It was time to spice up our cellar with something crafted for the holidays. We had a gallon of mead ready to go from our Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival appearance, which was ready to bottle, so here’s what we did!
- Mead Magic kit
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Mulling spices
- Brew one gallon of mead according to the kit’s directions.
- At the end of Stage 3 (Fermenting, Part 2), re-rack your mead.
- Use the two-gallon pail (cleaned and sterilized) to pour your mead off the lees (the siphon hose is handy here).
- Be as careful as you can to not stir up the sediment. It won’t be the end of the mead if it’s cloudy, but you have an opportunity to make a clear final beverage.
- Rinse out your gallon jug to get rid of the lees.
- Add 3 Tablespoons of mulling spices. Our version was The Spice Hunter Mulling Spices for Wine and Cider, Traditional New England Blend. It has a blend of cinnamon, orange, allspice, cloves, cinnamon oil, and orange oil. You can, of course, make your own mixture of spices to suit your palate!
- Now return the mead to the gallon jug with the spices. Give it a gentle swirl, and put the airlock back on.
- Let the spices steep until you like the flavor. Check the flavor daily if you’d like. Use a “wine thief” to siphon steal the taste if you have one. A long straw also works well as a makeshift wine thief. (Put the straw into your gallon jug below the liquid line. Place a finger on top of the straw and draw out a sample.) If you don’t have a straw, grab a turkey baster. (Make sure you clean them first!)
- Continue on to Stage 4 (Bottling & Aging). Gently pour your mead into your clean two-gallon pail, filtering it through a strainer or piece of cheesecloth, then use the siphon hose to bottle.
Shelley Stuart (Mead Magic)
Notes from the brewer
I added the spices on September 28, and checked the taste on October 6. At that point, I decided it had just the right amount of spice infusion, and it was time to bottle. I’ll test this in late November to see how the flavor maintains.
Even at this young of a stage, this mead was a delicious, sip-by-the-fire, holiday drink!