The Mead is Bottled

Merry Christmas and Cheers! Our wassail this year is our homemade honey wine.

If you recall, we started our process with some already-fermented honey, plus a ginger bug that I had made. (You can read that blog post here.) Our ratio was three cups honey to three quarts water, plus another cup of ginger bug.

The gallon jar of mead sat around for a good three weeks, not doing much of anything. I stirred it frequently, but it wasn't moving as quickly as we would have liked. So a few days before Thanksgiving, Tom pitched in some wine yeast, and decanted it into a carboy with an airlock. The mead really started bubbling after that. We tasted it on Thanksgiving, and it was extremely sweet - the specific gravity reading was around 1.045. We wanted it to be quite a bit drier, so it sat for another month on the floor of the kitchen (about 60-65 degrees). Tom and I tasted it yesterday and thought it was perfect, and the gravity was down to 1.01. Not bone dry, but certainly not sweet. So we bottled it! We'll take it to our Christmas dinner celebrations.

It's an odd drink. I'm not much of an alcohol drinker, so I'm perhaps not the best judge, but mead messes with your mind a little. You totally smell and taste the honey, but it's wine, dry and with a kick, not sweet. Your experience doesn't meet your expectations. Maybe I just need to drink more of it!

I did a little research about mead. Mead predates both wine and beer. Early brewers started to use fruit, hops, and spices to enhance the flavor, and eventually this drink evolved into both wine (grape mead) and beer (hoppy mead). A wonderful history can be found at the Skyriver Brewing website.

This was a fun project, I recommend giving it a try yourself!