How (o) make MEAD, part 1

Mead is an ancient alcoholic drink made from honey, water, and yeast. It is not difficult to make and I find it to be a lot of fun. I especially like to watch the bubbles.

NOTE: the honey in mead is the source of sugar for fermentation and may add some taste. The finished mead does not taste like honey at all.

Terminology: Adding apples or apple juice–>cyser. Adding fruit–> melomel. Adding grapes–> pyment. Adding spices–>metheglin. It is all mead though.

Part 1 will list minimum equipment needed to make mead and then part 2 will be about actual techniques that I have used.

The two underlying requirements for success are cleanliness and patience. Sterility is not required, but one does want to minimize the risk of contamination by bacteria or wild yeasts.

  1. Glass carboys -two. I have some 5 gallon carboys, but that is a lot of ingredients for one fermentation so I have gone to 1 gallon bottles so I can start several meads faster. I make one mead, bottle it, and then start another.
  2. Airlocks-several. These are one way valves, made of plastic, and come with a rubber stopper. One may be included with each carboy. They allow the carbon dioxide to be evacuated from the fermentation while blocking contamination. {alternatives include the use of balloons or condoms with needle punctures in the end. A balloon must be cleansed before use}.
  3.  A large mouthed funnel. Mine is plastic and used only for mead.
  4. An auto siphon. This is such an improvement over other ways to rack the mead that I regard it as necessary. I bought a Fermtech unit from Amazon.
  5. One step cleaner-this is not a bleach and with not damage hands or clothes {I have not tested it on clothes}
  6. A dedicated large plastic bucket or tray to used to hold the cleaner solution and your smaller parts.
  7. Bottles-I use the ones pictured with the camimg_2829img_2828img_2830ing top plug. Cleaned wine bottles would work too, but one will need new corks and a cork installer tool {a rubber mallet? Maybe}.
  8. Campden tablets-sulfite tablets to kill organisms.
  9. Where to get all this? Your local brewing shop, online brewing shops, and Amazon. I have used all three sources with success.


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