Tips for Successful, Sustainable Mead Brewing

Brew delicious mead in the comfort of your home with these water saving tips which reduce gallons of water waste in the before, during, and after brewing process.

| October 2018

  • Farmer's market scene
    Learning the best techniques for finding or gathering ethical honey and saving water when brewing mead is an important part of the process. Small businesses or people who keep their own hives are ethical in their practice of gathering honey and taking care of their bees.
    Photo by Skyhorse Publishing
  • book cover
    “The Joy of Brewing Cider, Mead, and Herbal Wine: How to Craft Seasonal Fast-Brew Favorites at Home” by Nancy Koziol guides readers through home brewing cider, mead, and herbal wine in simple, easy to follow steps. Readers learn about ethical consumption, sustainable farming and the science of fermenting all while waiting a matter of weeks for the brews to be complete.
    Cover courtesy Skyhorse Publishing

  • Farmer's market scene
  • book cover

Brewing mead is a great way to support your local environment and your local bees and beekeeper. At the same time, it is a tremendous waste of water. This batch of one gallon will waste ten gallons of water during the cleaning/sanitizing process. There are ways to mitigate this, though.

Smart water use


Never, ever skip cleaning and sanitizing. Failing to take these steps will result in a flawed batch that you’ll dump down the drain, resulting in eleven gallons of wasted water. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the amount of wasted water by repurposing household water before, during, and after brewing.

Prior to brewing, you will have to clean and sanitize your equipment. Each of these steps requires about five gallons of water for a one-gallon batch of mead. But you can cut down on this considerably. It just takes some planning, and thinking outside the box.

The water you’re using to clean your equipment needs to be hot. Instead of running the tap and watching gallons drain away before it gets hot, boil the water. Allow it to cool to 100-120°F, pour it into your stopped sink, add your powdered brewing wash, and follow the directions on the container. Sounds weird, I know, but this water is just for cleaning, and boiling it is going to kill anything living in it. The detergent will take care of the rest. You’re also going to sanitize your equipment after cleaning, which will kill everything even thinking about taking up residence on your tools.

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