I have started to get into brewing, and specifically. starting to make one of the oldest brewed drinks, Mead.
Having managed to source a decent supply of Honey from a local bee keeper and bought myself some brewing kit consisting of 3 demijohns, some airlocks and bungs, a couple of funnels and some other brewing kit, I made my first batch.
There are so many recipes on line but one of the most famous is JAOM (or Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead) and has been one of the most frequently used recipes for new brewers. However I decided to go with a variation of City Steadings Brews basic Mead recipe. I had 2 different honeys, approx. 3 pounds of each. One being a local honey and the other a commercial supermarket honey.
- Large Pot
- One Gallon Demijohn With Airlock
- Bottling Wand
- Auto Siphon
- Bottling Wand
- Water Non-Chlorinated or Filtered, to top up the
- 2-3 Pounds Honey Depending on sweetness requirement
- 1/2 Orange Peel
- 2 Ounces Raisins
- 1/2 Packet mead yeast I Use Mangrove Jacks M05 Mead Yeast
- 1 Cup Black Tea Well steeped
- Make sure all your equipment has been sterilised.
- Cut up your raisins and add to the demijohn along with the orange citrus peel.
- Make a mug of tea and leave to steep.
- Place your honey bottles into a bowl of warm (not boiling) water to loosen the contents of the jar
- Place 2 litres of filtered water into a large container then add all your honey to it. stir and make sure that the honey dissolves. This is your basic Must.
- Add the Must to the demijohn along with the well steeped cup of tea and top the whole lot of with filtered water, to the shoulder of the demijohn. This will give your brew some head space and allow it to degas easier.
- Place a bung in the top of your demijohn and shake to make sure everything is mixed well.
- At this point I take a sample of the mixture and measure the SG (Specific Gravity) to see what the possible alcohol content is going to be like
- Pitch your Yeast, I personally just added my yeast to the must, straight into the mix but you should follow the manufacturers recommendations.
- Put a stopper in the top of the demijohn and shake like you have never shaken anything before. if you feel that you have done enough then shake for another 2 minutes!
- Fill an airlock to the marked lines with sanitizing fluid and fit on to the demijohn.
- Place the demijohn into a dark place and wait for the magic to happen. Hopefully within 12 to 24 hours you should see bubbles coming up out of the airlock. This means that all is well with the brew and that the yeast is doing what it does best and produce alcohol!
- Once the mead has stopped producing gas (there are no more bubbles coming up the airlock), you can rack off the content into another demijohn and give a chance for the mead to degas. Don't forget to take a second measure of the SG at this stage to see whether the yeast has finished its work.
- Leave for another week and again measure the SG. If 2 readings a week apart stay the same, then its time to bottle.
- Fill 750 Ml bottles to the base of the neck and cap. place in a dark cool place in the house and leave for at least 6 months to age in the bottles.Once the time has expired try your brew!
For the Raspberry mead I used the same ingredients but used a lighter local Dorset honey and added about a cup of frozen raspberries. This has left a very light red looking liquor which I am looking forward to try after the first racking!
That’s all for now, I shall report back after the first racking to let you know how its going!