Recipe Menu

Basic Small Mead

Back to menu Source: Cher Feinstein ( Digest: Issue #267, 9/30/89 Ingredients:
Procedure: In a 1-gallon pot, simmer cloves (lightly cracked), cinnamon (broken), and ginger. Add orange peel. The amount of orange peel will vary depend- ing on type of honey used. Use less orange peel with orange blossom honey, for example. Simmer. Add water to bring volume to 3 quarts. Return to simmer. Add honey, stirring constantly. Do not boil! Skim off any white scum. If scum is yellow, reduce heat. When no more scum forms, remove from heat, cover pot, and leave overnight. The next day, strain to remove as much spice particles as possible. Pitch yeast. Replace pot cover. Twelve hours later, rack mead to 1-gallon jug, leaving dregs of yeast. Top off jug, bringing to base of neck. Take a piece of clean paper towel, fold into quarters, and put over mouth of jug. Seal with rubber band. Ferment for 36 hours, replacing paper towel whenever it becomes fouled. Refrigerate 8-12 hours. Rack to new jug and put back in refrigerator for 12 hours. Add 1/4 cup vodka to kill yeast. Rack to fresh jug. Refrigerate 3-4 days. Bottle. Comments: This is a quickie mead, drinkable in 2 weeks, however, it does improve with age. Aging at least a couple months is recommended. This mead is excellent chilled. Specifics: Primary Ferment: 2 days Secondary Ferment: 2 weeks 217

Prickly Pear Cactus Mead

Back to menu Source: John Isenhour (LLUG_JI.DENISON.BITNET) Digest: Issue #177, 6/15/89 Ingredients:
Procedure: See Papazian's book. This recipe was based on it. Comments: This is Dave Spaulding's version that won the grand prize at the 1986 Arizona State Fair. Specifics: Original Gravity: 1.158 Final Gravity: 1.050 Secondary Ferment: 5 months 218

Blueberry Mead

Back to menu Source: Jonathan Corbet (gaia! Digest: 11/28/88 Ingredients (for 6-1/2 gallons):
Procedure: To make 6-1/2 gallons of mead, Boil the honey, sugar, and hops for at least an hour (although boiling honey is not favored by most digest subscribers, it works fine and is the method used by Papazian). Clean berries and mash well. Put mashed berries, hot wort, and enough water to make 6-1/2 gallons into a fermenter. Pitch yeast. After one week, strain out berries and rack to secondary. Ferment at least one more month and then bottle, priming with corn sugar and perhaps some lemon grass tea. Age 6 months to a year. Comments: This mead usually comes out quite dry. This recipe makes 6-1/2 gallons. Specifics: Primary Ferment: 1 week 219

Peach Melomel

Back to menu Source: Michael Bergman ( RELAY.CS.NET) Digest: Issue #90, 3/1/89 Ingredients:
Procedure: Press peaches (after removing pits). Dissolve honey in 4 pints warm water, blend in peach juice along with acid, tannin, and nutrients. Add 100 ppm sulfite (2 campden tablets). After 24 hours, add yeast starter, allow to ferment 7 days before adding elderflowers. Ferment on flowers for 3 days then strain off flowers and top off to 1 gallon with cold water. Ferment until specific gravity drops to 10, then rack. Rack again when gravity drops to 5, and add 1 tablet campden. Rack again when when a heavy deposit forms, or after 3 months, whichever comes first. Add another campden tablet. Rack again every 3-4 months, adding a tablet after every second racking. Comments: This recipe is based on procedures outlined in Making Mead, by Bryan Acton and Peter Duncan. They advocate the use of campden rather than boiling because they feel that after boiling for a long time most of the essences of the honey are gone. Read the "Basic Procedures" section of Acton & Duncan for more info. 220

Riesling Pyment

Back to menu Source: Jackie Brown (BROWN@MSUKBS.BITNET) Digest: Issue #184, 6/24/89 Ingredients:
Procedure: Boil honey, acid, enzyme and Riesling extract for 1 hour (I have since learned that honey is best not boiled; subsequent batches have been made by holding the mixture for 2 hours). Cool and pitch yeast. Rack to secondary after 8 days. Bottle after 4 months. Comments: This is more winey than your straight mead, but very pleasant. Medium dry and spritzig---very nice as a table wine. Those of you set up to crush your own grapes might try a grape honey mix. A drink of noble history! Specifics: Primary Ferment: 8 days Secondary Ferment: 48 days 221


