In mid-January, we decided to try and make mead. We love experimenting in the kitchen so naturally, our next step was to try our hand at making alcohol. Now, we didn’t want to make beer because the commitment seemed too high and costly for our current desires. After some research Drew found that mead was simple to make and relatively inexpensive as it only required 3 ingredients and minimal tools.
What is mead?
Mead is often described as honey wine and contains honey, water, and yeast. The yeast eats the sugar of the honey and converts it into alcohol and gas. Mead is thought to be the oldest recorded alcohol beverage. While traditional mead utilizes natural yeast to ferment, most modern mead makers now rely on alcohol yeast.
Our first batch was concocted in a clean milk gallon with a blue balloon on top. The balloon had a small puncture to allow the gas to escape while preventing bacteria from entering the mixture. Drew snuck in a few lemon slices when Kay wasn’t looking as well. After a few weeks, we poured out a little bit to taste, and…..it was ok. It had a strong yeast taste and tasted like a lemon cough drop. We let this sit for a few more weeks in some jars we had this second step is called secondary fermentation/clarification. It tasted better but not good. So we decided to start fresh a bit more seriously this time. This required watching hours of youtube videos from different creators trying to find the perfect recipe and tools for us.
Our next batch was done in a jug acquired through amazon with yeast meant for making alcohol. We also bought a three-pound container of honey to keep it consistent. It turned out bad as we had also added strawberries into the mixture. It ended up with a bad taste and smell. We then decided to buckle down, do a smidge more research, and do another batch. This time not adding flavorings.
Our current batches are still ongoing but follow what we think is a winning formula. It consists of Costco honey, fancy yeast, and time. We have had one successful batch and have a few more going the right way. Throughout our process, We acquired a few different brands of professionally made mead and found that ours tastes similar. So we are pretty satisfied with our product. We were really hoping to share our product with family and friends soon and will once quarantine is over.
This process takes months and months to get a good product which has taught Kay patience. We recommend taking up this hobby or another time consuming one because, during this pandemic, we all have time on our hands! 🙂
Things You Will Need (Bare Minimum)
- Sanitized Jug
Things You Will Need (Advanced)
- Fermenting Jars/Bucket
- Alcohol Yeast (We use Lalvin 71B)
- Food Safe Tubing
- Food Grade Sanitizing agent
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