp) of grape tannin, 5 ml (1 tsp) of vitaminized yeast nutrient, and a sachet of mead yeast or a good wine yeast that will throw sediment readily.

Pour the liquid into a fermentation jar and put it in a warm place for fermentation to proceed. When the wine ceases bubbling and begins to clear, check that the S.G. is close to 1.000, and then rack the wine into a clean fermentation jar and add a Campden tablet. As sediment forms you should rack it again until the wine becomes perfectly clear. Mead should be left to mature for at least six months before it is bottled. After that the mead should be left for at least another three months before drinking, and preferably longer.

A sparkling mead can be made by adding champagne yeast to the finished wine, and fermenting in the botde, following the method for ordinary wine.

- Pour boiling water over the honey in a fermentation bin.
- Crush two Campden tablets and add then to the mixture.
- Add citric acid and check with acidity paper.
- Add tannin, yeast nutrient and mead yeast.
- When fermentation ceases check the S.G. is close to 1.000.
- Pour the liquid into a fermentation jar and fit lock.
- Rack the mead into a clean fermentation jar.
- Mead is made from honey and water, but herbs, spices and fruit can be added to produce different flavours.

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