I have documented on this website my love for making mead. It is an extremely versatile medium that is (in my opinion) under-rated and under-appreciated. I am no expert in anything but I have been making a light, sparkling spiced session mead (about 4-5% abv.) that I have been working on that I wanted to share. I wrote some background information after the recipe in case you wanted to look at what it takes. I make 3 gallon batches but feel free to scale it as you wish (as in 1 gal. or 5 gal. etc.) This is not a how to with no experience; I just wanted to share my project.
- 3 gallon Better Bottle / carboy
- Auto siphon, tubing, and bottling wand for bottling
- stopper/bung for said 3 gallon Better Bottle / carboy
- Starsan or equivalent sanitizer
- 3 lbs. orange blossom honey
- yeast (I used Lalvin ec-1118 but you can experiment)
- water to fill to 3 gal.
- Fermaid O (about 4.7 grams) or your preferred nutrients (raisons are not nutrients and not used in this recipe)
- 3 tps. of both black pepper and nutmeg
- 2 tbsp. of both ginger and cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp. of clove
- 2.2 oz. of priming sugar (will probably increase this to have more carbonation)
Only honey, nutrients (all in at once, I haven’t been staggering them), yeast, and water for primary. I let this ferment dry for a month. I check specific gravity just to make sure it is done. Day before bottling I pitch in spices and stir them in while making sure I do not oxygenate the mead too much. I then rack the mead off of the spices after about 24 hours after spicing and mix in my priming sugar before bottling. I then let it sit for two weeks minimum before I start taste testing bottles.
The end result is a light, prosecco style, bubbly thin beverage with a spicy delightful flavor. It is Jessica’s favorite mead that I have made so far and “Jekka” is a name that our niece used to call her. I modified the spice ratio and selection from this Tasting History (which is a great channel) video about Hippocras: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYBccRqsv6M . I replaced some of the ingredients to make the recipe accessible and the only spice I “grind” myself is the nutmeg and black pepper.
The next variations of this experiment are: to try adding some extra wildflower honey to the orange blossom honey, to add some dry malt extract to make this mead a braggot, some different yeast varieties, and also I would like to try a fruited variety. If you are interested in making mead and you have never done it, the mead subreddit (r/mead) is filled with great resources and feel free to reach out to me!