Maybe you’ve heard of mead before or maybe you haven’t, but one image that always seems to come to mind when mead is mentioned is Vikings drinking their grog. I don’t know a whole lot about Vikings, but I do know a bit about mead! Mead is a fermented honey and water mixture, some call it honey wine, and it is quite possibly the first fermented drink that humans purposefully made. Luckily for us, it’s quite easy to make! I’m going to show you how to make a gallon of mead with this simple blueberry orange mead recipe to be exact.
Want to learn more about making mead? I have a Simple Mead Making for Beginners eBook just for you! It has ingredient and equipment checklists, detailed instructions for brewing and bottling your mead, and simple mead recipe ideas! Be sure to check that out if you’re new to the mead making process.
One Gallon Mead Recipe
I should mention right now that whenever you add fruit to a mead it’s technically called a melomel. You could also use apple cider instead of water and then you’d have what’s called a cyser.
This is a recipe for one gallon of mead, but I’m always of the mind that if you’re making one you might as well make two. This is especially true if you already have two glass jugs from my hard cider recipe, as it’s really not any harder.
Mead Equipment and Ingredients
I’ve created a page that has links to all of my favorite mead ingredients and equipment here: Mead Equipment & Ingredients: Everything You Need to Get Started
Simple One Gallon of Mead Recipe
- Sanitize everything that will be used in the brewing process.
- Heat about 1/2 gallon of non chlorinated water in the pot on medium heat. Once it's warm, but not boiling, add the honey and stir it so it all dissolves. Turn off the heat.
- Put the berries or other fruit, orange slices (skin and all), and raisins into the one gallon jug.
- Use the funnel and carefully pour the honey water mixture into the jug.
- Top off the jug with cold (preferably filtered) water, leaving at least 2 inches of head space on top. Put the lid on the jug and gently mix everything around a bit.
- Make sure that the temperature of the must is below 90°F, then add 1/2 packet of champagne yeast. Put the lid back on tightly and this time shake the jug for a minute or two to distribute the yeast.
- Put a little water in the airlock to the line, then put the rubber stopper end into the jug. Put the jug in a dark place. It should start bubbling within 12-24 hours.
- After about 6 weeks of fermenting, the mead can be bottled and aged.
How to Make Mead: One Gallon Mead Recipe
Alright, let’s get started! The first thing to do is sanitize everything that will be used in the brewing process, the jug, airlock, big pot, spoon and funnel. Just follow the directions on the sanitizer and don’t throw it out until you’re totally done (just in case your dog licks the funnel or you drop your spoon).
Once everything is sanitized, put about 1/2 gallon of water (non chlorinated if possible) in the pot on medium heat. When it’s warm, but not boiling, add the honey and stir it so it all dissolves.
Turn the heat off. It may be a little foamy, but that’s ok, just don’t boil it.
In the meantime, put the berries (or any fruit of your liking), orange slices (skin and all), and raisins into the one gallon jug.
Then use the funnel and carefully pour the honey water mixture (technically called “must”) into the jug.
Top off the jug with cold (preferably filtered) water, leaving at least 2 inches of head space on top.
Then put the lid on the jug and gently mix everything around a bit. If you bought the jug with airlock it may not come with a lid, so you’ll have to find a lid that fits or improvise a bit here.
The next step is to add the yeast, but you need to make sure that it isn’t too hot so that you don’t kill it. It should feel lukewarm, use a thermometer if you’re unsure, no more than 90°F. Then you can add the yeast. One yeast package will make up to 5 gallons of mead, so if you’re doing 2 gallons you can just split one between the 2 jars.
Now put the lid back on tightly and this time you’re really going to shake it up for several minutes. It’s a good workout for your arm muscles so you can skip the gym on days when you make mead!
Put a little water in the airlock to the line, then put the rubber stopper into the jug. In a few hours, or at least by the next morning, you should see bubbles in the jug and in the airlock.
The whole top might get a little foamy at first, but things will settle down. I love watching all the little bubbles!
Keep it in a cool (not cold) dark place. Mead takes longer to ferment than cider or beer, depending on the temperature it will take anywhere from 4-6 weeks. I usually give it 6 weeks to be on the safe side for bottling as you don’t want any explosions! I’ve definitely had some very champagne like mead before. You want to wait until you don’t see any bubbles in the jug and your airlock is still.
Here is a video that tells you a little more about mead:
Bottling the Mead
Bottling one or two gallons of mead is pretty much the same process as bottling cider. You may want to wait awhile to drink your mead as it definitely gets better with age. I often drink it “green” (young) as I enjoy it either way. It is fun to save a couple of bottles for several months, or even a year, just to see how the taste changes with age.
More Mead Recipes
Now that I’ve shown you how to make this simple one gallon of mead recipe, chances are you will want to make more soon! Lucky for you, I have also written a posts on How to Make 5 Gallons of Mead and How to Bottle 5 Gallons of Mead.
Simple Mead Making eBook
Be sure to check out my Simple Mead Making: A Beginner’s Guide to One Gallon Batches eBook for more detailed information on brewing, bottling, and recipe ideas!
Cheers and happy mead making!