Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, water, and yeast. It is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks known to humankind and has been enjoyed for thousands of years in many cultures. The honey provides the sweetness and the yeast ferments the sugar into alcohol, resulting in a unique and complex beverage. Mead can be made in various styles and can range in flavour, alcohol content, and sweetness. Some meads are still and dry, while others are sparkling and sweet. Some are flavoured with spices, fruits, or herbs, and some are aged in oak barrels. The versatility of mead makes it a popular choice for both novice and experienced drinkers alike.
The recipe is for making a traditional honey mead, you can create a classic and smooth mead that is perfect for sipping on its own or using as a base for cocktails.
- 1.5 kg honey
- 25 litres of water
- 2 packs of champagne yeast
- 10 g yeast nutrient
- 10 g pectic enzyme (optional)
- Sterilise all your equipment, including a large fermenting bucket, a lid, an airlock, a hydrometer, a spoon and a bottle capper.
- In a large pot, heat 10l of water and add the honey to it. Stir until the honey dissolves completely.
- Cool the mixture to 21° and pour it into the fermenting bucket.
- Add the remaining water to the bucket until the total volume reaches 25l.
- Add the yeast nutrient and yeast to the mixture and cover it with a lid and an airlock.
- Let the mead ferment for 2-3 weeks at room temperature, checking the gravity with a hydrometer regularly.
- Once the gravity stabilises and the fermentation slows down, transfer the mead into a clean and sterilised carboy.
- Let the mead age for several months, until it clarifies and reaches the desired flavour and alcohol content.
- Rack the mead into another clean carboy, leaving behind any sediment.
- When the mead is clear and has aged to your liking, bottle it in sterilised bottles and cap them.
- Allow the mead to age for an additional few months to a year before serving. Enjoy your homemade mead!
Note: The length of the fermentation and ageing process may vary depending on the desired result and personal taste. Keep a close eye on the mead and taste it regularly to ensure it is developing to your liking.
There are many options to add to create unique and flavourful variations of this traditional recipe. Some popular additions include:
- Fruit: Adding fresh or dried fruit to the mead can add flavour and colour, such as cherries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apricots, etc.
- Spices: Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or cloves can add depth and complexity to the mead.
- Herbs: Herbs such as rosemary, basil, or thyme can add a unique twist to the mead and complement the natural sweetness of the honey.
- Wood: Ageing the mead in oak barrels can add vanilla and toasty flavours, as well as tannins that can add structure and balance to the mead.
- Tea: Adding tea to the mead can infuse it with additional flavour, such as green tea, black tea, or herbal tea.
- Juice: Adding juice to the mead can add fresh and fruity flavours, such as orange juice, cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice.
- Honey: Using different varieties of honey can alter the flavour profile of the mead, such as using wildflower honey, buckwheat honey, or blackberry honey.
Remember to add these ingredients in moderation and carefully monitor the fermentation process to ensure the mead develops to your liking.