How To Make Mead

How to Make Mead from Brewers Barn

Mead is a honey based alcoholic drink that has seen a renaissance

in recent years, becoming a very popular beverage to make. Here is our recipe on how to make mead, with a few fruity alternatives (known as Melomel) as well as the option of turning it into sparkling mead!

You can use any honey, but we would recommend fresh honey without additives. A particular favourite is Orange Blossom Honey.

This mead recipe kit is designed to be used with the equipment in the Complete Mead Making Starter Kit.

You will need to bottle the finished wine, using either glass bottles, Corks and Corker or using Plastic Bottles.

Ingredients;

1.5 Kg (3 lbs) Honey (2 Kg or 4 lbs for a sweet mead)

2 ½ tsp Citric Acid

1 tsp Yeast Nutrient

1 sachet Sparkling Wine Yeast

Method;

Ensure you sterilise all equipment before you start.

Make up the yeast starter first, add the Yeast and a tablespoon of sugar to ½ cup of luke-warm water, gently stir and cover.

Place the honey in your Fermentation Bucket and add 2 litres (4 pints) of boiling water, mix to dissolve the honey and allow to cool to 21C (70F).

When cooled, stir your yeast starter solution of a few seconds and add to the fermentation bucket along with the Citric Acid and Nutrient, stir gently to disperse.

Transfer to the demi-john, fit the airlock and bung and leave to ferment at a temperature of 20 -25ºC.

After a week top up to within an inch of the neck with water, reattach the airlock and continue fermenting.

When the airlock stops bubbling or you get a hydrometer reading of about 1.000 (or lower) you will know fermentation has stopped. After fermentation you want to take the mead off the sediment at the bottom, you do this by sterilising your fermentation bucket again and syphoning out the mead into the bucket, trying to avoid transferring any sediment, then clean out the demi-john and pour the mead back in. if your not convinced you got rid of all the sediment wait an hour for the sediment to settle and repeat.

Repeat this stage every 3 months or so.

Once the wine has cleared, clean and sterilise some bottles and syphon the wine into them then cork the bottles if using glass or attach the cap if plastic.

Mead takes longer to mature than wine and is best after 2 years of maturing in the bottle, but will get better if left longer.

Making Melomel

INGREDIENTS;

1.5 Kg (3 lbs) Honey (2 Kg or 4 lbs for a sweet mead)

450g Frozen Strawberries or 340g Frozen Blueberries (can be bought fresh and frozen overnight)

2 ½ tsp Citric Acid

1 tsp Yeast Nutrient

1 sachet Sparkling Wine Yeast

METHOD;

Partially or completely thaw the fruit before you begin.

Ensure you sterilise all equipment.

Stand your honey containers in warm water for 5-10 mins to loosen the contents.

Make up the yeast starter first, add the Yeast and a tablespoon of sugar to ½ cup of lukewarm water, gently stir and cover.

Place the honey in your Fermentation Bucket and add 2 litres (4 pints) of boiling water, mix to dissolve the honey and allow to cool to 21C (70F). Fill up to 4.5L (1 gallon) of cold water.

Roughly mash the blueberries and add to the Fermentation Bucket.

When cooled, stir your yeast starter solution of a few seconds and add to the fermentation bucket along with the Citric Acid and Nutrient, stir gently to disperse. Fit the lid loosely and leave to ferment for 10 days at a temperature of 20 -25ºC.

Strain the mixture and transfer into a demi-john, fit the airlock and bung and leave to ferment fully at a temperature of 20 -25ºC.

After a week top up to within an inch of the neck with water, reattach the airlock and continue fermenting.

When the airlock stops bubbling or you get a hydrometer reading of about 1.000 (or lower) you will know fermentation has stopped. After fermentation you want to take the mead off the sediment at the bottom, you do this by sterilising your fermentation bucket again and syphoning out the mead into the bucket, trying to avoid transferring any sediment, then clean out the demi-john and pour the mead back in. if your not convinced you got rid of all the sediment wait an hour for the sediment to settle and repeat.

Repeat this stage after one or two months and leave to clear.

Once the wine has cleared, clean and sterilise some bottles and syphon the mead into them then cork the bottles if using glass or attach the cap if plastic.

Mead takes longer to mature than wine and is best after 2 years of maturing in the bottle, but will get better if left longer.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD

For a more fruitier flavour you can transfer fruit into the demi-john and continue for the full fermentation, or alternatively add the fruit at this stage. If using this method, you will notice that the fruit will rise to the top and form a 'cap', for the first week in the demi-john of fermenting you will need to poke the cap 2-3 times a day to release the build up of co2 and a few times a week for the rest of fermentation.

MAKING SPARKLING MEAD

To make sparkling mead please see our recipe for Making Elderflower Champagne.