Make’s approximately 2 gallon’s of sweet mead with an ABV of about 7.5%
What you need:
A clean, sanitized fermenting vessel big enough to hold 2 gallons plus head space for fermentation. (I used a Mr.Beer little brown keg = LBK.)
2 gallons of spring water (refrigerate 1 gallon)
3lbs of honey (I used orange blossom honey from Orchard nutrition center)
an additional 1lb of honey for back sweetening.
1 quart of 100% organic cranberry juice for back sweetening.
1 – 12 oz package of cranberry’s
1 medium size mesh steeping bag
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
zest from 2 oranges
1/2 of a cinnamon stick (real cinnamon)
1 sachet of wine or champagne yeast
4 tsp of fermax yeast nutrient. (reserve 2 tsp for an addition @ day 4)
Campden tablet’s (stabilizer) follow directions for use)
Potassium sorbate (stabilizer/kill’s yeast for back sweetening) follow directions for use.
Clean and sanitize your fermenting vessel and all equipment
boil some tap water in a pan, turn off the heat and place your container of honey in it to soften it up.
Put about 1/2 – 3/4 of a gallon of spring water into a pan and bring it to a boil
Place cranberry’s, cinnamon stick and orange zest in the mesh steeping bag and place in the boiling spring water, simmer for an additional 15 minutes over medium/low heat.
After your cranberry’s are done boiling turn off the heat and remove the bag, put it in a strainer over a bowl and set aside.Now stir your honey into the pan of hot water you just took the cranberry’s from. also add 2 tsp of yeast nutrient at this time.
Let the cranberry, honey mixture cool down to about 100 with the lid on. (I did this because I was using the LBK but you may not need to. I placed the pan in the freezer to speed up the cooling.)
Next pour 1 gallon of (refrigerated)spring water into the fermenting vessel
stir in the (cooled) cranberry, honey mixture
Add the 1 cup of orange juice and stir
Now place the bag of cranberry’s into the fermentor along with any juice that collected in the bowl.
The SG should be about 1.055
Follow instruction on yeast for rehydration and pitch yeast when your must is in the right range for that yeast.
I let this ferment for 4 day’s then I added the other 2 tsp’s of yeast nutrient. just dump it right in dry.
Ferment for 4 week’s then rack to a secondary. FG should be about .998. I let mine sit in secondary for 7 month’s after which I added the stabilizer’s. at this point I shock it up REALLY good to get it all mixed and degassed.
After 3 day’s I racked the mead off into another secondary and added 1 quart of 100% organic cranberry juice and 1 lb of honey, let set for another 4 week’s and then bottle.
Note: you can add more or less honey and or cranberry juice for the back sweetening. this mead is a bit sweet for some but I really like it. it would be a very good desert beverage for after your holiday diner.