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Firewater Orange Ginger Mead

Classification: mead, metheglin

Source: Daniel Gurzynski (, Mead Digest #472, 4/8/96

After seeing the many articles on mead sweetness, I thought I would contribute my two cents worth. Over the last year I've had several batches of mead with varying amounts of residual sweetness, not by putting in a heroic amount of honey but by using a yeast with less tolerance to alcohol. One that stands out in my mind was an apple mead with just a little cinnamon, using a london ale yeast. The cinnamon was not noticeable really but the tartness of the apple was complemented by the honey and it was ready start to finish in 3 months. The alcohol content was only about 6 % but the taste was memorable. Here's another recipe that was quite drinkable in a reasonable time, and won't knock you down.



Skimmed and heated honey to 170 degrees in 1 gal water for 30 min. Added 6 oz.. ginger and OJ, and let sit for another 30 min on the stove with no heat. Mixed in 4 gal. more water with must in primary.

Starting S.G. 1.082, on 11/17/95.

11/24/95 Racked off ginger mead, SG was 1.067, mainly to get it off sediment.

12/10/95 Took an a SG reading of the orange ginger mead. S.G. 1.030. Extremely sweet and gingery, should be really good when it goes dry. Aprox 6.5%.

12/17/95 Racked off Orange-ginger mead into one 5 gal. carboy. Small bottle we tasted last week had an S.G. 1.020 and large carboy had S.G. of 1.040. Loads of crud on the bottom of both containers. Tasted both. Big bottle sample way too sweet, small bottle sample sweet but getting to a drinkable stage. Strong ginger taste in both samples. Time will tell. Small sample already at 7.8% alcohol and is not nearly done.

1/6/96 Tested Orange-Ginger batch. S.G. 1.026. Still very sweet but getting there, need time for this batch to mature.

1/14/95 Racked off Orange-ginger mead. S.G. 1.020. Ginger taste is becoming prominent., honey taste is quite noticable. Overall fruity and sweet, honey Moselle kind of flavour.

2/5/96 Racked off Firewater mead still at S.G.1020. Fine fruity and gingery smell and taste.

2/25/96 Bottled Firewater. S.G. 1.020. A poignant smell, certainly can taste the ginger in it.