After a great crop of honey in 2017 I decided to dabble in the mead making process. I have found a great YouTube series about making mead. I will provide the link to the YouTube channel below.
Since the videos are all in German I decided to write a brief summary about the process.
For proper mead one should use 1-part honey and 2-parts of water. I ended up using tap water which comes directly from our well. Before I started, I heated the water to boiling temperature, after it cooled down to 98 degrees Fahrenheit I mixed in the honey. One should never heat honey to more than 104 degrees, otherwise it will lose many of its properties. So double check that your water has cooled down to about 98 degrees before you add the honey!
I was using following dry yeast:
Before you add the yeast to your honey water you need to get it activated. Just follow the guidelines on the packaging for details.
In addition to the yeast, I have also added some nutrients to the honey water to support the fermentation process. I have used following products:
First things first, before you get started, you need to sanitize everything which will come in contact with your product. For best sanitation results I have used Star San.
Now that all your equipment is sanitized, your honey water has been mixed and your yeast has been activated you can mix it all in a carboy or fermentation bucket. Shake well and install the airlock.
During the first two weeks of the fermentation process you should shake the container on a daily basis to keep the honey water and yeast nicely mixed. Starting in the third week you can cut the shaking back to 2-3 times per week.
Best room temperature for the fermentation is about 71-77 degree Fahrenheit.
After the main fermentation was done, I siphoned the mead into a clean and sanitized carboy, I put the airlock back on and let it sit for a few more weeks to ensure that there was no more pressure building before bottling the mead. Around week 8 or 9 I did not see any more airbubbles escaping the airlock and the mead was ready for consumption!
I used a hydrometer to measure the gravity of the mead on day one and after the main fermentation was completed (about 6 weeks later). Like I said, this was my first time brewing mead and if I interpreted all the numbers correctly the mead turned out to have about 15% alcohol. You can enjoy mead cold or hot, we enjoyed most of ours as a hot beverage.
Some good resources:
How to make mead video
How to use Star San Sanitizer
How to use a Hydrometer