The second-best time for you to start brewing mead is now. The best time is six weeks ago.
For those who didn’t grow up during the Middle Ages in a kingdom filled with knights and nobles, mead is a once-popular – and extremely slow-brewed – alcoholic beverage created from fermented honey. This “honey wine” is considered to be the first form of wine ever created, but it actually tastes more like a hard cider. While it’s comparable to other forms of alcohol, the ancient drink is in a category all its own because the main fermentable ingredient is, of course, raw honey.
Mead in its most basic form is made of unfiltered honey, water and a yeast or bacterial culture. Don’t be fooled by honey’s sweet reputation, though: most meads have a pretty mellow, dry flavor profile. However, many mead-makers – known as“mazers” – add fruits, spices, botanicals or herbs for a modern twist. No matter which flavor enhancer you fancy, our honey is up for any challenge.
Although mead sparks the idea of medieval Vikings clinking chalices across long, wooden tables inside a castle hall, this “drink of the gods” has made a bit of a contemporary comeback. As of 2018, there are over 400 commercial meaderies in the U.S., a surefire sign of a trend when you consider that there were only 20 as recently as2000. Now, mead lovers don’t have to wait for the annual Renaissance fair to brew like it’s the 15th century.
Want to join in on the mazer magic? You can turn your kitchen into a mini meadery using our raw and unfiltered honey, that is, if you’re patient enough to let it sit for over a month. With summer wrapping up, take advantage of those ripe, juicy berries by brewing up a batch of Blackberry Mead featuring our raw and unfiltered honey.
- 1 gallon water
- 2-3 pounds Local Hive honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
- ½ package champagne yeast
- Sanitize all your brewing equipment: large pot, 1-gallon jug with airlock, funnel, thermometer, stirring spoon.
- On the stove, heat about ½ gallon of water in the large pot on medium heat.
- Once the water is warm, not boiling, add the honey and stir until it’s dissolved, then turn off the heat.
- Put blackberries in the 1-gallon jug.
- Using a funnel, carefully pour the honey-water mixture into the jug.
- Top off the jug with cold water, leaving two inches of head space on top.
- Put the lid on the jug and gently mix everything around.
- Remove the lid and make sure the temperature is below 90°F before adding the ½ packet of champagne yeast.
- Put the lid back on tightly and shake the jug for 1-2 minutes to distribute the yeast.
- Pour a little water in the airlock, then put the rubber stopper end into the jug.
- Place the jug in a dark place. It should start bubbling within 12-24 hours.
- After about six weeks of fermenting, or once the bubbling has stopped, the mead can be bottled and aged.
- Pair a tall glass with a honey vinaigrette-drizzled salad and enjoy!
Recipe provided by Grow Forage Cook Ferment.