Mead-making can seem somewhat daunting at first, with all the strange-seeming paraphernalia and odd words. But it doesn’t take a whole kitchen of fancy equipment to brew mead – in fact you can make your first batch of mead that’s drinkable in only 6-8 weeks with very little equipment indeed!
All you need is an empty 2-litre plastic milk carton, 2 jars of honey, 1 sachet of bread machine yeast, 1 orange, a handful of dried fruit, some warm water and a balloon.
Chop up the orange and put it in the milk carton. Add the dried fruit, honey and yeast, then fill the rest of the way with warm water to about 2″ (5cm) below the neck of the carton. Cap the carton securely, then shake thoroughly until all the honey has dissolved into the water. Take off the cap. Poke about 3 or 4 holes in the balloon with a pin (this is going to be the airlock that allows CO2 to escape but keeps out dust & dirt), then stretch the mouth of the balloon over the neck of the bottle.
Now leave it alone in a warm place for 4-6 weeks until fermentation has stopped; you’ll know when that has happened, as the balloon – which will fill up due to CO2 from the yeast – will deflate again. Don’t touch the mead until this has happened. When it’s finished, strain off the mead through fine muslin into a fresh clean carton, and leave to rest for a couple of weeks or so until it tastes drinkable – then bottle it and enjoy! Drinkable mead in only 2 months!