If you’ve never tried mead before, it’s essentially a libation made with honey and water. It’s become a favorite drink and alternative to wine, though still obscure for some.
You need to try it if you’ve never bought or made it. Maybe you have plans to make your first bottle of mead to store away long-term.
You’re going to need quality honey to make it. How much honey do you need if you plan to create one gallon of mead?
First, Use Raw Honey
The type of honey you use when making mead is important if you want to add some healthful qualities. Avoid buying pasteurized honey since it’s been boiled and its healthful properties dissipated as a result.
Raw honey is what you need for your mead. While an alcoholic drink, you’ll still be able to get plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals when consumed. No other drink with alcohol offers that, including wine.
Once you have your raw honey, you’ll need to carefully measure how much honey you need to create your mead batch.
Starting the Home Brewing Process
Creating mead is a good way to start home brewing if you’ve never tried it before. It really isn’t too difficult to make, but only involves careful measuring (and mixing) to ensure proper fermentation.
According to most mead-making experts, creating one gallon of it is a good way to begin. However, many mead lovers often create up to five gallons at a time for later use. You’ll want to start light, though, to see what works in your recipe to make tweaks the next time it’s made.
One gallon of mead will generally take about 3 lbs. of raw honey. To get that much available, you might want to consider buying a large one gallon bucket of raw honey from a source like Artie’s Harvest.
Having this much raw honey on hand allows you to have plenty for years to come if you plan to experiment with further mead recipes.
The Mixing Process
You’ll want to set up a two-gallon fermenter first to ensure plenty of space for your mead gallon.
As for water, it’s usually recommended you not use chlorinated water from the tap. Use bottled water if you can if you have no access to spring or well water. Chlorinated water often affects the fermentation process, so be aware of that.
Start with four cups of hot water mixed with your honey in the fermenter. While mixing this together, add about eight cups of cold water.
Soon, your honey and water mixture will turn into what’s called a must. You don’t want this to exceed a temperature of 75F.
Alcohol content should also come to at least 12% for this particular recipe.
The Fermentation Process
Time to add your yeast next. Many people add a yeast energizer and a yeast nutrient along with at least 5 grams of yeast.
Stir your must together thoroughly. You’re going to need to wait 15 minutes before you see signs of foaming.
Once you see foam, it’s time to close up your fermenter and let sit for a couple of hours. It’s at this point where you’re going to need some patience to let fermentation happen.
Store your fermenter in a place that’s between 65-75F. Fermentation is going to take up to two weeks, but it can sometimes happen after only 10 days.
Add Sodium Sorbate to the mix if you want to slow down fermentation. You can also take time out to add more raw honey in your fermenter if your taste test determines you want a little more sweetness.