The Gjallgard Kindred

Asatru/Northern Tradition Paganism

Basic Mead Recipe

I've been asked a few times recently about making mead.  To make things easier on myself, this is basically how I put it together:

I use liquid honey, because its easier, but it doesn't really matter.  1 litre/1.4 kilo honey for 4 litres finished mead is a good minimum.  I usually use 6 litres of honey for a 22 litre batch. (5 Imperial Gallon Carboy)

I've got an 11 litre pot, so I start with 4 litres of water - spring or distilled, try to avoid tap water - on the stove.  As it warms, I stir in the honey, rinsing out the the honey containers with a bit of boiling water, until it's all in the pot.  Add in about 2 cups diced lemon peel, and a half cup or so of strong black tea.  Once it's steaming, add in a teaspoon of grape tannin, and if you want 1 teaspoon of yeast energizer, I don't use the energizer myself.
If you want a bit of flavour you can add in whatever you want at this point. I've made strawberry mead with 1 lb of strawberries in a 3 gallon batch that turned out real nice.  Bring it to a boil, or near boil, using a tea strainer to skim off the froth that rises to the top.

Let it cool awhile, then rack it into a carboy and top it up with room temperature water.  When the whole thing is room temperature, pitch 1 packet of yeast (wine, champagne, brewer's) in about 1/2 cup of 25 degree (celsius) water, let it sit about 10 minutes, then mix it in.

Set the carboy in a dark, moderate temperature place and cap it with a fermentation lock.  I like to stick it in the bottom of a closet, but bear in mind that it can get messy if it foams up through the fermentation lock, which is pretty common.  Setting it in a large basin of some sort is a good idea.  Don't disturb it except when necessary.  After 3-4 days you can rack into another carboy and top it up with water, and replace the fermentation lock.  Check for sediment every week or two and re-rack it if there's more than just a trace.  When it has gone a month without sediment, it can be bottled.  I have used campden tablets to stop the fermentation before bottling, but not usually, though it is the best way to avoid having bottles explode or corks blow out.

It's recommended that you let it set in the bottle for 3 months or more.  I can't do that.  There's usually nothing left in 3 months.


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