Wild mead is one of the oldest fermented beverages. It is bubbly and alcoholic and sweet, and with this recipe, it has a hint of pear as well. The wild yeasts in raw honey allow you to make a wild fermentation without any added yeasts.
- 1 C raw honey
- 2-3 pears, chopped into large pieces (or other fruit)
- de-chlorinated water
Note: you may change the size of the recipe to make the amount of water kefir you desire. Keep the proportions the same if you scale up.
- fermentation vessel, such as a 1/2-gallon mason jar or carboy outfitted with an airlock
- grolsch-style bottles or mason jar for carbonating
- mesh strainer or cheesecloth
How to make wild mead:
- Dissolve the honey in water. Add the raw honey to your fermentation vessel, and fill 1/2-way with room temperature water. Shake until the honey is dissolved.
- Add the pears. Chop up your pears and add them to liquid. You can use other fruits or flavorings if you prefer, or leave out the additional flavors entirely. Fill the 1/2-gallon jar to within about an inch or two of the rim with water, and cover with a cloth or lid.
- Stir or shake the mead daily for the first week to incorporate oxygen into the liquid and to keep the pears submerged in the mead. After about 5-7 days, strain the fruit out. Continue to ferment for a total of 10-14 days, or until bubbling subsides. The ideal temperature for mead-making is at a cool room temperature (55-75ᵒF/13-24ᵒC).
- Drink up! After about two weeks, your mead will be ready to enjoy!
- To add carbonation: If you want to enjoy carbonation in your mead, add a lid to your jar (or transfer to grolsch-style bottles) before bubbling subsides (after about 9-10 days). Continue to ferment at room temperature for 1-3 more days, checking the level of carbonation about every 12 hours. After the flavor of the mead and the level of carbonation is to your liking, refrigerate the mead or pour yourself a glass. Just be sure not to forget about your bottled mead: large levels of carbon dioxide under pressure can cause explosions.
- If you prefer, mead can be aged for many months. If you plan to age your mead for longer, you will need to do so in a sanitized carboy with an airlock. If you only have mason jars on hand, we recommend drinking the mead young. Be sure that the mead fills the carboy, as contact with air at this point has the potential to turn the mead into vinegar. You can rack the mead into secondary at one month, and continue to age for several months before being bottled. For more information about techniques for longer aging, check out our tutorials for beer brewing.
- Store the mead. After your mead has finished aging, you can either store it in mason jars, or you can bottle it. Instructions for bottling are given here. If you bottle your mead, you will want to let it age until there is no residual sugar left in order to minimize risk of exploding bottles.