It’s not just for sale at Renaissance faires any more. People are making mead, that is the wild mead (honey wine) made from honey and yeast, sometimes in the fashion it had been made for the past nine thousand years. If you’re looking for a simple recipe on how to make your own mead from honey, yeast, and water, there are many recipes online, with some of the best recipe sites listed below.
Ingredients, according to the website, The Joy of Mead and How to Make It.
1 Gallon of Spring Water (room temperature, do not get refrigerated)
3 pounds of honey – pure unprocessed
1 bag of balloons big enough to stretch over the mouth of the spring water jug
1 package of Fleishmann’s Yeast or Narbonne Yeast, (Lalvin 71B-1122), Lalvin D-47, or Montpelier Lalvin (K1V-1116)
1 box of raisins
Here are some suggestions for variations in this recipe
If you want spices, add a pinch of cloves or one clove. To make the mead, pour about half of the water into a clean container then slice up your orange into eighth’s and put the slices, honey, twenty-five raisins, and the yeast into the jug. Pour some water back into the jug so the level is a couple of inches from the top then put the cap on it and shake it up well. If you can, you should shake it for a good five minutes. This will aerate the mixture. The yeast really needs lots of oxygen to grow vigorously.
To find out what to do next, simply go to the site with the recipe, The Joy of Mead and How to Make It, and follow the instructions. Interestingly, you’ll have, if it turns out right, a drink similar to what people drank 9,000 years ago. You can check out all the other mead recipe sites as well and decide whether you want to make honey wine or a vegan version with various fruits.
Mead is growing in popularity across the USA as a beverage that’s essentially honey wine. See the (December 28, 2010) newspaper article on making mead and mead sales, “Mead, drink of vikings, comes out of the Dark Ages – Sacramento Bee.” You can make vegan meads or use honey, which is not vegan because honey is made by bees. According to the Sacramento Bee article, to make mead you use honey, water and yeast as your base. Then you add your own spices or fruits. There are fruit-flavored meads, called melomels.
Remember to sterilize your equipment as you want only the yeast you put in to ferment, not the yeast that’s floating in the air with other bacteria that you don’t want contaminating your honey wine. Check out the recipies on the following sites and choose the simplest recipe you want or any other recipe. First see the sites, The Joy of Mead and How to Make It, and see the video on understanding sanitation here: Sanitization of Mead.
Check out the Mead Forums and the Mead Recipes sites. Also before you begin, watch the video tutorial of all these steps on learning how to make mead. See the Mead Making Video. Other helpful sites on how to make your own mead are at the websites, How to Make Mead at Home, and watch the video at the website, How to make simple mead (honey wine).
There are businesses in San Francisco, for example, that sell mead and mead supplies. See the site, Got Mead.com for local addresses. Some examples include San Francisco Brewcraft, 1555 Clement St.,San Francisco, CA 94118, and Oak Barrel Winecraft, 1443 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702. If you want to buy mead in California, check out the site where you can buy it online at, Mead Honey Wine.