My wife, God love her, is not a fan of beer. Wine, cider, and mead are really more her speed. On a recent trip to California she tasted and really liked a peach mead. I cannot remember who made it or what the name of it was, but that is not the point. The point is she REALLY liked it. So being the good husband I am, I set about to use my brewing abilities to make her a peach mead.
Shortly after returning from vacation our pastor announced on Facebook that he had honey for sale. Perfect! You just cannot beat local, fresh ingredients. I made a few mental calculations and bought 3 lbs of a very nice, light honey. I had originally planned to get some locally grown peaches for this project. When I decided to make it, I still hadn’t bought any. So I made a quick dash to the grocery store and bought a couple pounds of frozen peaches which I thawed in the microwave per the directions on the bag. I also opted to use some jugs of spring water instead of my tap water.
After spending a few weeks reviewing how to make mead and talking to some home brewers I know that have turned out some decent mead, I felt ready to proceed. There’s a surprising amount of conflicting information out there on mead and I didn’t want to dive in until I was comfortable with what to do and why. Fortunately a lot of the concepts are very similar to making beer so if you’ve made a few batches of beer, you’ll feel right at home making mead.
I opted not to heat my honey other than to put it in a sink of warm tap water so it would flow better. After a quick cleaning and sanitizing of the Mr. Beer LBK I poured a gallon of spring water into it and then poured in the honey. I poured some spring water in the empty bottles and shook them up real good to get as much of the honey goodness out as possible. I gave the must (think wort if you’re used to making beer) a good stir with a whisk before adding the second gallon of spring water.
Once the honey and water were well mixed I took a gravity reading with the refractometer which was 1.048. Right about where I wanted it to be. I put a nylon paint strainer bag into the LBK and dumped the peaches into it. I secured the top of the bag with a sanitized zip tie and then pitched a packet of Lalvin 71B that I had rehydrated with a 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient.
That’s it. Easy peasy. Much less of a mess to clean up and took me about an hour from start to finish as opposed to a 4-5 hour brew day with beer. I’ll definitely have to do some more reading on mead as I’m sure they will become a more permanent part of my brewing rotation.