Making mead (and bread)

Mead and bread

Mead and bread

One of my favourite parts of Druid Camp was a brilliant mead workshop, complete with tasting and making sessions. I wasn’t able to do the making due to numbers, but I thoroughly enjoyed the tasting (of course) and learned a lot about the process of making mead in the process.

It turns out that mead seems to be surprisingly easy to make, I had expected it to be far more difficult: the sort of thing that requires an alchemist’s lab set up of funny shaped bubbling tubes.But apparently honey and water will naturally ferment if left alone anyway, which probably explains how mead was discovered in the first place!

Mead is often used as a sacred drink in Druid rituals (as well as in other traditions) so I love the idea of making it myself instead of buying it in. A lovely Druid Camp attendee we met shared the recipe from the mead making workshop, and I had to try it out!

The recipe is:

Using a two litre plastic bottle. Fill with one litre of water. Empty a 1lb jar of honey into a measuring jug, rinse out the jar with boiled water and add to honey in the jug. Then top up the jar to 800 ml with more of the boiled water, mix well and add to the cold water in the plastic bottle. Then add half a teaspoon of yeast and plug with an airlock of some kind. You can use a balloon with a pin prick in to let out the carbon dioxide. Leave in a dark place for 6-8 weeks or until the mixture stops fizzing and goes clearer.

For the yeast, I used baker’s yeast, which gives a lower alcohol mead (probably around 11%). For a more potent brew, you can use brewer’s yeast or even champagne yeast.

We also made sourdough bread, which took AGES but was so worth it!

I must say, I’m enjoying this new turn to a practical, hands-on, “hearth and home” expression of Druidry.

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2 Responses to Making mead (and bread)

  1. I love making mead too. I made some a few years ago and it turned out so potent I got drunk on one glass lol. Do you make mead at home?

    • Ryan C. says:

      Blimey! I think mine is going to be a lower alcohol mead (around 10-11%) according to the recipe, but you never know what might happen. This is my first experiment making it at home, just using a fizzy-pop bottle and some honey from the local shop. I’ll report on how it turns out, it should be ready around Samhain.

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