For 5 Gallons (18.93 L)
- 15-20 lb (11.79 kg) Honey
- VnH Mead Making Kit
- 100% RO water
OG: 1.15 FG: 1.03 ABV: 15.75%
DAY 0 - MIXING
Submerge the containers of honey in a warm water bath. A sink or bucket works well, but make sure no water will get into the containers.
Warming the honey ahead of time will help liquefy any solid crystals in the honey and make it easier to pour into the fermenter.
Dissolve Go-Ferm Protect in water and add the 2 packs of yeast incubate 15-30 min.
Thoroughly sanitize all equipment and tools that will come into contact with the ingredients.
Fill the clean and sanitized primary fermenter half way with water. ~2-3 gallons.
Remove the honey from the warm water bath, and proceed to add it to the half-full fermenter.
Using a sanitized spoon, mix the honey into the water until dissolved.
Add enough water to the honey and water mixture in the fermenter until you reach a total volume of 5 gallons (19 L).
Use a sanitized spoon and mix until the honey and water is completely mixed. If after mixing you notice a darker layer on the bottom half of the carboy and lighter layer on top, then the honey is not fully dissolved.
Using a clean and sanitized thermometer, measure the temperature of the must. Allow the must to cool to 65-75°F prior to adding the yeast.
Before pitching the yeast, pull a sample of the must and take a gravity reading using a hydrometer. This will allow you to measure the original gravity and calculate the alcohol content after fermentation.
Record Original Gravity: _____________
Gravity should be between 1.075 - 1.100. Add more honey to increase or more water to decrease.
Do not return the sample to the fermenter because it can cause infection.
Pitch Yeast & add Nutrients
Once the must is in the 60-70°F range; add the yeast. Next add 2 gm. DAP & 4.5 gm Fermaid-K
Tightly secure the lid and put an airlock in the hole of the lid.
Aerate the Must
As is the case when making beer, it is crucial to provide enough oxygen to the yeast at the point of pitching. While mixing the honey into the water will provide a lot of oxygen, but you may want to also give the primary fermenter a few shakes just in case.
Store the Fermenter
With the yeast pitched and the primary sealed, place the fermenter in a location where the temperature will be within the range of 60-70°F, with lower temperatures being more favorable.
Days 1-8 fermentation
Use the following schedule to tend to your mead during primary fermentation.
On Days 3, 5, 7, and 8: Using a sanitized spoon, stir your mead very carefully and slowly or you will end up with a volcano. Reseal the lid and replace the airlock when you are finished.
On Days 2, 4, 6: Using a sanitized spoon, stir carefully and slowly and also add 4.5g Fermaid-K, 2g DAP on each day. Reseal the lid and replace the airlock when you are finished.
Days 9-14: Fermentation
Continue to monitor the airlock when the bubbling of the airlock slows down or ceases completely; primary fermentation is nearly complete. At this point, the mead can be transferred off the yeast into a secondary where it can age for a longer period of time.
Rack the mead into a sanitized 5 gal. carboy or similar vessel that will accommodate the volume with no or minimal head space. At this point, the process is largely dependent upon taste and clarity. As the mead ages, the flavors will mellow and come into condition, the yeast and other sediment will slowly settle out, and everything will generally improve.
After the mead has dropped clear and fermentation is complete, it’s time to package! The only surefire way to ensure fermentation is complete is with your hydrometer. If gravity readings are consistent over the course of 1-2 weeks, it is safe to assume the yeast have called it quits.
Mead can be packaged in bottles or kegs just like beer. This recipe is for a “still” mead so there is no bottle priming or forced carbonation necessary.
Congratulations, you’ve made mead!