Mead-Making Guide

Picking Your Ingredients

Honey: Any honey can be used, and different crops give unique flavors to honey and the resulting mead. Some honeys (like buckwheat) should be used in moderation and blended with other honeys. One pound of honey per gallon will add about 5% abv to the mead (ex: 2.5 lbs of honey in 1 gallon of mead will yield 12.5% abv). Typically, still meads are between 12-18% abv, but it’s your mead – have fun with it!

Fruit: If adding fruit, pasteurized purees or juices are easiest to deal with, but whole (chopped) fruit can be added as well – just remember you’ll need to filter it out! We suggest pasteurizing them to be safe. If using juice or puree, it must not contain potassium or sodium-based preservatives like potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate! Acidic preservatives like citric acid are ok.

Yeast: Wine yeast is typically used for mead due to its high alcohol tolerance and flavor profiles. Our favorite mead yeasts are Lalvin D-47 (tropical, citrusy, spicy aromas, 15% alcohol tolerance) and Lalvin EC-1118 (neutral flavor, 18% alcohol tolerance). If your mead alcohol target is higher than the yeast can tolerate, the leftover honey will remain and produce a sweeter mead. (ex: using Lalvin D-47 with 4 lbs of honey will leave about 1 lb of honey unfermented).

Nutrient: Honey does not have any minerals or nutrients that yeast need to ferment. Without adding nutrients, mead can take months to fully ferment. Traditionally raisins have been used to supplement the yeast, but yeast nutrient and yeast energizer are cheap and extremely effective at speeding up mead fermentation.


Mix 0.2 oz (1.25 tsp) of IO-Star (or Star San) with 1 gallon of cool water in the jug. This sanitizer will kill 99.99% of bacteria within 30 seconds! It foams, so we recommend filling with water first before adding sanitizer and shaking. Set aside leftover sanitizer in a pot or bucket. This can be used for up to one month.

Yeast should be at room temperature before starting.

Mead-Making Steps

  1. Dissolve honey in 6 cups hot (not boiling) water – about 140°F. This will be easiest to do in a pot with a whisk, but can be done directly in the jug. Just seal the jug and shake/swirl with hot tap water.
  2. Pour honey mixture into the jug. If using a funnel, be sure the funnel is clean (preferably sanitized)
  3. Top off with cold filtered or spring water to reach 1 gallon (about where the text is on a 1 gallon jug)
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast energizer and swirl jug to mix a bit.
  5. Add 1/2 dry yeast packet (leftovers can be sealed with tape and put in fridge for another batch)
    1. Make sure the cider and yeast are room temperature. Too hot or too cold will shock the yeast.
  6. Insert airlock into rubber bung and insert into jug. Fill airlock with water to fill line (about halfway).
  7. We recommend loosening the perforated airlock lid, in case the mead builds up too much pressure
  8. Wait 1-2 week for fermentation to complete, and 1-2 weeks more for mead to clarify (2-4 weeks total)
  9. At this point the mead has no oxygen and is safe from bacteria. Leave here until you’re ready to drink.
  10. When ready, pour gently into bottles or growlers. Be careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom.
  11. The mead will be high enough alcohol that it can be stored long term, but to reduce oxidation, it is best to store cold.

Optional Additions

  • Steep dry spices & herbs in heated water before adding honey: cardamom, peppercorns, clove, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon peel.
  • Add fruit purees or fruit juice prior to fermentation (this is technically called a melomel). Add before topping off with cold water, to avoid overfilling the jug.
  • Stevia, sucralose, monkfruit, lactose, xylitol are non-fermentable sweeteners that can be used for sweeter, lower alcohol mead. Do not add extra sugar or juice before bottling – it will re-activate the yeast and may cause an explosion!
  • If you want crystal clear mead, time and cold temperatures will help clarify the mead. If you’re in a rush, try Sparkalloid, which can be mixed in to make super clear mead quickly.


Super Simple Sweet Blackberry Melomel – 15% abv


  1. Heat blackberries in a pot over medium heat until they start to pop. Mash with a masher or large spoon to turn into pulp.
  2. Add 6 Cups water and continue heating until water is about 140°F
  3. Turn off heat, add honey and stir until fully dissolved
  4. Pour into jug and top off with cold water until 1 gallon mark
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast energizer and swirl jug to mix a bit.
  6. Add 1/2 packet of Lalvin D47 yeast.
  7. Add airlock and wait 3-4 weeks while fermentation happens.
  8. Once fermentation is done and yeast/fruit sediment has settled, gently decant into a pitcher or directly into bottles. Enjoy chilled or warm!


Feel free to email any questions to

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top