By Jennifer Ford
Mother Earth News
If you have some extra honey and you are looking to try something new this winter, why not try making a batch of mead? Mead is a delicious wine made with honey. Depending on what recipe you use, it can be sweet, dry, sparkling, or flavored with fruit and spices.
Making Mead: The Ingredients You Need
Mead is really very simple – the main ingredients are honey, yeast, and water. But, the quality of the ingredients is very important! I prefer to use my own honey, as I know it is local, raw, and minimally processed. But, it is also fun to try different varieties of honey, and some mead recipes may specify certain types of honey. If you do purchase honey for mead, try to support local beekeepers by purchasing honey from them.
The water used is also important. You should avoid water that has been chlorinated – the chlorine in the water may affect the taste of the mead, and may also affect the yeast. Using well water or filtered water is best. You can also try making mead using unpasteurized apple cider – this type of mead made with cider is called “cyser”.
Finally, you want to use good quality yeast. Again, different recipes will specify what type of yeast should be used. In any case, you will want to make sure that the yeast you are using is fresh, and has not been overly heated. I once tried to make a batch of mead using yeast I had stored for several years. That batch failed, as the yeast was no longer viable.
Full Story: Using Honey to Make Mead