OUR MEAD (HONEY WINE): 6 gals Yield

Measure: 20 lbs. or 27 c (1 gal 11 c) Honey & 27 c Water 

Bring to boil Honey & Water (the "Must") on high heat, which takes approximately 45 min. Stir the Must whenever it makes a beginning-to-boil, hissing-like sound, so as not to allow the Honey to caramelize. The first 15-min. shall require occasional stirring, whereas the final 30 min. shall require regular stirring.

When the must begins a vigorous boil, care must be taken in slightly lowering the heat source, so as to continue the boil without allowing the foam to boil over.

Allow boiling for 10 min., while skimming the foam, which consists of various byproducts (wax, pollen, etc.), from the top.

Remove from heat and pour into cooling receptacle, adding additional 60-c (3&3/4-gals) water. Temperature of the Must is initially 50 C, or 122 F, degrees. The Must cools until 40 C, or 104 F, degrees in order to "pitch" the Yeast. The cooling process takes 2 hrs. (Winter) to 3 hrs. (Summer). Occasionally stirring aids cooling and maintains a uniform temperature throughout the Must.

In the meanwhile, sanitize 7 gals Carboy (glass vessel). Dilute 2 Tablespoons Potassium Metabisulfite diluted in 1 qt. Water. Using a Carboy brush, thoroughly scrub entire inner surface. Dispense Sulfite-Water and rinse Carboy with fresh Water.

Measure into Carboy: 4 Tablespoons (1/4 c) Malic Acid, 2 Tablespoons (1/8 c) Tartaric Acid, and 13 Tablespoons (3/4 c & 1 T) Fermaid (Yeast Nutrient). Loosely stopper Fermentation Lock in Carboy.

When the Must cools to 40 C, or 104 F, degrees, siphon ("rack") into Carboy. Dilute 1-Teaspoon Pasteur Champagne Yeast into  c Water between 35 C, or 95 F, and 40 C, or 104 F, degrees, so water should be lukewarm or body temperature. Pour into top of Must in Carboy and firmly stopper Fermentation Lock.

Store in dark (facilitates clarity of Mead) at room temperature. Fermentation will begin and be moderate within 24 hrs. In the first week, fermentation rate shall increase. Fermentation will continue for a month and in the second month, will gradually subside. By the third month fermentation will cease and the Mead will gradually clear in 3-6 months. When completely clear, rack Mead off its dregs ("lees") into 6-gals Carboy.  Mead may be bottled and drunk as soon as it is clear or continue in storage. If kept in storage, sanitize Carboy. The Mead will continue to precipitate lees, so regular (semiannual) racking until no lees remain is recommended.

Good luck and may the God of Brewing look kindly upon your endeavors!

A plastic 15-gal trash container is the perfect storage/carrier for a carboy full of mead. An excellent source for brewing supplies is Presque Isle Wine Cellars (www.piwine.com), where you will find everything, except trash container, kitchen utensils, and, of course, the honey.

The type of honey used will determine the flavor of the Mead. Experience has proven that Clover is so delicate a flavor it could be called Generic Mead. Blueberry, Cranberry, Orange, and Raspberry taste like the fruits. Thyme makes unique ale-like mead. Wildflower produces an alcoholic perfume, not for everybody's taste, yet probably most like the ecstatic stupor experienced by the small creatures who make it all possible, the BEES!

In making mead, no measures need necessarily be exact. The above formula produces fairly "dry" mead, akin to a white grape wine. A greater ratio of honey will make it sweeter and give the yeast more fructose to convert to a higher percentage of alcohol. A greater ratio of water will make it drier and lower in alcohol content.

The water is as large an influence as the honey in the taste of the final product. The composition of the water also determines the amount of acids and nutrient. Measures may have to be "tweaked" to compensate. For that matter, "tweaking" is encouraged in order to suit one's personal taste.

Again, good luck!

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