Have you ever read a novel from centuries ago? It seems that all the characters in these books either drink mead, water or beer. Are you curious as to what mead is and how it was made by these people who did not have the technological advances that we enjoy today? Thankfully, mead is making a big comeback and many people are now making it at home in much the same way that it was made hundreds of years ago.
What is Mead?
Mead is a wine that is made out of honey. The taste of the finished product can be directly related to the type or flavor of the honey that is used to make the wine. This is the first choice that you need to make before starting on your own homemade mead.
• List of Equipment-
1. Large pot that can hold at least six quarts of liquid
2. Bucket for Fermenting
3. Gallon Jug
4. 2-4 feet of rubbing tubing
• List of Ingredients-
1. 1 quart of honey – remember the type of honey determines the taste. Experiment with different honeys to get the flavor you prefer.
2. 1 pound white raisins in a cheesecloth bag.
3. 1 Gallon Water
4. 1 Packet Yeast
Making the Mead
• Step One – Boil the water in the pot making sure to put a mark at the four quart water level. This is going to be used later in the process. Add the honey to the hot water just as it reaches a soft boil stage.
• Step Two – Take the white raisins in cheesecloth and add them to the honey water mixture. Allow them to boil until they reconstitute and become full of liquid.
• Step Three – Take out the raisins and remove the pulp from the liquid by squeezing the cheesecloth bag tightly. Make sure to get as much of the liquid out as possible and save it for the next step.
• Step Four – Put the liquid that was collected from the raisins and return it to the pot of boiling water and honey.
• Step Five – Allow the honey/water/raisin juice mixture to boil down to the four quart level you marked off in step one.
• Step Six – Let the liquid cool off completely.
• Step Seven – Pour the liquid into the bucket where it is going to sit for at least six weeks for fermentation.
• Step Eight – After the fermentation process, rack the wine into a gallon jug. Racking simply means to drain the liquid out of the bucket and into the jug by using the hose to siphon it out. This is going to allow any sediment to stay in the bottom of the bucket and out of the finished wine.
After the wine is transferred to the jug, it needs to sit for at least nine months in order to be ready to drink. It is not a good idea to attempt to drink it any sooner than the nine months or the mead is not going to be mature. The raisins can be substituted for other fruits if experimenting on taste. If this is the first time making mead, then it is suggested that this process be followed exactly before attempting any variations. The more you do it, the better you will become with your mead.