Honey Wine Mead Causes Subtle Bliss

The next time you’re trying to decide what to do for that special someone in your life on Valentine’s Day or a birthday or some other unique occasion, think of serving him or her some homemade honey wine mead to drink.

Mead is a honey wine that was one of the earliest drinks developed in medieval times. History tells us that this famous libation was discovered by Irish monks; mead has been a favorite in Ireland down through the ages.

Mead was also a popular drink during the Roman Empire and in ancient Greece. It was one of the earliest libations invented by man.

Traditional honey wine mead consists of honey and water and a bit of yeast; however, there are many variations and complex recipes.

Mead is believed to be responsible for the term “honeymoon” that has been in common use for centuries. In Ireland newlyweds drank honey wine every day for a full moon following their wedding day—thus the term honeymoon was born.

Many potential benefits accrue from the imbibing of mead, not the least of which is a purported increase in virility. It’s also reputed to possess a powerful aphrodisiac that enhances the possibilities of romantic bliss after a session of liberal intake. Considering the possible rewards, it would be foolish to limit yourself to Valentine’s Day or other special occasions before popping the cork on a bottle.

If you want to try your hand at making your own mead, the recipes vary greatly and you can be inventive as well.

The varieties of honey you can choose from can be a bit daunting for a beginner as there are many possibilities. Some honeys come from blossoms such as raspberries, apples, oranges, clover, and wild flowers; other honeys come from plants such buckwheat and alfalfa. Each type has its own distinctive flavor and character.

You can find clover or wild flower honey at one of your local grocery stores. Some of the other aforementioned types can be found at gourmet shops or health food outlets. In some parts of the country you might be able to get raw honey from local beekeepers, which is likely to be fresher and less expensive.

You can find almost limitless recipes for mead by simply going to the Internet and entering “honey wine mead” in your search engine. If you’re interested in home brewing, try the basic recipe listed below.

This recipe is for five gallons of mead and it can be used as a foundation for making variations later in your career as a wine maker.

The following is a list of the quantities needed for the various ingredients:

• Five gallons of water
• 13 pounds of your choice of honey
• Two tablespoons of yeast energizer
• Six tablespoons of acid blend
• One teaspoon of wine tannin
• Five Campden tablets
• One package of Lalvin ICV-D47 yeast

Before you begin, if you’re using unprocessed honey, you should cut the honey with water and then heat it for five minutes on your stove at about 180 degrees. That causes the wax and pollen and bits of bee float to the surface so you can remove them before using the honey to make mead.

How to proceed:

1. Mix the ingredients except for the yeast, cover with a light towel, and let it sit in an open container for 24 hours.
2. Add one package of Lalvin ICV-D47 yeast and allow it all to ferment for four to five days.
3. Siphon the mead into a secondary fermenter that allows you to attach an air-lock to it.
4. Let the mead ferment for two to three weeks under air-lock. And then you have to let the mead clear for a period of three weeks to two months.
5. After the mead has cleared, siphon it into a clean container and add a second dose of crushed Campden tablets at a rate of one table per gallon. The mead is then ready to be bottled and aged.

You can have fun with this process and who knows—perhaps you’ll discover that the romantic lore surrounding mead is true.