Making Mead. By Robert & Gloria Leustek. Now that you have honey, what do you do with it?. You make MEAD!. The History of Mead. Mead is thought to be the oldest alcoholic beverages know to man. The history of mead may go back more than 8,000 years.
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By Robert & Gloria Leustek
The history of mead may go back more than 8,000 years.
The oldest known meads were created on the Island of Crete. Wine had not yet been created. Mead was the drink of the Age of Gold, and the word for drunk in classical Greek is methismenos or honey-intoxicated.
The earliest archaeological evidence for the production of mead dates to around 7000 BC. Pottery vessels containing a mixture of mead, rice and other fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation were found in Northern China
The English word mead derives from the Old English meodu,meaning fermented honey drink
Legend has it that the word mead dates to around 7000 BC. Pottery vessels containing a mixture of mead, rice and other fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation were found in Northern Chinahoneymoon is derived from an ancient tradition of sending a newly married couple off to seclusion for a month with much mead, to ensure their best chance to start a family quickly. Mead has been, and still is, considered the drink of love.
New Jersey mead dates to around 7000 BC. Pottery vessels containing a mixture of mead, rice and other fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation were found in Northern ChinaStatute §33:1-75 allows for the production of wine or malt alcoholic beverages in the home by persons over the age of 21, not to exceed 200 gallons per year, free from state excise tax. A requirement for New Jersey home beer and wine makers to obtain a state permit
to practice their hobby was
eliminated in January 2012.
A fermented drink made with honey, water and yeast also known as MUST
Sack Mead - a sweeter Mead, with more honey
Melomel - with fruit or fruit juice
Metheglin - with spices
Acerglyn - with maple syrup
Morat - with mulberries
Pyment - with both
honey and grapes
Hippocras – with
honey, grapes, and spices
Cyser - honey and apples or apple cider (apple juice in Europe) Can also be made with peach, cherry or pear cider
Braggot - honey and malt, sort of a Mead-beer
Oxymel - Mead mixed with wine vinegar
Rhodomel - honey with Attar, a rose petal distillate, or rose petals
Capsicumel - honey with chile peppers
T'ej –with honey, water and hops. It is the national drink of Ethiopia, and has a unique taste
Starter Winemaking Equipment: $74.99 (8200 pg. 68)
Winemaking Equipment Kit Instructional DVD
7.9 gallon plastic fermenter with lid
6 gallon glass carboy, Stopper, Airlock
Bottle brush, Hydrometer
8 ounces of Easy Clean No-Rinse Cleanser
Plastic plunger corker
30- #8 X 1 3/4" straight corks
5 feet of siphon tubing
Brew Pot – 3 gallon
Long Handled Spoon
Mix-Stir Agitator Rod
Bottles (ask your friends)
Most importantly… Recipes!
Corrado’s in Patterson
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Specific Gravity (S.G.) –This is used to determine how much sugar is present in the Must/Mead. The higher the SG, the more sugar is present.
Final Gravity (F.G.) – The measurement of the specific gravity when all fermentation has ceased. The lowest that can be reached is 0.990.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – The amount of alcohol in your Mead, given as a percentage of the total volume. Most wines are around the 11% to 12% ABV, but it is possible to ferment up to 20% to 22%.
pH or Acidity – The amount of acid in your Must will determine the health of the yeast. A solution of honey in water will usually have a natural pH of around 3.7 to 4.6. The optimal pH for yeast is around 3.7 for best results.
Acid blend is a blend of the three most common acids found in fruit: citric, malic and tartaric. It’s typically used in wines that are naturally lacking in acid, which typically results in a flat tasting wine. Acid Blend adds liveliness to the wine and helps to bring out its fruity flavors. Having a proper level of acidity will help establish a vigorous fermentation.
Recipe Name used:
Brew Date – __/__/__Batch Size – ___ gal.Honey Varietal – ______S.G. goal – 1.___%ABV goal – __%
Ingredients:__Lbs. Honey__gal. Liquid (water/apple cider etc.)__Lbs. Other ingredients__oz. DAP/Energizer__oz. Yeast etc.
Process:Prep method (including times, amounts, temperatures, acid level, processes and observations)
Continued notes and comments (additions, aerations, rackings etc.) up to bottling and tasting notes.
Using a standard brewlog will help tremendously with keeping things organized.
Determine the recipe used:
Gather the ingredients, supplies & additives
Prepare & sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!
All measurements are by
weight, not volume
Did we mention………SANITIZE?
Weigh the honey into your brew pot using equal amounts of honey to water ratio.
Heat to 145 degrees for
Taking a honey to water ratio.taste!
Add honey to water ratio.1 tspBentoniteto 2 quarts of very hot water, mix. This is an early Flocculent.
Mix in the honey to water ratio.Bentonite
Remember honey is a natural antibiotic so we add yeast mark. energizer, yeast nutrient and
After the mixture has cooled to about 68º, take your mark. initial Specific Gravity reading with your Hydrometer.
Stir in any additives such as flowers or oak mark. chips.
Pitch the yeast. mark.
We use a yeast starter made from orange juice.
Firmly cover the primary fermenter, secure air lock and wait for the fermentation.
In 1-2 days fermentation should begin and for the fermentation.after about a week, the initial fermentation should appear stop.
Then rack off into a carboy,
recap, put in a cool dark
Location. In about 1 week
Take a S.G. reading. If 1.000
Or less we go onto the next
Step. If not, wait a few
more days and take another
Once the S.G. reading is 1.000 or less then with your drill and your Mix-Stir Agitator Rod and whip the mead vigorously. Do not over-whip.
You can also add preservatives such as and your Mix-Stir Agitator Rod and whip the mead vigorously. Do not over-whip.Sorbate and
a chemical like Metabisulfite to insure that the fermentation process will not continue in your bottles.
Then add your flocculent. and your Mix-Stir Agitator Rod and whip the mead vigorously. Do not over-whip.
Popular flocculents are:
Mix well, add water to within 1 inch of the airlock
Reinsert Airlock, put in cool dark
place. Wait 2 weeks.
When you are ready and your Mix-Stir Agitator Rod and whip the mead vigorously. Do not over-whip.to bottle:
Take a final Hydrometer reading, compare the values to determine alcohol content.
Clean & sanitize your bottles:
One 6 gallon carboy will yield about 3 cases of standard
750 ml wine bottles.
When you are ready to bottle: and your Mix-Stir Agitator Rod and whip the mead vigorously. Do not over-whip.
Using a racking cane, fill & cork
Finally, Label & apply shrink caps.
Always store your bottles on their and your Mix-Stir Agitator Rod and whip the mead vigorously. Do not over-whip.sides in a cool location 54º is ideal but never more than 75º
“Reds” age about 1 year
“Whites” age sooner.
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Large or Small batch and your Mix-Stir Agitator Rod and whip the mead vigorously. Do not over-whip.
What will your next recipe bee?