Making Mead, Part One

Buying your own adult beverages can be expensive and they are generally full of extra stuff that may not be all that good for you.  Just like anything else you buy in the store.  I looked in to many different options as to what I might want to make and I have found that the easiest seems to be making mead.  This is my third year making it and I have yet to have a batch fail me.  I am having plenty of fun altering recipes and trying different fruits.  Almost all of the different varieties have been delicious.  I am going to show you the very basic recipe that I use to make delicious fruit mead or country wine or whatever you might like to call it.

You will need:

A large bucket

A glass carboy

An airlock

A siphon or hose

Wine bottles

Corks

A cork inserter

3 lbs of fruit per gallon

3 lbs of honey per gallon

1 packet of yeast per about 5-6 gallons

Yeast energizer

Water

This should be everything that you need for the entire process.  I am just going to discuss the first step today as I start my own batch and follow up with the other steps when I do them for my mead.

First clean your large bucket really well so that you would eat out of it.  I don’t sterilize mine, but some people do.  The bucket should be about one gallon larger than your carboy.  It doesn’t have to be, but I found that it is less messy this way.  Add about 3 pounds of fruit to the bucket per gallon of mead you want.  Strong tasting fruit does not require as much and mellow fruit may require more.  Mash it really well.  The picture is my mashed up watermelon in the bucket.  Add boiling water to cover the fruit.  You want plenty to keep the fruit covered but not so much that the bucket is full.  It will overflow once the fermentation starts and there will be a large mess and many fruit flies.  I know this from experience.  You also want a little less than will fill your carboy for the same reason.  You can add more water as we go.  Once the water cools to room temperature, add the yeast.  Too hot and the yeast will just die.  Too cold and they won’t be as active.  Then we wait about a week.

The specific recipe that I am trying right now is as follows: 3 pounds of apple peels and cores.  I have not yet tried using just scraps to make mead, but we will see how it works.  I added a gallon of boiling water.  Later tonight once the water cools I will add one packet of montrachet yeast and mix it up really well.  Most likely next Sunday I will go on with step 2.

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