Here’s my process for brewing 5 gallons (~20L) of mead.
Things you’ll need:
- 5 gallon or 20 liter - glass carboy
- 13 pounds or 6 kilograms - raw unpasteurized honey
- 1 packet or 5 grams - EC-1118 yeast
- 2 Tbsp or 25 grams - Five Star Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW)
- 1 Tbsp or 12.5 grams - Aseptox (Sanitizer)
- 1.5 Tbsp or 20 grams - Bentonite
- 1.2 Tsp or 6 grams - Potassium Sorbate
- 1/4 Tsp or 1.25 grams - Potassium Metabisulphite
- 2 Tsp or 10 grams - Yeast Nutrient
- 1 Airlock that fits your carboy
- 1 Hydrometer
- 1 Siphon with rubber hose
- Bottles for bottling
- Large funnel
- Clean filtered water or tap water is fine if you usually drink your tap water
Warm up 4 liters of water and dissolve 25g of Five Star PBW inside. Pour inside carboy and swish around until all parts are covered. Let sit for 30 minutes. Use that solution to clean any other items that will be touching the must (must is honey/water solution before it turns into mead).
Important to rinse everything with water that has been cleaned.
After cleaning is done and everything is rinsed. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of Aseptox in 4 litres of warm water. Use that solution to sanitize all equipment that will be used. At least 30 seconds of contact time between equipment and solution. No rinsing is necessary. Discard liquid before next step.
Add 1 gallon of water to your carboy. Then add 3kg of honey to it. Mix vigorously until incorporated. Add another gallon of water and then the rest of the honey. Mix again and add the rest of the water and mix again.
When done mixing honey and water, add 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulphite to the must to help protect it from infection over the long fermentation period. This is important if you do not heat up the must, which I do not do.
Pitch your yeast packet for 20 minutes prior to mixing and then add it to the must.
Add 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient to the must, and add another 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient every day for the next 3 days.
Keep an airlock on the top of the carboy.
4. Primary Fermentation⌗
The must will be in the
lag phase until a layer of foam forms at the top then it will go into the
growth phase in which you will need to start aerating your mead.
4. Measure Sugar Level⌗
Take a hyrdrometer reading when everything is done and note the level. The must will ferment for approximately 4-8 weeks. Take more hyrdrometer readings when you think it’s done to confirm.
5. Secondary Fermentation⌗
When primary fermentation is done. Rack to smaller gallon jugs and leave the sediment at the bottom in the 4 gallon carboy, don’t transfer that, that can be discarded.
When secondary fermentation is done, add potassium sorbate to have “Still mead”, if you want “Sparkling mead”, don’t bother adding the potassium sorbate.
Add bentonite to clear up the mead before bottling, let sit for 7 days after adding bentonite.
Make sure the mead is done fermenting, then start bottling. Let sit in bottles for at least 6 months. (If you can wait that long before drinking it)