Basic Still Mead Recipe - 5 gals.
1 kitchen knife
1 cutting board
1 thermometer, floating type
1 small strainer
1 stirring spoon
1 racking tube
1 large funnel
1 small funnel
1 old fashioned hand operated juicer
1 5 gal. carboy
1 carboy stopper and blow off tube
1 JET carboy and bottle washer
1 stainless steel cook pot and lid - 3 gals. capacity
5-6 handfuls of raisins (food for the yeast)
3 lemons, squeezed for the juice, save the peels (for acid)
1 cup orange juice with calcium. (acid, food for the yeast)
5 teabags of English Black Tea (for tannin)
16 - 18 lbs. raw unprocessed bulk honey - (1 gal. = 12 lbs.)
1 packet white wine yeast, Lalvin D-47
1 bottle of LD Carlson Co. Yeast Nutrient
1 mouthful of hydrogen peroxide and water or hard liquor
1 tbsp. added to 1 gal. warm water Logic One Step No-Rinse Cleaner for sterilizing everything used
4 gals. of bottled spring water or purified premium drinking water, aerated and re mineralized with calcium, magnesium, and potassium
1 clean kitchen, wipe down counters, sinks, stove, etc. with bleach and water to kill bacteria, make clean as possible!
Making the must!
Pasteurize in 3 gal. cook pot at 165-180 F degrees for 10 mins. the mixture of honey, water, raisins, lemon peels, brewed tea and juices. Stir well to mix water and honey. Use strainer to skim off any bee butts, legs, wings, etc. that float to top of must during heating. Turn off heat and cover pot with lid. Let stand for about 12 hours so it can cool to room temperature. You can also cool the pot in the refrigerator or with ice in the sink but for me that's more trouble than it's worth. The must has to cool enough so the yeast won't die when pitched.
Read the directions on the yeast packet for temperature range and how to wake up yeast before it is pitched.
Remove lemon peels from the must after it has cooled to room temperature.
Rinse mouth with hydrogen peroxide and water or hard liquor.
Rack the must by siphoning with clean racking tube into clean carboy and use clean large funnel for pouring in the raisins.
Per directions wake up the yeast! [Lalvin D-47: Dissolve the dry yeast in 50 mil (2 oz.) of warm, NOT HOT, water at 40-43 C or 104-109 F. Let stand 15 minutes without stirring, then stir well to suspend all the yeast.] Add Yeast Nutrient per instructions on bottle.
Using the clean small funnel, pitch the activated yeast into the carboy!
Hail Odin! Hail Frigga! Hail Asgard! Hail Ancestors! Hail Yes!
Top off carboy by filling with purified water, 2 1/2 inches from bottom of stopper of blow off tube. (Do not allow blow off tube opening to get plugged up!)
Install clean stopper and blow off tube.
Slosh carboy around to aerate must and force air out.
Place carboy in dark closet or room or cover to protect yeast from light. Room temp should be about 66 F - 75 F degrees.
If fermentation does not begin within 24 - 48 hours do the yeast step all over again.
Fermentation lasts at least 1 or 2 months.
Must should be racked monthly into another carboy leaving sediment behind. This would be a good time to add flavoring.
Top off with spring/purified water at 5 gals. Taste test the must at each racking. Don't add too much water. If the mead seems a bit sticky or cloying let it it age out. Let it be mead and it will take care of itself.
Bottle when mead is clear enough to read newsprint held against side of carboy.
Be more patient than our ancient ancestors were. The best mead takes 1 - 3 years.
eBeeHoney.com, Ashland, Ohio
Gruwell Apiary, back in buzziness, Fort Pierce, Florida
The Winemaker's Shop, Columbus, Ohio
Google this!, more home brewing supplies
Gat Mjöð?, more mead stuff.
Mad About Mead!: Nectar of the Gods, by Pamela Spence, 1997 (Out of print)