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Introduction to making Mead

Introduction to making Mead

This Mead Making Introduction will cover…..
  • Introduction to making Mead 5A bit about the history of Mead……
  • Different Types of ‘Mead’
  • The 4 Golden Rules of Making Mead
  • What Equipment Do I need?
  • Using a Hydrometer
  • Making Mead – A Process Overview
  • What Ingredients / Additives are Needed
  • Preparing & Sanitising the ‘Must’ via Boiling / Heating / Sulphites
  • Selecting / Rehydrating & Pitching the Yeast
  • The 4 Stage Fermentation Process
  • Post Primary Fermentation - Racking
  • Flavouring Mead
  • Troubleshooting a Mead Style
  • Bottling /Storage / Maturing
  • A Basic Mead Recipe
  • Beyond the Basics - Suggested Reading
A Bit About the History of Mead…..

Introduction to making Mead 5

  • Mead is generally recognised as the oldest fermented beverage on Earth
  • Brewed historically all over the world
  • The ‘Magic Bag / Magic Tree Theory’ – circa. 10,000BC – Collect / Store / Spoil / Drink
  • Evidence of Pottery Vessels used for Mead – 6,000BC in Turkey
  • Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Indian Texts & Drawings detail Mead making
  • Popular historically in Europe, Nordic cultures and then ‘New World’
  • Decline in popularity over the past 200 years – recent resurgence
  • Commercial Meaderies thriving - Home Brewers embracing Mead

Traditional Mead, also known as Ambrosia or Honey Wine is basically Honey and water fermented to make an alcoholic beverage
When something is added to Mead such as flavourings, sweetness or aromatics Mead takes on a different name:

  • Sack Mead: A Strong, sweet Mead
  • Melomel Mead: fermented or flavoured with fruit
  • Cyser: A Melomel made from apples, apple juice or cider
  • Pyment: A Melomel made with grapes or grape juice or a wine sweetened with honey
  • Hippocras:  A Pyment to which spices have been added
  • Metheglin:  A Mead fermented or flavoured with herbs or spices
  • Braggot: A Mead made with grains or malted barley
  • Rhodamel: A Mead made with rose petals
  • Morat: A Mead fermented or flavoured with mulberries
  • Capsicumel: A Mead fermented or flavoured with chilli pepper
  1. Cleanliness & Sanitization – Equipment & Work Area
  2. Quality Fresh Honey, Ingredients & Yeast
  3. Fermentation Temperature Control

Time and Patience – Making Mead cannot be rushed – it improves with age

To start making Mead with a Basic Setup:

  • 2 x Fermenters with Airlocks (Primary & Secondary)
  • Long Paddle / Spoon
  • Hydrometer & Thermometer (stick on or digital)
  • Racking Cane (for transferring to secondary and bottling)
  • Brewery Cleaner / Sanitiser
  • Bottle Filling / Capping Equipment
  • Basic kitchen items such as a kettle & large pot
  • Optional – Temperature Control Equipment
  • Small Batch - 1 Gallon /3.8L – use 5L Demijohns
  • Large Batch - 5 Gallon / 19L – use 25-30L Food Grade Fermenters
  • Bottle Options Include capping used beer bottles, BVS Wine Bottles and Novatwists, Demijohns and Swing Top Lids
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