I dug into the raw local honey I bought back in November to begin the second honey-based fermented beverage. The first one was a braggot which is now conditioning. The second is a medium show mead.
The thing a homebrewer needs to appreciate is the amount of time needed to make a mead. I think I was done in less than an hour including cleanup.
If you had some free flowing honey, you could be done in less than 30 minutes if you were efficient. I was working with raw honey and a scale that had a max weight limit of 5 pounds and I need to measure out 13 pounds of honey.
I measured it out in a few batches and then moved it into a stock pot filled with a gallon of water that I heated up to about 90° F (32° C). The raw honey was in a waxy form. It was a little difficult scooping it out of the plastic bucket it came in and certainly would have been near impossible to get into the carboy. With some heat and some water, I was able to get it into liquid state and poured that into my empty, sanitized carboy.
The water/honey mixture came up to the 2 gallon mark and then I poured 3 gallons of water on top of that. Took a reading and found that the gravity was around 1.086. I was expecting around 1.096 so I went back to the honey bucket, scooped out a pound or so of honey, mixed with a smaller amount of water – probably around 2 to 3 cups – and worked into a liquid state.
Once I added that addition, I was pushing 1.100 which is where I wanted to be.
Pitched two packets of proofed Lalvin D-47 yeast along with some nutrients and energizer and we were off to the races.
Here are some photos of the festivities.