Winter’s coming up, and on top of being cold, it can be boring! You’re stuck inside, there aren’t many chores to take care of, things to do or fun to have. With lots of free indoor time during winter, it’s a great time to try your hand at brewing some mead! It’s lots of fun to drink as well. If you’re a fan of fermenting already or simply would like to give brewing a try, it’s a great fermenting project for winter time.
Why Brew Mead?
If you’ve never heard of mead, it is essentially wine brewed with honey instead of grapes. Sounds good, right? Other than the great taste and the buzz, there are actually health benefits to drinking mead! Drinking it responsibly and in moderation, anyway. Honey already has antibacterial properties, but after being fermented, mead can help fight off pathogens even more than honey.
What You Need
Other than standard kitchen items, some water, and the honey, you will also need at least one carboy, a “s” shaped bubbling carboy airlock, a lemon, and some yeast.
- Pure, filtered water
- At least one carboy
- an “s” shaped bubbling carboy airlock
- a lemon
- yeast (you can use brewer’s yeast, wine yeast, and although it won’t taste quite as good, you can also use regular baking yeast)
How to Brew Mead
Note: The amount of honey, water, and yeast you use will depend upon the size of carboy that you have and the strength you desire. If you don’t want it to be too strong, or too weak. 3 pints of honey per gallon is a good ballpark.
- Sanitize your materials so that you do not contaminate your brew with outside yeast or bacteria.
- In a saucepan, heat your honey over a low flame, adding a little water if you need to, until it becomes viscous. Be careful not to boil the honey.
- Fill your carboy about half way up with the filtered water
- Funnel your viscous honey into the carboy, leaving a few inches of room at the top.
- Juice the lemon and strain off all the pulp. Then, add the juice to the carboy.
- Add your yeast of choice
- Cork the carboy with your airlock. Fill it with water according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Now, comes the fermenting. Store the carboy in a cool dark area that won’t freeze for about a month. Check the airlock regularly. If it is not bubbling anymore, then the fermentation is done.
If you are planning on bottling your mead, you might want to open the carboy, stir the mead, and recap it with the airlock so make sure the fermentation is over. If it is not, disturbing it while bottling may reactivate it by providing additional oxygen, and it will continue to produce carbon dioxide and could burst your bottles. Otherwise, you can transfer it to another clean carboy and cork it for storage. It can be consumed immediately, but the taste will improve if you let it sit for another month or so. But it can spoil so don’t wait too long!
Drink to your health this winter with some homemade mead! Enjoy!
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