Beyond the status, several craft drink lovers have been making their mead since long before. It is a drink with a high alcohol content (about 20%) but very sweet, which allows an incredible level of experimentation with fruit and various spices.
The traditional mead also has gradations, like wine, and can be dry, demi-dry, and sweet. With the addition of fruit, it gains many nuances. Among the most popular blends are Cyser, with apple, Pyment, with grapes, Berry, with berries such as strawberry and raspberry, Stone Fruit, with stone fruit, which can be mixed with many other delicacies, malted grains, herbs, and vegetables.
What you need to make your mead at home
The list is short! You will need only:
Honey, as pure as possible. If it is very crystallized, make a water bath, but do not stir it. Mineral water or very well filtered water;
Yeast, preferably specific yeasts;
Sanitized instruments (the drink is very sensitive to contamination and, even with a lot of presence, can end up with off-flavors);
Fermenter. This is where all the magic happens! As the process is quite long, you will certainly want a fermenter with good sealing and protection; An airlock system and a siphon (although optional, they are highly recommended).
The process to produce at home
It is worth reinforcing the warning before you start: sanitize all instruments! With a small sanitization kit you can guarantee the hygiene and purity of the process, and you can use it for many other productions.
Prepare the water
If you want to add some bark for an extra touch, boil it a little with the water. This also helps to extract its properties. But don’t overdo it; any additional peel can completely change the flavor;
Once you have decided how many liters you will produce and boiled the water in an average of 10 minutes, start adding the honey to the water little by little and mix it. Avoid letting it settle to the bottom. With the help of a densimeter, determine the ideal proportion of volume of each part. Measures between 1130 OG are ideal;
- Have another pre-boil before transferring the wort (and remember to leave between 12 and 18% of the fermenter’s volume free, because with the addition of the yeast, the wort will become more voluminous);
- Carefully pour the wort into your fermenter and let it come to room temperature. If you are not going to use the whole packet of yeast, rehydrate it, otherwise add it without stirring;
- Cover and prepare the airlock. The estimated fermentation time is quite relative to the volume and the mix. An average of 25 to 35 days is recommended. You can tell the level of maturity by the appearance, the flavor, and you can also gauge it with a densimeter, around 1020 OG is a good indication. However, tasting will always be the best guide. Remove it when you think the sweetness is no longer cloying;
- To clarify the drink, place the fermenter at a low temperature, either in the refrigerator or in glycol;
- Give preference to a racking for bottling, or you will end up getting too much sediment from the fermenter.
- After bottling, preferably store the weak ones in the refrigerator;
- Avoid clarifiers. It is best to let the process happen naturally at low temperatures;
- Give priority to the purity of the honey and the water;
- Work with all the equipment sanitized, in a clean place. It is important to avoid contamination;
- Experiment. Mead is very versatile, the important thing is not to overdo it;
- Indications for blending: Sicilian lemon, cherry, oak chips (for a drier aspect), berries, citrus peel, spices such as cumin, ginger;
- If you bottle it in a special bottle and can produce a drink that tastes good to the general public, why not try to sell it? Many people have the desire to try mead, but lack the tact or patience to make their own drink;
You will love the experience of making mead! Not only is it easy and cheap, but it is also very enjoyable. You are sure to be a hit with your friends, and maybe even make some extra money from your hobby.