Mead, as you may already know, is an alcoholic drink consisting of fermented honey and water. It’s had a heavy presence throughout history, especially in Europe and Asia, and served as a precursor to many other alcoholic drinks. In fact, some historians believe that mead was the very first fermented drink humans ever made.
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- 1 Gallon of Water
- 5 Pounds of Honey
- 2 Oranges (keep the peels)
- 2 Cinnamon
- 1 Bag of Raisins
- Champagne Yeast
- 3 Cloves
- Berries of your choice
Take note that you can easily customize your own mead if you see fit. For example, it’s up to you to decide what kind of berries you choose to use in your mead.
Once you have accumulated the above items, follow these steps:
- Start by sanitizing everything you are going to use in this process, including the pot, airlock, spoon, funnel, and jug.
- Pour a half-gallon of water into a large pot.
- Place the pot over medium heat.
- Once the water is warm, but not yet boiling, add in the honey.
- Stir until the honey has dissolved in the water.
- Turn off the heat; if the liquid is a bit foamy, that’s okay.
- Place your orange slices, berries of choice, and raisins into a one-gallon jug.
- Use the funnel to pour the honey-water mixture into a jug.
- Add a little bit more cool water into the jug.
- Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly together.
- Place a lid over the jug.
- Warm a half pack of yeast until it’s around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour the remaining yeast into an airtight package and set it aside for future use.
- Pitch the now warmed yeast into the jug.
- Place the lid back over the jug and shake it vigorously for several minutes; this should give your arms a good workout.
- Place the airlock into the jug.
- Wait a few hours until you see bubbles forming in the jug and the airlock; it can be a good idea to allow the mixture to sit overnight.
- Once you see the bubbles forming, set the jug aside in a cool, dark place and away from sunlight for it to ferment.
Take note that mead usually takes longer than beer or hard cider to ferment, and you should expect the process to take at least a month (although some folks like to wait until six weeks).
By the end of the fermentation process, there should be no bubbles left in the jug or the airlock. The process of actually bottling the mead is the same as bottling hard cider and will require specialized bottling tools, flip-top bottles, and an auto-siphon with tubing.
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Finally, take note that mead always tastes better with age, so plan on waiting a few months until you take a sip to experience the best flavor.
To see exactly how this is done, be sure to watch the videos by Kentucky Homestead below.