Are you interested in making your very own mead at home? It’s easier than you think. Read on to learn how to make mead at home.
Looking for a new hobby that will make your weekends a little more fun? You could pick up a skill like watercolor painting or making model ships. But why not try something that doubles as a delicious treat when you’re done? Learning how to make mead is a fun alternative to brewing your own beer. It’s easier and requires less equipment. Plus, it makes for a fun and unexpected gift. Get started now and you’ll be able to perfect your recipe in time for the holidays! Are you interested in making your very own mead at home? It’s easier than you think. Read on to learn how.
What Is Mead?
Mead is an alcoholic beverage that gets its fermentation from honey. When you think of mead, medieval castles might come to mind. Perhaps you remember reading about the drink in high school in the ancient poem “Beowulf.” Though it is possibly the oldest beverage in history, people still drink it today! Mead is often called “the nectar of the Gods.” Though it’s good enough for Zeus, it’s easy enough for mere mortals to make themselves. With a few ingredients and some inexpensive equipment, you can mix up a batch in no time!
Unlike beer, you probably have almost everything you need to make mead already in your pantry.
Gather your ingredients and get started!
Honey is the star ingredient of mead. The best honey for mead is as pure as possible, meaning it’s gone under very little processing. You can start with regular, unflavored honey. But if you want to create your own signature recipe, you can play around with flavored honey. You can find all sorts of fun options like orange or cherry blossom.
For the best possible end product, choose the right type of water. Pure spring water will get you the best mead flavoring. Avoid distilled water, as it doesn’t have enough minerals to create a tasty and hearty drink.
Similar to beer, mead also requires yeast to ferment. The fermentation process is what makes beer and mead alcoholic. Though you’re technically brewing mead, don’t get confused and use brewer’s yeast. Instead, use champagne yeast for the best flavor.
What’s the point of making your own mead if you don’t make it unique? To create new and interesting flavor profiles, you’ll have to add spices or fruits. For the fall, you could create a pumpkin spice mead using fresh nutmeg and clove. You could also try making an apple cinnamon blend. Get creative and have fun!
If you plan on storing your mead and not drinking it right away, you’ll want to add a stabilizer. This ingredient is added just before bottling. Stabilizers make the mead last longer and also clarifies the mead so it looks better in a glass.
Just getting started in mead making? Then you don’t have to invest much in equipment. If you end up wanting to make this a more serious hobby, you can upgrade to more professional hardware later.
What You Need:
- A large plastic tub
- 5-10 feet of tubing
- A large stirring spoon
- An airlock device
- A hydrometer
- Equipment sanitizer
- Jugs or bottles
Once you have all your ingredients, equipment, and a free afternoon, it’s time to get started!
First and foremost, you need to sanitize all the equipment you’re about to use. Anything that will touch the mead ingredients needs to go through the sanitizing process. Buy a sanitizer product that’s meant for beer and mead making. Don’t just wash everything down with dishwashing detergent. You can easily find inexpensive sanitizer online or at a local beer supply store.
Now it’s time to mix the water and honey. The general rule of thumb is one gallon of water for every three pounds of honey. Using your stirring spoon, combine the two ingredients in your tub. Be forewarned, it will take a while to completely mix the honey and water. If you’re working on a small batch, you can use an immersion blender to make it go faster.
The mixture you’ve just created is called “the must.” Using your hydrometer, you’ll now be checking the gravity of the must. The hydrometer works similarly to a thermometer. Dip the instrument into the must and then check the numbered reading. Mead should read between 1.06-1.12. The higher the number, the sweater your mead will be. If you end up on the high side and you’d like a drier mead, simply add more water.
Add the yeast and mix it in until completely dissolved. One standard packet is enough for up to five gallons of mead.
For the fermentation process to happen, you need to reduce some of the air that the mixture is exposed to. This is where the airlock device comes in. Install the airlock based on the directions for the model you buy. After, be sure to store the tub in a cool, dark place like a basement.
Now the fermentation process can begin and all you have to do is be patient. The minimum you should let the mead sit is two weeks. But the longer you leave it, the better it will taste.
When it’s finally done, you can rack your mead. First, add stabilizer to the bottles. Then, using the tubing, siphon the mead from the tub to the jug or bottles. Close up the bottles or jugs, then let a little more fermentation happen. Store the bottles in a cool, dark place for at least another two weeks. After that, you can finally enjoy your creation!
Sure, you could easily go to the store and pick up a bottle of mead. But the pride you’ll feel after creating your own will make it taste so much better. Did you enjoy this article and want to check out more like it? Then take some time to browse around our blog for other great content!