Mead – 15 Recipes

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Mead is a great gateway into wine making, it is honey wine, and most of these recipes are reality Melomel which include fruit and there are lots of spins on the original Mead and they each have there own proper name… however for ease of use and less confusion it’s all mead it’s all good!

I gave the recipe for the first batch early on. Hopes homemade Mead, was a great success! I was really sad I only did one gallon, as was my husband who keeps asking me for more. It tasted great at bottling, but aging it another 6 months and WOW! the honey finish is to die for!

I’m getting ready to do another batch and will be making 5 gallons. The only draw back to mead is the cost of honey, which is why you don’t see Mead stocked in your local grocery store often (or at all) but it’s great for home brewers and it is wonderful, So wonderful in fact i’m considering keeping bees!

Note: Use good honey, local organic is best, I get mine from a local farm.

Crazy-Good Mead

Ingredients:

  • 10 lbs honey
  • 1 oz Saaz hops
  • 2 lbs frozen blueberries
  • 1 gallon apple juice (buy the no-preservatives kind)
  • 1 pack champagne yeast (I used Red Star)

Directions:

  • Bring about 3 gallons of water to a boil.
  • Add the honey, stirring until it’s dissolved.
  • Bring the must back to a boil, being careful not to boil it over. You can do this by stirring it. If it starts to boil over, turn down the heat.
  • Add 1/2 oz Saaz hops.
  • Boil for 15 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms (it’ll be beeswax, bee parts, and such from the honey, not anything you’ll want to drink).
  • While it’s boiling, you can get the blueberries ready, by putting them in a hop-boiling bag.
  • Reduce the heat to keep it at a simmer. It shouldn’t boil again from this point on.
  • Add the blueberries, mashing the bag around a bit over the pot before you dump it in–you want to break the fruit up, to extract the juice more easily.
  • Simmer for 10 more minutes.
  • Add the remaining hops (about 1/2 oz).
  • Simmer for 5 more minutes, getting the fermenter ready by putting the apple cider in it.
  • Add the hot must to the cider, and bring the fermenter up to 5 gallons total by adding cool water. When you pour the must into the fermenter, it’ll splash, which will aerate the must. This gives the yeast the oxygen they need to get started.
  • Seal up the fermenter and wait for it to cool (overnight, perhaps).
  • When the must in the fermenter has reached about 70 degrees F, toss in the yeast, put the airlock back on the fermenter and wait.

This recipe will take about a month to ferment at 65 degrees or so. If the area you have set aside for your fermenter is warmer or cooler than that, your time will vary. Warmer temps make for faster fermentation. Cooler temps make for slower. If you’ve got a hydrometer, you can wait for the specific gravity to drop below 1.0. If not, just wait for it to bubble no more than once every five or ten minutes. If it’s bubbling more often than that, let it sit longer. If the airlock goes dry, put more water in it. If you get a real vigorous fermentation and it either fills the airlock with foam or blows it clear off, don’t worry. Just find the airlock, clean it up, refill it with water, and pop it back on the fermenter.

 

When fermentation slows, it’s time to bottle.


 

Strawberry/Rhubarb Mead

Ingredients:

4 lb. or 64 oz. of clover honey
1 lb. frozen rhubarb
1 lb. frozen strawberries
3 tsp. of citric acid
1 tsp. of yeast nutrient
4-5 drops of pectic enzyme
potassium sorbate
sparkalloid wine clarifier
1 gallon glass apple cider/type jug
airlock

Directions:

  1. Bring 1 ½- 2 qts. water to boil in large pan.
  2. Add 3 lb. or 48 oz. of clover honey, stirring right away to keep it from the bottom. Stir until boiling, simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add one pound each of frozen strawberries and diced rhubarb, and simmer an additional ½ hour.
  4. Let sit overnight to cool and extract flavor.
  5. Pour mixture through a screen of some sort or cheese cloth into another container.
  6. Pour mixture into your glass jug, to the level of the neck.
  7. Add the citric acid, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme.
  8. Rehydrate your yeast in 95-100 degree water (Fahrenheit) for 15-20 minutes, and add to your mixture in jug.
  9. Cap and shake well to dissolve the ingredients added.
  10. Remove cap, and fit some cheesecloth with a rubber band over the opening, or an airlock with a cotton ball covering the opening.

