Mead is one of the oldest and misunderstood alcoholic beverages. In this post, we share our tips on how to choose the best mead making kit so you can learn how to make mead at home.
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The Best Mead Making Kits
We include detailed mead making kit reviews below, but if you are short on time, feel free to use the table below to see our best picks. We recommend using Amazon for making your purchase.
First, we find Amazon to have the best at-home culinary kits in terms of price and quality. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
What Is Mead
Mead is an ancient alcoholic drink closely associated with Vikings, folklore, and literary classics like Beowulf. But what exactly is mead? Often referred to as “honey wine,” mead is a fermented honey drink.
Dating as far back as 7000 BCE, it’s one of the earliest produced alcoholic drinks in history. Records from ancient Greeks, Chinese and Norse cultures all mention making mead.
Today, mead production continues in several countries around the world. Countries like Ireland, Poland, and Finland, where it’s difficult to grow grapes for wine, are leaders in the production of mead. It’s here that the mead renaissance has taken place.
Mead brewing produces a drink with an alcohol content ranging between 5-20%. By comparison, beer has an alcohol content of 4.6%, wine 11%, and spirits 37%. The alcoholic strength of mead is determined during the fermentation process. A longer fermentation produces a mead higher in alcohol. A short fermentation process, a lower alcohol content.
How To Drink Mead
Mead is a highly adaptable and customizable beverage. It can be made using different types of honey each with its own unique flavor. Various spices or herbs like elderflower can be added. And even the geography of where the ingredients come from can alter the flavor of mead.
Produced as either a sweet or dry version, mead, like wine can be either a red or white. This is determined by the ingredients added to the fermented honey. Mead can also come as a still or sparkling version.
As mead has grown in popularity so has the ways to enjoy drinking it. Long are the days of drinking mead out of large goblets around the campfire. Today, mead cocktails using mixers like soda water, tonic water, and garnishes are going in popularity. Drinking it “on the rocks” or by itself are still the most common ways to enjoy this ancient drink.
How To Brew Mead At Home
Honey is the base for making mead. Unless you have access to your own bees and can harvest directly, you’ll need to purchase honey. It takes between 2 to 3 pounds of honey to produce one gallon of mead. Clover honey is a common honey used to make mead. Other varieties such as orange or raspberry honey can also be used.
No yeast, no mead. It’s that simple. Yeast is the main agent in the fermentation process. After heating a water and honey mixture to just below boiling, yeast is added to begin the fermentation process. The yeast eats the natural sugars in the water/honey mixture producing alcohol. The full fermentation process can take upwards of three weeks.
This is where you get to be creative. A wide range of spices and fruits are used to create different tasting mead. The most common are fruits like oranges and berries (blue, black, and strawberry). Flowers like elderflowers are also commonly found in mead. Cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger are all used to flavor mead. The combination of these ingredients is entirely up to the mead maker.
Seal and Wait
After topping up your container with cold water, the next step is to seal the container. It’s important to seal the container with an airlock and rubber stopper combination. The airlock rubber stopper is a common device used in homebrewing. It allows carbon dioxide to release during the fermentation process. The device prevents outside air from getting into the container which would result in oxidation of the content.
After the fermentation process is finished it’s time to bottle. At this stage, it’s possible to create a sparkling mead by adding a priming agent. The priming agent causes carbonation to develop inside the bottle. Without the priming agent, you’ll get a still mead.
Why Buy A Make Your Own Mead Kit
For the first time mead maker, making mead at home can be challenging. What mead supplies or mead making equipment will you need? How does fermentation work? And what’s in a traditional mead recipe all need to be figured out. Trying to understand all of this independently takes time and can be very frustrating.
Using an at-home mead kit will save time, energy, and eliminate a lot of frustration. Kits for both first-time mead makers and experienced homebrewers are available. Mead starter kits not only provided most of the equipment you’ll need but also detailed step by step instructions.
Beyond providing instructions on how is mead made, many kits provide in-depth explanations of the principles of home brewing. From understanding the fermentation process to the chemistry behind brewing, homebrew mead kits offer education as well as a way to make mead.
FAQS-The Best Mead Making Kits
How long does it take to make mead?
The process to assemble mead is fairly quick and can be done in a half-day. However, fermenting mead takes between 4-6 weeks. The exact amount of time needed depends on the room temperature where the mead is placed.
How to drink mead at home?
Mead can be enjoyed in several ways. Neat, without ice. On the rocks, with ice. Or in a cocktail. Mixologists and bartenders are increasingly using mead as the base for tasty cocktails. Classic cocktails such as the Manhattan are getting a modern twist, replacing whiskey with mead. When not replacing traditional spirits, mead is joining them. A Summer Strawberry Mead Gin cocktail features strawberry mead, gin, lime, and soda water.
What is mead made from?
The base ingredient for making mead is honey. Two to three pounds of honey will result in around one gallon of mead. Yeast is added to honey to begin the fermentation process which results in an alcoholic liquid. Spices and fruits are added to the liquid to produce a specific flavoring.
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