Mead, or honey wine, is the oldest alcoholic drink known to man. In prehistoric times, honey would drip from bee hives and collect in pools of rain water. Wild yeast would consume the sugar and produce the nectar of the gods. Almost every civilization has lore and myths associated with the consumption of mead. As these civilizations grew, honey became less plentiful. A substitute source of fermentable sugar was needed to fill the thirsty demand for wine. It is not by chance that wine made from honey tastes very much like the grape based wines we drink today.
Most people expect mead (honey wine) to be a sweet and syrupy drink better suited for pancakes than the light, dry, and clean drink that it so often is. It is not by accident that mead often tastes just like modern white wine. In actuality, it's grape wine that tastes like mead and not the other way around! There was a time when all wine was made of honey and grape wine was unknown. This was thousands of years ago of course back when honey was plentiful, before the advent of modern viticulture. The Land of Milk and Honey may be a reference to this point in history.
As the planet's population increased more and more; land was claimed for civilization and delicate honey bees suffered the ecological effects. Civilization always takes place in the best of locations. As the wilderness became tamed it also became less accessible to the honey bees. The once plentiful honey supply dried up and so did the mead vats. Faced with this ultimate crisis, a substitute for honey had to be found, but, it had to taste like mead as that is what the people knew and loved. The grape emerged as the most economical substitute and cultivation of grapes became big business.
Making Mead:Patience is the main ingredient in truly great mead. Mead making is easier than making beer or wine, but it takes more time. Our mead recipe kits couldn’t be easier to make. The basic process is as follows:
- Dissolve honey (usually around 12 lbs. for a 5 gallon batch) into hot (but not boiling) water.
- Cool the mixture.
- Pitch (read: add) your yeast and wait.
- Total aging time is between 4-12 months.
Your 4 to 12 month wait will be rewarded with a beverage that will be between 10 and 15% alcohol and utterly delicious.
Detailed instructions are included with each mead recipe kit.
Or, grab some honey, yeast nutrient, yeast, and maybe some fruit, to make your own mead recipe with our mead ingredients.