Mead is an ancient alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water. Ingredients • 1.8kg honey • hot water • juice 1 large lemon • ½ teaspoon citric acid • 1½ teaspoons yeast nutrient
• 1 sachet Lalvin EC1118 wine yeast • water • sodium metabisulfite
Sterilise the honey. In a large saucepan, mix honey with a few cups of hot water. Boil for 5 minutes; set aside to cool.
Stir in lemon juice, citric acid and yeast nutrient. Place a bit of honey mixture into a cup and stir in yeast. Leave 10 minutes to activate, then add to the honey mixture.
Sterilise a 5L fermentation vessel, then add honey mixture and fill with lukewarm water. Fit an airlock, fill with water and seal. Within an hour or two bubbles will start moving through the lock as the yeast begins to feed on the honey. Complete fermentation can take up to two months. When no longer bubbling, taste. The mead will taste very dry. This is normal. All that matters is that it no longer tastes sweet. If it is still sweet, replace airlock and rock the vessel before moving to a warm, dark place. This should kick-start the yeast again. Leave for a week, then test again. Once the mead is fully fermented (dry), transfer to glass bottles for ageing. Siphon it off to avoid transferring the yeast slurry as this can impart a dank flavour. Leave to age for six months to one year.
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