Codename : Westfort Beginners Mead
I have been entertaining the idea of trying a homebrew mead for a long time now, it was finally time to take action. I did my own research, looked at a lot of variations recipes and traditions in mead making, and decided to keep it simple, that is just honey, water, and yeast (plus yeast nutrients). If this endeavour yields positive results, I will try some other recipes.
Instead of presenting a brew fail, I have updated the recipe and instructions to update ingredients, notably yeast & yeast nutrient along with ageing times. These on the fly additions helped improve the alcohol conversion.
- 1 Kg Honey (1.3L)
- 2 L of filtered or distilled water (chlorine in home water is truly bad for mead)
- 9 ml Mangrove Jack New World dry ale yeast.
- Yeast nutrient (follow brew day directions)
- Yeast energiser (follow brew day directions)
- 1 L of filtered or distilled water for fermentor top up.
BJCP Style : Traditional Mead
Anticipated ABV : 11%
Anticipated IBU : 0
Anticipated SRM : 2
Post-boil SG : 1.094 (no boil, just the gravity once the honey is introduced)
Original SG : 1.069
Target SG : 1.000 (this is the goal, to get almost 100% fermentation)
Brewhouse (in)efficiency : 85%
- Prepare 2L strike water at about 85F, this is to simply aid the honey to dissolve more effectively.
- Consider adding your honey container to a bowl of warm water to soften it up.
- Add the honey to the pot, allow it to dissolve and incorporate, it took about 15 minutes.
- Stir regularly.
- Calibrate the sonic screwdriver.
- Sanitise everything required for fermentation, in this case I used 16 crushed Campden tablets in the carboy.
- Allow it to cool to room temp.
- Prepare the yeast mixture.
- Pitch the yeast to the carboy.
- Transfer the honey water to the carboy, splash it around to aerate the contents.
- Be sure to scrape out the honey that may stick to the pot.
- Add 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient to the carboy.
- Add 1/4 tsp of yeast energiser to the carboy.
- Add one litre of water for the top-up to the carboy.
- Put the airlock on the carboy.
- Store in a cool dark place for primary fermentation for 14 days, consider this day 1.
- On day 2 of fermentation, add another 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient (or energiser).
- On day 3 of fermentation, add another 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient (or energiser).
- On day 28, rack, that is transfer the mead to a clean/sterile carboy, add 1/4 crushed Campden tablet.
- Occasionally monitor the mead for meagre fermentation/bubbling late in the fermentation process.
- After an additional 28 days, you can bottle your mead.
- Detailed instructions.
- Keeping it traditional, no additional sugars will be added for carbonation.
- Bottle condition at least 4 weeks, longer is better!
- A traditional mead is normally made between 8.5 and 14% ABV. This should come in at 11%
- I did not meticulously measure the honey 😲 instead I just relied on the weight from the producer.
- The selection of 2L of warmed water was totally arbitrary, it seemed (and proved to be) a good value to start with.
- The displacement of 1 kilo of honey, along with the 3L of water gave the approximate 3.8L I normally aim for in beer brewing.
- The hydrometer I use is not accurate for measuring alcohol, for reasons of physics I won’t try to understand nor explain. The final reading I was able to “accurately” ascertain was 1.024, which is approximately 6% ABV.
- As I racked the mead, I had a small sample of the mead, and un-scientifically, it felt like about 8-9% ABV. So even if I don’t get to the full 11% ABV I still consider this a win.
My former FreeBSD protege, madpilot, was gracious enough to answer a lot of my mead making questions, as he has some experience in the craft.
Approved by : madpilot (mentor)
Brew day : 17-Oct-2023