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How to Make Mead at Home in 5 Easy Steps?
Mead is notable as the oldest fermented drink known to man, with consumption dating back as early as 5000 BC.
The beauty of making mead is that it needs simple ingredients and equipment which are already available to most homebrewers.
You can produce mead with water, honey, and yeast, but your recipe will determine how long it will take to ferment.
Mead making is easy and cheap, and it can make an excellent gift for the holidays. If you want to learn the craft, we have compiled an easy guide below:
What is Mead?
Mead is fundamentally honey water that has been left to ferment. Traditional mead fermented for a long time to have as much as 20% alcohol.
Mead makers are a patient lot since it can take months or years to make the perfect batch.
Mead is sometimes called ‘honey wine’ or ‘drink of the gods.’ It is mentioned in the ancient history of Asia, Africa, and Europe, and some recipes include herbs, spices, grain mash, and fruits.
Unlike beer, mead is not brewed, and even if it is made through a process similar to that of producing wine, it is not thought of as wine either.
You can opt to make either dry or sweet mead by adjusting the amount of honey that you use. Buy yeast that is made for sweet wines if you want a sweet-tasting batch.
How to Make Mead? 1 Gallon Mead Recipe
If you are starting out in mead making, you can opt to buy a complete kit with all the essentials you need.
This nano-meadery starter kit by Home Brew Stuff comes with a mead recipe, fermentation bucket, hydrometer, glass carboy, auto-siphon, airlock, and cleaner. All you will need is suitable honey to get started.
You can follow the steps below to make your mead:
– Gather Ingredients and Sanitize Equipment
You will need water, yeast, and honey to make mead. The quality of your honey can either make or break your batch, and you want to get the raw and unheated kind.
Pure honey crystallizes, and it will preserve the flavor of your mead. You can use three pounds of honey to produce sweat mead or less if you prefer dry mead.
If you want a potent batch, look for yeast that can finish fermentation up to 13% alcohol or more.
Five grams of yeast will be enough, in addition to small quantities of yeast nutrient and yeast energizer. You will also need a gallon of non-chlorinated water.
Gather the necessary hardware, including an airlock, mixing bowl, funnel, stopper, and brewing kit.
All the equipment should be cleaned and sanitized to avoid ruining your brew with foreign remnants and germs.
– Mix the Water and Honey
Drain around ½ gallon of the water into a pot on the stove set on medium heat. You want the water to get warm and not hot.
Add the honey and stir, and include fruits and any other nutrients you prefer. You will observe a foaming scum if you are using pure honey, which you can skim off or leave.
This honey and water blend is called a ‘must,’ and you should leave it to cool to 70 °F. Use a funnel to pour this mixture into the fermentation pot.
You can use a hydrometer to determine your blend’s specific gravity and get an idea of the final alcohol content of your batch. The common reading at this time is typically between 1060 to 1120.
– Add the Yeast
The next step is pitching the yeast, and you have to be careful not to use too much of it. Most packets are intended for five gallons of mead, and you will need to divide it for your batch.
Shake the carboy for maximum aeration, and ensure it is appropriately sealed.
You can add more water as long as you leave around three inches of headroom at the top.
– Leave the Mixture to Ferment
You should observe bubbling after a few hours due to the action of the yeast. Place the carboy in a cool and dark place, and you can even wrap it with a dishtowel.
Unwrap and examine the mead now and then, although it may take 4-6 weeks for the bubbling to dwindle.
– Bottle the Mead
You can tell if your brew is ready if there are no bubbles on the surface, and sediment has collected at the bottom.
Use a clean straw to taste the mead, but keep in mind that its flavor will develop over time. Bottle and store it for a while to allow it to mellow.
Is it Legal to Make Mead?
Making your own mead is legal in the US as it is recognized as an alcoholic beverage along with wine and beer. This means that you can visit any hobby store and buy a homebrewer kit to make mead.
However, there is a limit on the quantity of mead that an adult can make every year. In most states, homebrewers without a license can only make 200 gallons of alcoholic beverages annually.
While making mead at home is not illegal, selling it is. You cannot sell alcoholic drinks without a license, although gifting your family and friends is fine.
How Long Does It Take to Ferment Mead?
Mead making can take as long as a few years, especially if traditional recipes are used. A batch with 12-16% alcohol will take 6-8 months for the best results, although you can sample it sooner.
You can make a lighter mead, however, or a hydromel, which will be ready in 4-6 weeks. Lighter meads use less honey and require a shorter fermentation process as a result.
How Much Honey Do You Need for 1 Gallon Mead?
You will require two or three pounds of honey, depending on how sweet you want your mead.
It is possible to add more honey, however, during the fermentation process.
Mead is gaining popularity in the US as more and more meaderies open up across the country.
You can easily make the world’s oldest alcoholic drink at home with honey, water, and yeast.
Like wine, mead gets better with age, and it is best to leave it for several months.
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