How to Make Mead Using a Brewing Kit
Want to know how to make mead with a mead-making kit? We’ll show you how. It’s fairly easy to do once you have the equipment. All you need from there is the ingredients and a recipe.
We’ll walk you through to steps for using a mead making kit to start making your own delicious homemade mead.
Get A Mead Recipe And The Ingredients
There are a lot of different mead, or honey wine, recipes out there, from modern to ancient meads. The most basic form consists only of honey, water and yeast. However, that isn’t the end of it; they can be made into a sweet, semi-sweet or semi-dry, or dry mead, and that only takes the basic ingredients to make. Just like with wine making, there are many more types of mead out there as well, as spiced meads are very popular worldwide and there are many variations. There are also fruit mead varieties that bring a unique taste that many mead connoisseurs love.
Additionally, some recipes call for longer fermentation periods than others. Some meads are ready to consume in about the same time as many beers. Some take a few seasons. Some require years of fermentation; it all depends on the recipe and the ingredients one acquires.
As to the ingredients, honey selection matters. Different flavors are obtained from different honeys, so the home mezer (mead-maker) should take care to select the right honey. Avoid pasteurized honey, as the pasteurization process can make fermentation difficult, unpredictable and in some cases impossible.
However, if one wants to skip all that, they can get a mead kit with all the ingredients put together beforehand. There are a good number of mead ingredient and recipe kits that are sold online; with starter kits, one merely needs to follow the instructions, provided one has the equipment to make their own mead.
How To Make Mead With Standard Equipment
The basic mead making equipment list is as follows:
- Fermentation Bucket and Lid
- Glass Carboy
- Airlock (many prefer the bubbler variety)
- Carboy Brush
- Siphoning Tube for racking
- Siphoning Hose
- Shut Off Clamp For Siphon Hose
- Hydrometer Jar
- Test Jar
- Bottle Filler
- Carboy thermometer
- Rubber Stopper (aka a “bung”) for Airlock
These are broadly the same pieces of equipment one needs for making mead as well as brewing beer or cider. Naturally, one will also need a stockpot and utensils, as well as – and this is important – sanitizer. StarSan, a no-rinse sanitizer, is very popular among homebrewers.
However, how to make mead is fairly easy. Note, however, that all equipment has to be sanitized prior to any mead making. Anything that comes into contact with the mead MUST be sanitized, else the entire process is in jeopardy and the result will be a poor quality product.
One starts by dissolving the honey in water to the ratio advised by one’s recipe and transferring to the primary fermenter. Then, pitch the activated yeast and ensure that it’s given a good stir or shake with the lid closed. Seal the vessel with the bung/stopper and insert the airlock.
Once the bubbles stop, primary fermentation has ceased and yeast has died. (RIP, little fungi.) Transfer to secondary fermenter and wait for the yeast and sediment to settle and for the mead to clear. Once it’s cleared up, keg or bottle the mead and carbonate if desired. After sufficient aging, enjoy!
That’s the most basic process. A good mead recipe will include all steps, in greater detail, to walk the home brewer through the process.
Is Using A Mead Making Kit Worth It?
Should a person get a mead making kit?
It’s a very good idea, actually. While the equipment and ingredients can certainly be bought piecemeal, the truth is that buying a comprehensive package will not only put all the ingredients in one’s hands immediately, it usually results in a discount.
Additionally, not every 1-5 gallon mead starter kit is the same. Some companies sell a complete mead making kit with all requisite equipment and ingredients for your first batch, for easy use. Some companies sell just packages of ingredients, some sell just the equipment and some sell all three.
For the beginner mead-maker, it’s a good idea to get mead making kits that have all the equipment one needs at once. That way, there’s no need to chase anything else down and the stress of doing so is avoided. One can then relax, and wait for the final product to be ready to enjoy!