This recipe is designed for beginners.
For a 5 litre demijohn
1.6kg honey (never boiled or lose the taste and aromas)
1 large orange (at most cut into eight pieces -- rind and all)
1 small handful of raisins or sultanas (Approx 25)
1 stick of cinnamon
1 whole clove (or 2 if you like high potency)
Optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice )( very small mind you )
1 packet of Mangrove Jacks M05 Mead yeast.
Balance water to bring batch out to 3.8 litres
Use a clean 5 litre demijohn.
Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in demijohn
Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice into eights (may wish to zest slightly)
Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill demijohn with water to about 3.8 litres with cold water (need some room for some foam -- you can top off with more water after the first few days foaming frenzy).
(You did remember to pour in a measured 3.8 litres and mark off the level on the outside of the glass demijohn before hand right?)
Shake demijohn with the top on or bung in.
When liquid is at room temperature, put in 1 packet of Mangrove Jacks M05 Mead yeast.
Install water airlock. Put in dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour.
After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don't shake it!)
Racking -- Don't you dare!
Additional feeding -- No! NO!
More stirring or shaking -- You are not listening, do not touch!
After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. (How about that).
Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom.
If it is clear it is ready. You don't need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (Like in a cabinet) and likes a little heat (20C-25C).
If you were successful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead.
This mead should finish quite sweet, Don't like it sweet? Add less honey next time.
The bitterness from the orange and the sweetness of the honey balance perfectly with the alcohol level.
Like any mead if you leave this one to age (although only need 6 months) then it just keeps tasting better.
Foaming and clearing times are dependent upon yeast and temperature conditions.
From the Team at Firkin Cellars