Super Simple Mead – Bottling My Latest Batch of Homemade Mead

Homemade mead is delicious and in this video I am going to drink two varieties of mead. The first one was bottled over a year ago, the second one has been made a year ago and will be bottled in this video. The difference between these two varieties of mead is in the amount of honey used. The oldest one required less honey and is a dry mead. The most recent one was made with 25% more honey and is higher in alcohol and sweeter. I will show you the full process of bottling mead. The same process can be applied for bottling beer and bottling wine. This video shows my full cleaning and sanitizing routine to prevent any infections and to provide you with the best quality mead as possible.

Video transcript:

Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tony Needs Hobbies. My name is Tony and I have something to celebrate, because finally, this channel has reached over 1000 subscribers. To celebrate that fact I am going to bottle this mead that I made about one year ago and drink it to compare it to this mead that I bottled about a year ago. And I’ll let you share in the fun because I am also going to give away one of these t-shirts. Just drop me a comment in the comment section down below and I’ll do a raffle in the next video to select the winner. But now I first have to start by cleaning some bottles. Have fun watching.

Ah, cleaning. What a joy. The most fun activity of the brewing and wine making process. Such a wonderful way to start a project. Okay, obviously I’m kidding, but cleaning and sanitizing sure is an important step of the process, so I always try to do it as good as I can. Enough brabling, let’s start cleaning.

Of course I need, well, bottles. Around 15 for this batch of mead. To clean them I use the professional brewery cleaning agent PBW. Also I have some corks in this jar which I will sanitize using a solution of sulphite and citric acid.

When the bucket is filled with warm water I add the amount of PBW according the instructions on the jar. It requires quite a bit and it’s not cheap but it works like a charm. I let all the bottles soak for at least 5 minutes and then empty them, rinse them well under running water before placing them in a rack to let them drip. I use tap water since the water in The Netherlands is of excellent drinking quality and has no chlorine taste.

While I was at it, I also cleaned these 72 beer bottles, since PBW is not cheap and I had the solution available. I’m Dutch and don’t want to waste too much money… So, Is this all there is to it you might wonder? Well, unfortunately not, because I will also sanitize the bottles and all the other equipment with Star San right before bottling.

For this I fill a bucket with water, add Star San concentrate according the instructions on the bottle. Then I’ll put the equipment in the bucket for at least a minute. Also, I will sanitize a bucket that I only use for bottling beer and wine. I can connect a bottling tube to it which makes bottling real easy. Shake it up and then on to sanitizing the bottles.

To sanitize those, I basically repeat the cleaning process but now with Star San instead of PBW. Soaking the bottles for at least a minute, then emptying them before putting them in a rack to let them drip. I do rinse the outside of the bottles with clean water, but I do not rinse the inside. That’s not required and it saves water and time.

On to the corks. For 15 corks I need roughly 500 milliliter of sulphite solution to sterilize them. Just add 1 gram of sulphite and 1 gram of citric acid to 500 milliliter cold water and stir. Then pour it over the corks until the jar is full, close the lid and let it sit and move on to the fun stuff.

That is the bottling itself. Take a look at this carboy with the dark but clear drink of the gods in it. Using an automatic siphon I transfer the mead into the bottling bucket and of course I take a little sample to take a gravity reading. Before fermentation it was 1.120 and now it reads 1.007. This means that the mead contains an estimated 14% alcohol by volume. Not bad at all. When the carboy is empty, I connect the bottling tube and I can finally start filling all these bottles.

While I do that, let’s talk ingredients and economics. You can find the recipe that I used to make this mead on my website It is a really simple mead made out of 4 kilograms of honey added to 9 liters of water. The honey costs around 40 euros or 50 dollars so the 15 bottles end up costing 3.50 dollars each. Not bad considering the price of a bottle in the Netherlands starts at 12.50 dollars.

Now that the bottles are filled I will get the corks and drain them from their sanitizing solution. These corks will be pushed in the bottle one by one using a wine bottle corker. Simple and effective.

To make the final product look a bit nicer I seal all of these bottles with a burgundy bottle capsule. These shrink when heat is applied to them, which I do with this paint stripping heat gun.

The final step is very important to keep track of what is in all these bottles. I am not a large producer of meads and wines, but all these bottles add up. Currently I have more or less 50 identical bottles on stock with 6 varieties of wine in them. That’s why I always write down the type of wine, alcohol content and bottling date on a label which I stick to the bottle.

And now, it’s time to enjoy the first taste…

At first glance you can immediately see the color difference between the two and that correlates directly to the amount of honey that was used. So for this batch I used less honey than for the darker one. That also results in less alcohol content, so this is an 11% mead and this is a 14% mead. Now let’s have a little smell. Delicious. It smells a bit like a very nice white wine but probably it’s much dryer in taste. And then this one, this one has a much more honey like fragrance. So let’s have a little taste. Cheers.

Yep, it’s a little bit dry, but you can definitely still taste that it was made from honey. Now let’s taste the other one, the 14% mead that I just bottled. Ah… That’s delightful. You can definitely taste that more honey was added to this one. It’s very sweet and honey like and also a bit warming as a result of the high alcohol content. Absolutely a perfect drink to celebrate the fact that this channel has reached 1000 subscribers.

Alright ladies and gentlemen. That’s it for this video. I hope you enjoyed watching it and maybe I even inspired you just a little bit to start making mead on your own. Just grab yourself a bucket of honey and start experimenting. If you want to win one of these comments, then drop me a positive comment in the comment section down below. I will do a raffle in the next video to decide the winner. I will now finish these two glasses of mead and call it a day because it was quite a long day cleaning all those bottles and putting some mead in it along the way. I hope you enjoyed watching it and if you did definitely let me know by hitting the like button and please also consider subscribing to this channel for more content like this in the future.

That’s it for now. I’d like to thank you for watching. Bye, bye!

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