Gallon Wine

By · Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Gallon Wine

How to make Mead (honey wine) at home – Part 1

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The Celtic tradition has always embraced mead, both ceremonial and celebration. In fact, mead is so Celtic as the Druids. It has been touted as the "drink of the gods" for centuries. Even among the pagans of today a good bottle of mead is often as valuable and coveted and secret rituals of some tools or "mystic." You might even be surprised by the potential exchange of a high quality bottle of mead among some circles of the Gentile brothers today.

A Brief History of Mead
Mead was probably one of the men first developed fermented beverages. Egyptian African, Greek, Roman, Celtic and Nordic cultures all have been mentioning the story as favorite drink mead and preferred. Mead is made of honey and honey was the only available fresh food source for humans and pre-biblical biblical. Refined sugar is not going to be introduced by several centuries.

The first recordings of mead are of the Egyptian culture. We know that there was an abundance of high-sugar fruit in the region of Egypt. The only abundant source of sugar to produce alcohol honey wine, I was very popular in the region at that time, and remains today. Other ancient civilizations like the Romans and Greeks also lacked high sugar content fruit and refined sugar sources to produce drinking alcohol, but honey is readily available and grown in these areas as well.

How man discovers the process of making alcohol?
Well, more than likely was accidental. Honey has a tendency to accumulation of water derived from moisture in the air, and once water accumulates to dilute the honey on the surface of a container natural yeast present in the honey will start the process of making mead natural. It is likely that primitive man realized that only when honey is combined with water and made it clear that generate what we now know as an alcoholic drink called mead.

This was a very unpredictable growing primarily because these cultures had no idea of exactly how the process is carried out or what was the catalyst. The lots of honey were often simply diluted with water and dried in the sun to see what happened, even to the 1800s. Some mead was developed successfully and other lots were more than probably damaged by the contamination of other microorganisms.

The father of modern brewing – Louis Pasteur
It was not until mid 1800 that the process of making drinking alcohol from sugar, a process known as fermentation, was truly understood through the research of Louis Pasteur. Pasteur Milk is the most recognizable to Americans as the scientist credited with the development of pasteurization used to disinfect, and other contributions the field of biology. However, the rest of the world Pasteur widely recognized for his great contributions to the field of winemaking. He was credited with the discovery and documentation of the scientific basis for fermentation used to this day in all forms of brewing.

The process seems fairly unnatural until you have an understanding of microbiology. the Egyptian and Celtic cultures, at no time aware of these concepts. What is the most likely meaning serious spiritual, was placed on the brewing of mead. However, in today's world we understand how the process works on a biological level.


Other than the basic ingredients such as honey and fruit juices that relatively few additional ingredients. Some ingredients are added to help the fermentation and others are to improve the flavor and balance. Here is a basic list of ingredients used today:

Tablets Campden kill bacteria, molds and wild yeasts are essential when making wine from fruit fresh or unpasteurized honey. They are not generally required if used sterile ingredients to be with and should be avoided in these cases, since only unnecessarily delay the fermentation. The usual dose is usually 2 tablets crushed by gallon. Be sure to cover the mixture with a cloth or towel and allow ventilation for at least 24 hours before the addition of yeast are grown for the lot. It Instead, the tablets will slow or kill the yeast that are deliberately introduced in the batch to start fermentation. Campden tablets are also added bottled wine just before (and not given a chance to evaporate out) to sterilize the wine and prevent fermentation in the bottle. Campden tablets have a slight effect on flavor when used in prescribed doses.

Yeast is the key to making wine, is a microorganism which naturally consumes the sugar (along with other nutrients) and waste products and carbon dioxide along with other particles. Yeast is found naturally in most fruits and honey, but this yeast often produces a wine undrinkable undesirable and should be destroyed by Campden tablets or boiling water before fermentation. Several strains of yeast are available stores local brewing. Some are used for beer, wine and by others to Champaign. Each type produces a different type of flavor. Most of mead is made with wine yeast or yeast Champaign if a mild effect carbonation desired.

Nutrient Yeast contains all the essential elements for the yeast to thrive. Nutrient addition is not absolutely necessary, but not in some fermentations become slow and it takes much longer to complete. Nutrient should be add the amount of 1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon before the yeast is added to the wine.

Yeast Energizer is essentially the same as yeast nutrient but it is especially bent for fresh fruit wines.

Acid Blend is a crystallized version of most natural fruit acids (tartaric, maltic citric acid). This is often added primarily as a flavoring agent for wine from fruits that are naturally low in acid, such as apple wine. See your recipe for acid mixture quantities of wine.

Tanino (grape or otherwise) occurs naturally in some fruits like grapes and is used mainly as a flavoring agent. Tannin increases the "astringent" quality of the wine which gives it a fuller flavor or "shell". Tannin also helps in cleaning / clarification wine and the quality of aging. Refer to the recipe for the amounts to add.

Peptic Enzyme is added to fresh fruit wines and the forces the fruit pulp to release more of natural fruit juices and natural resources of the fruit color. Refer to the recipe for the amounts to add.

Sorbate Potassium is an additive used just prior to the sweetening of wine when bottling. Coats any additive existing yeast cells so that they can not reproduce even if it is the sugar in the wine. Note, this does not eliminate the yeast cells, fermentation simply means that nothing is more intense than it already is. If there is still enough living yeast cells in the bottled wine when you can still have problems after the wine is bottled, even If potassium sorbate is used.

Sodium metabisulfite is a very powerful disinfectant contact for wine making equipment that can be purchased at most stores Home Brew. Any equipment that comes into contact with the wine should be thoroughly rinsed with sodium metabisulphite.

Sparkle is a brown powdery substance that is mixed with warm water and poured into a meadow that fermentation has stopped to help clean up the mead. The mixture should be well shaken and then allowed to settle a minimum of 24 hours. The clear mead off the sediment can be deposited on the bottom. Fines officers often must be administered two or three times to achieve optimal clarity mead. .

Bentonite is a fining agent used in the same way Sparkle but can be much more effective in my personal experience and varies in the same price. If given a choice I choose more bentonite Sparkle at any time.

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About the Author

James enjoys a myriad of hobbies from computer gaming, paranormal research, web design, teaching & adult training, natural healing & herbalism to making his own wine and beer. He is an avid home brewer and has been for many years specializing in traditional honey and fruit based wines. More recently he has begun serious study into beer recipes and methods and plans on producing a series of beer videos on youtube to match his “super simple winemaking” videos that are so popular on the site.

Project websites include:

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