Basic sweet mead
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- 4.5 ltr Water to fill to 1 gallon (Imperial, not US)
- 10-12kg of honey (depending on *how* sweet)
- two lemons (or other favourite citrus - I like Limes)
- If your yeast is dry, you will need to "Start" the yeast by mixing up some honey in some warm water (a cupful will be fine) and carefuly pouring the yeast on top. Make sure it sits for at least half an hour so it really has a chance to wake up - there should be instructions on the packet for the best time-length. If you have liquid yeast, don't bother... this step is already done for you.
- Mix your honey with *some* water (not all - you'll fill it up in a bit). This step is often easier if you heat the honey, but not necessary.
- Make sure the honey/water isn't hot or you'll either break/melt your demijohn (depending on whether it's glass/plastic) and pour it into your brew-bottle.
- juice your citrus fruit and pour it in too.
- When the honey-water is no more than tepid (room-temp) pour the yeast "starter" in on top.
- Fill up to the shoulder - possibly below that if it's summer and the temps are warm (the brew can sometimes bubble yucky froth and spew out the top, so leave a gap).
- Fit with an airlock and wait...
- After 6 months or so, 'rack' the mead by syphoning off the good stuff and leaving the lees behind. if the mead has been sparkly-clear for about a month (you should be able to read a book through a glass bottle), it's probably safe enough to bottle.
SAFETY NOTE: if you bottle too soon and the ferment hasn't stop, you could end up with glass grenades = bottles that explode with the pressure. This is a Bad ThingTM, so it's better to wait than be sorry.
See Brewing for more general tips.