Just Mead 05-25
A traditional, no frills, mead. Made from honey, water, and yeast… with some certain exceptions like FERMAID-O, black tea, and raisins for tannin. This will be brewed to be true to its ancient ancestors born in wineskins.
- 3lbs Wildflower Honey
- 1 packet of Lalvin D47
- 1tsp FERMAIN-O
- Tea of 1 black tea bag
- Small handful of raisins
Basics are important.
My Blood Orange Mead’s flavors got complex and deep pretty quickly and, as a result, I decided I wanted to embrace what mead fundamentally is. I wanted to make a plain mead with as much careful attention as I’d give to my more complex meads. In a one gallon fermenter, I added 3lbs of Amazon brand boring wildflower honey. I tasted it before I added it to the fermenter and, while it definitely isn’t the unfiltered, raw Texas honey I’m used to, I found the flavor pretty good, nonetheless. I mixed 1 tsp of FERMAID-O into the still hot tea resulting from brewing 1 black tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes. The hot liquid helps dissolve the FERMAID-O into solution. I also finely chopped the raisins and added them to the Must along with the black tea and FERMAIN-O. Raisins aren’t nutrients. But they are a good source of tannins for a more interesting mouthfeel at the end.
I boiled 2 liters of water and mixed it with cold water to get about 110F hot water. I added this water to the honey in the fermenter to start melting it. At this point, the fermenter was just above 1/2 full, so I put the lid on, plugged the hole in the lid with my finger, and shook the contents vigorously to mix well. After about 60 seconds of shaking, I removed the lid and added more hot water until the fermenter was about 3/4 full. I put the lid back on and shook again for about 60 seconds. Then I added cold, filtered water until it was a full gallon and was just above the shoulder of the fermenter. Again, I put the lid on and shook the Must thoroughly to both well mix the honey and water as well as oxygenate the Must.
Afterwards, using the famous turkey baster method, I drew up a sample into a graduated cylinder and used my hy-break-ometer (hydrometer) to determine the beginning density was 1.120 Specific Gravity (SG). When considering the temperature of the Must, the actual SG will be around 1.127. I used a thermometer and measured the Must at 104F which is a bit warm, but not dangerous to yeast starting out. So, I pitched the whole packet of Lalvin D47 yeast. While the package says the contents is enough for 5 gallons, it doesn’t hurt to use the whole packet and I want the yeastie beasties to have a robust colony considering the very high possible ABV at the end. I added the requisite stickers to the fermenter with the appropriate information.
The Must was then put into the Temple of Fermentation and a “Hail, Odin!” issued proudly.