BVC - Re: BVC: Meade instructions for beginners (fwd)

Carl Chipman cchipman at
Tue Feb 8 12:34:36 PST 2000

Hamlin, I have read reports that some of the Sam's honey is in fact doped 
with Corn syrup, so I'd probably avoid it. Albertsons has some good stuff 
at just over $1/lb and we are using that.

Jean Paul

Carl Chipman
Nomadics, Inc.
cchipman at

On Tuesday, February 08, 2000 1:24 PM, Collectively Unconscious 
[SMTP:swarm at] wrote:
> OK Here are my instructions on the making of mead...
> When finished, you'll have a mead which is about as sweat
> as a good leibfraumilch and about as strong as a good cherry or port.
> The techniques are in the period with reasonable exceptions range, so
> with a little documentation you can even get that warm fuzzy A&S glow
> going.
> Mead - 5 gallons
> What you need:
> Honey. I recommend the absolute cheapest honey money can buy. I shoot for
> $1/pount ($1/pint). Save the fancy stuff for the dinner table. Sam's
> usually has good cheap honey. Govt. surplus works. Some bee keepers will
> trade or sell in bulk. You'll need 18 pounds (pints) or 9 quarts or 2.25
> gallons. (3.5 lbs/gallon of liquid)
> yeast. I like champagne yeast. $.85 for 5 gallon packet. You can get it 
> the internet or ask a local vintner.
> syphon. If you like convenience, get the syphon at a vinting shop. The
> stopper at the end and the stiff tube exactly the right length will solve
> some headaches at racking time. Otherwise, clear water tubing can be had
> at any hardware store.
> water jug. Glass is preferred, but I have used plastic before with out 
> difficulty. Ox has a line on glass in Tulsa. The problem with glass is it
> can break. The problem with plastic is it can flavor things and it picks
> up flavors.
> Eventually you'll want a bottle brush to wash your bottle with.
> A soup pot for boiling in. Not bare aluminum.
> Rubber bands, a clean vegitable plastic bag, plastic wrap, a dark cool
> place (where the smell of mead won't be a problem, ie not your closet).
> A skimmer or spoon. 5 empty 1 gal. water jugs.
> Directions
> NOTE (some of these ideas are new - be flexable)
> using a 2.5 gallon soup pot -
> Take 1 gallon water and bring to a boil and 7 lbs honey and stirring
> constantly (or it will scortch on the bottom) bring back to a boil and
> then reduce the fire to a simmer. White scum will raise (unless you've 
> highly processed honey). Skim and discard scum while stirring.
> Be CAREFUL! boiling hot honey water can burn and stick. Don't go above a
> simmer. Pour in the sink or bath tub. Get an extra set of hands to help.
> Pour the skimmed honey water into a couple water jugs and set them aside
> to cool. (if you bath tub is full of tap to about 3/4 the jug's hight 
> will cool faster sitting there) Clean an empty honey container and pour
> some of the honey water in there. When that is room tem, att the yeast to
> it to get them started. Repeat the skimming and cooling until annd the
> honey has benn processes. (Note: you actually want slightly less than 5
> gallons to leave air space at the top of your container.
> So you now have 5ish skimmed, cooled jugs of honey water and one honey 
> with some mucky looking stuff and maybe a bubble or two.
> Pour the muck stuff in your 5 gal jug. Pour the honey water on top,
> leaving a couple inches at the top. place a double layer of plastic wrap
> on top and secure it with a rubber band. Place the unused vegitable bag
> over that and secure it with a second rubber band below where the first
> rubber band is. Place the whole bit on a towel you don't like and leave 
> completely unmolested in your cool dark spot.
> This next bit is where most people mess up.
> Wait.
> Every so often, say once a month, you check it and see muddy tan liquid
> bubbling away.
> Wait and wait and wait.
> Oh my God! Its clear liquid sitting on top of a layer of mud. Six months
> to a year have gone by. Much rejoicing! Syphon off the liquid (remember
> those 1 gallon jugs from before?). Wash the jug. Have a taste. YUCK! 
> mead. Pour it all back in the jug ( or in glass 1 gallon jugs) and set it
> right back to age. I recommend at least a year. Each year added will make
> it better. My favorite currently is a batch from 1990.
> Because it is still "alive" it will give a light silt over time. Just
> decant the mead off occasionally.
> Seems like that's about it.
> Let me know how it goes.
> Hamlin
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