How to make excellent Mead

Posted 02/20/10

The key is to foster the natural conversion of honey water to wine and let the character of the honey and yeast shine through.  A clean, complete, timely fermentation is the primary requirement to making great mead once the best raw materials have been obtained.  Fermentation temperature can be lowered to enhance the floral character of the honey, but caution not to go too low and hinder healthy fermentation (cold tolerant yeasts should be used in such cases).

Obtain fresh, raw, unfiltered honey

No sulfite / no heat

Dissolve in 70F water

Introduce a ton of oxygen

Check pH and adjust to achieve 3.7

Add yeast nutrient

Add hydrated yeast or yeast starter to top (do not stir)
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Keep at 70F and check activity/record SG daily

Add additional nutrient and/or energizer @ about 5 days or SG around 1.03

Ferment to dryness

Rack off gross lees / maintain CO2 environments  throughout handling to bottling

Clarify with bentonite during cold stabilization

Sweeten to taste (and add sorbate) prior to bottling

Wait 1+ years and enjoy