Dry Mead Recipe

Mead Making photo for Dry Mead Recipe

Traditional dry mead is a light white wine with alcohol content ranging from 14 to 18%. The more honey that is used, the stronger the mead will be, but you should not add all the extra honey at once. Doing so will make the liquid too viscous and cause the yeast to become dormant.


Combine 1 gallon of water with honey. Heat to 180 degrees F. Reduce heat and hold the temperature between 175 and 180 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim any white film off of the surface. Do not boil.

Remove pot from the heat and place in a sink of cold water to reduce its temperature. Stir every 10 minutes and then change the sink water. Do this 3 times.

Add 1 gallon of water, stir well.

Clean and sanitize your fermenter pail, lid and airlock.

Open the packet of wine yeast and pour it into the fermenter pail.

Pour the must into the fermenter. Add water to make a full three gallons.

Close the fermenter pail and attach the airlock.

Allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 weeks.

If you are using additional honey, add it at this time by mixing it with an equal amount of mead from the fermenter and ½ teaspoon of yeast nutrient. And wait another week before continuing.

1st Racking: Racking mead should be done by gently siphoning. We do not recommend using wine pumps or filters. Mead is very susceptible to oxidation.

Move the fermenter pail into racking position at least 2 days before actually transferring the mead. This will allow time for the sediment to settle back down.

Clean and sanitize a 3 gallon glass carboy, stopper, air lock and siphon set up.

Crush 3 Campden tablets and place them into the carboy. Gently siphon the mead from the primary fermenter into the bottom of the carboy. Be careful not to disturb the sediment.

Add distilled water to bring the level of the mead up to the bottom of the carboy neck.

Close the carboy with an air lock and ferment in a dark place for at least 30 days but not more than 45 days.

2nd Racking: Clean and sanitize the fermenter pail then siphon the mead from the carboy to the pail.

Clean and sanitize the carboy and repeat the 1st Racking Step but only use 2 crushed Campden tablets. Sweet mead makers must add 1-1/2 teaspoons of potassium sorbate at this time.

Allow the mead to rest in a dark place at least 30 to 45 days or until it clears. To check clarity, hold a flash light on one side of the carboy and look at the light from the other. When you can clearly see the bulb of the light the mead is clear.

Third Racking: There is no substitute for time when making mead. The more mature the mead is prior to bottling, the better it will be. A third racking will allow the mead to brighten and age. All recipes except Sweet Mead do not use any additives on this racking.

Bottling: Mead can be bottled as you would wine or beer. I prefer to bottle in 375ml wine bottles or 7oz clear beer bottles. These smaller sizes reduce waste caused by leftovers. If the beer bottle method is used the caps must be the oxygen barrier type. Wine bottles should be closed with a 1-3/4 inch cork.

Clean and sanitize your bottles, caps, siphon and bottle filling equipment. Gently fill each bottle but do not cap until all are filled.

When filling is complete you have the option of making some of the mead sparkling. To do this, add ½ teaspoon of corn sugar to each sparkling bottle.

NOTE: Sparkling mead can only be sweetened with a sugar substitute and must be bottled in beer bottles or champagne bottles with special corks and wires.

Cap or cork the bottles. Store them upright in a dark cool place. Mead will take time to age and in my experience it will undergo many changes. A batch which tastes great at bottling time may taste bad after 3 months in the bottle and then fabulous at 6 months.

homemade mead with mulling spices

Mead Making

Honey, Water and Yeast Make the Ancient Drink Called Mead