Saturday, 11 February 2012

1st Mead bottled

Mead or honey wine is probably the oldest booze known to humans. Some sources say it has been responsible for making people drunk for more than 10'000 years. I started it back in June from honey i bought from a farmer. the recipe was rather straight forward. For one demijohn I used approximately 2.5kg (5lb) honey, brought it to boil and topped it up to 1 imp gallon (4.5ltr). After reaching blood temperature i pitched a starter of bread yeast. The SG was approx 1.11 which gives 15per cent alcohol.
Last week the SG was .99 and I killed the fermentation with one campden tablet. By today the mead had cleared which is a sign that the fermentation has stopped. After bottling just five bottles I had the first sip. It wasn't a disappointment but neither a reason to jump in the air. Unsurprisingly it is very strong. I really need to lower the sugar content in all my brews. the first sip already made me tipsy.

The rather disappointing part is that i have used too strong honey. I should have read Ben Turner's book first before starting. He clearly says that you should use mild honey. Strong and dark honey might be better for your bread or your pancakes but mild and bright honey is definitely better for brewing!

The hardest part still remains: waiting, waiting, waiting. Mead needs at least 6month better 12 for the bottle ripening until you should drink it. I started it with the idea of drinking it as a mulled wine for christmas 2011 but now i will have to wait until next christmas. 

Price: Demijohn and airlock from car boot sale: £2, honey: £3-5, 
bread yeast or leave it outside for a day, covered with a muslin, for catching wild yeast

SG: specific gravity or sugar content. Use a hydrometer to measure.

If you love mead and want to get comprehensive knowledge then this book is a must: Compleat Meadmaker: Home Production of Honey Wine from Your First Batch to Award-Winning Fruit and Herb Variations

1 comment:

  1. After reading yr article which I found interesting I had to look more about Mead. Seems still to be popular in many countries. Finland still going strong and have it on Mayday Festival:)
    Maybe should try to do a brandy or liqueur strength"honey jack".
    Good luck with xmas 2012 AND HOPE THE FLAVOURS and taste will be as you want it to be. E

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