The Art of Making Mead
The Art of Making Mead
It all starts with the honey. We pledge to protect our customers and consumers, as well as the global reputation of honey products, by ensuring to our utmost ability that honey is ethically sourced in a transparent and traceable manner from known beekeepers and brokers; that honey moves through the supply chain in full accordance with U.S. law and without circumvention of trade duties; that it carries truthful labeling as to its source, has been tested to ensure quality, and has been handled in a safe and secure manner from hive to meadery.
Mead is only as good as the quality of its ingredients, and the passion of the mead maker, this is why we use only the true source certified honey. We never pasteurize the honey we use as this ensures that the volatile aromatics of the honey are preserved. Honey comes in many different flavors and colors.
Our founder and mead maker has spent years perfecting his art, having earned bronze, silver and gold medals for his meads at numerous international mead competitions, including the most prestigious of all a Best Of Show with Desire, our Black Currant, Black Cherry, Blueberry melomel.
When the honey arrives at the meadery, it is mixed with water until it is in the correct concentration for fermentation. We measure this using a refractometer, a scale that tells us how much dissolved honey is in the solution. At this time, we also would add any fruit that is going to be fermented along with the honey. While our honey is being mixed with water, dry wine yeast is rehydrated with yeast nutrients to ensure the yeast is healthy, and has enough nutrients to begin fermentation. Healthy yeast is critical to the mead making process. If done incorrectly, the mead will not ferment all the way to completion, and may also have off-flavors that will impact the overall quality of the finished product. When the yeast and unfermented honey/water mixture (must) are ready, we add the yeast (pitching) and a few other yeast nutrients to ensure a healthy fermentation.
Mead is hands-on during the fermentation stage. Each day (and often twice a day), we mix the yeast back into suspension and take measurements. Measurements include specific gravity (fermentation activity), pH, ambient temperatures, and must temperatures. These measurements help us understand where the mead is in the fermentation process, and gives an indication of what might be causing a problem, if one is experienced.
When primary fermentation is complete, the mead is transferred into tanks for aging. During the aging process, the mead maker takes samples to determine how it is progressing. We only release our meads once we feel that they have matured enough, not based on a time-table or formula. This is the art of mead making.
Once aging is completed, then the mead is filtered into the bottling tank and then bottled.