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Mead is a fermented beverage made primarily of honey and water. Yeast converts the sugars in the honey to alcolhol during fermentation. Various other ingredients may be added to the mead to create various types of mead. Mead with spices is called a metheglyn. A melomel is mead with fruit, or fruit juice. Some more common fruits make a particular type of melomel, such as cyser (apple) or perimel (pear). Here at U2M we try to make some unique meads and have had very good luck with our flower meads. The contents of this web site come from the pages of our brew book. It is not intended to be a complete source of information on either mead or the brewing process. There are almost as many different methods of brewing mead as there are brewers. These pages only reflect how we brew mead at the Unicorn Unchained Meadery, otherwise known as Marcia's kitchen.
Mead making is a fairly simple process, but it takes patience. First the honey, water, and other ingredients are pasteurized to form the "must". The must is cooled and poured into a large food grade plastic bucket or a glass carboy, and yeast is added. This is stored in an out of way place (the crawlspace) for a while. The mead may be racked (moved into a clean glass carboy leaving the sediment behind) one or more times before bottling. Good sanitation is important at all stages of mead making. The mead is usually bottled in about 6 months to 1 year after brewing. Once bottled we usually age the mead for at least another year before sampling. That's where the patience comes in. Many meads will continue to improve with age, even 20+ years after the bottling date. Some meads that aren't very good at first may improve quite a bit with enough aging. However, not all meads age as well, so try a bottle every now and then to see how it's doing.
For more information about mead, terminology, yeast, honey, etc. visit Forrest Cook's Mead Page