It has been a while since I posted and I have been busy in the mead. I bottled the strawberry melomel (batch 6-001) and this one has turned out to be a crowd pleaser! Nancy took some to her "Book Club" (read: ladies who enjoy adult beverages and once saw a book) and it was a hit!
Over the last month I have had several people ask me how to make mead, or if it is expensive to start, or some other inquiry of how to make mead on the cheap. So, I thought I would post here my thoughts on the matter. Enjoy!
You have a few options on how to make mead. There is the "buy a brew kit" option and the "Bah! I like Red Green and I will do it with whatever is about" option. Both work but if you get to enjoy it you will have to buy some supplies at a local home brew store. It is best to go local because they can answer questions and help you make better mead. You can also call online stores like Sograte BBQ and Brew and The Home Brewery. They are always happy to help. In addition, online forums (like Got Mead? and Ale-ian Society) are a big help.
Still, if you want to try it on the cheap, you will need:
1. A glass gallon jug. (Most buy a gallon of apple cider in a glass jug, drink the cider, and clean it)
2. A balloon
3. A rubber band
4. A larger sauce pan
5. A spoon (wooden is best)
6. A pin
7. A funnel that fits into the gallon glass jug
8. The ingredients for the mead
Red Green Steps:
1. Clean the jug, funnel and spoon. It is best to sterilize but not essential for this "handy" method.
2. Bring 16oz water to boil in the sauce pan; turn off heat.
3. Pour honey into hot water and stir with spoon until dissolved. This is now called "must" because it is future fermentables (ie mead).
4. Put funnel on jug and slowly pour must into empty jug.
5. Add all other ingredients except yeast--even if you have to force them through a narrow opening
6. Fill with water until 1 gallon is full.
7. Add dry yeast.
8. Take pin and poke 3-4 small holes in the end of the balloon.
9. Stretch balloon over the neck of the jug and secure with rubber band.
10. Sit back and let the yeast do its thing!
Now, once its clear you can syphon the mead into bottles. You WILL want to sterilize these before you fill them. You have many options here (I use 750ml wine bottles and cork them) but the most popular is old Grolsch bottles. They have a swing top and can be reused for homebrew.