Dry Mead Recipe

Home Dry Mead Making Recipe

Makes approximately 25 Liters of Mead at 10% Alc/vol.

HONEY – 5.9Kgrms.(13 lb.)
TARTARIC ACID – 60grms.(11.25 tsp.)
CITRIC ACID – 25grms.(5.75 tsp.)
YEAST NUTRIENT – 10.5grms.(3 tsp.) Fermaid or Equivalent
GRAPE TANIN – 1.25grms.(0.5 tsp.)
EPSOM SALTS – 10grms.(2 tsp.)
PECTIC ENSYME – Per Manufacturer
YEASTS – 2 x 5grm packets of Lalvin D47 or EC1118.
WATER – 21 ltrs.

1. Dissolve the Honey, Acids, Epsom Salts, Nutrient and Tannin in 2 – 3 liters of Hot water.
2. Pour the hot liquid into an adequate primary fermentor.
3. Add the remaining water Cold.
4. Add the pectic enzyme and stir.
5. Rehydrate the yeasts and add to fermentor.
6. When fermentation is under way rack the liquid in to glass carboys or jugs. Splash as you rack. Allow space for foaming. Attach air lock.
7. When fermentation subsides (SG < 1.010) rack into clean containers with splashing. Attach air lock.
8. When fermentation is completed (SG <1.000) add 50 ppm sulfur dioxide and rack with splashing. Fill to bung level and attach air lock.
9. After 1 month add 25 ppm sulfur dioxide and rack with no splashing. Fill to bung level and attach air lock.
10. After a further 3 months rack again.
11. Now it is up to you. You can
a) Filter and Bottle the Mead.
b) Rack at four-monthly intervals until the Mead is clear enough to bottle. Add 25 ppm sulfur dioxide at each alternate racking.

Honey diluted, as it is in this recipe, has a pH of around 3.5 (which is about ideal in a finished grape wine). However it has very low acid content (<1gm/Ltr). Addition of the acids causes the pH to drop dramatically (<3.0).
This low pH has two effects:
1. There is good protection from bacterial infection, therefore minimal sulfur dioxide is required.
2. Yeast selection is very important since some yeasts will not ferment well at low pH.

Yeast – I have had the most consistent results with D47 closely followed by EC1118. Trials with Lalvin Wadenswil 27 in sweet mead are promising. I recommend two packets of yeast to ensure an adequate population.

Fermentation will be slower than experienced with grape wines. Adequate nutrients are required since honey is very low in these substances.

Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) are added to give a softer mouth feel to the finished Mead (unfortunately city water tends to be hard). Clean rain water would be ideal.

Dry Mead benefits from considerable aging in the bottle and will develop much complexity if allowed to do so. I urge you to be patient – you will be will rewarded