- 15 lbs. light clover honey
- 4 tsp. acid blend
- 6 tsp. yeast nutrient
- Water to make 5 U.S. gallons
- Wyeast Sweet Mead liquid yeast* OR 2 packages champagne yeast
- Gruit: crushed fennel, anise, caraway, clove seeds
Makes 5 U.S. gallons
This recipe assumes the brewer is familiar with standard brewing procedures. If in
doubt, consult your local homebrew shop.
*read instructions far in advance of brewing
Approximate original specific gravity 1.120 - 1.130
Note: Proper sanitization is extremely important in any brewing endeavor, and
cannot be overemphasized. Failure to properly sanitize will cause your mead to
become infected with bacteria and will ruin the taste. Sanitize everything that
will come in contact with your mead, and even those items that may not (like the
airlock, blow-off tube, etc). The author recommends a strong sulphite solution
or, preferably, Iodaphor, a very convenient iodine sanitizer.
Making the Wort
Bring two gallons of water to a boil. Remove water from the heat and stir in honey,
acid blend, and yeast nutrient. Return to the heat and boil vigorously for 15
minutes. Add two gallons of cold water to a sanitized carboy . Using a funnel,
pour the hot honey water into the sanitized carboy and top up with cold water to
make five gallons. Follow instructions on yeast package exactly for adding yeast.
It is recommended to stir the wort thoroughly before adding the yeast in order to
aerate and provide plenty of oxygen for the yeast to do its work. Proceed with
Fermentation and Bottling below.
Fermentation and Bottling
It is recommended to carry out the fermentation in a closed vessel to avoid bacterial
contamination. The use of a drilled rubber stopper with a blow-off tube leading out from
the carboy to a catch bucket allows the blow-off (or foam) to be expelled. Allow your
mead to ferment at 65 to 75 F and away from any direct light. Primary fermentation
requires 6 to 10 days. This should be a very vigorous fermentation. After primary
fermentation, rack to a secondary (sanitized) fermenter. At this time the hose can be
removed and a standard airlock on the carboy can be used. Secondary fermentation takes
six weeks. After this time, if the mead is clear rack it into another sanitized container,
add gruit*, and bottle, taking care not to splash the mead during bottling, as the
introduction of oxygen at this time is a detriment to the taste of mead. If the mead
is still cloudy, rack to a sanitized container and use finings (see your local homebrewer
for their recommended finings). Rack, add gruit*, and bottle when cloudiness disappears.
Make a strong tea with the gruit ingredients (this is essential to kill any material
that might infect your mead) and add to mead at bottling time.
Aging the Mead
Very young mead is rather vile to the taste, but it will become very good with age.
Wait at least a month before you taste your mead, but try to age it for several months.
Mead flavor improves for up to two or three years.