Mead, the Monks Brew

3 Jul

I love home brewing! It is so exciting, collecting your ingredients and waiting for the outcome. Making mead has been an ambition of main for a long time now and I finally got my act together last month.

I got this recipe from my friend Benny the bee keeper. Benny is now in his 80’s and uses an ancient recipe created by monks. It is super easy and has a great outcome. For this recipe I used some of my grandfather’s honey. My grandfather keeps his bees in the Wicklow Mountains where I live and the honey is just unbelievable. It is important to eat honey from where you live as it is believed to help hay fever and anything to do with your breathing such as asthma. This is because the bees take their pollen from your surroundings.

Note for Brewing

Brewer’s yeast, yeast nutrient tablets and wine bottles can all be bought from home brewing and winery stores.

The finished product

Prepare the mead in summer which is best for fermentation.

Make sure to add yeast nutrient tablets, otherwise the yeast will feed on the honey and cause bitter mead.


Simple recipe for homemade mead

1.8kg/4lbs Good quality honey

3.7 litres Rain water

28g/1oz Hops

28g/1oz Brewer’s yeast

2-6 Yeast nutrient tablets

1. Collect rain water and filter through muslin.

2. Place the rain water and honey into a large container and stir until dissolved.

3. Add 1oz of hops to the honey water.

4. Using a large pot, bring the honey water to the boil and remove from the heat. Only allow the mixture to reach boil, do not over boil or else the mead will become bitter.

5. Using a wooden spoon, remove any scrum which has risen to the top.

6. Allow the mixture to cool and add the brewer’s yeast. If the yeast is added when the honey water is too hot it will kill the yeast.

7. Pour the honey water into a large sterilised container such as a clean unused bin or any large clean plastic container.

8. Crush between two to six yeast nutrient tablets. For medium mead use four tablets.

9. Use a minimum of two tablets for a dry mead or a maximum of six tablets for a very sweet mead.

10. Place two sheets of muslin over the container to prevent anything from entering and contaminating the mead but also allowing air to enter.

11. The mixture will begin to ferment and bubble, this will happen for 3-5 days, once the mixture has stopped bubbling vigorously it can be bottled.

12. Filter the mixture through two sheets of muslin and pour into sterilsed resealable wine bottles.

13. Leave the mead to ferment for a month before opening and enjoying.

16 Responses to “Mead, the Monks Brew”

  1. broadfordbrewer July 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Hi, nice work….what hop variety did you use? or where they foraged?

    • countrychickcrafts July 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      Hi there, I used hops that are made by a group called Morris Hanbury, they are called Styrian Golding.

      • broadfordbrewer July 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

        Thanks, just wondered what kind of hop compliments mead.

  2. themightyf July 7, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Awesome! Im going to give this recipe a go.

  3. emmatrailmix July 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Love it! I really want to try making mead, need to bottle this elderflower champagne first though…

  4. bishop9396 July 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    I have been wanting to brew a mead and haven’t made the time….sounds like something I can try as I already have all of the equipment. Thanks

  5. Calico Stretch July 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    There is so much to be said for knowledge and locally sourced is always the best. You know I’ve never tried mead ….

  6. Vibeke Henriette July 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Impressive, takes some patience this:)!!

  7. Nader Nazemi July 8, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    Very cool blog.

  8. honeybadgerhome July 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this!

  9. alicecarman July 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    I’ll have to share this recipe with my hubby. He gets together with friends and they brew their own stuff too. I think he mostly brews IPA. TFS

    • countrychickcrafts July 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      Tell him that he has to make it! It is so easy and really worth the effort 🙂

  10. manseeksbeer July 13, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Interesting recipe. I wonder why rain water? Also interesting that the recipe does not call for any secondary fermentation and bottling so soon. Must get a lot of sediment, but there’s probably a lot of nutritional goodies in there.

    • countrychickcrafts July 13, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      Thanks for the comment! you can see the sediment when it is on the bottle but it disappears into the mead when you open the bottle. It is an ancient recipe, that is why there is no secondary fermentation but I promise that it makes some of the best mead you will ever try 🙂

  11. youbettercraftaround July 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    That looks and sounds delicious! Now I need to go try to find some mead to satisfy this craving you inflicted! 😉

  12. Nick July 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Nice post! I like mead, but it is a bit on the sweet side and I don’t have it very often. I don’t know a lot about mead, but I haven’t heard of people hopping it. It seems like a good idea.

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