local mead

I had no idea how simple it was to make a basic mead before I tried it.

  • I had toyed with the idea of making a mead/braggot for a while, but after reading hightest’s straightforward FAQ at homebrewtalk, I was ready to take the plunge.
  • I managed to score some great wildflower honey sourced locally from energy bee farm at a local farmer’s market.  their product is outstanding and their prices are reasonable, especially when you buy in bulk (they sell in containers up to 12 lb.).
  • unlike grain fermentations, where the wort provides essential elements to the yeast, mead fermentations need staggered nutrient additions.  it seems complicated, but there are only three additions of DAP and fermaid-K that need to be stirred in at defined intervals, each of which takes five minutes tops.  I picked up my nutrients at the moreflavor! conglomerate (under the wine section I believe).
  • preparation and inoculation of the must was as follows:
    • heat 4 gal. water to 115F.
    • stir in 14 lbs honey.
    • cool to below 80F (I hit 72F).
    • add first stage nutrients and yeast (DAP, fermaid-K, and white labs WLP715 champagne yeast for a dryer mead)
  • the process only takes and hour or two and yields 5 gallons of mead.  in the future, I’m thinking about experimenting with the style, including some sour blend/dreg additions, a funked belgian blond braggot, sparkling mead, etc.

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