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mead - honey wine using indigenous yeast

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:37 pm
by BernardSmith
If you are interested in a low cost , low alcohol mead (honey wine) you might consider this: you can make a low alcohol mead (about 5% ABV) by taking about 1lb (500 g) of raw honey and mixing this with about 1 gallon (4-5 l) of water to which you add perhaps a teaspoon of boiled bread yeast (for nutrient). There is likely to be yeast in the raw honey and that yeast will thrive and reproduce at that level of sugar concentration. You can keep this loosely covered in a large jar stirring a couple of times a day for the first couple of weeks to create a large enough culture for you to see froth beginning to appear on the surface - That's the yeast farting carbon dioxide as they ferment the sugar and produce alcohol. After the froth dies down (that might be another couple of weeks or so ) and if you have an hydrometer and the reading is about 1.005 or thereabouts you can transfer this to a jar that you can seal with a bung and airlock - or simply refrigerate and drink. It will be about as strong as a good beer or cider and if you have plastic bottles or can bottle in beer bottles with crown caps this will become carbonated (but be careful if you bottled this when the gravity was as high as 1.005 as that can produce enough pressure to smash the bottles (plastic bottles will withstand the pressure and you can if they are screw tops release the pressure when it makes the bottles feel brick hard ) . Assuming honey is about 6 pounds for 500 g you can get about 8 pints from this amount of honey. Note - this only works with raw honey. Honey that has been processed will have no viable wild yeast in it and even raw honey may have yeast cells that will produce a mead that is not to your taste. But this is a fun experiment... and the payoff can be delicious.