Desert Mead

Source: Ben Waggoner
Recipe added: 03/12/01

The primary ferment was fairly vigorous, and in two months the mead/cyser/metheglin/whatever this is had cleared completely. I'm always a bit paranoid about racking, since there's always the risk of contamination, but two months in the primary fermenter and then straight to bottling didn't seem to produce any off flavors in this stuff. Results: Semisweet but not cloyingly so, still with pretty strong apple flavor. Pleasingly potent. Not bad even right out of the fermenter -- we'll see what it's like in six months to a year. Should be really good chilled. When I try this again I'll back off on the cloves a bit, as they tend to dominate the spice mix, and may also use whole spices (cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc.) removed before pitching. Incidentally: The name isn't a misspelling of "dessert". It comes from the fact that I used water from a Mojave Desert spring, and star thistle honey from the high desert country of Nevada.


Recipe type: Extract
Batch Size: 3 gallons
Starting Gravity:
Finishing Gravity:
Time in Boil:
Primary Fermentation: 2 months



Start yeast in mixture of warm water, apple juice and honey. Grate outer layer (zest) of lemon peel, then squeeze lemon juice. Heat water; when on the verge of boiling, add honey, stirring rapidly; maintain at 180 deg. F for 10 minutes, skimming off scum. Add lemon peel and spices (roughly 2 tsp. of each) and let steep for about another 10 minutes. Add lemon juice. Remove from heat and chill by packing ice around the pot. When temperature is down to about 90 deg. F., pour with splashing into 3-gallon carboy, straining out lemon peel. Pitch yeast, top up with apple cider, and attach airlock.
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