Instructables

How to make Mead

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Mead is simple and turns out great!
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

For this recipe we used:

~ 3/4 gallon water
3 pounds of honey
One packet of yeast (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 of a cup of roughly chopped mint
10 key limes
One gallon jug (glass is best) with cap
One balloon (red is best)

The flavor can be almost anything you want. We have made orange/raisin (awesome) and huckleberry/cherry (pretty good) recently, be creative.

Step 4: Add the rest of the ingredients

Next add the key limes, mint and yeast.

Then fill the jug most of the way full with water. It's important to leave some air space at the top of the jug for the foam that will be produced during the fermentation.

We accidentally did the water and ingredients backwards because we were distracted by the documentation. Thankfully we remembered to stop adding water while there was still enough room to add the other stuff.

Step 5: Shake, Shake, Shake

Next screw the lid on the jug nice and tight, and shake it for a couple of minutes.

This helps disperse the yeast throughout the mixture. The honey will mostly settle out in the bottom anyway. That's okay.
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imorgan4 months ago
When you're first adding the water does it matter if its cold or hot water?
Hey I just recently made a batch of this, and I was wondering how long to leave the balloon on? Because mine still is holding up and bubbles are moving through and its been about 3 days
El DJ3 years ago
Would it be possible to use a funnel and just poor it into bottles instead of siphoning it?
[caveat] I dunno if this applies to mead at all; this comes from beer brewing experience [/caveat].

The problem with pouring as opposed to siphoning is oxygenation. Oxygenation is GREAT for yeast, pre-fermentation, but at any other time in the process tends to produce off-flavors (commonly described as a moldy, wet-paper taste).

So, anyway, I dunno if mead is affected by that, but oxygenation is a huge concern in beer-making.
MoleMans (author)  El DJ3 years ago
Yeah that would work fine. Just be careful not to get any of the dregs into the bottle.
El DJ MoleMans3 years ago
Alright, thanks. Everyone says siphon it, and I was just wondering if there was any specific reason that it was siphoned.I'll probably use a coffee filter on one end of the funnel to make sure only liquid goes through
xmobisx El DJ3 years ago
people usually say to siphon it so that you dont get oxygen. if you pour to fast you can create oxygen bubbles, so pour slow.
Pbyrd2 years ago
My papaw raises bees and has copious amounts of raw honey. Will this be better than store bought? And will a bit of honeycomb harm the mead?
Raw honey will require more steps. Store bought honey most of the time is pasteurize. You would bring water and honey just before a boil and skim off the froth substance (bee parts and wax). A mesh strainer type spoon will help. When You can remove all that you can of the froth. Allow it to cool to room temp before you fill the bottles (I use a 5gal carboy). You can follow the rest of MoleMans steps.

I myself made gallons of mead with strange flavors. Strawberry, mandarin orange and raisin.

*****Label all your bottles in case of allergies****
obax17 Pbyrd2 years ago
I have heard that raw honey does indeed make for a better flavour, but I have yet to give it a try. Depending on the brand, the store-bought stuff can be a mix of corn syrup with just enough honey to make it yellowish and taste kinda honey-ish (not all store-bought stuff is like this, but the cheaper stuff can be). Part of the flavour of honey comes from the impurities that pasteurization kill off.

I have no idea about the honeycomb though...
FireKracker2 years ago
Has anyone tried mango? I just started a small batch of mango apricot and was wondering if anyone had any past experience with it. This is an awesome instructable btw, very easy to follow.
xmobisx3 years ago
From left to right. Manzanilla Mead ready in 2 months, lemon Mead ready in 1.5months and beer ready in 2weeks.
196354_1816173037413_1032690026_2019172_1200749_n.jpg
MoleMans (author)  xmobisx3 years ago
Nice! I am trying to get brave enough to try brewing some beer. For some reason beer is more intimidating to me than wine or mead.
I am finding this more intimidating than brewing beer....I have an idea of what I want, but dont know what amounts, etc...and with smaller batches, I dont have the wiggle room of tossing an extra gram of ingredient x in.
But, I had a small bottle of licorice (and clove, I believe) mead from a bottle exchange at Xmas, and I must make some! Can't find any darn recipes for licorice/clove though.
(I also have an excess of madagascar vanilla bean, opeen for suggestions :)
you should try buying a kit first. its kinds like buying a cake mix box instead of making it from scratch. all you really do is boil about 2 gallons of water, add the malt to it and cool it as fast as you can and then put it in the carboy with 3 more gallons of water and the yeast....theres a little more to it but thats pritty much it
xmobisx xmobisx3 years ago
so i got bit by the brewing bug and decided to give it a try
JesterPoet3 years ago
Out of curiosity, how does one sterilize the tubing you use for the siphon in between uses? It seems like a difficult thing to sterilize.
you dont really have to sanitize between using just wash it really good. to sanatize the inside of the tube, i have a spigot on my bucket so i just attach the hose to it and fill it with sanitation solution and plug the hole when hose is full. once its full i take ot off the spigot and submerge the whole thing in the same solution. i use star san so it only takes 1 min to sanitize.
Xmo is correct, a good cleaning will work (soak in Oxyclean, its the same stuff we homebrewers use [aka PBW]) Star san is good, Iodophor if you have it (SS is much easier though),
MoleMans (author)  xmobisx3 years ago
Thats a good suggestion. I have never sanitized my siphon tube. I just rinse it well, which is probably gross. I guess I never really thought about the siphon before.
Great recipe! Is it possible to over ferment it? My friend and i who are planning to make it will only be able to check on it periodically and would be letting it ferment for 3-4 months. Would that be too long? or does it not really matter?

