Sourcing Mead

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Captain Reech
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Re: WTB Mead

Postby Captain Reech » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:55 am

It's a question of definiton, Lindisfarne 'Mead' (whilst quite nice!) is fermented grape juice flavoured with honey, whilst 'proper' mead is strictly the product of fermenting diluted Honey (which can then be flavored with fruit or spices to form 'Melomel' or 'Methglyn').
Lindisfarne product has to be sold as 'Mede' in the US to differentiate it from Honey only products.
Interestingly a lot of Historical 'Beer' (as well as the vast majority of modern mass produced product) couldn't be classified as 'Beer' under the strict definitions of the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot of 1516 until the rules were relaxed in 1993 because they contain ingredients other than barley, water and hops.


"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
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Skevmeister
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Re: WTB Mead

Postby Skevmeister » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:26 pm

You definately need to talk to Laurie, he does some excellent ones, and can probably arrange shippage of his finest.


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TriciaT
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Re: Sourcing Mead

Postby TriciaT » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:50 pm

How does one go about making their own mead? Is it similar to beer making or more akin to making whiskey? I realize the main ingredient is honey but is that all to make 'true' mead or does it require something else?


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Captain Reech
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Re: Sourcing Mead

Postby Captain Reech » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:29 am

Simple answer: Water and Yeast.
More detailed answer:

The Q&D Mead. (Aka: Lady Elenna's Ruin)

4 jars of cheap honey (Sainsburys basics is about 99p a jar)
1 jar nice honey (A good, strong flavoured, single source honey for preference. Sainsburys did a nice Sage Blossom honey for example and the Coop did a Chestnut blossom one)
Wine yeast (go for one with at least a 14% ABV tolerance)
demijohn(s) and airlock
Large saucepan,
Funnel
siphon tube

Sterilise all equipment with baby bottle sterilising solution.

Dissolve the four jars of cheap honey in about a 3 pints of hot water. Pour into demijohn and top up to just under a gallon (when fermentation gets vigorous you'll need a space at the top of the jar or it will overflow) and allow to stand until it's room temp. Add one or two teaspoons of yeast and fit fermentation lock. Leave somewhere warm (airing cupboard is good although I'd stand it in a washing up bowl in case it overflows) for about three months (or until fermentation has slowed to the point there's only about one bubble through the airlock per hour) At this point you really need another clean, sterile, demi john but you can use sterilised pop bottles as a temporary measure. Siphon the mead into the clean vessel (either a clean demijohn or sterile pop bottles and then clean your demijohn and pour it back) You will lose some volume here as you don't want to suck up the sediment the demijohn. Dissolve some of the nicer honey in warm water (not too hot, if you have to use hot water to dissolve it then let it stand until it cools) and use this to top up your mead to one gallon. Return to airing cupboad (Check every day or so, if fermentation does not resume add a little more yeast) Leave again until fermentation stops completely and let the demijohn stand until it clears then siphon into clean bottles and cork with new, sterile corks. Keep in a dark cool place for as long as you can ( It's ready to drink when clear but tastes better if it has a few months to mellow. A year is even better but mine never lasts that long!)

You can keep repeating the siphon/add honey process, especially if you use a yeast with a higher tolerance, until the mead won't ferment anymore. This will make a stronger but sweeter mead.

That's it, patience is the hardest bit!


"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
Edmund Burke(1729 – 1797)
Proof that being "Conservative" wasn't always a bad thing.....


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