homemade hydromel

Mead is one of the oldest drinks in the world, whose consumption has been shared by peoples such as the Greeks, Romans, Celts or Vikings, without forgetting the Mayans. A drink full of history that is easy to prepare at home.

Mead is one of the best-known drinks in history and whose preparation is not particularly complicated. In fact, this drink is part of the easy and simple homemade recipes that you have at your fingertips if you like to prepare homemade liqueurs. So, if you don’t want to buy mead or prefer to make your own version of this timeless classic, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how it’s prepared.

what is mead

If you don’t know what mead is, we’ll quickly explain it to you. This drink consists of a mixture of fermented honey with water, which develops a drink similar to wine with very pleasant flavors and an adequate alcoholic strength, which is around 10 degrees approximately. As is obvious from its ingredients, the drink has a sweet and very pleasant approach, with fruity or floral touches, depending on the honey used in the process.

One of the advantages of this drink is that it has an interesting nutritional profile derived from the characteristics of honey, to which only water, yeast and, occasionally, a little sugar are added. It is also an interesting drink for celiacs, since the product is completely gluten-free. And since it is a homemade drink, it is obvious that it does not contain colorants, preservatives or any other “E” added and that you do not want to have in the drink.

What do we need

To prepare mead we need a kilo of honey, 2.5 liters of water and three grams of brewer’s yeast powder or 8 grams of fresh yeast, both options being suitable to provide the yeast for mead that the process needs. Since there are differences regarding how honey is made and the different varieties that we have on the market, you have the possibility of preparing this drink with different honeys such as rosemary honey, flower honey or chestnut honey, among others. others. You can also use homemade honey, if you make it at home.

In addition to the ingredients, we are going to need some objects to make mead. Among them, we have a pot, the corresponding disinfectant to keep everything clean, a fermenter and a thermometer for hot drinks. In the case of the fermenter, this is nothing more than a container that allows the gases generated in the process to be evacuated, but without the interior air entering.

By the way, the ingredients that we have mentioned are those of the classic mead recipe, but this approach is open to what you want to use . In fact, much of the mead we have on the market includes additional ingredients such as spices, fruit juices, the fruits themselves, infusions and other liquid or solid ingredients. These are added and mixed with the original base either as an extra for maceration or to flavor the must or base mix.

Preparation of the base mix

The process of how to make mead consists of two separate parts, as is the case with many spirits and beverages. In this first phase of the preparation of the mead, the must that serves as the base is made, just as it happens when making yeast with beer or preparing homemade beer or wine.

For this elaboration, we start by disinfecting all the materials that we are going to use. In a pot, add water up to half and, once it reaches 50 degrees, add the honey. It is key not to exceed those 50 degrees, since this is the maximum temperature at which honey maintains its properties in good condition. Stir until the mixture is integrated and a kind of syrup is obtained.

fermentation process

Since mead is a recipe that is made with fermented honey, the next step is to load the mixture into the fermenter. We will add the rest of the water inside the fermenter, maintaining the temperature between 25 and 45 degrees, moving the base must well. 

The next step is to add the yeast to the mead. We separate a glass of the mixture and add brewer’s yeast or baker’s yeast, to your liking. Let the yeast act without stirring for about 10 minutes, shake the mixture and let it rest for another five minutes. Finally, we add the contents of the glass to the fermenter, mix and close.

From here, we just have to wait to have our homemade Viking beer ready. The fermenter must be closed for about 15 days and the mixture must be kept at a temperature of approximately 10 to 20 degrees. In addition, it is key that direct sunlight does not fall on the fermenter, so that it does not overheat.

Finishing off the making

After the indicated time, this honey or mead water would be ready for consumption. We would only have a few steps left if you want to bottle the product or if you want to give it a finer touch. In both cases, it is enough to filter this honey wine to remove the deposits that have been produced during fermentation, especially if you have added any other ingredient.

In case you want to bottle the product, just add a little sugar to the bottle, to ensure that this homemade mead has a little gas or carbonation when enjoying your drink. Do not forget to close the bottles with resistant caps, to prevent the gas from escaping.

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