NZ Gardener - Gifts from the Gardens - - Preserves -

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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