The Most Super Basic, Newbee Mead
YIELD: Makes about 1 gallons, which should fill 4 ½- 5, 750 mL bottles.
- 3 pounds of grade-A honey
- ~ 1 gallon of filtered or bottled water
- 5 grams* of freeze-dried wine, champagne, or dedicated mead yeast
*we use Lalvin D47 yeast strain because it is a reliable and produces some fruity notes. It has a clean fermentation and produces moderate body. One thing to note is that is extremely sensitive to temperature so ferment below 68
Making mead requires essentially the same basic equipment that comes in your beer brewing kit. However, we do try to be as green and use as many recycled items as possible. Here is what you need to start:
- Empty 1 gallon Carlo Rossi jug
- 3-pound plastic honey jar ( we didn’t have a scale when we started, so this was a good way for us measure honey)
- Stirring Spoon
- Sanitization solution ( we use Star San)
- Airlock and carboy bung
Note on equipment:
All your equipment must be sanitized or sterilized before use! Put all the equipment (including the cup and stirring spoons) into a bucket or sink, fill with water, and follow sanitization ratio on the Star San bottle. Remember, do not fear the foam!
Add the yeast (Lalvin D47) to 2 oz of water and let sit to re-hydrate (follow rehydration protocol on the package)
Pour 3 pounds of honey into the carboy
Add water into the carboy
Stir, swirl, or shake until all honey is dissolved and the liquid is aerated in the carboy
Check the yeast's temperature and check for activity in your cup (To make sure the yeast is healthy and strong during fermentation, you should see bubbles disrupt the surface)
Once the yeast is within 10 degrees of your 'must' (water + honey) in your carboy, 'pitch' the yeast into your must.
Seal carboy with bung and airlock (filled with vodka, star san solution, or some other type of sanitized liquid) and store in a dark place at a temperature below 68 degrees.
Once fermentation has stopped (indicative by no change in gravity reading from the hydrometer), rack to another 1-gallon carboy to clarify the mead. Rule of thumb is about 4 weeks from start.
Store in a dry, dark space at a temperature of 59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stabilize and preserve the flavor of your mead with sulfites and potassium sorbate to inoculate the yeast, preserving the flavor and helping fight against oxidation. We use campden tablets and potassium sorbate.
Bottle once you can completely see through the carboy, then let age in the bottle for another about 4 months.
Notes for newbies:
- To check the AVB of your mead, be sure you use the Hydrometer to take a gravity reading (relative density) before step 7. Once you're ready to bottle, again, check the end gravity and use the MeadMakr site to figure out ABV .
- Feed your mead: we use Fermaid O. 1.5 grams per gallon, once a day for the first 3 days after brewing.