Hits 66010 | Created 2009-07-07 | Modified 2011-09-22
I thought I'd try my hand at mead. This recipe is a mix of a few I found on the net. It is pretty easy and requires little special ingredients or equipment.
4 x jars of 340g honey (light)
1 x stick cinnamon
1/2 x teaspoon ground allspice
30 x cloves (approx)
1 x medium sized orange
1 or 2 x teabags
Also Campden tablets (for sterilising equipment)
Wine yeast (or brewers or champagne yeast)
Large 1 gallon capacity pan
Demijohn (big glass jar)
Airlock for the demijohn
Boil up 4 pints of water in the pan. When boiling add 4.5 pints of cold water and continue to heat as you...
Add the honey and stir until dissolved.
Heat until steaming hot (don't boil it). Some frothy scum will rise to the surface, skim it off with a spoon.
Grate the orange zest off the orange and add. Then chop off all the outside leaving only orange pulp. Mash this and add it to the pan.
Now add all the other spices.
Make a strong cup of black tea. If you're using European or American teabags you might need two in the cup. Anyway, it should be strong and black, add it to the pan.
Now continue to heat (without boiling, it should be steaming hot), for between 30 mins and 5 hours (depends on the recipe) I heated for 1 hour.
Whilst this is going on, clean your demijohn, tube and airlock with campden tablets - dissolve about 5 in a couple of pints of hot water and wash everything with it. Then rinse with fresh cold water. This is important :)
After your hour(s) you must then leave it to cool. This takes at least an hour, if not more - too hot and you'll kill the yeast. I racked the liquid into the demijohn after 30 mins then stood the demijohn in cold water for another 40 or so. It should be warm, not hot, not cold.
Ok, now we're ready to strain it into the demijohn.
Put the demijohn below the pan, I used a tea strainer in the pan to stop the spices and bits shooting up the tube during this process, or you could strain it first into a sterilised plastic bucket, another pan, etc.
Place one end into the pan, then suck on the other end until the liquid comes through, putting it quickly into the demijohn. Gravity will then take over and drain from one to the other.
Assuming your mead mix isn't too hot, now sprinkle a heaped teaspoon of yeast into the demijohn and apply the airlock with water in it.
Leave in a warmplace until fermentation has ceased (no more bubbles go through the airlock), then use the same racking method with the tube to transfer the mead into sterilised wine bottles. Cork them and store in a cool, dark place for a month before drinking.
Mead lasts for up to a year, but not really longer.
I'll update this article when I rack my bottles, after all, it's my first time too!
Note, this seems to make a dry mead! Not sure if this is down to the honey, or the yeast, but there appear to be two suggestions for sweeter mead: Add more honey at the start, and reduce water slightly, or if already finished, add honey to the mead before bottling. Please let me know if you try either, I'll make a new batch and update again.
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by carolineHits | Last Modified 2009-10-29 Will rack this today. Very cloudy and still fermenting. I used orange flavouring so there is little sediment. I think mine will be interesting! Thanks for the recipe.
Taste - very light, not much like mead at all to be honest, more like a wine. I think next time I'll use a very dark honey, as I've realised that's the way I like it... It's not bad, I'm hoping the flavour will get some more character as it ages.
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by jackHits | Last Modified 2011-06-14 an easier way of removing the sediment is to dip a fine seive into your mead then rinse and repeat. saved me loads of time when i found this out.
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by JocastaHits | Last Modified 2011-08-31 I'm looking for a decent mead recipe and may give this one a bash as it looks pretty damn easy. Only thing is, I've read that mead is better several years old! I'm wondering why you've said it only lasts for a year? Is that this particular recipe?
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by RalpharamaHits | Last Modified 2011-09-05 @N did you use a single stick, like one of these? http://www.perfectbrewingsupply.com/products/Cinnamon-Sticks-%252d-1-oz..html not sure why it would be too strong if yes :(
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by GreenleafHits | Last Modified 2011-09-21 Quick question.... Mead has now finished fermenting and is clearing very quickly. Couple of things though, its tastes a little medicinal and not that sweet on a quick sample, and its still sparkly on the tongue... Did you degas yours? Ta!
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by RalpharamaHits | Last Modified 2011-09-22 @Greenleaf sorry to hear that it is not as you expected. You can add honey to the mead before bottling, then let sit and mature for a couple of months before drinking - this is supposed to be fine, but I've not tried it!
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by GreenleafHits | Last Modified 2011-09-24 No need to be sorry! Not unhappy at all, just want to make sure i'm heading in the right direction with it! Thanks for the advice, will try and lit you know how it turns out.
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by AnnieHits | Last Modified 2011-11-25 I'm wondering whether the mead I made 6 weeks or so ago has fermented at all. Looking very cloudy and no bubbles in the airlock. I'm wondering whether I kept it warm enough - it's been in the airing cupboard and the heating was left on for the fortnight I was away on holiday. Should I re-warm the liquid and add some more yeast or write it off?
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by MarkHits | Last Modified 2012-06-24 Hi there. I just came upon your blog today but I just made my own mead with just honey, water and yeast. I'm just wondering if I should keep it in a dark of bright place? At the moment its wrapped up in a blanket as the weather is acting up and my flat is a constant 20 degrees C. Any ideas?
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by AJHits | Last Modified 2012-10-20 Just made 2 gallons, using this recipe. I'm not too crazy on the choice of spices, but I've used them as described, and am curious how it will taste in 3-6 months or so. Thanks!
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by B.KeeperHits | Last Modified 2012-11-20 I might be too late -oops - but be careful when adding more honey before bottling as fermentation may restart giving at least a deposit of yeast in the bottle, and at worst an exploded bottle or two.
Just to add something useful - To sweeten after fermentation just add more honey but also add some sodium metabisulphate first to kill the remaining active yeast cells and prevent fermentation from kicking off again.
CommentHow to make easy Mead recipe comment by Paper TigerHits | Last Modified 2013-02-27 Right, I have made and drunk the mead. I found - it was quite low alcohol due to the relatively small amount of honey in it. 30 cloves for a 1 gallon demijohn was way too many. It had an almost antiseptic taste but with added honey afterwards was drinkable. My second mead used 6 jars honey rather than 4 and only 7 cloves. And I added a tsp of ground ginger and a lime (just because I felt like it) and this came out at around 11% by volume.