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Elderberry Mead

Elderberry Mead

Ingredients:
3kg honey of your choice
5Tbsp dried elderberries
15g fresh ginger, diced
25 - 30 raisins or other dried fruit
25g dried navel orange
5g yeast (champagne yeast for dry, sweet wine or mead yeast for a sweeter result)

Procedure:

  1. Grab a large stockpot and add about 2L of water to the pot.  
  2. Add the diced ginger and allow it to come to a boil.
  3. While the water heats, sanitize your gallon carboy, airlocks, bungs, and funnel with Morgan’s Sanitizer.
  4. When the water is at a steady, rolling boil, throw in the dried lime, raisins, and the handful of dried elderberries. Cover the pot, turn off the stove and remove the stockpot from heat.
  5. Let it wait for about 15 minutes, and then add the honey and stir well to dissolve. Let it cool down for a bit, and then set the funnel in the neck of the carboy and pour in everything – the hot honey water (also known as must), ginger, and berries.
  6. Pour in water until the must is up to the neck of the carboy.
  7. Add in the bung and the airlock to keep everything clean.
  8. Allow the must to cool down to body temperature before you pitch your yeast – this can take a few hours, so I sometimes just leave it overnight.
  9. In the morning you can pitch your yeast into the jug.
  10. Since it is a 4.7L batch, you only need 5g of yeast.

Racking: Back - sweetening if desired: Bottling:

  1. Leave to ferment for 30 - 60days, the jug will clear and the mead will look to be mostly ready.
  2. Take the airlock out and use a sanitized straw to taste a bit of the mead. If it needs more sweetening, make a sugar syrup and add it to a clean, sanitized carboy.
  3. Rack the mead (taking it off the yeast) and leave behind the ginger chunks and elderberries for the compost bin.
  4. Rack the mead onto the sugar syrup and let it sit again for a few weeks to ensure that fermentation is complete.
  5. You can bottle the mead into 500ml flip top bottles, then let age for another 60 - 90days.

 Notes:

  • Tasting Time! Ok so, the results are in. This is a nice, light mead that turns out a bit dry. You could add 500ml of honey for a sweeter taste. The elderberry flavour is light but present. Even though I waited to bottle it until the fermentation seemed to be complete, there are some bubbles in this batch. That tells me that there is residual yeast that continued to grow after bottling.
  • This is a mead that I will make again, although I plan to double the elderberries and maybe add some cinnamon instead of a lime…*planning & plotting*