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Mead Yeast Starter

If you are making a mead, a key to success is having healthy yeast.  Here’s how to make a yeast starter for your mead.

I got and modified this information from The Compleat Meadmaker book.


6.5 cups of water
0.25 teaspoon of yeast nutrient
0.25 teaspon of yeast energizer
1 tablespoon of Light Dry Malt Extract
0.5 cups of honey


1 gallon glass jug (sanitized)
1 funnel (sanitized)
Small pot


Add water, yeast nutrient, energizer, and malt extract together in the small pot and bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add honey, cover and let sit until it reaches room temperature. Pour mixture into glass jug using the funnel. Add yeast and cover top with some aluminum foil. Shake vigorously to oxgeniate. Let it sit somewhere at room temperature away from light for a day or two. Siphon most of the liquid off of the yeast at the bottom of the jug, but leave enough to mix up the bulk of the yeast into a slurry. Pitch the entire slurry into your fermenter.


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  1. Jim

    This sounds like a good start!!

  2. justin

    What is the OG of the starter? Seems really low to me. Most of the mead starters I’ve seen online call for closer to 1 cup honey and 1/4 cup DME and are half the size (1/2 gallon). I’m using a stir plate with a 1000ml flask. I do 0.5 cup honey, 1/8 cup DME 1/2 tbsp yst nutriend , 1/2 tbsp yst energizer and 1/2 tbsp DAP. I also do nutrient additions to the primary at the time of pitching and then after 48 hrs, a week and then 2 weeks.

  3. Compleat Meadmaker states that the OG will be between 1.040 and 1.050. I guess the point of this starter is to get your yeast healthy and hungry.

  4. Joe

    6.5 cups? Do you mean 6.5 ounces or 650 ml? 6.5 cups of water is alot for only 1 cup of honey.

  5. Hi Joe,

    No, I mean 6.5 cups. These measurements are based on the mead yeast starter in the book The Compleat Meadmaker. The mead I made using this starter won multiple awards in competition including one at the 2012 Mazer cup.

  6. Terry

    Thanks John. Still young at brewing, off and on for about 20 years, give or take. washed yeast couple times never used them yet. I think your description might be like using the washed so I’ll try your method first to get the feel of it. I make 2 gal batches only going to do half you recipe. Thanks again.

  7. Thanks Terry – give it a try. Hope it works out for you. Cheers!

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