Past Meetup

Making Mead and Other Herbal Elixers and Cordials

Price: CA$12.00 /per person

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Making Mead and Other Herbal Elixers and Cordials

Mead! The very word conjures up images of a huge feast hall with lords and ladies laughing, eating, and drinking flagons of this delicious beverage.

Join us for an evening of making your own mead, as well as tasting other meads, Cordials, elixers and various other herbal and fruity concoctions :)

"Mead" can come in many forms there are many things that people call "mead".

MEAD - Honey wine made without any spices or fruits
METHEGLIN - Honey wine made with spices

MELOMEL - Honey wine made with fruit
PYMENT Honey wine with grapes
CYSER Honey wine with apple juice

HIPPOCRAS Honey wine with fruit AND spices

SACK MEAD Very sweet honey wine
SACK METHEGLIN - Very sweet spiced honey wine

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MATERIALS YOU NEED to BRING

HONEY - Depending on whether you intend a quick (fizzy) mead or a still (wine-like) mead you will need about 3 pounds of honey - 2 pints = 3 lbs. and 1 cup = .75 lbs.

The flavour and quality of your honey will make a big difference – please bring local honey and not store bought.

STAINLESS, STEEL, GLASS, OR UNCRACKED ENAMEL COOKWARE -Your brewpot should be at least five quart capacity. You will want to make at least one gallon batches and you need room to boil.

GLASS JUGS - CLEAN - These are your primary fermenters.

FERMENTATION LOCK - This funny shaped contraption is usually filled with water or vodka and prevents your brew from becoming contaminated by allowing the pressure to escape without allowing room air to get in.

You can also use a balloon - If you just can't get a lock and a cork, you can use a balloon over the top of your bottle. As your mead ferments, the balloon will blow up (fill with carbon dioxide). Every now and then, before the balloon bursts, you need to crack the mouth a little and deflate the balloon. NOTE: You must turn the balloon inside out to prevent talc (powder that is inside the balloon to keep it from sticking together) from falling inside your mead as the pressure blows up the balloon.

YEAST - Yeast specifically for mead is best, but Champagne or Ale yeast work very well. DO NOT USE BAKER'S YEAST. Baker's yeast is designed to create lots of carbon dioxide (to make bread rise) and little alcohol. Your brew will taste very yeasty and not very good. Brewing yeast is designed to ferment slower, taste better, and is available in brewing supply stores or from other brewers.

SPOONS - You need a big spoon for stirring. One that is long enough. to reach the bottom of your pot.

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Later on in a few weeks you will need

CLEAR PLASTIC TUBING - At least two yards, about 1/2-inch (13mm) diameter. Available in hardware stores. This is to siphon the clear liquid off of the dead yeast which has settled to the bottom (a process called 'racking'). If you can, plug one end and drill two holes through the side about 1 inch from the plug. This will allow you to put it on the bottom without sucking up the dead yeast from the bottom.

MESH SKIMMER - This is a fine-mesh strainer used to skim foam off the top as the liquid boils. Available at most cookware stores, and it must be able to be put into your boiling pot. Some people use a spoon to scoop out the foam, but I prefer a strainer.

CORK - You also need a rubber cork to fit the top of your bottle. Available through brewing supply stores. Some good sources are-.

THERMOMETER - A candy thermometer works just fine. A thermometer is not absolutely critical, but I find it helps to determine when my mead is cool enough to add the yeast. When I don't have one, I let it sit overnight (with a fermentation lock on to protect it) before adding the yeast.

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RECIPE

2 – Half Gallon (or approx) glass jugs

3 pounds Honey

2 types of ½ cup strong Herbal tea

you can bring the tea dry and we can make the tea here

Then whatever spices such as ginger, or fruits we might want to add later