One my favorite ways to preserve a harvest is to make some mead. Today I will share this very easy recipe, I hope you enjoy! This recipe will make a 1 gallon batch. you can embellish any way you like it's not hard at all. Here's what you need to start:
3 1/2 lbs Clover or your choice honey or blend (will finish sweet)
1 Large orange (later cut in eights or smaller rind and all)
1 small handful of raisins
1 stick of cinnamon
1 whole clove
optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice.....very small )
1 teaspoon of Fleishmann’s bread yeast (champagne yeast makes it too dry for my taste)
Balance water to one gallon
So now here comes the simple magic the process in which we make our mead:
Use a clean 1 gallon carboy
Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in carboy
Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice in eights --add orange all of it include the rinds it's ok really!
Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill to 3 inches from the top with cold water. ( need room for some foam -- you can top off with more water after the first few days of yeast frenzy)
Shake the heck out of the jug with top on, of course. This is your sophisticated aeration process.
When at room temperature in your kitchen, put in 1 teaspoon of bread yeast. ( just put it in and give it a gentle swirl) The yeast will start to feed on the sugars.
Install water airlock. Put in dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour. (Make sure to use FRESH YEAST it's cheap buy it new and fresh!) After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don't shake it at all!) Don't mess with it at all!
Racking --- Don't you dare
Additional feeding --- NO!
More stirring or shaking -- Your not listening, don't touch
After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waited that long. If it is clear it is ready. You don't need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (Like in a cabinet) likes a little heat (70-80). If it didn't work out... you screwed up and didn't follow instructions or you played it cheap and saved like .30 because you used old yeast or you killed your yeast cause it was too hot!
If you were successful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead. When you get ready to make different mead say like blackberry I substitute the full with half an orange and add 2 cups of macerated blackberries and leave out the cinnamon, clove, and all spice or nutmeg. But this recipe and procedure works with these ingredients so try it. It was your first mead. I have made many gallons and I play with recipes often. Sometimes, even the experts recipes fail can. Enjoy your first mead and good luck, leave a comment and tell me how it went! mine will be ready Oct 20th but the longer it sit the better it is.