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Making Mead at Home - A Sweet and Ancient Homemade Mead Recipe

By Edited Jun 28, 2016 4 7

Simple Mead Making


This homemade mead recipe makes a very sweet or higher alcohol mead.   In this mead recipe, honey is added in a greater quantity than for a dry or lower alcohol mead. 

As a small scale bee keeper, we had exactly 15 pounds of pure raw alfalfa and

Pure Really Raw Honey in a Honey Jar Ready for Making Mead
lavender honey left from last years harvest.  As I like sweet wines and we were making this at home for ourselves, we figured it may as well be as alcoholic as possible! 

In the bibliography, is the original ancient mead recipe we have adapted with less sweet versions with less alcohol.  It is a very interesting website.

Recipe for Mead


  • 15 lbs pure raw honey
  • 5 gallons spring water not distilled water
  • 3 tsp. or 5 tablets of yeast nutrient
  • 1 tsp. malic and citric acid blend
  • 6 oz. sliced fresh ginger root 
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary   
  • 5 whole cloves          
  • 1 vanilla pod         
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole nutmeg clove       
  • Peel of 1 orange     
  • 1 packet of Champagne yeast ("Red Star", Montrechet, or Epernet)


     Directions for making mead

    1. Heat water 10-15 minutes till boiling.

    2. Stir in honey, yeast nutrients, acid blend, and spices (rosemary, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange peel).

    3. Boil for another 10-15 minutes skimming off foam as needed. The foam comes from the wax in the honey.

    4. Turn off heat and allow mead to cool 30 minutes

    5. Pour mead through strainer funnel into 5 gallon glass carboy or demijohn jug.

    6. Let cool for 24 hours to room temperature

    7. After 24 hours, warm up 1 cup of mead, stir in yeast and let sit for 15 minutes.

    8. Add the mead with yeast to carboy jug and aerate by swirling.

    9. Place run-off tube in stopper of bottle and other end of tube in large bowl to capture froth given off by mead.

    10. Leave mead for 7 days in cool, dark area, undisturbed.

    11. Attach airlock to this secondary carboy.

    12. After 4-6 months, mead will clear. If more sediment forms on bottom in this time, good mead can be siphoned off again to another clean sterilized jug.

    13. When bottling, add carbonation by stir in 1/2 to 1 lb of raw honey by dissolving honey with a small amount of warmed mead or water.

    14. We re-use Grolsh flip-top snap-cap bottles and they work great!

      Delicious Homemade Mead is the Reward!

      If you are unsure of making your own homemade mead recipes from scratch and want to learn to make mead at home, mead making kits are an excellent way to get started.  You can build up your confidence while getting the equipment you need.   Local wine making supply stores can also help you get started and are great for getting the bulkier heavier supplies and glassware, and the yeast and nutrients.

      Drinking your own homemade mead is heavenly and even the first part, boiling up the peel and spices reminds you of mulling cider or red wine at Christmas.  The spices permeate the air and infuse the mead and are wonderful in this crisp sparkling wine.  Making mead at home is not that difficult and the result is well worth it!



      Oct 28, 2011 2:06am
      Man, I love it when people use words like "carboy" and "demijohn"!!

      THIS is SUCH a good piece! The word "mead" entered my vocabulary in the 4th grade and although I knew it was a Nordic intoxicating beverage (of the Vikings) made from fermented hunny (sez Pooh), I had no idea just how nuanced this stuff was (I'm guessing the Vikings probably substituted the blood of vanquished enemies for rosemary sprigs, whatta ya think?)

      There is a scientist affiliated with the Smithsonian who has similarly been resurrecting ancient beer recipes (brews from 3000 years ago). It is amazing that we can drink the ambrosia of the Norse. Articles like this are fascinating -- thank you so much for writing it!
      Oct 28, 2011 6:37am
      Thanks for dropping in Vic, that's a real compliment! There are some things that just stick with you in school like that, eh? I was about the same age when we did a "life in the middles ages" project in England and mead was one of the few highlights of life then. Oh, and the chance to have your rotten tooth pulled out by tooth drawer at the fair with a group of cheering onlookers waiting their turn!

      Actually I left out the spotted newt's tail (optional, as desired) that's in Halfdan's recipe. I think the rosemary wouldn't give as irony aftertaste as the vanquished enemy blood. I guess it's personal preference! I'll have to look up those beer recipes!
      Jan 2, 2012 2:46pm
      I second Vic's sentiments, yummy. Although I am a bit heartbroken, as I always wanted to make mead and have all the wine making kit at home. I just don't think the hubby would let me buy 15LB of honey, and I am not starting Bee keeping, I already have a ton of hobbies I never get time for. Clever article m'lady.x
      Jan 2, 2012 3:31pm
      Mead, how awesome to have the recipe! Conjures up images of King Arthur. Your mead ought to make the winter months more cozy.
      Jan 3, 2012 7:37am
      Thanks for reading and your comments guys. The cool thing is the recipe makes lots ;-) I love the historical significance too, it is so neat to think you are drinking the exact ancient beverage people have drank through history. I think of drinking this from a metal goblet, sitting at a rough wooden table in a stone castle, with a golden shaft of sunlight coming in and dust motes lit up in the air.

      It's funny Ddraig, I think I like the bees even more than the honey! Looks like we'll have plenty for more batches! We have to bottle the strawberry wine yet too! Wine making is just like any other cooking really. You can always so it with say 5 pounds of honey and make a smaller batch.
      Jan 3, 2012 7:37am
      This comment has been deleted.
      Feb 9, 2012 2:46pm
      And it's dairy and gluten-free!
      Feb 9, 2012 3:42pm
      Yep, it will probably will cure you of seasonal pollen allergies if you use locally produced honey! It is darned potent, I'll tell you that much!
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      1. Dan Meyer "Halfdan Viking Mjod Vinland 1995." Halfdan. 1/3/2011 <Web >

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