Mead Recipe: Crafting the Nectar of the Gods
Mead, often referred to as the "nectar of the gods," is an ancient beverage that has been enjoyed by civilizations throughout history. This honey-based elixir carries with it an air of mystique and tradition, captivating the senses with its rich flavours and intoxicating aroma. If you're intrigued by the idea of brewing your own mead, you're in for a delightful adventure. In this article, we will guide you through the process of crafting your very own home brew mead, unlocking the secrets to this ancient art form.
Equipment for Brewing Mead
To begin your mead-making adventure, you will need a few essential pieces of equipment.
- Demijohn for fermentation
- Airlock and bung for demijohn
- Short length of tubing
- Large metal spoon
The Honeyed Foundation
The first step in your homebrew mead-making journey is to source high-quality honey, the key ingredient that forms the backbone of this divine elixir. Seek out local apiaries or speciality stores that offer a wide variety of honey types, each with its own distinct character and flavour profile. Whether you opt for the delicate sweetness of clover honey or the robust richness of buckwheat honey, selecting the right honey will set the stage for a truly exceptional mead.
"The taste of honey is like a whisper from nature, sweet and soothing to the soul."
Once you have acquired the honey, it's time to gather the remaining ingredients and learn how to make mead that's worthy of ancient traditions. Traditional mead recipes call for water and mead yeast but don't be afraid to experiment with additional ingredients such as fruits, spices, or even herbs. These elements can add depth and complexity to your mead, creating a unique flavour profile that suits your taste preferences.
- 1.3kg Honey
- 20g Tartaric acid (4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon pectolase
- Gervin 3 yeast
- 10 gm Yeast nutrient (2 teaspoon)
- Campden tablet
- Water to 1 gallon
Whilst many wine making ingredients naturally contain levels of acids and nutrients the amount of both of these occurring in honey is negligible. It is therefore most important that an adequate supply is provided in the must. For this reason the quantities of both acid and nutrient used in this recipe are much higher than most winemakers will be used to. Trust me!
Most bought honeys will have been cleaned and filtered but if you are using your own it would be best to dissolve the honey in some water and to bring it to the boil and skim before using it.
Mix the honey with 5 pints of boiling water in a sterilised white food grade plastic bucket.
When cool add the nutrient, pectolase, tartaric acid and the yeast.
Cover loosely with the lid and ferment for 3 days. Rack the liquid into a demijohn.
Fit an airlock and continue to ferment, topping up with water to one gallon when the frothing dies down.
When fermentation stops and the specific gravity reaches 1.000 or less syphon the mead off the sediment into another sterilised demijohn and add 1 crushed campden tablet.
Add the finings and when the mead is crystal clear it can be racked off again before being syphoned into bottles and corked. MEAD medium sweet
Make the mead as above but with the addition at step 5 of 350gm of honey to sweeten, and a level teaspoon of a wine stabiliser to reduce the possibility of refermentation.
Both the dry and the medium sweet versions of this mead can be used as the basis to make a Metheglin or Meddyglin (from the Welsh meddyg”, a physician) by adding a combination of spices to taste. Traditionally anise, caraway, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, lemon grass, mace and pimento have all been used.