So, how do we make mead?
HONEY + WATER + YEAST
Golden Coast Mead starts with basic ingredients: Water, Honey, and Yeast.
We begin by combining the water and the honey in a mixing tank. This enables us to achieve the correct honey-to-water ratio. When the mixture (known as "must") has the correct Brix (sugar density) we pump it into a temperature-controlled fermentation tank. During this time, we also add our yeast - the magic microorganism that parties hard. Yeast consumes the sugar found in the honey, and produces bubbles & booze (or CO2 and alcohol, technically speaking).
AIR + NUTRIENTS
During the first three days, air and nutrients are added to keep the yeast healthy. While sugar is the meat & potatoes of yeast, nutrients are the fruits & veggies. Healthy yeast produces quick, clean, tasty mead. After the nutrient is added, the yeast is left alone to party away and make all the alcohol it can. Samples are taken daily to check the Brix. As the yeast eat the sugar, the density drops, and we can track the progress of the mead. As sugar is consumed, and less becomes available, the yeast die off and the yeast Valkyries take them to yeast Valhalla (the bottom of the tank).
About four weeks later, the must has turned to mead, and the batch is ready to transfer to secondary fermentation. The mead is transferred to another sealed tank, leaving much of the yeast behind. Instead of blowing off the CO2, it is captured in the tank and carbonates the mead. This is often the step where additional flavors are imbued. For example, this is when the oak chips are added for California Oak and Savage Bois.
Once the mead has reached the final Brix, we begin cold crashing. By dropping the temperature of the tank to freezing, the remaining yeast stop fermenting and fall to the bottom of the tank. This begins clarifying the mead. Clarification is finished by filtration. After running the mead through a filter, it is packaged in bottles and kegs, ready to be consumed by those deemed worthy by the gods of mead!
Written by Joe Connolly, our Director of Production, for our FAQ page
Golden Coast Mead Production Data by Golden Coast Mead, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License