The Joy of Home Winemaking

Past Vins: Lemon Mead

Citrus and honey are a great combination in just about anything, and works well in wine, too. This is really a melomel (honey wine with fruit) but it's easier to call it mead. If you can't get organic lemons, scrub (inorganic?) lemons really well to get off all the crud. Don't use bottled lemon juice for this. It's really important to use fresh, well-flavored lemons with zesty zest (peel).

I supposed you could, if you really wanted to, use 12 oz. of lemonade for the lemons and subtract about 1/2 lb. of honey but it hardly seems worth investing in the honey for that.

Lemon Mead
(Makes one gallon—for larger quantities, multiply everything but the yeast )

3 lbs. light-colored honey
about 3 quarts of water
6-8 homegrown or organic lemons
1 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 crushed Campden tablet (optional)
1 packet mead yeast if you can get it, or any other wine yeast

Boil the honey with the water, skim off any scum. Pour into a sanitized fermenter. Peel all the lemons (yellow part only, no pith) and put the peels into a little muslin bag, or a nylon straining bag, and toss into the warm honeywater. Squeeze and strain the juice from 3 of the lemons, and add that. (use the other three lemons for cooking, or freeze the juice for a later use.) Cover and fit with an air lock, cool to below 90 degrees F.. Check and record the PA. Add the yeast nutrient. You can add the Campden tablet now if you choose to.

If so, wait 24 hours before pitching the yeast. Stir daily. Check the PA after a few days. When it gets down to 3-4 %, rack into a glass secondary fermenter, discarding the peel. Bung and fit with an air lock. When it starts looking clear rack it again, then let it ferment out till dry and clear. Bottle. You could sweeten this a bit and add some stabilizer, if you wanted to. You could also use limes instead of lemons, or combine them, but I haven't done it, myself. This is nice and refreshing, goes with almost any food.


So what's your favorite wine recipe? Send e-mail to Terry Garey.

Past Vins: | Lemon Mead | Rosé | Dandelion |

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Copyright 1997 by Terry A. Garey.