Honey isn’t just for spreading on toast. With a bit of ingenuity, the dregs of our summer harvest are blopping away in a demijohn to become mead.
4 litres water.
1 litre honey (dregs after extraction).
1 sachet brewer’s yeast (active unlike the baker’s version).
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient.
1 lemon, juice only.
Heat the water to 66C and allow to cool.
Mix with the remaining ingredients and place in a fermentation container or demijohn with airlock.
Leave to ferment for about two weeks at about 21-24C until the lees have formed a sediment on the bottom.
Rack off the cleared liquid into a clean demijohn, discarding the lees. Fit airlock and leave in cool dark place for 3-4 months.
Repeat as above adding 2 Camden tablets to the demijohn to prevent further fermentation.
When fully clear, rack off into bottles and fit air-tight stoppers/corks/screw-caps.
Some tips from my friend Peter (Treasurer/Membership Secretary of the National Association of Wine and Beer makers (Amateur)):
Recommended Mead is Mangrove Jack’s Mead yeast. https://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/mangrove-jacks-mead-yeast-m05.html
Sterilizing equipment and bottles: “Campden tablets are your best bet as they don’t leave any residual aromas or tastes on the sterilized items. You will need sixteen tablets for every gallon of water.
Grind up the tablets you need and dissolve in warm water (but not boiling) in the bucket to be used for sterilizing. This should have a lid. Add your jars and place the lid on the bucket to seal it. This traps the sulphur dioxide gas which carries out the sterilization. Leave for about 10 minutes and then remove your bottles and allow to air dry. You can probably use the sterilizing solution two or three times, but it will gradually become less effective.”
Different types of mead:
|Pyment – dry||Made from honey with the addition of grapes or grape juice||Honey, grape juice|
|Cyser – dry||Made from honey with the addition of apples or apple juice||Honey, apple juice, cinnamon sticks (optional)|
|Melomel – medium dry – medium sweet||Made from honey with the addition of fruit or fruit juice||Honey + fruit – oranges, apricots, peaches, pineapple, raspberries all work well.|
|Metheglin||Made from honey with the addition of herbs, spices. Medium dry makes a nice aperitif.||Honey, coriander seeds, whole cloves, allspice, cinnamon stick, tea bags, orange|