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Traditional Mead

12 lbs unprocessed honey
5 gallons spring water
2 packets dry yeast
2 tsp yeast nutrient

Heat 2 gallons of spring water to 160f in a large kettle and remove from heat. Add yeast nutrient and 12 lbs unprocessed honey, and then stir until thoroughly dissolved. Transfer kettle back to heat and bring back to 160f; maintain this temperature for 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that accumulates. Remove from heat and let cool; add 1 to 2 gallons spring water to quickly bring the temperature back down below 90f. Transfer must to primary fermentation chamber and aerate by shaking or stirring for 5 minutes. Start yeast per packet instructions before pitching into must. Add fermentation lock and store in a cool dark place for 14 to 28 days. When you see one bubble every sixty seconds, primary fermentation has concluded. Rack the mead into the secondary fermentation chamber and store in a cool dark place for 2 to 4 months. Sample the mead and bottle once it has achieved an acceptable level of clarity and shows no signs of fermentation.

Orange Vanilla Cinnamon Metheglin

2-3 lbs unprocessed honey
1/2 tsp bentonite
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp sweet orange peel
1 vanilla bean
1 gallon spring water
1 packet Red Star champagne yeast
1/2 tsp yeast energizer

Combine 1/2 gallon spring water with honey, bentonite, and energizer and bring to a boil.  Skim and remove scum that forms on top of must.  After 5 minutes of boiling, cover and remove from heat.

Cut vanilla bean lengthwise to expose interior of bean for greater flavor extraction and insert into 1 gallon jug along with cinnamon stick and sweet orange peel.  Once must has cooled to room temperature, add to glass jug and use remaining spring water to bring water level up to 1 gallon.  Pitch proofed yeast, add fermentation lock, and store in dark place for 7 to 10 days.

Once primary fermentation slows/stops, rack into clean jug.  Rinse cinnamon stick and vanilla bean with tap water and add to secondary fermentation chamber.  After 2 additional months of storage in a cool dark place, bottle as preferred (flat or sparkling).

Raspberry Melomel

2 lbs unprocessed honey
3 lbs black raspberries
1 gallon spring water
1 packet dry yeast
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient

Clean, sort, and freeze fresh raspberries for the best sugar extraction. Combine honey, 1/2 gallon of water, and nutrient then heat to 160f for 30 minutes. Skim and remove foam as it collects on the surface. Cool to 80f and transfer to carboy then pitch yeast. Once primary fermentation slows, rack mead and add thawed and crushed raspberries. Once fermentation appears to stop, rack mead and store mead for 2 to 4 months. Monitor specific gravity and bottle once you have verified it is stable.

Apple Cyzer

1 gallon apple juice/cider
1 lb unprocessed honey
1 campden tablet
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp acid blend
1/4 tsp pectic enzyme
1 packet Red Star Champagne yeast

Heat apple juice (or cider) to 120 degrees and stir in honey, nutrient, pectic enzyme, and acid blend.  Cover the must and let it cool to room temperature.  Heating is not absolutely necessary, but it does make it easier to throughly blend the honey into the mixture.  Transfer to the primary fermentation chamber and add crushed campden tablet.  Cover loosely for 24 hours, then pitch yeast and add a fermentation lock.  Rack after 2 to 4 weeks when fermentation lock bubbles once every 30 seconds or less.  After 2 months in the secondary, the cyzer can be bottled still or sparkling.  For best results, age at least 6 months in bottles.

Vanilla Metheglin

2.5 lbs unprocessed orange blossom honey
2 Vanilla beans (Mexican or bourbon)
1 gallon spring water
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet dry yeast

Combine 2.5lbs honey with 1/2 gallon of spring water and heat to 160f.  Maintain 160f for 30 minutes to sterilize the must and make sure to skim off any foam that forms.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient.  Once must has cooled to 80F (or room temperature) transfer to the primary fermenter and pitch the yeast.  Once primary fermentation is complete and the mead begins to clear, rack into secondary fermentation chamber.  Cut vanilla beans length ways to expose the interior of the beans and add to the mead.  Secondary fermentation should last at least 3 months so the beans have adequate time to infuse the mead with the mellow vanilla flavor.  Bottle once you have verified that the gravity has stabilized.

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