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Beginner's First Traditional Mead

Beginner's First Traditional Mead

Working under the assumption that you've never made a mead before, this recipe includes no precision measurement and finishes semisweet. This is a 1 gallon finished batch.
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Equipment required:

2 gallon fermentation bucket with airlock
1 gallon carboy with airlock
1 sachet Lalvin 71B yeast (other yeasts can be used, but this is set up to leave a bit of residual sweetness with 71B, so there are no guarantees about final sweetness or flavor if other yeasts are used)
Fermaid O (approx 7 grams total)
Sanitizer (star san strongly preferred) in spray bottle
Honey (this is the place to not cheap out. Orange blossom or local wild flower are both good options, clover honey is a bit lacking in flavor)
large spoon for stirring

Optional Equipment:
.01 gram precision scale

1) spray the inside of the bucket down with sanitizer and dump out excess liquid. don't worry about foam, it adds no taste and breaks down in the presence of yeast.

2) Start the yeast rehydrating in 125ml/4oz of warm (105F) water while you build the must. Add 6.25 grams of go ferm if you have it, but with a small batch, it's not a huge priority.

3) Add in 4.25 lbs of honey to the bucket, and then add 1 gallon of water on top.

4) Spray the large spoon down with sanitizer and use it to combine honey and water until the honey is fully dissolved. (optionally take hydrometer reading, should be around 1.115)

5) pour in the rehydrated yeast slurry, seal the bucket up with the lid/airlock and place it somewhere that's approximately 65-70F ambient temperature.

6) 24,48, and 72 hours after you add yeast, stir vigorously with a sanitized spoon for 1 minute then add 1 tsp of Fermaid O (if you have a gram scale, add 2.2 grams)

7) After the 3rd nutrient addition, seal it up tight and let it sit for 4 weeks.

8) after 4 weeks, using the siphon that has been rinsed with sanitizer both inside and out, move 1 gallon of the liquid above the sediment that has formed over to a 1 gallon carboy that has been spritzed down with sanitizer spray (optionally take hydrometer reading, should be around 1.01)

9) put the bung with airlock on that and allow it to rest somewhere 65-70F and not in direct sunlight for at least 6 months before bottling to ensure that the yeast all drops out and most of the harsh flavors have mellowed out.

10) as a recommendation, while it's aging, start another batch using a different kind of honey to be able to do some comparisons when done.
Extremely detailed recipe/tutorial. Should help out a lot of newer people starting to make Mead!

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