Making Mead: A Photo Essay

4 Jul

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.

The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery
The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery

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.

The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery
The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery

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.

The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery

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’s Update:

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.

Mead Recipes:


8 Responses to “Making Mead: A Photo Essay”

  1. C.C. July 4, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    This is so cool! my relatives back east make Kombucha I will have to ask them for tips for you!

  2. Monica Kowal July 4, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Looks good! Ryan and I are next! We just bottled some apple wine he made and it’s goooood. We’ve homebrewed our own beer, with much success. So mead is next on our list of things to do.

  3. Elliot Konetzni July 4, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    It smells like yeast in my studio today. I love it!

    • mistress beek July 4, 2010 at 10:35 am #

      An update from the brewmaster! Thanks, Elliot. I can’t believe the difference in color from the photos you posted on Facebook. Looks promising…

  4. Gord July 6, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Mmm … Mead is wonderful stuff.

  5. Bob Vivant July 13, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    I’ll trade you Kombucha for Mead! My head is spinning just from the notion of A GALLON OF HONEY. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

    • mistress beek July 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

      You’ve got a deal, sweetheart. Now somehow I’ll have to sneak a bottle on the plane this December…

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