If you’ve been wondering how to make mead at home or are just interested in improving your DIY mead homebrew, you’ve come to the right place. One of the oldest spirits that have been documented throughout history, making mead is a relatively simple process that any legal adult can partake in.
Interested in learning more? Read on to improve (or start) your DIY mead homebrew.
Gather Supplies and Ingredients
For a one-gallon DIY mead homebrew, you will want a gallon carboy, fermentation bucket, hydrometer, and an auto-siphon with tubing and clamp. If you want to play it safe, there are complete mead homebrew kits you can purchase online, such as this one.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to get the ingredients! A basic mead recipe calls for
- 3 pounds of grade A honey
- One gallon of filtered water (divided)
- 1/2 packet of bread yeast
- Nutrients for your yeast (such as raisins, fruits, or bee pollen)
- If needed: simple syrup for sweetening bitter mead
Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Mead Homebrew
Now that you’ve got the ingredients gathered and equipment rounded up, let’s talk about how to make mead at home.
Anything your equipment comes into contact with will need to be disinfected. You can do this with bleach or by simply boiling your equipment.
2. Make the must
Heat (don’t boil) 2/3 gallon of water, and then stir in the honey. Once this is done, add your nutrients (fruits, raisins, bee pollen, etc.). You can also add spices here to make your recipe more customized. Just make sure you stir well after each step.
Let this mixture cool for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Pour into the jug
After your must has cooled, use the funnel to pour it into the one-gallon jug. Next, incorporate the remaining cool water and use an airlock to place the bung. Let this sit at room temperature until the bottle is no longer warm to the touch, and then add your yeast.
4. The waiting game
After about two days of fermenting, you should start seeing bubbles. This means it’s time to place your DIY mead homebrew into a dark area of your home. Check the mead every two to three days to ensure it is still bubbling for the first month, at which point the fermentation process will slow down. Once the mead is clear and you see the lees at the bottom of your jug, you can give it a taste test. Just be cautious! At this point, your mead is ready to go. Unless…
5. Too bitter?
If your mead is too bitter, don’t freak out! Simply sterilize your equipment and make a simple syrup. Pour it into a new gallon jug and funnel the mead into it, swirling once it is incorporated. Place your sanitized airlock, let it sit for a few weeks, and then give it another taste.
You can bottle the mead once you no longer see bubbles.