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Making Mead is easy, and anyone can do it. Get started today for under $100 with easy to get equipment and ingredients.

Always wanted to make mead but thought it was too difficult or expensive? Let me show you how you can do this with very limited materials (most from the grocery store) and STILL make a great tasting mead!


Mead is an old beverage. It’s made from fermenting honey. In ye olden times you didn’t even have commercial yeasts, or airlocks or even glass fermenters. They mixed up honey and water in a pot, and let it sit. The wild yeast living naturally in the honey started to chow down on the sugars and created… alcohol! Over the centuries, methods were improved, recipes written, forgotten and written again, and today we don’t make mead at home anymore.

To this I say… WHY THE HECK NOT?

We’ve had many commercial meads, and of course everyone who goes to Renaissance Festivals has tried what they pass off as mead, but… none compare to what we’ve made ourselves at home, using simple methods, and generally inexpensive materials and equipment.

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Yes, you can make your own mead at home. Let’s show you how.

Things You Will Need

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A Glass Gallon Fermenter (get one with apple juice in it at many grocery stores for about $10 and you get free juice! Bonus!). We’re talking a US Gallon here so 3.785 liters. Short of that, you can get one here: https://amzn.to/3BW6Iyk, about $15.

Honey! You need about 3 pounds or 1.36 kg. You can use any honey, but remember, not all honey is the same. Grocery store honey might be cut with corn syrup or sugars, but some are pretty good too. Try it if you’re unable to get honey any other way, it’ll make mead anyway. This simply means get the best honey you can. You do not need to spend a fortune to do it though. Here’s the one we used in a 6 lb size (enough for two gallons!) https://amzn.to/3xgMUlr about $40.

A Cup of Black Tea. Yes, Black Tea, not Earl Grey, not Green Tea, not Herbal Tea, not Chamomile Tea not any other type of tea, just plain old black tea. One cup (10 ounces give or take) steeped for 5-10 minutes. This is like… $0.50.

Orange Peel, or lemon peel. I prefer orange in this recipe. A nice thick slice of orange peel with no pith, maybe two. If you have or care to make dried orange peel, I much prefer that to fresh in this mead as well. Cost: $1.00?

Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast. Yes, trust me. As much as making mead is simple, there’s calculations and science behind these choices and changing the yeast will alter the final product! Just use it, even just this once. No, there’s nothing harmful, no it won’t taste any more like bread than any other yeast would. It’s all still yeast in the end. Get it here if you can’t find it locally: https://amzn.to/3xgNvUd $5 for 3 packs (enough for 3 gallons!)

Raisins. Yes, raisins. Just chop them and put them in. They add flavor, sweetness and an extra little oomph that you will miss if you leave them out. But, hey, it’s your mead, leave them out if you really want to. But seriously, don’t leave them out, just do it. Two ounces of raisins, or 56 grams, get them here if you want: https://amzn.to/3l5KS5r (enough for 6 gallons there) $9 for the whole batch and then some.

Water. Just make sure it’s not chlorinated. If your tap water is chlorinated, leave it in a pitcher overnight and it’s usable. Use filtered or bottled water if you like as well. Try not to use distilled water as it’s had most of it’s nutrients removed.

Some kind of sanitizer. Star San, boiling, all good. You should mix some up in a tub and dunk everything in there carefully. Here’s a link to Star San: https://amzn.to/3iZdMl8 This amount will make many gallons of sanitizer liquid. You can also use Baby Bottle Sanitizer. Cost to sanitize $9 but it will last a while.

Stopper and Airlock. Very important. If you just seal up the bottle, it will explode. Trust me! Here’s a set of three https://amzn.to/3iU1s5y Just $8 and they last years.

That’s it. To get started, that is all you need. Total investment: $87.50. However, you have honey for two batches, a fermenter that you can use for years. Multiple airlocks, lots of raisins, more yeast, and Star San to use for other batches. Pretty easy to get into really.


This is important to do in the right order. I mean, it’s not crucial as in mess it up and it’s ruined, but… it does make life easier for you and your yeast to do it this way.

Measure out the honey. Get it into the fermenter. 1.36 kg or 3 lbs of honey is what you want. DO NOT be tempted to use more. Trust me here. Just don’t. You could stall your fermentation and end up with low alcohol and a sickly sweet brew if it ferments at all.

Add the tea. You did let it steep for 5-10 minutes right? Not the leaves or bag, just the tea please.

Add the orange zest and raisins.

Add water to about halfway up the fermenter.


Mix it up good. Use the cap from the bottle or a solid stopper to shake the bejeezus out of the fermenter and must. It’s critical to mix this fully. FULLY!

Mix until it’s totally blended, and mix for two more minutes to be sure. I’m not even kidding.

Add more water, but leave 4-5 inches of space between the opening of the fermenter and the must since… fermentation makes foam and you don’t want it to spill over.

Mix again.

Add 1 tsp or 1 packet of your yeast.

Mix again.

