Mead Through the Seasons: Summer

Brew these refreshing meads for hot summer days. The Morat and Sima brews are perfect for milder palates while Capsicumel is great for spicing things up.

| March 2019

lemon-bubbles
Getty Images/Martin Wahlborg

Once you make one batch of mead you’ll be hooked. As you develop your base recipe, chances are the urge will strike to venture into other types of mead. There are a few different ways to do this. Like grape wine, mead ranges from dry to sweet. For a one-gallon batch like the starter recipe in this book, one and a half to two pounds of honey makes a light colored, dry mead; three pounds results in a semi-sweet mead; and three and a half to four pounds will produce a sweet mead. Pay attention to the strain of yeast you use. If you want a very dry mead, use Lalvin EC-1118 yeast. For semisweet and sweet meads, Lalvin 47 is your best choice. This yeast is user-friendly and imparts great flavor that complements the honey.

The type of honey used influences the flavor of mead. Traditional mead is best made using alfalfa, clover, acacia, or wild­flower honey. Acacia honey will sweeten even the driest of meads and is a great option if you’re going crazy-dry. Just remember that crazy-dry means even more finicky yeast.

Most mead takes a long time to make, which means that as you make batches throughout the year, you can play with the flavors through honey, yeast, and additions. Save your flavored meads for the right season and pair them to impress your friends. Mead is best after aging. Make batches throughout the year using fresh items that will pack the peak of flavor into each delicious gallon.



When it comes to types of mead, there are styles that are not fla­vored in the secondary, but from the start. I’ve broken down a few of the most popular here with seasonal suggestions.

Some like it hot! If that’s you, you should brew capsicumel, mead flavored with chili pepper. Capsicumel is unexpected and delightful. Chili peppers will make it to the farmers’ market in late summer, but they are also easy to grow at home. This is a trickier recipe, so get a few plain batches under your belt before breaking out the chilies.






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