The must will take 1-2 days to start fermenting; wait until the vigorous fermentation has taken place (the froth will disappear after about a week), then fit with an airlock so that the anaerobic fermentation will occur. Rack each time you notice a firm sediment building up on the bottom of the jug. Take this opportunity to add the additional 12 oz of honey; this will feed the fermentation at a slower pace, but will allow for a higher alcoholic content of the finished wine. After about 3-4 months, fermentation will be negligible to nonexistent; at this time kill the yeast to stop fermentation with potassium sorbate. This is also a good time to add sparkalloid, to clear the wine and allow all sediment suspended to form a sludge at the bottom of the jar. After you have killed the fermentation, let the jug sit for a good 3 weeks to a month, and very carefully siphon the wine off of the sediment into 750 ml bottles and cork. I can usually get 4 bottles out of a jug after racking the good stuff off of the sediment. Age for at least 8 months, the longer the better, although what I sampled at bottling was excellent.


Raspberry Mead

Ingredients:

  • 8 lbs  wildflower honey
  • 2 oz raspberry extract
  • 1 lb frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 oz Saaz hops
  • 2 pkgs Red Star champagne yeast

Directions:

  • Mix 8 lbs  wildflower honey in 4 gallons cold water, stirring until the honey’s all dissolved. Splashing it around is good, as you want to make sure the must is well-aerated.
  • Add 2 oz raspberry extract.
  • Mush up the fruit, and throw that in the fermenter, too.
  • Toss in 1/2 oz Saaz hops. This is dry-hopping, and they’ll spend their life in the fermenter.
  • Add 2 pkgs Red Star champagne yeast, sit back, and wait.

Over time, the raspberry flavor kind of gives out, so this is a mead that’s better without too much aging. Three to six months was good, but bottles saved longer than that will be missing the raspberry flavor.


 

Blackberry Mead (1 gallon)

Ingredients:

 

  • 1.5 lbs black honey
  • 1 lb clover honey
  • 1 lb blackberries (frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • red wine yeast

Directions:

Any black honey will work, but thistle honey is recommended. Mix honey into 3 qts water and bring to boil. Boil 20 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms. Pour into primary over thawed blackberries, pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient. When cooled to 70- 75 degrees, sprinkle wine yeast over surface. Cover and stir daily for 7 days. Strain through fine nylon bag, squeezing pulp well to extract all flavor. Transfer to secondary, fit airlock and ferment additional month. Rack, top up and refit airlock. Age until clear, then stabilize. Wait 10 days and rack into bottles. Age at least one year.


 

Blanc du Bois Pyment (3 Gallons)

Ingredients:

  • 14 lbs of Blanc du Bois grapes
  • 6 lbs honey
  • Water to bring total liquid to 3 gal
  • Acid blend to raise acidity to 0.6 (5-6 tsp)
  • 3 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Campden tablets
  • potassium sorbate
  • wine or mead yeast

Directions:

Disolve honey in 1 gallon of water. Crush and press grapes, add juice to honey-water.

Add water to make 3 gallons. Test acidity and add acid blend to 0.6. Add three finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablets and yeast nutrient.
Cover and set aside 10-12 hours while feeding a yeast starter solution. After 10-12 hours, stir yeast starter into must. When vigorous fermentation subsides, transfer to 3-gallon carboy and attach airlock.
Ferment to dryness, wait additional month and rack. Set aside 3 additional months and rack into sanitized carboy containing 3 finely crushed Campden tablets and 1-1/2 tsp potassium sorbate.
Wait 2-4 weeks and sweeten with 1 to 1/12 pounds of honey. Stir well and set aside at least 30 days. Rack if required and bottle. Age at least a year — two will be better.


 

 

Hazelnut Mead

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz cracked, dried hazelnut kernels
  • 2.4 lbs clover honey
  • water to make one gallon
  • 3 tsp acid blend
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 crushed and dissolved Campden tablet
  • Red Star Côte des Blancs yeast

Directions:

