Basic mead recipe – approximately 5 gallon yield
- Fermentation vessel(s) – 6 gallon bucket and/or carboy with lid/stopper and airlock
- At least 2 gallon pot for preparing your honey
- Sanitizer – concentrate or ready to use
- Large spoon or hand mixer for aerating your mixture
- Measuring spoon
- Siphon hose
- Bottle filler – recommended to control the filling process
- Bottles – 28-30 750ml bottles
- Corks for bottles – get the right size based on the type of corking tool used
- Corking tool
Basic Mead Recipe
- 5-6 quarts of honey – 5 quarts produces med-dry and 6 quarts produces sweet, so use per your desire
- 4+ gallons of water – best if 3 gallons are chilled to help cool your mixture
- Fermaid K – yeast energizer and nutrient in one (1 TBS per 5 gallon batch)
- Wine yeast – 1 package liquid requires 3+ hours prep; or 2 packages of Dry yeast that requires 15+ minutes prep
- Sanitize all equipment that will be in contact with the mead.
- In a large pot, bring 1 gallon of water to a low boil, cover and boil for 10 minutes.
- Add honey, 1 Tbs. Fermaid K, cover and let stand for 15-25 minutes to kill natural yeasts in honey.
- Pour honey/water mixture into fermentation vessel and add more water to make 5 gallons. I prefer a bucket with a fermentation lock for this primary fermentation.
- When the mixture cools to 80 degree F, add your yeast. If using liquid yeast, activate per instructions, and dry yeast activate in 1 cup of water 95-105 degrees F for at least 15 minutes.
- It is best to aerate the mead (actually called Must at this stage) to help the yeast reproduce. You can use vigorous stirring, but I prefer to sanitize a hand mixer and use that on high for 5 minutes.
- Seal the fermentation vessel, fill the airlock half full of vodka or water, and place on the vessel.
- Put your vessel in a warm (65-75 degree F) location and you should see bubbles in the airlock within 24 hours.
- You can keep the mead in this fermentation vessel for the full fermentation time, but the preferred method is to siphon from your primary vessel to a secondary vessel, usually a carboy with stopper and airlock.
- If you are adding flavoring, such as fruits or spices, it is preferred to add them to the secondary fermentation.
- Let mead rest for 3 months. There will be very seldom bubbles so it looks like nothing happening.
- Sanitize your bottles and corks
- Siphon the mead to the bottles using the hose and filler. When the mead comes to the top of the bottle, lift the filler and you will have the proper airspace in the bottle.
- Cork the bottles and label what it is and date bottled. You can enjoy mead right away or let it age, or both.
- Add fruit, such as grapes, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries
- Add spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg
Get a book on mead making for lots more tips, tricks, information. The Compleat Mead Maker is a good book for all levels.