How to Brew Mead: The Step by Step Guide to Meadmaking!

Mead Life

The delectable beverage that is a glass (or goblet) full of mead holds a long and illustrious history. In fact, it’s one of the oldest alcoholic beverages around, having made cameos in the ancient civilizations of Greece, China, Egypt, and India. Early evidence even suggests that it was consumed in India roughly 4000 years ago

The ancient Greeks referred to the tasty beverage as “ambrosia” or “nectar,” often decrying it to be the drink of the Gods (or, as is popular in our common English vernacular - the phrase “nectar of the Gods”). It is also frequently considered the water substitute of ye olde vikings. 

And because of its rich history, it’s easy to place mead atop the brewing pedestal and think “Oh, the drink of the Gods? I could never make such a thing!”

Whoa there, soldier. In reality, brewing mead is much simpler than you might think. Consider this - the basic ingredients of mead are water, honey, and yeast. With that in mind, does brewing mead sound so difficult? 

Sure, like anything, there’s more than meets the eye, and brewing mead with absolutely no guidance (and perhaps a healthy splash of hubris) can end in catastrophe. 

Luckily, we here at Batch Mead got your back. We’re talking step-by-step instructions on how to devise the perfect tasting of the Gods’ nectar. If it’s your first time brewing, go ahead and take a deep breath - this is going to be fun! If it’s your ninth time brewing, by all means, use this as a refresher.

Are you a beer brewer ready to branch out and try your hand at mead? Guess what? This is easier (said in a whispering voice). Let’s get started!    

 

Brewing Mead Step #1: Get Yourself a Kit

You’ll need some special equipment to put together this celestial libation. Here are a few suggestions from Amazon to help you get started:

1. Mead Making Kit

Note that this one is the most basic kit available; meaning, you’ll probably find yourself purchasing a few “extra” items in advance of your first mead-making session. In particular, this kit doesn’t come with any siphoning equipment or sanitation supplies and, as you’ll soon learn, sanitation is the KEY to great tasting alcohol. 

2. Homebrewstuff One-Gallon Nano Meadery Mead Starter Kit

This kit is the real deal. It’s advertised as a one-stop shop for everything you need to make your first batch of mead, and it looks to walk the walk (you’ll still need to get honey, of course). Something else worth mentioning, too - you’ll only ever be able to make one-gallon of mead with this kit. Not bad at all for your first go-round, but if you’re looking to mass produce later on, you’ll need a bigger carboy.

3. Mighty Mead Kit - The Everything You Need Honey Mead Kit

The Mighty Mead Kit lives up to its name - everything you need to make your first batch of glory!(honestly, it’s not much different than the Homebrewstuff kit)

Brewing Mead Step #2: The Ingredients

All recipes will vary based upon what type of mead you’re planning to make and how much. Check out our comprehensive list of mead types here!

Basic ingredients you’ll need regardless of what mead you’re making:

  1. Grade-A honey

  2. Water (purified highly recommended)

  3. Mead yeast (any of the above kits include yeast!)

Brewing Mead Step #3: The Instructions

Again, mead recipes vary (and vary greatly). However, here are step-by-step instructions on the general process so that you have an idea of just how quick and easy it can be to make magic in a pot!

1. Sanitize ALL of your equipment. This is uber important. Whether its using the sanitizer provided in your kit or boiling each item in hot water, it is imperative that you sanitize. Even the smallest amount of bacteria can derail your entire mead-making operation. 

2. Boil your water in a large pot. Once boiling, pull it off the stove and add your honey (this is the point where, if you were creating a recipe that included various spices and/or fruits, you would also add those). 

3. Add cool water to your mixture in order to bring the temperature down and form an acceptable climate for the yeast (if it’s too hot or too cold, the yeast won’t properly activate - think Goldilocks and the Three Bears mentality here).  

4. Use a [sterilized] thermometer to measure the temperature of your water and honey. When it’s between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, transfer your liquid over to whatever you plan to ferment it in (most likely a carboy if you purchase a mead-making kit). Then add your yeast, gently stir, and seal your top. You’ll want an airlock of some sort that allows air to escape during the fermentation process. 

5. Allow the mixture to ferment for about a month in a cool, dry area (closets work well). PRO TIP: Run a tube from an airlock into a half-full jug of water. This will help any “blow off” from the fermentation process run directly into the jug instead of exploding all over your closet. 

6. After your mead has fermented, the next step is to bottle. Use a hydrometer to check the ABV of your mead first and make sure it’s at the level you want (mead ABV can range anywhere from 5-20%). If satisfied, use a siphon to transfer your fermented mead into bottles. CAUTION: A line of sediment will form at the bottom of your jug during fermentation - don’t let this seep into your bottles (and whatever recipe you’re following, particularly if its from a kit, should have ample instruction on how to effectively transfer your mead from fermentation vessel to bottles!).  

Brewing Mead Step #4: Mead Life      

BOOM! You’ve done it. Once your mead is bottled, you’re free to drink it. However, also remember the Golden Rule - the longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Want to taste some mead? Hop on over to our shop to order some meads! Batch Mead Shop

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