As part of my promise to help Dad’s everywhere develop hobbies, stay sane, and learn new skills, I present to you – BREW DAY – The posts that follow what I am brewing, the recipes I use/create, the process I took and other odds and ends as to why I do what I do.
For the first entry in our series I present a simple but tasty Mead that will hit about 5-6% alcohol by volume, so very session-able indeed. The ingredients are dead simple and the process even more so. This mead will technically be a Methglyn – herbs (or dried fruit) and honey mixed. The fruit in this case will be Wild Berry Blend tea which will impart flavor, and the honey will be a mild clover honey.
Items you will need:
• Fermentor- a bucket or gallon jug – total volume today will be 1 gallon.
• Yeast – dry white wine variant (D47 is solid)
• Yeast nutrient
• 1.5-2 lbs of honey – raw is better, local is best but $$$
• 1-2 tea packets – I used wild berry blend
• Stir device
First clean and sanitize anything that will touch your mead. Use hot water and a dash of bleach after you thoroughly clean everything.
- Take your tea and steep for 30 minutes or until it’s just warm to the touch in 4 cups of water.
- In your fermentor add .25 gallon of water that is warm
- Add 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- Add your honey, if it’s slow going, put the container in a warm water bath to make it easier to get out
- Mix the hell out of that stuff in your fermentor.
- Now that the tea is cooled down and steeped, add that to the fermentor and mix like hell again.
a. Mixing like this incorporates oxygen which is needed to start a fermentation. Where sugar gets converted to alcohol. Once you close you container do not open or allow air to touch again till you bottle to drink.
- Level out to one gallon by adding room temperature water.
- Carefully open and pitch ( toss in without touching) your dry yeast over the top of the fermentor.
- Close lid on fermentor and add airlock – could be the plastic kind in a bung with water or even a ballon with a pin hole in it wrapped over the top of the jug. Google it for pictures)
- Let sit at room temperature (62-78 degrees, check temps for your yeast you pick) for a week to 10 days. This really should be finished fermenting in 3-5 days but if your house is on the colder side it will take longer to finish ferment.
- After 3-5 days if you see no more air bubbles in the airlock ( or your ballon droops) and the mixture is looking clear and the yeast is on the bottom of the container, you are ready to syphon your MEAD to drinking vessels or a secondary container to carbonate. Chill mead and DRINK. Should be between 5-6% abv and may have slight fizz tingle.
OPTIONAL IF YOU WANT FIZZY/ CARBONATED MEAD
Seal the mead in a gallon jug or keg, add priming sugar or more honey and let the container sit for another 10-14 days. After that time the residual yeast will have eaten the new sugar/ honey you added and convert it into CO2 which will be absorbed into the beverage due to not having and airlock. Then, chill and consume within 2 days unless you individually bottled the mead.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE JUST MADE MEAD, HONEY WINE, NECTUR OF THE GODS. GO DRINK LIKE A VIKING YOU SAVAGE! SKÖL