Saturday, July 3, 2010
Mead and How to Make It
Mead is very easy to make. Begin with very good tasting honey. Mead making generally amplifies the underlying flavors of the honey. It takes about a quart of honey (slightly more for added sweetness) to make a gallon of mead (or about 5 standard wine bottles). Mix the honey in with the water until it dissolves, then let it ferment. Naturally occurring yeast strains could be used, but we've always added a selected yeast strain to our honey-water mixture. Enough wine yeast to ferment 5-6 gallons can be purchased for well under a dollar. We think it's best to ferment mead in what's called a carboy, a large glass container with a narrow opening that can be fitted with a stopper and airlock. Once filled with water, the airlock allows the carbon dioxide given off by the yeast to escape but seals the mead off from the air, which helps prevent the mead from turning to vinegar. It typically takes one to three months for the yeast to do their job and another three to nine months for all the yeast to drop out of suspension and for the mead to turn clear, which is when we like to bottle it. Adding fruit can greatly accelerate the process. If you've made wine before, you should already have all the equipment you'd need. If not, you could spend anywhere from $40 to $150 for equipment that would pretty much all be reusable.
Labels: How to pursue a local diet