Alcoholic drinks made from honey began to prepare several thousand years ago, simultaneously with the appearance of beekeeping. Over time, production technology has changed, but unforgettable taste and intoxicating hue remains the same. Then I’ll tell you how to make Mead at home. We will consider the modern version of the classic recipe without yeast and boiling, which was used before.
Mead is a low – alcohol (5-10%) alcoholic beverage produced by fermentation of honey. Depending on the recipe except the water in the composition can be added yeast, hops, flavorings and other ingredients.
There is a strong Mead, but it isn’t made by fermentation, and adding the right amount of alcohol (vodka) into a finished product. This method allows to achieve the prescribed beverage strength up to 75 degrees.
In Russia “drinking honey” was considered sacred and was an inherent part of many holidays, but in the Middle ages about this wonderful drink forgotten. The rebirth of the Mead fell on the first years of Soviet power, when beekeepers got a lot of unsuitable for long-term storage and sale of honey. For quick processing of the beekeepers did a Mead with the addition of bakery yeast.
New low-alcohol beverage caught on, it was prepared at home, using not only spoiled, but also very high-quality Mature honey, diluted with water. Several decades later began the commercial production of Mead. This famous town of Suzdal in Vladimir region, where production has continued to the present day.
Modern home Mead
- honey – 300 grams;
- water – 2 liters;
- dry yeast – 1 teaspoon (or 25 grams extruded);
- hop cones – 5 grams;
- cinnamon and nutmeg – 1 pinch.
All the ingredients are available, difficulties can arise only with cones of hops. They are sold in almost every pharmacy, so that’s not the problem. Yeast can take any, for example, for baking bread.
The technology of making Mead
1. The choice of honey. One of the most important steps, which largely depends on the quality of the finished beverage. Try to choose the most fragrant varieties. Great buckwheat honey, but you can take another, for example lime.
In the spring, many beekeepers offer fresh liquid honey, but if you are not well versed in beekeeping, it is better to abandon the purchase. There is a risk that is a natural product of dealers sell substitute of sugar or honey is a low quality. With such raw material will never get a delicious homemade Mead.
2. Dissolution of honey in water. Pour water into an enamel pan, bring to a boil. Add to the boiling honey, stirring constantly with a spoon. After 4-5 minutes of boiling honey mixture on the surface will appear white foam, which should be carefully collected with a spoon.
Attention! Honey burns very quickly and can be ignited, so the pan for a minute can not be left unattended.
3. Introduction food additives. After the foam is removed, add to the mixture other ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg and hops, which give the drink original flavor notes. After thorough mixing, the pan remove from heat.
4. The preparation for fermentation. The mixture was cooled to 25-30°C (very important) and add the yeast. If you do it at a higher temperature, the yeast will die and fermentation will not start.
To move a pot of honey solution in a dark place with a temperature of about 25°C. If no separate room, you can use aquarium heater. To avoid falling into the wort third-party substances and insects (especially in the summer get fly), I recommend to cover the pot with gauze.
In 1-2 days there will be signs of fermentation: on the surface of the mixture will begin to form foam, you will hear a hiss. The contents of the pan pour into a fermenting tank, setting on the neck of a medical glove with a hole in your finger or a water slide. The design of these devices is shown in the photo.
Homemade water seal Fermentation.
5. Fermentation. Typically, the fermentation of Mead lasts 4-6 days. About the end of the process evidenced by the deflated glove or prolonged absence of bubbles coming through the water trap. Another validation method is to bring the surface of the liquid burning match, which should not fade. Nothing to fear, the strength of the drink only 5-10 degrees, it will light up.
6. Filtering and bottling. The final stage of preparation. Mead should be carefully poured into another container, leaving the sediment at the bottom, then strain through several layers of cheesecloth.
Ready to drink pour into a bottle (glass or plastic), cork tightly and transfer to the refrigerator or the basement. I do not advocate storing alcohol in plastic containers, but in this case it is harmless. The fortress of Mead is low, so the alcohol will not interact with plastic. They sell beer in those bottles. Mead can be drunk almost immediately after cooking, but I recommend infuse for 3-5 days and then taste it.
How to make a sparkling Mead
1. Bottles (plastic or glass) wash and wipe dry.
2. At the bottom of each container add honey (half teaspoon in 1 litre of drink). Thanks honey will be a small secondary fermentation, which will saturate Mead natural carbon dioxide.
3. To pour the beverage into bottles, leaving 5-6 cm of free space from the bottle. Tightly close the tubes or caps.
4. Transfer capacity for 7-10 days in a dark room at room temperature. Times a day to check gas pressure, if necessary, bleed excess pressure.
5. To put carbonated honey in a cool place for at least 5 days to Mature.
Mead without yeast and boiling
An old family recipe, which made the Mead of our ancestors. They did without the yeast and honey dissolved in cold water. Warn that according to this technology, the cooking will take 3-4 months, besides the strength of the drink will be much lower – 2-4 degrees.
The hardest part of this recipe is to find an adequate replacement for the yeast, as by themselves the honey with water to ferment will not. There are two options: to use as a catalyst cherries (raspberries, strawberries) or raisins. Historically correct choice would be cherry, but more reliable raisin. Consider both cases.
The technology of preparation
1. Dissolve the honey in cold water. The amount of ingredients depends on the selected catalyst of fermentation. In the case of raisins are used: 1 liter of water, 80 grams of honey and 50 grams raisins.
If you decide to support the fermentation with cherries (raspberries, strawberries), to make Mead you will need: 1 litre water, 4 kg of cherries and 2 kg of honey. Pre-from cherries to remove the seeds, then pour the honey solution.
Attention! Raisins and cherries before adding to the Mead is not washable, or you accidentally wash off the wild yeast responsible for fermentation, and to predict the subsequent result will be difficult.
2. Tie the neck with gauze, then put the container in a warm place. The fermentation starts in 1-2 days. Since we are without yeast (dry and flour), takes more time than in the first case.
3. When signs of fermentation (see 4th paragraph of the first prescription) the liquid is filtered through several layers of cheesecloth, pour into another container and close tightly. This method prepares the so-called “representations medovukha” for which you don’t need a glove or a water seal.
4. It is necessary to put bottles in the fridge or in a cellar to Mature. After 3-4 months you can try the finished drink. It will get fizzy with a bit of tartness, the alcohol almost not felt, more like a kvass.
Mead without yeast
PS Many call “the right Mead” recipe without yeast and boiling. But this does not mean that the first option is not as tasty or useful. We recommend you to prepare Mead by two methods, try every option, and only then draw conclusions.
The video shows a simple recipe for a honey beer.