How to make some Mead today -the cheap, fast, and easy way
Mead is a wonderful and delicious wine brewed from honey rather than grapes and it is real easy to make. But typically you have to buy some specialized items like an airlock and a glass carboy. I will show you how with one trip to the supermarket you can have a batch of Mead brewing today.
If you ever wanted to home brew your own wine but thought it seemed too complicated here is a great way to get a first batch going with very little fuss and very little cost. You won’t have to order anything special and in no time at all you will have about four bottles of wine that you made yourself. First let’s take a trip to the supermarket.
Does this cheap, easy and fast recipe really work? It sure does. I got an email from somebody who tried it. Here is a quote of what he had to say about this process:
Here is a picture of everything you need. This pic was submitted by Andy who is now officially a Mead Maker. Thanks Andy!
Ingredients List to purchase from the Supermarket:
1 Gallon of Spring Water (room temperature, do not get refrigerated)
Here are some suggestions for variations in this recipe
If you can't get Fleishmann's Yeast here are some perfectly suitable alternates: Narbonne Yeast (Lalvin 71B-1122), Lalvin D-47, or Montpelier Lalvin (K1V-1116)
If you would like to add a bit of spice to this recipe you could add 1 or 2 cloves. But be careful, they are very strong so don't put more than 2.
How to make the MeadPour about half of the water into a clean container then slice up your orange into eighth’s and put the slices, honey, twenty-five raisins, and the yeast into the jug. Pour some water back into the jug so the level is a couple of inches from the top then put the cap on it and shake it up well. If you can, you should shake it for a good five minutes. This will aerate the mixture. The yeast really needs lots of oxygen to grow vigorously.
Now poke a pinhole in the top of the balloon, remove the cap from your jug and put the balloon right over the mouth of the jug. Stretch the open end of the balloon right over the jug so that as the gases form inside the jug they will inflate the balloon. Put a rubber band or tape around the neck to keep it firmly in place -if it feels like it might come off. Leave it out on a counter for the first day so you can monitor it.
(Note: The balloon can age and oxidize over time so you should inspect it regularly to make sure it doesn't break down and develop cracks. If it seems like it is breaking down replace it with a new balloon! - My thanks to Tim for submitting this tip)
What will happen next?
After two to three weeks the major portion of the ferment will be done and the balloon will be limp. At this point you can taste a little bit to see how it is coming along but it isn’t really a tasty wine at this point. It will need another couple of months to start to get delicious. Over time, as you check on it you will notice that the cloudiness disappears and it slowly clarifies and transforms into wine.
The Orange and the raisins can stay in the mixture for the whole duration but if you want to make the mead a little milder and help it clarify faster you can transfer the liquid into another gallon jug and place the balloon on that one. This would be after the two to three week ferment period has completed. This process is called racking and it will move your mead along nicely.
Here is a picture of the completed batch. Now it is time to just sit back and watch the yeast do its thing! Pic submitted by Andy.
Addendum to this tutorial on mead making:The importance of Sanitation
One of the most important aspects of mead making is sanitization. It is very important that you sanitize everything when you are making mead. Let me explain why!
When mixing up your honey, water and other things you are making a food environment. It is a place loaded with nutrients for yeast and that means it can be easy for other types of unwanted yeast or bacteria to quickly grow! It's almost like a little incubator :) What you want is to make sure no outside yeast or cells develop other than the yeast you pitch. This means you should sanitize everything that comes in contact with your new batch of mead including the jug, spoons and measuring cups.
Doing this sanitizing will add a litte extra work but it is well worth it. It greatly improves your chances of making a wonderful tasting mead.
The Nuts and Bolts of Sanitizing Mead:
I have a video you can watch that will help you understand sanitation here: Sanitization of Mead
I use store bought wine making chemical for sanitizing and you can easily get around this by using Chlorine Bleach and here is an article that will help you: Using Bleach for sanitizing food equipment In summary:
"about one tablespoon (1/2 fluid ounce, 15
Want to see some videos of how to make mead? I have a youtube channel playlist that currently has 30 Mead making videos here
I found a whole bunch of wonderful drinking goblets on amazon. I have a page with them right here. Just a couple of years ago you couldn't get a goblet, or mead! It is great to see both are becoming very popular. Mead Goblets
Make a peach or pineapple fruit mead
If you have always wanted to make a fruit mead (melomel) you might want to check this tutorial out. I take you through the whole process from start to finish including bottling. Make a Peach or Pineapple Melomel