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Dry Table Mead

Classification: mead

Source: Eric J Schwarzenbach (, r.c.b., 5/24/95

This is from the book Home Brewing Without Failures, by H. E. Bravery (British--I'm not sure how old the book is a good 20 years a least perhaps considerable more). I have to admit I've never tried these recipes but intend to soon. I've paraphrased these from the book to save space. My apologies for any mistakes or omissions.

Gallon: The gallon used here is the British Imperial gallon, about apout a pint over the U.S Gallon. Just add an extra pint for every gallon.

Nutrient: He describes this as chemicals used to aid the growth of the yeast, such as the nutrient tablets used by winemakers. He even uses it in his beer recipes. This stuff may have been written before modern yeasts and perhaps it is no longer necessary. He uses it in his beer recipes as well, and as a brewer I've never used it--I don't know if winemakers use it. If they do you should probably use for these mead recipes as they are closer to wine than beer.

Ingredients: (makes about 1 gallon)


Mix honey with about 1/2 gallon of hot water, slowly bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Pour into you pail, add citric acid and tea, and make up to one gallon with boiling water. Cool to about 65 degrees F, add yeast and nutrient. Ferment as with beer in a warm place for 10-14 days. Then pour into a gallon jar leaving as much deposit behind as possible, leave in warm place with fermentation lock until all fermentation has ceased (may take several months). Once fermentation is done and mead is clear siphon to a jar and bung or bottle and age for a year. May improve further with age.

Medium-Sweet Mead

4-4.5 honey, rest same as above

Sweet Mead

4.5-5 honey, rest same as above

Flower Mead

All flower are meads prepared as above with addition of the flowers (specified below) which should be loosely packed, not pressed down hard.

Follow instructions above, (recipes in book use 4 lbs but the author notes that if you want it dry use 3.5, if you want it sweet use 4.5 to 5 lbs) but add the flowers to the pail before pouring in the initial honey-water mixture. Then after making up to a gallon, add another EXTRA AMOUNT of boiling water (as specified below for different types) to make up for the space occupied by the flowers (reagrdless of how many pints of flowers you used). After 5 or 6 days strain out the flowers, and let it continue fermenting for another 5 or 6 before siphoning into the gallon jar for the rest of the fermentation phase as per the above instructions.

Clover Mead

2-3 pints clover heads (use purple, sometimes called mauve, clover)
EXTRA AMOUNT of boiling water: 1 quart

Rose Petal Mead

3 pints of rose petals
EXTRA AMOUNT of boiling water: 1 pint

Gorse Mead

(a beautiful pale gold wine)

3 pints of gorse flowers
EXTRA AMOUNT of boiling water: 1 pint

Dandelion Mead

2-3 pints dandelion petals
They should be gathered on a dry sunny day. Petals only should be used, hold the gree calyx in one hand and the petals in another and pull apart (if this is done a few hours after gathering the heads will have closed up making this easier). Be careful not to let the tiniest part of the stem get into the mixture otherwise the bitterness of dandelion "milk" will get into the wine.
EXTRA AMOUNT of boiling water: 1 pint

Elderflower Mead

1 pint elderflowers
EXTRA AMOUNT of boiling water: NONE

Hawthorn (May-flower) Mead

1 pint Hawthorn flowers
EXTRA AMOUNT of boiling water: NONE

WARNING: Beware of substitution other flowers types unless you know that they are non-poisonous!