Mead is the oldest form of alcoholic fermentation around. Honey and water (hence being known as ‘honey wine’) are the two main ingredients, but different ingredients can be added to change the flavor and name, as desired.
This recipe is a variation on the simplest style there is and goes against some of the main principles of more complex styles of Mead, but it works, and is therefore perfect for the beginner. It will be sweet, complex, and tasty and in 2 months, be ready to siphon off to drink. Follow the instructions exactly as provided and you’ll have a great holiday drink.
4 Litre Batch
1.5 kg raw honey
2 large mandarins (later cut in eights or smaller, rind and all)
1 small handful of golden sultanas
1 stick of cinnamon
2 whole cloves
pinch of dried/fresh centennial hops (otherwise known as super cascade)
1 teaspoon of dry active bread yeast
Balance filtered water to one gallon
4 litre carboy (glass jug for fermenting liquids)
Water airlock and rubber bung
- Use a clean 4 litre carboy – dissolve honey in some warm water and put in carboy
- Wash mandarins to remove wax from the skin and slice in eights. Add entire Mandarin pieces to the carboy. Add sultanas, cinnamon, cloves and hops to the carboy and top off with filtered water, leaving a few inches gap from below the neck of the carboy to allow for foaming.
- Cover with a top and shake the carboy to aerate the mixture for at least 5mins.
- When at room temperature in your kitchen, put in 1 teaspoon of bread yeast, and swirl.
- Install water airlock to the top (this allows the mead to release gases created by the fermentation, stopping the glass exploding). Put in a dark cupboard in the kitchen. It will start activating within an hour. After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it.
- Don’t shake it, just leave it and smell every few days to make sure no bad odors are present. It will smell yeasty though.
- After 2 months it will stop bubbling and clear all by itself. If it is clear it is ready. Then you can put a hose into the centre of the jar using cheese cloth as a filter and siphon off the golden mead. This recipe and procedure works with these ingredients so don’t play around with recipe.