Mead is a traditional honey wine that anyone can make without too much fuss in any kitchen using ordinary cooking tools. Honey, water and yeast are all you need to make real mead, but many people flavor their mead with flowers, barley and hops. Since you are making midsummer ritual mead, select a chant or prayer to recite when you serve the mead, if you choose. This will consecrate the space and the occasion, and remind listeners that any clarity gained from the intoxicants in the mead can serve to enlighten and guide them throughout the coming year.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 3 gallons of water
- 3 lbs. honey
- 1 ounce brewer's yeast
- 2 handfuls of herbs such as meadowsweet, lemon balm or other (optional)
- Cheesecloth (if using herbs to flavor the mead)
- Jug larger than 3 gallons
Boil water and herbs (if using herbs). If using herbs, allow to simmer for up to an hour to really infuse the flavor of the herbs into the water. Otherwise, you only need to get the water to a good boil, which will only take a few minutes.
Remove boiling water from heat and then stir in the honey until it's dissolved.
Pour the honey water into the clean jug or container in which you will be fermenting the mead. If you have chosen to flavor your mead with herbs, use a cheesecloth to strain them out at this time.
Add the yeast when your honey water is at room temperature (80 degrees F or below), and spend a moment agitating the mixture to oxygenate the yeast. You can do this by shaking or rocking the jug back and forth for a bit.
Cover your container of midsummer mead with a towel and allow to stand at room temperature for 1½ to 2 days.
Strain the midsummer mead into a clean container and chill until ready to serve.
Serve the ritual mead with an incantation or prayer of gratitude. You may also want to keep your intent strong to connect with the earth energies as you make the ritual mead.
Ferment the Mead
Tips and warnings
- Home brewing is similar to canning in that your utensils, jars, and other equipment must be spotlessly clean to avoid contamination! Wash everything with hot water before making mead, and consider rinsing all utensils in a sinkful of water with a capful of bleach.