What is mead? Mead or honey wine is an alcoholic beverage created by the fermentation of water and honey. Mead’s alcohol content can vary greatly between mild and strong, and it can range between still and sparkling. Similar to grape wine, mead can be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. [ Source ].
During the time that David and I were working on our house, he was eager to have another additional project. For reasons that I don’t 100% know, he decided on bee keeping. Not so much for the delicious honey that they produced (which was AMAZING!) but for the ability to harvest the honey and create a delicious honey wine, or mead.
Our first batch of bees (around April of 2012) only produced small batches of honey before they unfortunately, and mysteriously, disappeared. We enjoyed the honey in our tea or oatmeal and gave it out as gifts at our first house warming party. A good friend of David’s, however, was also bee keeping and gave us more bees to cultivate. That was last summer, and by the fall we had over 2 dozen bottles of delicious, sweet, 12% alcohol content, wine.
First, we had to get all of the honey out of the combs and allow it to settle, so that the honey would separate from the wax. David then mixed 2 gallons of honey with 3 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket. Over the next few weeks he added yeast and any other minerals that he had purchased from a brewery shop. The fermentation process began in August and we were able to start bottling it in December. Throughout those few months he transferred the wine from the bucket to a glass container, or racking. That allowed for any settling to be discarded, so that what remained was a sweet, golden liquid.
This was the first time that David had attempted to make alcohol and he made sure I mentioned that he is in no way an expert. He simply followed a recipe that he found at the local brewery shop. And if you happen upon making mead yourself, the recipes usually call for 1 gallon of honey, but since David likes things sweet, he added 2 gallons. And the mead certainly is sweet but it is so smooth and easily drinkable. It’s perfect as an after dinner drink with some pound or Bundt cake.