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Mead

2004-03-03

Category: crafts

For many years now I have brewed Honey Wine, also called Mead. Fans of my mead are always encouraging me to make more, even when they are afraid to drink it again. I've also gotten a few requests for the recipe. That's what I'm writing today.

The following are the instructions to make a one-gallon batch of mead. Please be aware that I am describing how I make mead and am not suggesting that you follow these procedures. That means that if you try to make your own stuff, that's your problem and not mine. Mead is a strong alcoholic beverage and should only be handled and imbibed by those who are mentally, physically, and legally capable of doing so safely. To stress the warning, fans of my mead have said:

  • "The room is spinning."
  • "I got very sleepy, very fast."
  • "…and it burned with a bright, blue flame."
Consider yourself properly warned!

Since mead is honey wine, the honey is the key ingredient. As a general rule, the redder the better. I want very rich honey. If red is not available, brown is good. If nothing better is available, standard yellow clover honey from the local grocer will do. For one gallon, I use about three pounds of honey.

The other ingredients are:

  1. Two ounces Montrachet Wine Yeast
  2. One ounce of Champaign Yeast
  3. Two teaspoons of an acid blend (Citric, Malic, Tartaric acids)
  4. Two teaspoons of Yeast Nutrient (Urea and Ammonium Phosphate)
  5. Enough water to fill out the gallon.

I put the yeast, yeast nutrient, acid blend, and a little warm water (approximately 98° F) into a very clean stainless steel bowl. I let this sit for a while.

Next, I put half of my needed water into a clean stainless steel pot. I set this pot on the stove at medium heat till about 150°. While this is warming, I place the containers of honey into warm water in a second pot (or sometimes the kitchen sink.) This helps the honey flow more smoothly.

When the water is up to temperature, I add the honey and stir till it is fully dissolved. Once the honey is dissolved well, I siphon it into a clean, glass, one-gallon jug. I let the water then cool to the same 98° as the yeast water. When the temperature is safe, I add the yeast to the honey water. To finish, I top up the rest of the water.

Now, the mead is ready to start the long fermentation road. I put a small plastic bag over the top of the jug and set the jug in the kitchen sink for the first night. In the morning, there will be foam running down the side of the jug. I clean this off and then put a fermentation lock onto the jug.

A fermentation lock is a device that allows gas to flow out of the jug while preventing anything from moving back into the jug. That keeps out the stuff that would grow and cause the mead to be fuzzy.

That's it; six months later I have drinkable mead. I prefer to keep the mead in fermentation for 12 to 18 months before letting anyone partake. That way it is about as done as it gets.

LibertyBob's Mead: Preferred by 4 out of 5 Norse Gods.


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