Monday, 17 March 2008

Brewing my first batch of Homemade Mead

So I have decided to brew my own mead.
I have always liked mead though it is very hard to get hold of. I managed to get a bottle of mead while I was at Conception 2008 in Dorset and another bottle when I was in York last week.

So I got a recipe of the t'internet and got all the ingredients and utensils together and started my first batch. Hopefully it should be ready for bottling in time for Tentacles 2008 so I will take a bottle with me to Germany. I will keep the rest of the batch for Continuum 2008.

I am excited about it and I can't wait to see if it works or not!

How I brewed the mead is under the cut.

Brewing Mead.
My first batch of my homemade mead. The ‘must’ was made on Saturday 15th March and was added to the demijohn with yeast ready for fermentation on Sunday 16th March 2008.

Rowse Blossom Honey 454g x 4 jars.
Tesco Pure Pressed White Grape Juice 1Ltr.
1 x Jaffa orange.
Tesco Scottish Mountain Spring Water.
Young’s U Brew Wine Yeast Super Compound 7g.
Young’s U Brew Yeast Nutrient.
Milton sterilising Tablets.

1 x one gallon cooking pot.
Pint Pyrex Jug.
Citrus jester.
Large draining spoon.
Large cleaning brush.
Siphon Tube.
Plastic funnel.
Rubber bungs.
Fermentation locks.
2 x one gallon demijohns.

Starting the Mead.
First off I cleaned all the utensils and then sterilised them using the Milton tablets. Two tablets in each demijohn and two tablets in the sink for the other utensils. Left them for over twenty minutes and then thoroughly rinsed them all off.
I boiled three litres of the Scottish mountain spring water in the one gallon brew pot and left it to boil for five minutes. During this time the four honey jars were opened and the jars placed in some warm water to make the honey less viscous. I reduced the heat and added the one litre of grape juice first giving it a stir. I then added the honey to the water/juice mix making sure all the honey drained out the jars. I even rested the jars over each other so the honey drained into each other so I was finally able to get every last drop. I then added the zest of the whole Jaffa orange directly into the mix and cut the orange in half and squeezed the juice directly into the mix also.
The resulting mixture is called the ‘must’.
I let the must simmer for about half an hour to pasteurise it stirring it occasionally. Near the end I used the draining spoon to scoop up some of the foamy scum the collects on the surface of the must. This may contain impurities that may harm the mead during fermentation though I also collected some zest as I did.
I removed the must from the heat and put the lid on the cook pot. I also cover the whole pot with a clean tea towel. I left the must to cool over night and then continue the brewing process the following morning.

I allowed the must to cool overnight so it remained at room temperature. I also left the yeast out so it would also be at room temperature.
I siphoned the must into the demijohn, the whole mixture fit into the demijohn perfectly. I then warmed up [not too hot] 50mLr of spring water in the Pyrex jug and allowed to cool for five minutes. I added the 7g of yeast and a pinch of yeast nutrient to the water and stirred. I then I shake the demijohn to aerate the mixture, though the siphoning would have added some oxygen anyway. I then add the jug of yeast mix to the demijohn, shaking it again. I seal the demijohn with a bung and fit the fermentation airlock into place.
I placed the demijohn in a nice dark and cool place in my kitchen cupboard and wait for the fermentation process to begin!

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