Method

To prepare this mead, use the very best pure honey, unadulterated by wax.

Pour 1 garnets honey and 2 garnets water into a well-tinned iron or copper kettle. Mix and place on top of the stove. Boil for 3 hours over a low, even fire, counting from when the liquid first comes to a boil. Then add hops, tied in a thin cloth but not tied over the hops themselves. Sew a clean, small stone into the cloth to weight the bundle and to keep the hops on the bottom of the kettle. For every garnets of this liquid, add 2 lots of hops. One garnets honey and 2 garnets water, therefore, will require 6 lots hops in all.

[Mark the level of the liquid on a spill.] The honey and water must cook for 1 hour with the hops; then the liquid must be measured [again] with the spill.* If the liquid is below the level marked, fill up to the mark with hot, boiled water, or even add a little extra, because when honey boils, it usually rises, so that it amounts to much less when it is completely cool. After adding this water, bring to a boil once, then set aside and cover.

While it is still rather warm, strain the honey through a cloth or a fine linen into a wooden or glass dish, but fill it only four-fifths full. Cover with a piece of tulle and set in a warm place (18–20 degrees), in winter in the oven and in summer in the sun.

After 2 days the mead will begin to foam and ferment.

If the mead stands at a low temperature, then it will not ferment but will grow moldy and spoil. The warmer the place [for storage], the sooner the mead will be ready. Usually 3–5 weeks are necessary for this process. Listen after 3 weeks: if the mead is obviously noisy, leave it a bit longer. But if the noise has stopped and the odor and strength of the mead is already evident, then it is ready to be used.

In general, if a stronger mead is desired, it must stand quietly in a warm place until it stops hissing. But if a weaker and sweeter mead is desired, then it may be strained while it is still hissing.

Before straining, for every 3 garnets mead, add 1 glass tea essence prepared from 1 teaspoon good tea and 1 glass boiling water.

Do not stir the mead liquid, but carefully pour it off, straining through a flannel. Repeat several times, until the mead is completely clear and transparent. Mead strained in this manner is ready to be used, but it will be better in 6 months’ time. After a year, it will be outstanding. In general, the longer it stands, the better it will be, even if it is kept for 20 years.

Remarks: If a sweeter and stronger mead is desired, use 1 garnets water instead of 2 for every 1 garnets honey. Measure with a spill and then add the other garnets.

Also less hops and more tea may be added.

No spices should be added since mead by itself has enough aroma.

If the mead matures well and will be strained after it ceases hissing completely, it may be bottled in ordinary thin bottles without bursting them. If bottled earlier, then stronger and thicker bottles must be used.

Mead ought not to be kept for long in barrels in the wine cellar because it will turn moldy and take on a musty odor.

Soft river water must be used for preparing mead. In an extreme case, well water may be used, but it must be such that soap lathers in it and such as would be used for washing linens.

The dishes used for preparing mead, must be, if not new, then completely clean, and the bottles must be completely dry. This means that they must be thoroughly rinsed and overturned several days before being used.

*Although Molokhovets does not say so, the liquid must have been measured before it was boiled; otherwise there would be no basis for comparison.

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