Honey Mead

Mead is a honey based, fermented drink which origins can be found throughout Europe and the rest of the World. Often quoted as ancestor to all fermented beverages and frequently referenced in medieval literature including Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Until recently mead had been a fairly underground and unknown drink, popular with re-enactment groups and Bee Keepers. Recently Mead has found a new following, thanks mainly to a few top end restaurants and cocktail bars who are championing the amazing depth of flavours.

English history has always had a strong connection with mead, particularly during times of festivities like weddings. The bride and groom would drink mead a month after their ceremony and this would form the basis of the term “honeymoon”.

Mead is a very easy drink to make at home. The hardest part is usually sourcing good quality honey at a reasonable price but with bee keeping becoming ever more popular this is getting easier. Bee keeper and home brewing customer of BrewUK, Navin Nauth-Misir supplied us with some of his fabulous honey and even shared his prize winning Mead recipe too.

Honey Mead (makes 1 gallon)

Dry 3lb Honey

Med 4lb Honey

Sweet 5lb Honey

½ tsp Tannin

1 tsp citric acid

Yeast nutrient

Yeast (for best results use a specialist mead yeast like wyeast)

Put the honey in a large pan, add water to just over 1 Gallon. Stir to dissolve, bring to the boil, skim off any scum. Leave to cool to yeast pitching temperature. Then add the tannin, citric acid, yeast nutrient and yeast.

Place everything in a sterilised demi john, add an airlock and leave somewhere away from sunlight at 18 – 22 degrees until fermentation is complete. The sweet will finish at around 1025. Rack off into a clean demi john and leave to clear then bottle.

Leave to mature for as long as possible as it will improve with age.

Mead can also be flavoured with fruits, try Strawberries, Blackberries, Elderberries or Cherries for an interesting twist. Just add the fruit to the demi john a few days into fermentation then rack off when complete.