DYI: Mead

Today Teddy and I tried something we’ve been talking about for a while – making Mead!  This drink, also known as Honey Wine, is one of the oldest fermented drinks – archaeologists have found evidence of it from as early as 7000 BC! We figured that it’s age would make it more difficult to mess up. This is our first attempt at fermentation, so we wanted to do something more simple than beer.

We started with this basic recipe. While gathering supplies, we headed to a local brewing supplies store, and realized for just a bit more money we could easily invest in better-quality equipment that would be easier to use, and would last for an unlimited number of batches. Success!

All said and done, we gathered the following supplies for making 2 gallons of mead:

  • 2 gallons water
  • 4 pounds honey (we used McLure’s of New England Orange Blossom Honey)
  • 1 package yeast (we used Red Star Cote des Blancs Active Dry Wine Yeast)
  • 50 raisins (yes, we counted)
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/4 tsp diammonium posphate (DAP)

In terms of equipment, we used the following:

  • 2 1-gallon growlers
  • 2 rubber stoppers
  • 2 airlocks (we used the 3-piece kind, but any will work)
  • Various kitchen supplies – funnel, measuring cups, cutting board, etc.

Though we were inspired by a recipe, we ended up changing things quite a bit. Below are the steps we followed:

  1. Sanitizing everything . We made 3 batches of 2 cups of water mixed with 3.5ML sanitizing solution. We used one each for the growlers, then the final batch for all the supplies that would be in contact with the mead.
  2. Prepare the ingredients. This included counting raisins and cloves, chopping oranges and dissolving the yeast in water
  3. Mix the ingredients. We put the honey into the growlers first using the funnel, then put the oranges, raisins, cloves, yeast and DAP. We also used some water to make sure we got every last drop of the honey out of the containers. Then we put that water into the growler.
  4. Fill the growler the rest of the way with water
  5. Shake everything vigorously for a while – the more the merrier

Now we wait – the had part! We put the stoppers in, along with the airlocks, and put them in a dark corner of a closet. Most of the fermenting should happen within the first two weeks or so, and then things will slow down. The longer mead ages the better it gets, so we’re hoping that this will be ready in time for a rarin’ holiday party! I’ll be sure to report back when we finally try it. The suspense is already killing me!

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