I’ve never brewed anything successfully. The kombucha I attempted to brew in a jar on my countertop grew nothing but mold despite my urban hippie aspirations.
But here I am trying again with mead only this time with some major tutelage. Elliot’s the brewmaster here and I’m just a helping hand who happens to have copious amounts of honey to spare.
We made a standard mead using champagne yeast and 1 gallon of honey for a 5 gallon batch. The local brew store recommended a few additions such as irish moss for clarity and a wee bit of tannin for balance.
Apparently drinking fermented beverages such as this lovely hefeweizen from Albuquerque’s fabulous Marble Brewery while brewing a new batch optimizes success for the fermentation to come.
For complexity, we added a dozen sliced apricots to the mix. As you can see, this created a minor disaster when it came time to stuff pasteurized apricots through a tiny hole in the 5 gallon bottle. It’s not hard to imagine feet, floor, bottle covered in sticky orange baby food.
After about 2 hours of boiling and prep, the house smelled like a very floral honey and the mixture was chillin’ in the bottle (I think it’s called a carboy).
And now we wait… 6 months, maybe 9. If all goes well, and Elliot’s magic overcomes my bad brewing mojo, we’ll have mead by Christmas.
Brewmaster Elliot sends a few photos of the mead-in-progress. At the left is the slightly cooled mead into which he’s pouring a packet of champagne yeast. At right is the mead this morning with fermentation clearly underway.
- Sunset Magazine makes mead
- Epicurious’ basic mead recipe
- Chemical-free mead
- Joe Mattioli’s Ancient Orange Mead