MEAD (makes approx. 4.5 litres)
1,200 - 1,500g of runny honey (depending on how sweet you want the finished mead)
1 sachet (5g approx.) of brewing or wine yeast (I use champagne yeast)
1 lemon, juice only
5 litres of water.
In a saucepan, add the honey to 1 litre of the water and warm it up so that the honey dissolves. Make sure not to let the mixture boil, just get it warm enough to be pourable.
Once dissolved, cover and leave to cool to room temperature before pouring it into a clean, sterilised 5 litre demijohn along with the lemon juice, the brewing yeast and then top the demijohn up with the remaining water, leaving a 5 cm air gap at the top. An initial hydrometer reading can be taken at this stage if you're into that kind of thing.
Seal the demijohn with an airlock and bung and leave in a dark place for around 30 days to ferment.
Fermentation should, initially, be quite vigorous (more than one bloop per second) but after 30 days or so, the airlock should be bubbling only very slowly (a bloop every ten seconds or so). This is time to carefully rack the mead into another clean sterilised demijohn, taking care to leave the sediment behind in the original one. (Racking = decanting). Racking can be a tricky procedure and I suggest that you visit YouTube to get a good sense of how it is done. You can take the opportunity to top up with water to the full 5 litres, if you wish. Now is also the time to take a second hydrometer reading, which will give you an idea of the alcohol content at that moment. Mine was 13.5%.
This is also the stage at which any botanicals or fruits can be added. For my second batch of mead, I've used half a cinnamon stick and a few juniper berries but there are all manner of extra flavours that would work very well too. Replace the airlock and bung and leave the whole thing for another 30 days to clear before racking into clean, sterilised bottles.
The mead can be drunk at this stage but the longer it is left in the bottles, the better it becomes. Six months is a good time to wait but it should keep for much longer than that if all of your equipment was sterilised and scrupulously clean.