Bring water to boil and add honey, stirring. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat to hold a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Spoon off any scum that rises to the surface. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make a yeast starter with a couple of tablespoons of the honey-water, a pinch of yeast nutrient and 1/2 cup of warm (not hot) water. When honey-water cools to 110 degrees F., transfer to primary and add all ingredients except yeast starter and hazelnuts. Stir to dissolve and cover with sanitized cloth for 6-8 hours. Add yeast starter and recover primary. On 8th day, put hazelnuts in secondary, stir the must to suspend any fallen yeast, and transfer must to secondary until surface is 4 inches below mouth. Attach airlock to secondary. Transfer remaining must to 375-mL bottle and attach airlock (in #3 bung). Ferment two months and check s.g. If below 1.020, strain off hazelnuts and combine musts. Allow sediments to settle and rack into sanitized secondary. Rack as required (I did it every two months) until mead clears, adding crushed and dissolved Campden tablet every other racking. Thereafter, rack every two months for six months. Sweeten with honey-syrup (2 parts honey dissolved in 1 part water) until s.g. is 1.006. Wait 30 days to ensure fermentation does not restart, add Campden if required, and bottle. Age in bottles for two years.


 

 

Herbs de Provence Metheglin
Makes 1 Gallon

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 lbs Orange Blossom Honey
  • 3/4 oz. Herbs de Provence
  • warm water to one gallon
  • 1 level teaspoon mead yeast nutrient or wine yeast nutrient
  • 2 level teaspoons acid blend
  • 1/8 tsp grape tannin
  • White Labs WLP720 Sweet Mead or Lalvin 71B-1122 Yeast

Directions:

Tie herbs in piece of nylon with sanitized glass marble and toss into primary. Add honey to warm water and stir until dissolved. Add nutrient and acid blend and stir some more. Sprinkle grape tannin on bottom of primary and pour honey/water in primary. Cover primary and allow water to cool to room temperature. Add yeast in an activated starter solution and cover primary with sanitized cloth. Stir twice daily until specific gravity drops to 1.030. Remove bag of herbs and transfer to one-gallon secondary. Top up if needed and affix airlock. Wait until fermentation stops, rack, top up, and fit airlock. Repeat and two months. Mead should be clear, but if not wait another two months and rack again. Stabilize with potassium sorbate and finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet. Wait 30 days and bottle. Age at least six months. Longer is probably better. Flavor is complex.


 

Lavender Mead (1 gallon)

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 lb honey
  • 1 pint lavender flowers
  • 1/4 tsp citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp tannin powder
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Champagne yeast

Directions:

Boil 1/2 gal water and add honey, stirring to mix. In primary, pour hot water over all dry ingredients except yeast. When water cools to lukewarm, add remaining water and sprinkle yeast on top. Cover with cloth and ferment 7 days. Strain out flowers and transfer liquid to secondary. Fit airlock. Ferment 60 days and rack. Refit airlock and allow to sit another 60 days. Rack into bottles and allow to age one year.


 

Red Raspberry Melomel

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb 10 oz raspberry (or any other) honey
  • 1 lb 4 oz red raspberries
  • Water to 1 gallon (about 3 liters)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/4 tsp yeast energizer
  • 1 Campden tablet
  • 1/2 tsp potassium sorbate
  • yeast

Directions:

Bring one quart water to boil and slowly stir in honey. Add lemon juice and slowly stir periodically until water returns to boil. Adjust to low boil and hold about 40 minutes, stirring periodically and skimming off scum as it rises. Meanwhile, place defrosted raspberries in nylon bag, tie closed and mash with flat-bottomed wine bottle in bottom of primary. Separately, begin a yeast starter solution with mead or Champagne yeast. Pour honey water onto berries. Wait 15 minutes and add remaining water and yeast nutrient. Cover primary and wait until must is room temperature. Stir in yeast energizer and activated yeast starter solution. Stir twice daily for 4 days, remove nylon bag and discard pulp. Ferment two more days and transfer to secondary. Attach airlock and ferment to dryness. Rack into sanitized secondary in which a finely crushed Campden tablet and potassium sorbate have been dumped. Top up and reattach airlock. Set aside two months and rack again. Stir in 1/3 cup of honey until absolutely dissolved and bottle. Age at least one year.


 

 

Rose Mead (1 gallon)

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 lb honey
  • 1 pint fragrant rose petals
  • 1/4 tsp citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp grape tannin
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • Champagne yeast

Directions:

Boil 1/2 gal water and honey for 20 minutes, skimming scum off surface. In primary, pour boiling mixture over all dry ingredients except yeast. When water cools to lukewarm, add remaining water and sprinkle yeast on top. Cover with cloth and ferment 10 days. Strain out flowers and transfer liquid to secondary. Fit airlock. Ferment 60 days and rack. Refit airlock and allow to sit another 60 days. Rack into bottles and allow to age one year.


