Wild Yeast Mead

Brew DateJanuary 17, 2015
Yield1 gallon
Original Gravity (OG)1.082
Intermediate Gravity Readings1.004 (Secondary)
Final Gravity (FG)1.004
Estimated ABV*10.2375 %


1 gallon water, 4 cups honey, 3 chopped nutmegs, meat of 1 large or 2 small lemons, wild yeast (or alternatively a champagne yeast)


This was a recipe from the book Homebrew Favorites: A Coast-to-Coast Collection of More Than 240 Beer and Ale Recipes.

It uses wild yeast, but champagne yeast could be used to avoid risk of infection.

Brew Notes

We used a locally sold pure honey from Moenck Honey Farms in Lehigh, IA. I couldn’t find whole nutmegs to grind, so I used pre-ground nutmeg. Somewhere online I found that 2-3 teaspoons ground nutmeg supposedly equals 1 nutmeg. This seemed like a lot so I conservatively used 4 teaspoons of ground nutmeg. The recipe said to boil for half an hour or “until the white foam stops rising” while consistently skimming the foam off the top. This only took 20 minutes so I stopped the boil early. After boiling the recipe said to let the brew cool over night. I did this with the lid of the pot on, but reading online others do so with the lid off to harvest the yeast from the air. The next step was to squeeze the juice of the lemons into the brew and stir vigorously to aerate it. Whether the yeast strain came from the air or the lemons, my fermentation ultimately succeeded without infection. At day two of primary fermentation there was still no visible signs of fermentation, so we added 1 teaspoon of Fermax yeast nutrient. Within the day the fermentation started.

Tasting Notes

The recipe did not call for a secondary fermentation, but the mead was very cloudy and I decided to do a secondary fermentation anyway (almost 2.5 months later). At secondary the mead was surprisingly crisp and light for an almost 10% ABV. However the nutmeg was far too strong for me even though it gets more palatable after a few sips.