Mead Honey to Water Ratio
So, you have just watched Game of Thrones, or literally any other medieval show or movie, and saw characters drinking mead, and a lightbulb brightens, "I want to make mead, but how much honey do I need for it? What's the honey to water ratio for mead?" Similar to the sugar amounts added in other wines, different amounts of honey lead to different results in terms of taste and sweetness, as well as, of course, alcohol by volume.
To lay a foundation, mead is always made from, at the very least, water and honey, and flavor in general can vary due to the type of honey used as well as the amount of it used. "At the very least" because addition of other ingredients can cause it to become either a melomel or a metheglin, but that is a different topic.
So, is there a right amount of honey, or honey to water ratio, that should be used to create mead? Well, simple answer is both yes and no.
The short answer is that for every gallon of mead that one wishes to be made, you would need anywhere from a pound and a half to five pounds of honey, then enough water to make a combined gallon. This is the 'yes' part to question above.
Different preferences exist for the choice of beverage wanted to be consumed - some prefer it super sweet, like a dessert wine, and some can go to the other end of that spectrum, dry. This is where the 'no' answer to the question 'is there a right honey to water ratio that should be used?' question comes in.
The higher the amount of honey used, the sweeter it will and the higher its alcohol potential will be. Although, the sweetness can be naturally lowered with a longer fermentation period by letting the yeast eat all the natural sugars in the honey. Potentially, using the most amount of honey can lead to up 18% ABV which makes it a strong beverage.
Using one pound, or 1.3 cups, of honey tends to result in a very light drink in terms of both flavor and alcohol content. That is expected since the yeast will not have much to eat. This, in turns, also reduces the total fermentation time.
Using something like five pounds, or 6.7 cups, of honey can take a long time to finish. Historically, it has been known for meads with this amount of honey to take a couple of months to complete. Arguably, it also depends on the yeast used for this formulation.
Brewsy has taken the middle lane in the recipe by calling for two to three cups of honey for a full experience without being too light or too heavy. As with any recipe, however, this amount can be adjusted based on one's preference.
How much water will you need? After measuring out the honey, simply add enough water to make a combined gallon, or simply go for a full gallon of water to allow room for wastage brought by racking.
Ultimately, the mead honey to water ratio varies depending on one's like and dislikes, but ranges from one and a half pounds to five pounds. How sweet do you like your mead?