 

 

Vanilla Mead (5 gallons)

Ingredients:

 

  • 9 lbs of mesquite honey
  • 1 tblsp gypsum to harden up the water a bit
  • 4 ounce bottle of Madagascar vanilla extract
  • 6 tsp yeast nutrients
  • Champagne yeast

Directions:

Hydrate the yeast in a cup of lukewarm water. In a separate container, dissolve the yeast nutrient in another cup of lukewarm water. Mix the honey in two gallons hot water in a primary and stir well to dissolve the honey. Then add three gallons minus two cups of cool water and stir some more to mix ingredients and oxygenate the water. Add the yeast and yeast nutrient. Cover and ferment 7 days. Transfer to a glass carboy and fit airlock. Allow to ferment out (30-45 days). Taste. If too dry, stabilize and add another cup of honey, stir, and taste again. Wait 10 days and rack and top up. Allow to bulk age 60 days and rack into bottles. Age 1-2 years (the improvement between one and two years will astound you).

 


 

Varietal Mead, Dry

 

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.5 lbs quality varietal honey
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1-3/8 tsp citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp yeast energizer
  • Water to make up 1 gal (about 3 liters
  • 1 sachet Montrachet yeast

Directions:

Boil the honey in half the water, stirring occasionally until the honey is dissolved. Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes, skimming all scum off top as it forms. Stir in citric acid, yeast energizer and yeast nutrient. Cover primary and set aside until it assumes room temperature. Add activated yeast as a starter solution and recover the primary to keep dust and insects out. Stir daily until fermentation ends – about 2 weeks. Transfer mead to secondary and attach airlock. Retain in secondary for 60 days from transfer date. Rack to a sanitized secondary, top up and reattach airlock. Set aside undisturbed for 60 days and rack again. If brilliantly clear, wait 30 days to see if light dusting develops on bottom. If so, wait additional 30 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock for another 30 days. If not brilliantly clear, wait full 60 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock. Then follow previous instructions when mead is brilliantly clear. Sulfite with one finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet, bottle and set aside to age one year minimum.


 

 

Varietal Mead, Semi-Sweet

 

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 – 3 lbs quality varietal honey
  • 1-1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1-1/2 tsp citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp yeast energizer
  • Water to make up 1 gal (about 3 liters
  • 1 sachet Montrachet yeast

Directions:

Method: Same as for Varietal Mead, Dry.


 

 

Varietal Mead, Sweet

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 3-3/4 lbs quality varietal honey
  • 1-1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1-5/8 tsp citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp yeast energizer
  • Water to make up 1 gal (about 3 liters)
  • 1 sachet Montrachet yeast

Directions:

Method: Same as for Varietal Mead, Dry.


 

 

Zingimel (Ginger Mead)

 

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 lbs clover honey (you can use any honey)
  • 1/2 oz ginger root, peeled and sliced crosswise
  • juice of one large orange
  • water to 1 gal
  • 1 Campden tablet
  • 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/4 tsp yeast energizer
  • 1 sachet Lalvin 71B-1122 (or Red Star Pasteur Champagne) wine yeast

Directions:

Heat 1 quart water to perhaps 120 degrees F. and stir in the honey. Cover and remove from heat. Meanwhile, brought a separate 2 cups water with the ginger root slices to a gentle boil. When ginger slices begin to turn translucent carefully strain water into honey-water, discarding the root or saving for a mild tea. In primary, combine two quarts cold water, orange juice, yeast nutrient and energizer, and combined honey- and ginger-waters. Bring volume up to one gallon, cover and allow to cool to about 80 degrees F. Pitch activated yeast and recover primary. After 2 days stir daily until s.g. drops to 1.010 (mine did this on day 9), then transfer to secondary and attach airlock. Ferment 30 days and rack, add a finely ground and dissolved Campden tablet, top up and reattach airlock. Wait 60 days and rack again, then repeat after additional 60 days. After third 60-day period, inspect bottom of secondary for sediment. It should be clean, in which case you can bottle the mead, but if a very light dusting is visible rack once again and bottle after a few days. Bottle age at least 3 months and serve chilled.

For some reason I was distracted when I pitched the yeast and did not take a starting specific gravity reading so I didn’t know how much alcohol this mead had. Because it fermented dry (0.998), I used a vinometer and measured about 10.5% alcohol. At bottling time, this mead tasted marvelous. An ounce or so I chilled tasted even better.