Today I would like to share with you some of the 3 most important factors to keep in mind if you are starting your first batch of honey wine (Mead). This article will cover the entire process from equipment needs, a starter recipe, and the importance of good sanitation. All the same practices I use when I’m brewing a batch of mead.
There are a few items critical to starting your first batch.
– Fermentation Vessel
– Siphon Hose
You can make a trip to your(LHBS) local home YETI ONE GALLON brew supply shop, for a 1 gallon kit for inexpensive, as well as a lot of advice for getting started.
If you cannot get to a Brew store, or do not have the money for the kit, your fermentation vessel or container, can be as simple as a 1 gallon water jug with a balloon rubber banded to the top for an airlock, these are inexpensive and easy to find.
The Airlock is a device that allows CO2 out of the vessel, while not allowing in oxygen.
The funnel is for pouring your ingredients int the small mouth of the gallon jug, and the siphon hose for getting your finished mead out of the jug while leaving the sediment behind.
I will share my tried and true recipe for a 1 gallon batch of sweet Traditional Mead. I recommend starting small as it gives you more control over the entire process
– 3 lbs Local Honey (easily acquired at your local Farmers market)
– 1 Lemon
– 1 Packet yeast (wine yeast is best, but bread yeast will work in a pinch)
– Water (tap water is fine if not to heavily chlorinated)
Start quartering the lemon, and push the wedges into the gallon jug.
Then pour the honey into the jar using the funnel to prevent spilling.
Add water to fill jug to 2/3 of the way full, and shake vigorously to mix ingredients.
Add yeast packet, and fill jug rest of way with water leaving an inch or two of space for head formation.
Place airlock on top and store in basement for 3-6 months. Once airlock stops bubbling, siphon the finished mead off the top of the sediment to a new container, and enjoy or leave to age for a later date.
This is the most critical step of the process. Before you start combining ingredients it is important to ensure that you have a clean work space, your equipment has been properly washed and dried, and that your hands have been sanitized.
The reason this is so important is that it prevents the spread of bacteria. any bacteria that gets in your ferment could cause off flavors in your finished mead, if not ruin your batch entirely.
Armed with these three key factors of brewing you should be able to easily start creating your own honey wines