Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor learns about the centuries-old art of making mead.
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Time: A few hours of work, 1 year of aging
Cost: under $100
2x One-gallon jug
3 pounds of honey
Air lock cap
Home brewing sanitizer
1. Before beginning the home brew process, ensure the gallon jug, funnel, and siphon tube have been properly sanitized.
2. Fill up the gallon jug about a third of the way up with either tap or bottled water (don’t use distilled water).
3. Add 3 pounds of honey, then cap the solution and mix it up by shaking the jug.
4. Heat up water to 104 degrees in a pan and add yeast to dissolve it.
5. While the yeast is dissolving, you can add optional yeast nutrients to get a cleaner ferment.
6. Once the yeast is dissolved, use a funnel to pour the yeast solution into the jug.
7. Pour more water into the jug and top it off until you reach the neck of the jug.
8. Place air lock cap on top of the jug and pour a little bit of water into it to form a seal. This will prevent oxygen from getting in but will allow carbon dioxide to escape.
9. After a several weeks, once carbon dioxide has stopped releasing from the jug and fermentation is complete, it’s time to siphon the solution into a new, clean jug.
10. Ensure the siphon tub and second jug have been properly sanitized, then place the older jug higher than the new jug. Fill the siphon tube with water and gravity will pull the mead from one jug to the next. Ensure you only siphon liquid, leaving behind any solids at the bottom of the jug.
11. To fill up the void left behind from one jug to the next and limit exposure to oxygen, place a number of sanitized marbles into the new jug.
12. Place the air lock on the new jug. Leave that on for about a month and then place a regular cap onto the jug once bubbles no longer appear.
13. Leave the solution in a dark spot, like the basement for about a year for the mead to age properly.
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