Optional Steps

I call this optional, but it’s actually really important. For your first mead, assuming you did EXACTLY what I did, you should be fine. This time. Having a hydrometer can help you assess where your fermentation is at. From beginning to end, you can know with certainty when the yeast have done their job or, if things went askew. Get a hydrometer and cylinder here: https://amzn.to/3C4tAf8 Cost: $15

We have a video on How to Read a Hydrometer!

Finish It!

Okay, stick the stopper in, put in the airlock. Oh, fill that airlock to the “Full” line with sanitizer fluid or cheap liquor (vodka, crappy scotch, your choice… no, not all scotch is crappy, just use the crappy one).

What Now?

Let it sit. A few weeks most likely. Try to keep it in the 70-80F range, that’s 21-27 Celsius. Much cooler and it will slow down, possibly stall, much warmer and it will be more active, but could produce off flavors.

If you’re using a hydrometer, you can check for doneness, if not, let it sit until it clears.


Congratulations! You made mead! Is it simple? YES. Is it uncomplicated? YES.

Will it taste good? Well, most likely, YES! This is one of my favorite all time meads!

We’ve put the videos all about this mead at the bottom of this article for you to see it made. There’s more detail there, and we finish it, bottle it and even do a tasting.

As always, if you have questions, we have answers. We are here to help you brew!

So, will you try to make mead after reading this?

24 thoughts on “How to Make your First Mead (Beginner Mead Making Made Easy)

      1. I completely misread that part of the recipe.. and i have even seen your video regarding the recipe multiple times .

        Oh well.

        Thanks for the answer:)

      2. What should it smell like after 2.5 weeks? Mine smells like… Alcohol! Lol but not the good kind, it smells like rubbing alcohol and nearly burns the nose. Is that normal? Thanks in advance I’ve been binging your videos for the past 2 months and love them all thank you for what you and derica do

      3. I followed this quite closely but after two days I have zero activity. As you’ve said I’ll give it two more days but after that, how much more yeast should I put in?

  1. Hi, I hope you see this comment.

    I had a brewing supply person react incredibly poorly at me after I told him my first hydrometer reading after following this recipe. (for reference, it was 1.110.) he said that was WAY too high and called the veracity and knowledge of your recipe into question and was ultimately kinda rude.

    I was wondering what initial readings you usually get? My honey was partially crystalized so I wondered if that affected the reading.

    For reference, your recipe called for 3lbs honey per gallon, and since I had six gallons I did 18 lbs honey.

    1. I’m thinking this brewing supply person has no knowledge of anything past beer making. I call into question his knowledge of brewing in general since 1.110, gone dry is only a 15% ABV, not even all that high. Now if all he knows is beer, then I can see why he might think it’s high, but… this is mead, so he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I have found that simply working in a HBS doesn’t mean you know anything about homebrewing. We routinely use gravities around 1.100 for brewing and that’s NORMAL for mead. To some, that’s LOW!
      If he was rude about it, well, I’d find a new HBS. This one obviously doesn’t want to help you, they would rather look down their nose at you. We have one locally that was like that and we’ve stopped going there altogether.
      I can assure you that 1.110 is NOT too high. Look around on the internet for mead and wine recipes and you will find it quite a median number really. I would say… for my personal tastes though, it’s about the higher limit of my preference, but that doesn’t mean it’s WAY too high. I just find that 1.100 as a limit gives a nice balance between ABV and other flavors as well as staying drinkable. Many of the recipes I see online are 1.120, 1.130, and even 1.140! Yet, they are considered to be just fine, depending on the desired outcome. However, a beermaker would be blown away by those numbers, since they routinely start in the 1.050 range. So, he’s wrong. I’ll tell you what, if they tell you anything I’ve said here is untrue, have them contact me directly. I’ll even call them on the phone if need be. This is spread of misinformation at it’s worst and one thing we really don’t like to see in the brewing world, let alone his attitude about it. Happy brewing in the meantime! ~B

      1. Thank you for the reply! That makes me feel better. I’d contacted him because the mead yeast I bought from his store wasn’t doing anything and I wanted to know his thoughts. I don’t think I’ll be buying from him again. I called him out on being rude and he apologized by way of “that wasn’t my intent.”

        I’m an american living in Ireland and since the UK did their Brexit nonsense it’s been really hard to get a lot of stuff here. Apparently mead yeast is one of those things! He’s the second supplier in the UK I’ve had to buy from because the Irish suppliers were all out of stock.

        1. No problem. Sorry you’ve had that experience. Just FYI, any yeast is mead yeast. There’s nothing specific about those yeasts that make it better for mead than any other.

          1. I just hadn’t had time to experiment much with any bread yeast here.

            P.p.s, the mead yeast I bought from him didn’t go off in either case and one bucket molded today, the fourth day. That one had dried wildflowers so mold on them probably took over when the yeast didn’t activate. Trying to see if the other one can be saved.

            I’m so mad. That’s a huge loss.

  2. Hi there!

    I just brewed my first ever batch of mead on Sunday (8\9\21) pretty much based off your recipe listed. I will admit to making two alterations because I wanted to make my version of it. Instead of orange peel I cut up half an orange and threw it in there. Also I added a cinnamon stick (going for a x-mas tasting drink). I checked my air lock and don’t see much activity, however, I still see little bubbles in the brew and the foam at the top is still active. Does this all sound normal or did I mess up by trying to make it my own?

