Mead Making
101
(A Short Course)
By: Andy Hemken
Bee & Mead Guy
Big Bend, Wisconsin
Despite what you have
heard, mead is the easiest
alcoholic beverage you can
make in your spare time.
Not perfect, but easy.
Beekeepers are Natural
Mead Makers
Chuck,
Tony
& Paul
At the
club
yard
Mead
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Worlds oldest fermented beverage
Newlyweds drink mead during the honeymoon
(first 30 days) to insure fertility
Made from honey, water & yeast
Mead is the root for other beverages
Takes two years for the good stuff
Is relatively simple to make with basic tools
and materials
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Why am I so thirsty
when I had so much to
drink last night?
“Other” Meads
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Honey = mead
Grapes = pyment
Apples = ciser
Fruit = melomel
Malted grain = braggot
Herbs or spices = metheglin
Distilled mead = mead brandy
Mead brandy + honey = honey liqueur
Mead Ingredients
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Honey
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Water
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Spring water is best / no distilled, mineral, or
chlorinated
Yeast
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Mead will mirror the honey
Dry / liquid / slap pack
Other
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Fruit (freeze & thaw) / nutrient powder / etc
Yeast feeds on the
sugars, and creates
carbon dioxide
and alcohol as
waste products.
Equipment
Starting Mead
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Honey
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Do not boil or heat the honey
Mix water & honey to dissolve the honey
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Freeze & thaw fruit to unlock the flavor
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Water
Fruit or Additives
Yeast nutrient
Check the specific gravity – Important / progress
Yeast
Prepare the yeast ahead of time / add last
Record everything – start / each racking / finish
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Starting Mead - continued
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1 gallon / 3 gallon / 5 gallon / 6 gallon
batch; or more
Primary fermenters
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Bucket / fancy containers
Temperature; 60° - 80°
Keep everything sanitized
Active fermentation may take a week or
two – look at the bubbles
Recipes
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15-20 pounds of honey for a 5 gallon batch
Add water to make up starting gravity
10-20 pounds of fruit, depending on sugar
content
10 grams of yeast nutrient
Ciser or pyment, use fruit juice instead of
water
You are shooting for a balance of honey and
flavor – don’t over power your mead
Everyone has their own preferences
Common Fruit in Mead
(fresh or juice, hand picked, store bought or bartered)
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Raspberry
Cherry
Black Currant
Blueberry
Strawberry
Blackberry
Cranberry
Apples
Grapes
Documenting the Process
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Write everything down
You can recreate a great mead
You can tweak a so-so mead
Record what works and what bombed
Keep the record with the mead
Label your meads when bottling
See internet blogs for troubleshooting
hints
The Process
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Storage of your working meads
Racking: removing sediment
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Keep the vapor lock full of water
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Eventually the mead will get clear
Oxygen is very bad for mead
Mead may be drinkable in several
months, but will be better at 18-24
months
Meads should continue to improve with
age
Racking and Sediment
Your Mead Area
(my mead area)
•Dark
•Clean
•Constant
temperature
•Store your
stuff
Bottling Your Mead
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Clean bottles, just like your honey
containers – they hold something you
worked hard for
Can use wine, beer or other bottles
Last racking before bottling
Bottling bucket
Corks – different kinds
Create a good label; lots to choose from
Specific Gravity – What is it?
Water is 1.000
fruit juice is more / alcohol is less
Specific Gravity
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Starting gravity = 1.080 – 1.120
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Final Gravity
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Mine can be 1.170, depending on amount of
honey
Dry; 0.990 – 1.010
Semi-sweet; 1.010 – 1.025
Sweet; 1.025 – 1.050
These are guidelines
Beer and wine websites have calculators
Oops
-or, what the heck happened to my mead?
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Use honey to sweeten a dry mead
Blend a dry mead with a sweet mead
May need to add acid, tartaric, acid
blend
Mead may go sparkling; not a bad thing
Never throw out a mead; play with it
Bragging Rights
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Contests and judging can be a way to
get constructive advice. Take a chance!
Iowa Homebrew Clubs
A sample of sites
Homebrew clubs are a great way to meet people, learn how to
homebrew, and sample really good homebrew!
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Ames, IA - Ames Brewers League
Burlington, IA - Burlington MOB (makers of Beer) (319) 850-7143
Cedar Falls, IA –CRAZE (319) 269-3080
Cedar Falls/Waterloo, IA - Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts
(319) 273-2047
Cedar Rapids, IA - Cedar Rapids Beer Nuts
Cherokee, IA - Cherokee Brewers (712) 225-8160
Clear Lake, IA – North Iowa Wine Club (515) 357-2290
Corning, IA - Adams County Brew Crew (AC/BC) (641) 202-6823
Davenport, IA - MUGZ2 (563) 326-9113
River's Edge Fermentation Society (563) 320-9621
Denver, IA - Brewers of Bremer County (BoBCo.) (319) 560-2736
Des Moines, IA - Iowa Brewers Union (319) 290-7610
Iowa Homebrew Clubs
More samples
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Raccoon River Brewers Association (515) 277-3231
Dubuque, IA - GotMead International Brewmasters (563) 556-4265
Elkader, IA - Turkey River Utopian Brewers (TRUBs) (641) 782-0986
Glenwood, IA - Keg Creek Homebrewers (712) 527-7273
Iowa City, IA – THIRSTY (319) 337-5742
Marshalltown, IA - MASH - Marshalltown Area Soiety Homebrewers
(641) 751-8598
Milford, IA - Okoboji Homebrewers Guild (712) 330-0465
Monroe, IA - Cenosilicaphobia Brewers (641) 259-2017
Northwood, IA - Iowa/Minn. Society of Brewers (IAMNSOB)
(507) 325-1276
Oskaloosa, IA - Oskaloosa Beer Brewers (641) 676 5434
Schleswig, IA - Schleswig Wine & Bier Club (712) 643-5333
Sibley, IA - Yeastie Boys (712) 461-1113
Sioux City, IA – RASCALS (712) 258-0691
Surf the internet to find homebrew clubs
Questions?
Any
Questions
at all?
Time to go out
and make some
mead!
Download

Mead Making 101 - Iowa Honey Producers Association