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Mead

Ingredients:

3lb clear honey

2 litres grape juice

2 litres apple juice

1 teaspoon bentonite

0.5 teaspoon tartaric acid

0.5 teaspoon tannin

Gervin varietal B yeast

 

Method:

1.  Prepare the yeast by mixing with a teaspoon of sugar and half a cup of luke warm water.

2.  Mix the honey with 1 litre of grape juice and 1 litre of apple juice whilst warming in a saucepan, stirring in the honey until thoroughly mixed.

3.  Add the remaining grape and apple juice and, when cooled to approx 70degF, transfer to a demijon.

4.  By now, the yeast should be frothing in the cup: stir well and add to the demijon.

Add the remaining ingredients.

5.  Ferment to 1.005/1.010 to provide a medium-sweet mead, with some honey sugars unfermented providing the sweetness.  The alcohol level should be circa 11%.

6.  When all fermentation is complete, stabilise the mead by adding a campden tablet.

7.  Allow to clear, then bottle.

 

Notes:

1.  Mead can be difficult to clear because traces of wax from the honey tend to give some precipitates bouyancy.  Wine finings will help but patience is undoubtedly a virtue in this endeavour.

2.  Tradition says mead should be kept for at least a year before drinking.  Whilst there is probably benefit in a longer maturation period, it is likely to be minimal and most people would be hard pressed to detect any improvement after three months.

3.  As with all wine and beer making, the quality of the mead is dependent upon the quality of the ingredients.  You would not expect to make a fine meal from the sweepings after the market closes and you should not expect to make good mead from cheap supermarket honey and juices.