    Any input is welcome!


    1. This brew was only 2 days old when you wrote in… way too soon to worry. Are you using a bucket? They are known for bad seals pretty often, making the airlock activity lessen. Also, adding thw orange and cinnamon both could slow fermentation. This is part of why we recommend following known recipes until you gain some experience. It will likely be fine, but keep an eye on it.

  3. Well, after stalking y’alls’ videos for a couple of years, I finally did it. Fortunately, I keep bees, so the honey was readily accessible. I made my recipe per your directions with some minor tweaks (I guestimated some ingredients as I made a 5 gal batch instead of the 1, so the amounts were slightly greater). My hydrometer spit out an ideal 1.130 (I added a roughly 3.5#/gal of honye) while using a red star “premium blanc” yeast (it’s all I had).

    She appears to be bubbling like a champ. As a previous beer brewer, the only thing that has me perplexed is if I’m supposed to shake it at all during the fermenting phase, or if I just let it be. I know you all have spoken about degassing prior, but I couldn’t remember if a shake here or there was good for initial fermentation to help provide the extra 02.

    Lessons learned: 1. 5 gal batches suck. They seem to be messier and the bejesus is much more challenging to shake out.
    2. It was way easier than I thought it would be, but I still have no idea what the end product will be.
    3. Not sure how best to proceed once the primary fermentation is done. Rack it to gal containers for conditioning, or bottle and condition. Suggestions?
    4. I live by rules and regulations. I feel like beer brewing has them while you seem to suggest measuring with your heart haha. The “art” side is something challenging to me that I am trying to learn.

    Thanks for the help, y’all are awesome!

  4. Thanks, been watching your vids (I get the jokes and references) I started my first brew a week and a half ago.
    Thanks for showing how easy it can be to make.

  5. Hi Guys! I fell down the Mead brewing rabbit hole after my Ren Fairs complete lack of mead. Your methods fell most in line with what I wanted and I officially have my first brew going as of 11/23!

    I followed this recipe with 2 small changes (because following directions was to easy apparently). 1 I steeped the orange peel and raisins with the tea instead of putting them in during primary. 2 I actually have 4 going each with a different yeast (D47, EC-1118, Red Star Classique, and of course Fleischmanns Bread yeast). All OG Gravities are between 1.114 and 1.120.I live in the desert so temps do flux a lot, but I keep the house between 70-80 degrees as best I can.

    So now my question. On day 15 I noticed the bread yeast batch was not as active while the rest were still chugging along. I bumped the temp up a little and gave it a good swirl to move everything around and degas. Same on day 16. I’m now on day 17 and debating taking a gravity to see where its at. Even if its done I have no intention to rack it yet, but I want to see if it stalled. So should I let it be and check on it in another week or two, or should I take a gravity now? If I do check and it is stalled what are your suggestions to get it moving again?

    Thanks for all the great content!

    1. Taking a gravity reading will give you the best indication of what might be going on. Remember that posting questions in the comments section of our videos on YouTube will get you a quicker answer. Here is a video that might help you more: https://youtu.be/2FqCLcYDlo8 Thanks for watching!

  6. Hello Brian and Derica! I’ve been watching your videos and you guys are awesome. Very helpful and entertaining. Thanks for doing this.

    I’m getting ready to start my first mead. My question is, does it matter what kind of raisins I use? We have some golden raisins and some zante currants left over from a holiday recipe (which I was shocked to find out aren’t actually currants at all, just small raisins) Can I use those or should I go buy some regular old Sun-Maid?

    Thanks again.

    1. Raisins or any dried fruit can be used to add that unique flavor addition. Of course the flavor will be altered slightly based on the choices you make. The one thing to look for is you want to avoid fruit that has oils or preservatives added. Thanks for watching and don’t forget that questions posted in the comment section of our videos on YouTube get responded to more quickly. Thanks again!

  7. So I’ve watched a good chunk of your videos, both brews and healthy food, and finally decided to take the plunge. I followed your 1st mead recipe exactly, and after shaking the bejesus out of it the must smelled heavenly. It smells even better in the fermenting cooler. The citrus smell is amazing! If it tastes anywhere as good as it smells while it’s new it’s going to be far better than any mead I’ve ever bought in the store. Thanks so much for the entertaining and instructional show.

    1. Just an update. It tastes great. It’s now aged about 8 months, and it mellowed out nicely and tastes far better than it did at first. Even after just a few weeks though it was drinkable. Now, it’s really REALLY good.

  8. I made your beginners mead recipe. I used 3 lbs honey according to your directions. Added raisins and orange peel. Used Lavin EC-1118 yeast. O.G. was 1.250. It is now at 1.050 Tastes like alcohol. Can I fix it?

  9. Thanks so much for your videos and website. Thanks to you guys, I’ve finished my first ever cider, and started my first ever mead! The cider is slightly sweet with a big apple flavor. Looking forward to seeing how well my mead works, I just put the bubbler on it (I used your recipe). Rich blessings on you both.

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