Mead is quickly becoming a popular alternative to typical beers and wines. Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage made with honey. It can range from 4%-20% alcohol and can be flavored with a wide variety of fruits and spices. At Fifth Season, we’ve been experimenting with a simple one-month mead that can be easily brewed in around 60 minutes. Whether you keep your own bees or enjoy local honey, this is an easy project that results in a delicious drink to sip on the cooler evenings.
To get started, you will only need the following:
- 1 gallon glass jug
- 5 – 3 pounds of local honey
- 1 #6.5 drilled gum stopper
- 1 screw on cap
- 1 econolock airlock
- Your choice of yeast
- Yeast nutrient
I started by adding one gallon of filtered water to my glass jug and removed ½ cup to give some head space for the fermentation. I then used a marker for reference.
I then removed 3 ¼ cup to account for the displacement when adding the honey.
At this point I started adding my honey from a local beekeeper in Haw Creek. I’ve found that the easiest way to add the honey is to use a funnel and slowly pour the honey in a little bit at a time. Setting the jar of honey in some warm water will make the honey easier to pour.
After adding 3 pounds of honey, the water level in my jug had risen to the mark that I made previously. The best way that I’ve found to fully mix the honey with the water is to screw on a solid cap and shake the jug until the honey is fully dissolved. This is also the point where I added the first addition of yeast nutrient.
After fully mixing the honey and yeast nutrient, it’s now time to add the yeast. For this batch I used 1 full package of Wyeast Belgian Strong Ale – 1388.
Once you’ve added your choice of yeast the brew is finished. I added my gum stopper and airlock to keep the batch safe from contamination.
During the first 3 days of fermentation, I added another addition of yeast nutrient, per the recipe’s instructions. Another dose of nutrient should be added after 4-6 days into fermentation. After 4-5 weeks your mead should be finished. Ours have been finishing between 12-14% alcohol.
After successfully brewing a couple batches of this mead I feel like it is the easiest way for beginners to get started in the world of homemade meads. Happy brewing!