A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

This is the traditional method of making mead wine, in the cask with oranges and spices. This honey mead wine recipe is an authentic honey flavoured wine enjoyed for centuries across a dozen cultures.

First things first: Honey has no natural nutrients so needs a lot of yeast nutrients.
Honey doesn't ferment as fast as sugar so a little more patience might be needed.

When I was a young teenager in the South West of England getting hold of scrumpy or Mead was the most enjoyable use for alcohol. Back then, scrumpy was rough, usually flavoured with dead rat and Mead Wine was thick, sweet and liqueur-like ... and they both worked well on the tongue and senses.

However, I've not been able to recreate either, but this is another Mead Wine Recipe that works. This honey mead wine recipe is unusual in that traditionally the fruit and spices are left in the demijohn - I've never done this with any other wine recipe, but the great thing is that when all the orange pieces float to the mead surface, the fermentation is complete. (I suggest you use a hydrometer as a more reliable indicator)

3 Lbs of Honey
4 pints of boiling water
Handfull of Raisins for tannin
Some cinnamon bark
1 whole orange, sliced no pith.
1/2 Orange zest
1 whole lemon zest
1 pinch of caribbean allspice
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 clove
Added a very strong mug of tea for more tannin
2-3 tsp of TronOzymol yeast nutrients
Young's All Purpose yeast

When topping this Mead Wine up use a hydrometer. After you remove the pulp from the demijohn this mead wine will need topping up back to the neck. So use a hydrometer to note the beginning SG and the straining SG before adding too much Honey water. Only add as much honey water as you need to reach a combined SG drop of not more than 100 points by the time it finishes at 0.995 or so.

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There's something missing in the notes, like a page from the end of all the meads where between going back into the airing cupboard at SG: 1.010 and being bottled in 2011. The gist is that someone said to add the honey water at the end to keep it sweet before you bottle it and you keep the honey flavour. What they forgot to say was that the bottles explode as the honey you just added ferments. In fact, if you follow their advice the Mead Pop their corks, spilling sticky honey wine all over the walls. :)
Anyway, to cut a long story short, all three meads were removed from the bottle after they exploded, made up with appropriate levels of honey water and left to ferment to dryness before being rebottled and stored, but the record ends between the airing cupboard and the first bottling.
I bought this honey from the local beekeeper, Gordon. His bees were always licking our flowers and pollinating everything in sight so it's the perfect honey to use ... something that you put a little of yourself into. I gave him and his wife a bottle of each Mead to say 'Thanks'.

From my notes:

Sunday 12th December 2010

12.30
Boiled 2 pints of water
Added two pints of cold water
3 Lb's Honey (1362 gms)

25 Raisins
Some cinnamon bark
1 whole orange, sliced no pith.
1/2 Orange zest
1 whole lemon zest
1 pinch of allspice
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 clove

5:00
Put the Mead must into a Demijohn alternating with cold water until the demijohn was filled to the shoulder.
Left to cool for 1 hour outside

6:00
Added 1 tsp of Young's All Purpose yeast
1 tsp of TronOzymol
When the oranges fall to the bottom, it's ready to drink or bottle!

SG: 1.080

Wednesday 29th December 2010

SG: 1.001

Saturday 8th January 2011

Racked off the sludge
SG: 1.001

Alcohol calculation: (1.080-1.001) / 7.4 = 10.7%

Topped up with honey water and placed back in the airing cupboard

SG: 1.010

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Bottled: 14th March 2011 - 5 x bottles + 1 for Gordon

Drinkable: August 2011

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