Back to menu Source: Arun Welch ( Digest: Issue #537, 11/14/90 Ingredients:
Procedure: Simmer the spices in the water for 10 minutes. Dissolve honey. Simmer and strain crud until there isn't any more. Transfer to primary, along with cider (this should bring primary to a good pitching temperature). Pitch yeast and wait 1 to 2 weeks for the foam to die down. Transfer to secondary. Ferment in secondary 3-6 months. Bottle and age another 3 or more months. Specifics: Primary Ferment: 1-1/2 week Secondary Ferment: 3-6 months 222

Wassail Mead

Back to menu Source: Mal Card ( Digest: Issue #538, 11/15/90 Ingredients:
Procedure: Add honey, acid blend, and yeast nutrient to 2 gallons of water and boil for 1/2 hour. Add this to 1-1/2 gallons of cold water in the primary fermenter. Pitch yeast when the temperature reaches 70-75 degrees. Use a blow off tube if you use a carboy. Allow fermentation to proceed for 3 weeks or more (up to several months). When the mead becomes fairly clear, rack to secondary. Attach air-lock. Leave the mead to sit at least 3 weeks. When yeast settles to bottom and is clear, it is ready to bottle. Adding 3/4 cup of corn sugar at bottling will produce a sparkl- ing mead. Sparkling meads should not be made with an original gravity higher than 1.090. Specifics: Original Gravity: 1.100 Final Gravity: 1.000 223

Quick Mead

Back to menu Source: Kevin Karplus (, Issue #538, 11/16/90 Ingredients:
Procedure: Boil water, adding tea and spices. Remove from heat and stir in honey. (Some mead makers boil the honey, skimming the scum as it forms). Cover boiled water, and set aside to cool (this usually takes a long time, so start on the next step). Make a yeast starter solution by boiling a cup of water and a tablespoon or two of honey. Add starter to cooled liquid. Cover and ferment using blow tube or fermentation lock. Rack two or three times to get rid of sediment. The less honey, the lighter the drink, and the quicker it can be made. 1 pound per gallon is the minimum, 5 pounds per gallon is about the maximum for a sweet dessert wine. This mead is a metheglin because of the tea. The yeast is pitched one day after starting the batch, the crud skimmed about 10 days later, then wait 3 days and rack to second- ary. Wait 2 more weeks and bottle---about 4 weeks from start to finish. Comments: Yield is 3.1 gallons. Excellent clarity, fairly sweet flavor, slight sediment, light gold color. An excellent batch. 224

Sack Mead

Back to menu Source: Kevin Karplus ( Digest: Issue #538, 11/16/90 Ingredients:
Procedure: Boil water, adding tea and spices. Remove from heat and stir in honey. (Some mead makers boil the honey, skimming the scum as it forms). Cover boiled water, and set aside to cool (this usually takes a long time, so start on the next step). Make a yeast starter solution by boiling a cup of water and a tablespoon or two of honey. Add starter to cooled liquid. Cover and ferment using blow tube or fermentation lock. Rack two or three times to get rid of sediment. This recipe took about 6-1/2 months from brewing to bottling. First rack took place 15 days after brewing. 2nd rack 3 weeks later. 3rd rack 3 months later. Gelatin added 1 month later. Bottled about 2--1/2 months later. Yield 3.7 gallons. Comments: Sweet, smooth, potent. A dessert wine. This is perhaps the best of my 20 or more batches of mead. 225


Back to menu Source: Carl West ( Digest: Issue #591, 3/7/91 Ingredients (for 1 gallon):
Procedure: Simmer these together and skim off the scum as it rises. If you wait for it all to rise so you can skim just once and you miss the moment, the scum sinks, never to rise again. Pitch yeast when cool and kept it at room temp (65-72) for 5 weeks where it bubbled about once every 5 seconds for the whole time. Comments: It was still bubbling when I bottled. Yes, I plan to begin drinking it soon, before it becomes a grenade six-pack. Specifics: Primary Ferment: 5 weeks 226


Back to menu Source: Michael Zenter ( Digest: Issue #592, 3/8/91 Ingredients:
Procedure: Pasteurized the honey and fruit at about 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes, ran through a chiller, pitched with VERY vigorous aeration. Let it sit with the fruit in for 7 days, then rack off. Comments: Now for the weirdness. I pitched at about 6 PM. No real activity the following day until about 4 PM when all of the sudden, there was a violent eruption of foam out of the airlock. No warning at all. Specifics: Original Gravity: 1.124 227

Sweet Mead

Back to menu Source: Rob Derrick ( posted this recipe from C. J. Lindberg Digest: Issue #610, 4/4/91 Ingredients (for 1 gallon):
Procedure: Boil 1 quart of water, honey and citric acid for seven minutes. Then the add the tea and boil for five more minutes. The mixture was then added to 48 FL. oz. of cold water in the one gallon jug. The wort was then cooled overnight to 70 degrees. Add yeast and yeast nutrient. Ferment for four months. Specifics: Original Gravity: 1.153 Primary Ferment: 4 months 228

