Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.
Is it legal To Make Your Own Mead?
This is one of the most common questions I get from newbies. Producing your own alcoholic beverages is legal in most jurisdictions, it usually only becomes illegal when you distill. Check with your local police department if you are in doubt.
Mead, the drink of the gods
Mead is a drink as old as time, one of the first alcoholic beverages ever made by man, if not the first. It is a honey based wine like beverage that is as versatile as wine and beer combined. Depending on how it is made it can be a sweet desert wine or a nice dry dinner wine.
The mead I am making here in this article should turn out to be a slightly sweet blueberry mead, most likely around 17% ABV, although until it is ready I won't know for sure, once the brew is complete I will update this article.
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
12 standard 375ml wine bottles
- 15 lbs Buckwheat Honey, Any honey will do, but I used buckwheat for this because it is what I had
- 1 kg Frozen Blueberries
- 1 pkg EC-1118 Yeast
- 1 5 gallon carboy
- 1 large funnel
- 1 drilled bung
- 1 airlock
- (optional) wine thief and hydrometer, For measuring sugar content to estimate ABV
- The honey I had used was pretty old and had crystallized so I heated up the bucket to soften in then poured it into a large pot with some water to heat up some more. Some people prefer to boil their honey with water for mead making but it is not a necessary step, if your honey is liquid feel free to just pour it into the carboy.
- Thaw the frozen berries then using the funnel pour the berries into the carboy. Some people juice their fruit, however the skins add flavour and I find it works best to include the whole fruit.
- Once the honey is liquid pour the honey into the carboy
- Top the carboy up with water, leave plenty of space for yeast foam.
- Make a yeast starter of water and some honey. Mix the dry yeast in this mixture and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
- Pour the yeast starter into the carboy.
- Seal the carboy with the bung and airlock.
- Allow to ferment until the airlock stops bubbling. Bubbling can be as slow as one bubble per five minutes so be sure to check closely. You can use the hydrometer to test to see if the yeast is still consuming alcohol, the sugars should continue to drop if the yeast is still producing.
More mead recipies
The mead turned out much drier tasting than expected, very nice none the less. It has quite the punch. Unfortunately I had a minor issue with my hydrometer so I don't know the final ABV percentage, but my guess would be 18% or so.
© 2014 Jeff Johnston
Larry on October 21, 2017:
Love the recipe. Just getting into fermented everything and want to put up some mead soon.
Isn’t there something you could use to perhaps stop the fermentation while it’s back at 10% and be less dry?
Jeff Johnston (author) from Alberta Canada on August 27, 2014:
Mead is not really that time consuming, it mainly is just start the process and leave it be, it takes patience more than anything.
robertzimmerman2 on August 27, 2014:
I would love to get into Mead making but lack the time. I cannot drink beer any longer because of the gluten content.