Honey Mead

I will be brewing some Mead (honey wine) and would like to document my experiences here. I will include The basic materials used, and a basic recipe.

For the sake of figuring out my own recipe, I will be starting with 1 Gallon  Batches and will be using non-standard Equipment. I will be using the following materials and ingredients;

  • 1, 1 Gallon Bottle of spring water (not refrigerated)
  • 1, Bag of Balloons
  • Some Rubber Bands
  • 2.8 pounds of Raw Honey (I’m using “Clover Honey straight from the tap”)
  • 1, Orange (sliced into pieces small enough to fit into the gallon container)
  • 1, box of Raisins (25 raisins to be more specific)
  • 1, Clove
  • 1 Package of Yeast (I’m using “Fleishmann’s Active Dry”)
  1. Pour about half of the water into a clean container
  2. Slice up your orange into eighths
  3. Put the slices, honey, twenty-five raisins, 1 clove and the yeast into the 1 Gallon Spring Water Container
  4. Pour some water back into the jug so the level is a couple of inches from the top
  5. Put the cap on it and shake it up well. (You should shake it for a good five minutes. This will aerate the mixture. The yeast really needs lots of oxygen to grow vigorously.
  6. Flip the balloon inside out to avoid the latex residue falling back into you Mead.
  7. Now poke a pinhole in the top of the balloon
  8. Remove the cap from your jug and put the balloon over the mouth of the Container. As the gases form inside the container they will inflate the balloon.
  9. Put a rubber band or tape around the neck to keep it firmly in place.
  10. Leave it out on a counter for the first day so you can monitor it.

In between an hour and twenty-four hours later the balloon will start to inflate. This is a great sign and it means that your yeast is transforming the contents of the container into Mead. Gases are forming inside the jug and are escaping through the pinhole in the balloon. This set-up insures gases escape but no contaminants get into your brew. If the balloon is getting big you may need to poke another hole or two in it. You don’t want it to bust, as it would leave your Mead open to contamination. Once you are satisfied that the gases are escaping and the balloon is not under unusual stress you can set the jug in a cool dry place like a kitchen cabinet or closet shelf. Check on it every day if you can just to make sure it is ok and the balloon hasn’t blown off.

After three weeks the major portion of the fermentation will be complete. At this point you can taste a little bit to see how it is coming along, but it isn’t really tasty at this point. It will need another couple of months to start to get delicious. As you check on it (Once a week) you will notice that it slowly clarifies and transforms into wine.

The Orange, raisins, and clove can stay in the mixture for the whole duration but if you want to make the mead a little milder and help it clarify faster you can transfer the liquid into another container with a new balloon. This process is called racking.

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2 Comments

  1. December 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    How did it turn out? Love to connect with other homebrewers, which is how we started. Really do recommend glass jar, airlock, and liquid yeast. http://gotmead.com has some great recipes and a community of meadmakers (commercial and homebrew).

    Wassail!

  2. jwalton333 said,

    January 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Turned out Decent for a Quick taste way to early, had to give away all 3 bottles before moving cross country by plane, nobody has opened it yet 😦


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