- • 1/2 tsp. acid blend
- • 1/2 tsp. gypsum
- • 5 lbs. honey (clover or wildflower)
- • 1/2 tsp. Fermax or other yeast nutrient
- • Yeast (see Basic Ingredients)
- • 4 to 6 crushed cinnamon sticks
- • 1 chopped vanilla bean
- • 1/3 cup corn sugar for priming
Step by Step:
Treat 3 gals. water with acid blend and gypsum, then boil. Add honey, boil 15 minutes. Chill and add Fermax. Pitch yeast and ferment. Age at least three months before bottling. Do not prime. This mead should age for six to eight months before being served.
- Bring water to a boil, add water treatments (usually gypsum and acid blend) and honey. Boil no more than 15 minutes, skimming the foamy albumin off the surface every two or three minutes.
- Chill to 75° F and add yeast nutrients, stir to dissolve, and then pitch yeast. Seal and put the mead in a relatively cool (65° to 70° F) corner.
- Ferment 10 to 14 days in primary, then rack to a glass secondary. Put in cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean (in a muslin hop bag, preferably). Condition with the spices four to six weeks, then re-rack. Age six more weeks then bottle, priming with corn sugar. If you wish, put a candy cinnamon heart in each bottle. Be sure to check your airlocks!
- Bottle (when gravity has fallen below 1.020), either as is or priming with one-eighth cup of corn sugar per gallon for sparkling mead. Since you will be aging for considerably longer than most beers, oxygen-absorbing caps or wine corks are strongly recommend.
- Leave the bottled mead undisturbed in a cool, dark place for three months before you even think about trying one. The first one will probably disappoint you. Leave it another three months and try it again. Like bottle-conditioned beer, bottled sparkling mead will cast a considerable amount of sediment, so decant carefully when serving.