Blueberry Mead Recipe

Back to menu Source: Jay Hersh ( Digest: Issue #643, 5/23/91 Ingredients:
Procedure: Boil hops, yeast nutrient and water crystals for 30 - 45 minutes. Add Irish Moss in the last 15-30 minutes of the boil. Turn off the heat and add the honey and the blueberries, steep at 180-190 degrees for 15 min- utes minimum (30 minutes is ok too). Pour the whole mixture to a bucket or carboy and let cool (or use a wort chiller if you have one). Add the yeast at the temperature recommended on the packet (85-90 degrees I think). Let it ferment. Rack the mead off the fruit after 6-7 days (you can actually let it go longer if you like). Let ferment for 4 more weeks in the secondary then bottle. Other people like to rack their meads at 3-4 week intervals and let it keep going in the carboy. I don't think too much fermentation went on after the first 4 weeks (I made this in July so it fermented fast), so if you keep racking you'll basically be doing some of the aging in the carboy, otherwise it will age in the bottles. Comments: This mead had a terrific rose color. It took over 8 months to really age, and was fantastic after 2 years. It had a nice blueberry nose to it, and quite a kick. Specifics: Primary Ferment: 1 week Secondary Ferment: 4 weeks 229

Standby Mead

Back to menu Source: Michael Tighe ( Digest: Issue #697, 8/8/91 Ingredients (for 1 gallon):
Procedure: Bring the honey and water to a boil skimming off the white and brown foam as you heat it. Simmer/skim for about 5 minutes per gallon (5 gallons = 20 min). When the boiling is almost done, add the ginger and orange peel. Cool (I usually let it cool "naturally"). Work with yeast (Werka Mead Yeast is good, champagne or general purpose wine yeast will do). Bottle after two weeks (while it's still sweet and still quite active). Refrigerate the bottles after another two weeks (to avoid the glass grenade syndrome and to make the yeast settle out of the mead). Comments: To quote the original source: "It will be quick and pleasant from the very start and will keep for a month or more." Other variations included: Add lots more honey and let it ferment till it stops. Bottle and wait a month or more, you get champagne. Use some other citris fruit peel, such as lemon or grapefruit. Add some other fruit flavoring (crushed berries of some sort). Load up on the ginger (my friend makes Death by Ginger by using pounds of ginger per gallon!) Specifics: Primary Ferment: 2-3 weeks 230

Honey Ale (Mead)

Back to menu Source: David Haberman ( Digest: Issue #722, 9/12/91 Ingredients:
Procedure: Boil honey and 3 gallons water with 3 ounces hops for 47 minutes, add 1 ounce last 7 minutes. Before adding hops, skim off the scum that rises to the top. Cool and pour into fermenter and top to 5 gallons. Add acid blend, nutrients and re-hydrated yeast. When fermentation completes, mix with 1 cup sugar, a little yeast and bottle. Comments: This was the very first beer I ever made and 7 years ago most people I knew didn't worry about the bittering units of the hops. I would guess that they were around 3% AAU's. Red star was the main yeast used at the time. Yeast nutrient is necessary since the honey does not have the required food for the beasties. I used buckwheat honey because I like the flavor. Do not drink this beer until at least 1 month after bottl- ing. Since it is made from honey the ale improves with age. A bottle that I saved for 4 and a half years tasted so good that I wish I had saved more! The beer had a very nice honey aroma and flavor. The hops were enough to balance the sweetness. I don't think that I would change anything except try to make more and keep it a while before drinking. Specifics: Original Gravity: 1.031 Final Gravity: 0.997 231

Orange Ginger Mead

Back to menu Source: Brian Bliss ( Digest: Issue #618, 4/18/91 Ingredients (for 6 gallons):
Procedure: Combine honey, ginger, orange juice, 1/2 ounce of hops, and yeast ener- gizer and bring to a boil. Remove a small amount of wort to be used for a yeast starter (Allow starter to cool, and add yeast). Boil the remain- ing wort 30 minutes. Add another 1/2 oz hops and boil for additional 30 minutes. Turn off heat. Cut 4-5 lbs of oranges in half, and squeeze into the wort. Toss in orange halves after squeezing. Let sit 12 min. Strain into fermenter sparged into cold water, while removing the orange halves and squeezing the last bit out (with clean hands---very hot---ouch!). Comments: After several months it's just getting drinkable now. If I let a bottle sit in the fridge for about a week, and decant very carefully, it's very good, and gives one heck of a buzz. Specifics: Original Gravity: 1.088 Final Gravity: 0.998 Primary Ferment: 12 days at 65--70 degrees Secondary Ferment: 1 month 232