Low GI mead: Agave

I have a few friends who, for one reason or another, have to follow a low-GI diet which led me to thinking about low GI brewing. Agave nectar is increasingly finding favour as a low-GI alternative to sugar for cooking and sweetening, but what we didn’t know is whether regular brewing yeast would work with agave.

So I decided to twy out an experiment: agave mead. For this experiment, I need to find out just how far agave by itself is suitable for brewing with, so I’m making a plain show mead with it – that is, the only ingredients it contains are yeast, water and the agave nectar itself. The quantities I’m using are one cup of agave nectar to 6 cups of water and one teaspoon of Young’s all-purpose dried active brewing yeast. I’m using the balloon airlock method, much as I did with the orange spiced short mead in the last post.

It’s looking promising already; after an hour, the balloon has already inflated and there’s a froth formed on the top of the must:

Agave mead

Agave mead after 1 hour - yeast is obviously active

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About arkadyrose

Genderqueer artist, singer, musician, writer, tailor, mead-mazer and doll crafter living in Walthamstow, NE London. Periodically develop obsessions with various topics; currently it's Paganini, previously Ancient Greece and Alexander the Great, but also fascinated by Ancient Egypt and Romano-British culture. Christo-Pagan.
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3 Responses to Low GI mead: Agave

  1. Alex says:

    Something to consider…. Agave “wine” when distilled makes Tequila 🙂

  2. abel says:

    Hullo, greetings from Argentina! I’ve been looking for a vegan mead recipe for a while and today I somehow got in here. I wanted to know if the experiment actually worked out, and any instructions or tips you may have for someone who’s going to brew for the first time! Thanks in advance 🙂

    • arkadyrose says:

      It worked – sort of. Being low GI, agave syrup just doesn’t have the same calorific value as honey, which means it just doesn’t have as much nutritional value for the yeast. It ended up being a very light, delicately-flavoured mead, only 5% ABV. If you added in some dried fruit or just simply fructose, you could push that higher if you were after something stronger. You could use the same method I’ve listed for Quick ‘n’ Easy Bramble Mead, only substitute 340g bottles of agave nectar for the honey and jam. It should give you something drinkable in about 6 weeks, or filter & bottle it then lay it down for a couple more months for something smoother. I’d use dark glass bottles for bottling to help preserve the delicate flavour.

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