The basic equipment needed for mead making isnít very expensive, and usually lasts for a long time. Local Homebrew shops generally have these items in stock daily. If you have any items at home already, feel free to use them. Here is the list of items that I recommend you have in order to make mead:
- Stainless Steel Stock Pot
- Plastic Fermenter
- Glass Carboy
- Fermentation Lock and Stopper
- Racking Cane and Tubing
Now the part that you all have been waiting for, the steps involved in making your first batch of mead. You will start out making sure all your equipment is clean and sanitized. Anything that touches the must(unfermented honey and water mixture) should be sanitized.
Put a gallon of water into your stainless steel pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. After boiling for 10 minutes remove pot from heat and add yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, and honey. Stir the pot until the honey and water have mixed completely. Hold the must at that temperature(around 170 degrees) for 10 Minutes. Chill the must down to 80 degrees. Take a hydrometer reading. Pitch(add) your yeast into the must, stir vigorously for 5 minutes. Place the lid on your fermenter with the air lock attached. Fermentation should begin about 24 to 48 hours. 2 to 3 weeks later(or when fermentation is done) rack mead into a sanitized carboy. Let it sit another 3 to 4 weeks. Rack for the final time into another sanitized carboy and let it sit until the mead is clear(another 2 to 3 months).
Now that you have finished making your mead itís time to bottle. For a still mead you will need to add potassium sorbate to stabilize. Mix the sorbate through out your entire batch then bottle. For a sparkling mead DO NOT add potassium sorbate. Use champagne style bottles for carbonated mead.
Here comes the hard part, letting the mead mature or age in the bottle. Mead will improve dramatically with age. Leaving it sit for 6 months to 1 year before opening is ideal. Be patient and it will really pay off. Enjoy!
Check out the Mead Recipe Kits available at Adventures in Homebrewing
Adventures in Homebrewing