Thanks!
MoleMans (author)  cheesefannumba12 years ago
That's (one of) the great thing about mead, it can handle being ignored for long periods of time. If you want a dry mead you can let it sit for up to a year (maybe longer) as long as you keep it cool and dark.

If you want a sweeter mead then you need to decant the yeast after a month or two, but then it can sit in the dark/cool for as long as you want and it gets better with time.

I have a couple bottles that I have laid up for two years and its fantastic!
Great advice! Thanks so much!
PyroBonsly2 years ago
Great recipe, i just started my first batch yesterday.
Here's my lime/mint batch
Hope it turn's out good
meade 006.jpg
flashj3 years ago
This sounds awesome. I must try it in between batches of homemade cider. ('Structable using similar supplies also available herein!) I just need a place I can put it out of the way for 6 months so I'm not tempted to open it early and that won't drop below freezing for several months as well. :)
cheers!
P.Bechthold3 years ago
Going out to buy honey in a few minutes. Wanted to ad a comment for the OP and all the guests here.

While sterilizing your mouth with vodka is a good idea, it isn't necessary. The best way to start a siphon is to just fill the hose with water from the tap, plug off the ends with your fingers, then put the hose in your mead and the other into a spare cup.

when the water is done draining, you can pinch the tube and move to the real bottles.


Just a tip from a winemaker :)
Autosiphon or magnetic impeller pump FTW :)
Another vintner here.
Homebrewing FTW!
+1
Continuo3 years ago
Great 'ible, makes the whole process seem totally in reach of anyone, and another nice thing about it is the small batch size helps it to be less intimidating. I will probably give this a try in a few weeks, I read that you used plain "bread" yeast, but I'm curious of which brand and/or type it is? (for instance, could I use a packet of active dry yeast?)

Thanks!
MoleMans (author)  Continuo3 years ago
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

I use Red Star brand yeast, but that's only cause I work in the ethanol industry and that's what we use at the plants. You can use Fleischman's or any other active dry yeast and should have no issue.

The only thing you want to make that your yeast isn't too old. I tried making some hard cider with a packet of yeast that was sitting in the fridge for a year (or more, not really sure) and it didn't go well because the yeast seemed to be mostly dead. I have never had problems using yeast that was recently purchased though.
Meuryn3 years ago
About the sterilising your mouth with scotch/vodka - there really is no point. Alcohol has to be in concentrations of 60% or more in order to have any germicidal effect; so your 45 - 50% vodka won't really do anything.
wtf243 years ago
I stumbled upon this today and I plan on trying it this week. I plan on using cherries but I was wondering how many you would recommend using. Any advice would help. Thanks!!
MoleMans (author)  wtf243 years ago
We put a handful in for a gallon, so maybe 8 - 10. Just make sure to cut them small enough that they will come out later when they swell up.
wtf24 MoleMans3 years ago
ok, thanks. And the time between putting the balloon on the jar and capping the jar can be a few weeks, correct?
MoleMans (author)  wtf243 years ago
Yeah, in fact you want to make sure to wait until the balloon begins to get limp so you don't over saturate with CO2 and slow the yeast down too much.
capricorn3 years ago
This must be the easiest and user friendlier 'Ible about mead making I ever saw in my life

Thank you for sharing this mate, just a stupid question:

How do you get everything out from the main jar so that you can reuse it to brew another batch?
MoleMans (author)  capricorn3 years ago
Thank you! That's about the highest praise I could hope for.

Getting the chunks out at the end isn't trivial, as everything swells up during the fermentation. I have had good luck holding the bottle upside down and running a knitting needle or crochet hook in and out through the chunks catching whatever I can. It can take a little persistence.

It is definitely a good idea to cut the fruit much smaller than the neck of the jar at the start (like half the diameter) to allow for some swelling.
cloclo593 years ago
I understand the mixture water + honey + yeast
but why add mint and lemon?
je comprend le mélange eau + miel + levure
mais pourquoi ajouter menthe et citron ?
the mint and honey are just for flavor
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