Easy Mead making

Quick recipe – 1 gallon of mead

Ingredients

  • 3lb honey
  • juice of 1 lemon (citric acid)
  • 1 cup of black tea (tanin)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
  • Yeast (wine yeast, not bread yeast)
  • Water
  • campden tablets (available online or at any wine making / brewing shop / wilkinsons)

WARNING – clean your equipment well before it touches anything that is going to sit for weeks, or you will end up with something that is NOT drinkable

While brewing this I ALWAYS use sterilised equipment, we are growing a yeast in ‘ideal conditions’ which means anything that gets in there will grow nicely too. Pay attention to anything that touches the mix, spoons, siphons, funnels, etc. A quick rinse under the tap or dropping equipment on the floor then using it it not ok – the “5 second rule” does NOT apply here – dipping a finger in to “try a bit” can have consequences.

Equipment

You will need :

  • 2 x 1 gallon demijohn – a glass (or plastic) vessel that can be sealed
  • a bung / stopped with an airlock
  • a siphon tube / funnel /
  • sterilising fluid / powder

Method

My method would be

  1. stick it all in a 1gallon demijohn without the yeast, adding 1 crushed campden tablet – this will kill off anything (yeast/mold) that might be in the ingredients that would grow when you don’t want it to.
  2. Put the bung and airlock on – agitate after 1 day to make sure the campden tablet has distributed well
  3. Leave for 48hrs – allowing the capden tablet to take effect, and that effect to wear off
  4. add the yeast and stir / shake well.
    • the 48hrs following this will feature significant fermentation, so be aware of flying bungs. Store in a warm place, not over 25°C, not under 18°C – airing cupboards are good – too hot kills the yeast, too cold makes fermentation slow
  5. Agitate every 7 days, trying distribute the sediment around – you should see bubbles rising in the airlock – this is the product of fermentation (CO2).
  6. If you are storing in a warm place for long periods it may need topping up with boiled water (boiled to prevent contamination).
  7. The airlock will also likely need topping up – do not let it run dry.
  8. After 4 weeks* decant / siphon (‘rack’ is the technical term) into a new demijohn to separate from the sediment.
    • * this should be 4 days after there are no more bubbles seen in the airlock
    • It can be moved from the warm location as fermentation should no longer be happening
    • Fermentation can be ‘stopped’ by adding a campden tablet, shorter fermentation will mean a dry / stronger mead, shorter will mean a sweeter mead (subject to yeast used)
  9. Decant again 7 days later after sediment has formed again
  10. 7 days later, it can be bottled and drunk – but it will improve if stored in a cool place

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