Traditional Orange Blossom Mead

I brewed (?) a gallon of Orange Blossom mead today. I have actually never tried the stuff – ever – and I have no idea if i’d even like it. In the name of experimentation, however, i’m giving it a go. This post piqued my interest, along with a recent mead podcast on BBR. I followed these instructions (loosely). As I understand it, the crucial factor seems to be staggered nutrient additions. This reduces any off-flavours from the fermentation and results in a much quicker maturation time – within a few months. I sourced some Go-Ferm, Fermaid-K & DAP (the favoured yeast nutrients for mead, apparently) from MoreWine a while ago, while I was ordering some brewing equipment.

I dissolved roughly 1.6 kilos of honey in just over 4 litres of water, without boiling or pasteurisation, rehydrated 2g of Lalvin 71B in 2.5g of Go-Ferm, a rehydration nutrient.

This was added to the ‘must’, along with a gram each of DAP and Fermaid-K. I blasted it with half a minute of straight O2. I also placed a stir bar in so I can kick out any CO2 which might hinder the yeast. Further small nutrient additions will be made at active fermentation, and just before fermentation mid-point.

Vital Stats:

Honey: Asda ‘Extra Special’ Spanish Orange Blossom

Yeast: Lalvin 71B “71B is a very fast starting strain that produces round, smooth, more aromatic wines that mature quickly. Great for blush and residual sugar white wines. Lots of aroma and an alcohol tolerance of 14%.”

Gravity: 27.2 Brix, 1.116 OG.



  1. Matt · August 26, 2008

    How goes things at the meadery?
    I have never made mead or even tasted it but also fancy giving it a go.

  2. Geoff · August 27, 2008

    I had never tried it before either, Matt. I tasted it last month shortly after fermentation and it tasted like cough syrup (apparently this is pretty normal in young meads). But I snuck a sample yesterday and it was delicious. It had a nice honey taste and was fairly drinkable. I’m going to bottle it soon then give it a couple of more months. MashWeasel on the forum piqued my interest when he said it could be ready in two months with proper staggered nutrient additions – mine tastes like it’s nearly ready too, although I have no idea what mead is supposed to taste like.

  3. leigh · August 28, 2008

    interesting post – I’m new to homebrewing myself but plan to use honey, particualry ones with slight flavour like the orange blossom, too. Nice to see it being used elsewhere – even in mead. I can totally see it working! experimentation is the key!

  4. Geoff · August 29, 2008

    The key with honey beer, Leigh, is to add the honey post-primary fermentation in order to kick start a secondary ferment – retains all the aromas. It can dry a beer out however, so you need to compensate with crystal or dextrin malts.

  5. Geoff · August 25, 2009

    The mead turned out fantastic and was good drinking within a couple of months.

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