Hazelnut Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Hazelnut Mead

April 5, 2001
  • 20 oz cracked, dried hazelnut kernels
  • 2.4 lbs clover honey
  • water to make one gallon
  • 3 tsp acid blend
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 crushed and dissolved Campden tablet
  • Red Star
  • Côte des Blancs
  • yeast

Bring water to boil and add honey, stirring. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat
to hold a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Spoon off any scum that rises to
the surface. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make a yeast starter with a couple of
tablespoons of the honey-water, a pinch of yeast nutrient and 1/2 cup of warm (not hot)
water. When honey-water cools to 110 degrees F., transfer to primary and add all
ingredients except yeast starter and hazelnuts. Stir to dissolve and cover with sanitized
cloth for 6-8 hours. Add yeast starter and recover primary. On 8th day, put hazelnuts in
secondary, stir the must to suspend any fallen yeast, and transfer must to secondary until
surface is 4 inches below mouth. Attach airlock to secondary. Transfer remaining must to
375-mL bottle and attach airlock (in #3 bung). Ferment two months and check s.g. If below
1.020, strain off hazelnuts and combine musts. Allow sediments to settle and rack into
sanitized secondary. Rack as required (I did it every two months) until mead clears,
adding crushed and dissolved Campden tablet every other racking. Thereafter, rack every
two months for six months. Sweeten with honey-syrup (2 parts honey dissolved in 1 part
water) until s.g. is 1.006. Wait 30 days to ensure fermentation does not restart, add
Campden if required, and bottle. Age in bottles for two years. [Author’s own recipe]