"Ale has too often been praised by poets.
The longer you drink, the less sense your mind makes of things."
--Ancient Viking Hávamál Proverb
Halfdan's Viking Mead Recipe
Mead (Honey Wine) - 5 gallon recipe
8-10 lbs pure raw honey (for light, delicate Mead) (or) 12-13 " " " " (for medium sweet Mead) (or) 15-16 " " " " (for very sweet or alcoholic Mead) 4-5 gallons purified spring water (not distilled) 3 tsp. yeast nutrient (or 5 tablets) 1 tsp. acid blend (combination malic/citric acid) 5-7 oz. sliced fresh ginger root (1 finger's length) 1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary (optional, as desired) 5-6 whole cloves (optional, as desired) 1-2 vanilla beans (optional, as desired) cinnamon/nutmeg (optional, as desired) lime/orange peels (optional, as desired) crushed fruit (peaches, strawberries, grapes, etc.) 1 tsp. Irish Moss (to clarify Mead) 1/2 tsp. clear gelatin (to clarify Mead) 1 spotted newt's tail (optional, as desired :) 1 packet yeast (champagne or ale yeast)
Heat spring water 10-15 minutes till boiling. Stir in honey, yeast nutrients, acid blend, and spices (rosemary, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon peel). Boil for another 10-15 minutes, (overcooking removes too much honey flavor), skimming off foam as needed (2 to 3 times during last 15 minutes). After 15 minutes, add Irish Moss or clear gelatin to clarify. After last skimming, turn off heat, add crushed fruit, and let steep 15-30 minutes while allowing mead to cool and clarify. After mead begins to clear, strain off fruit with hand skimmer and pour mead through strainer funnel into 5 gallon glass carboy jug.
Let cool to room temperature about 24 hours. After 24 hours, warm up 1 cup of mead in microwave, stir in 1 packet "Red Star" Champagne, Montrechet, or Epernet yeast (or Ale yeast in order to make mead ale), and let sit for 5-15 minutes to allow yeast to begin to work. Add this mead/yeast mixture to carboy jug and swirl around to aerate, thereby adding oxygen to mead/yeast mixture.
Place run-off tube in stopper of bottle, with other end of tube in large bowl or bottle to capture "blow-off" froth. Let mead sit undisturbed 7 days in cool, dark area. After initial violent fermenting slows down and mead begins to settle, rack off (siphon off) good mead into clean sterilized jug, leaving all sediment in bottom of first jug. Attach airlock to this secondary carboy. After 4-6 months, mead will clear. During this time, if more sediment forms on bottom, good mead can be racked off again to another clean sterilized jug.
When bottling, in order to add carbonation, add either 1/4 tsp. white table sugar per 12 oz bottle, or stir in 1/2 to 1 lb raw honey per 5 gallons mead (by first dissolving honey with a small amount of mead or pure water in microwave).