Makes: 5 Gallons
- 2 quarts honey
- 5 gal water
- 2 cups strong tea
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3-5 lemons Mead yeast
- A plastic sieve
- wooden spoon
- big pot
- 5 gallon jug or carboy
What follows is a step by step explanation from Duke Sir Gyrth Oldcastle of Ravenspur on exactly how he makes mead:
First, boil water. I make two batches at a time with a three gallon pot. Add honey on a one part honey to nine parts water basis. (Honey weighs 12 lb. to the gallon.) I use a quart per 2 1/2 gallon batch. Stir it about to dissolve the honey in the water. 7he honey will sink to the bottom of the pot and burn unless stirred at first. When the mixture is bubbling happily, a whitish scum will riser to the surface. Spoon it away.
Scum removal is a topic of controversy among brewers. Some maintain that complete removal is the only way to go,- others like myself skim until there’s only a very little left. Suit yourself.
Remove from heat and add one cup of very strong tea (2 cups per 5 gallons) (From herein on I assume that the measurements are for 5 gallons of mead)), 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Then take 3-5 lemons, Slice them thin, and throw them in. Let the lemons steep in the must (must is what you call incipient mead) for 30 minutes; then remove the slices. The tea and lemon move the pH of the must towards one comfortable for the yeast.
Let the whole caboodle cool to about 80-85 degrees F. Then introduce your yeast to it, cap it with an airlock, and stand back. Afier 5 days taste it. If too sweet, let it continue; if too alcoholic (unlikely) add more boiled honey and water. Keep tasting daily until sweetness and alcohol balance each other out. Syphon it off into bottles and refrigerate. If not refrigerated, it will get progressively less sweet and slide irrevocably into undrinkability. Let stand 2-5 weeks. Drink and enjoy. it ties up refrigerator space, but tends to be worth it.
NOTE – When refrigerated the mead tends to settle, and at this point I find it advantageous to siphon again into clean bottles, seal tightly, and re-refrigcrate. It makes for a sweeter, more sparkling mead.