This is a hopped, IPA style mead recipe for all you hop-heads out there. IPA, or “India Pale Ale” is a very popular beer style that is characterized by its higher than average amount of hops used. The IPA was first created in the 1800s by George Hodgson of the Bow Brewery which did a lot of business with the East India Company. The hoppy brew matured beautifully over the long voyage to India and became very popular there. Dare I call this mead an IPM?
The “Pale” designation refers to the light, moderately rosted malt that is used, therefore this recipe incorporates clover honey which is an extra light amber varietal. This could be substituted with a light wildflower, or orange blossom honey. The recipe calls for a portion of the honey/water to be boiled – which can always be a heated topic among meadmakers (pun intended). In this case however it is important for better utilization of the hop taste-associated attributes to the mead such as bitterness. The “dry hopping” in the secondary adds much of the hop aroma that makes this mead a complete hop experience.
The recipe yeilds 3 gallons of mead and can easily be converted to 5 gallons, but i would recommending adding a little more hops that what the math would tell you since the actual utilization changes.
- 3 gal water
- 7 lbs Clover Honey (~9.25 cups)
- 3 tsp Yeast Nutrient
- 3 g EC-1118 – Lalvin Yeast
- 1 oz Cascade Pellet Hops
- 1 oz. Citra Pellet Hops
- 1 oz. Centennial Pellet Hops
- 1 oz. Cascade Leaf Hops
- 3/4 cup Corn Sugar
- In a large brew pot, boil 3 gallons of water.
- With the pot removed from the burner, add 3.5 lbs honey. Make sure to stir the water so the honey dissolves completely and doesn’t burn on the botttom of the pot. When the honey fully dissolved, return the pot to the burner.
- As the liquid starts boiling again, add 1 0z Cascade pellet hops and boil for 60 minutes. After 15 minutes add ½ oz Centennial hops, After 15 more minutes add ½ oz Citra hops. After 15 more minutes add the other ½ oz Centennial hops. with 5 minutes left in the boil, add the other ½ oz Citra hops. (it helps to contain the hops in individual muslin bags)
- At the end of the boil, remove the pot from the burner and let cool to about 90 degrees fahrenheit. Remove the hop bags and dissolve the remaining 3.5 lbs of honey
- Add the must to a 3 gallon primary fermenter, aerate, and pitch the yeast.
- Seal fermentor with airlock and store in a dark place at a temperature of about 70 degrees.
- After 2 weeks, with a siphon, re-rack the mead into a sanitized 3 gallon carboy.
- Add the cascade leaf hops in a muslin bag to the secondary.
- After 2 weeks, re-rack, then let age for 4 months.
- Dissolve the corn sugar in 1 cup warm water and add to carboy.
- Fill sanitized bottles and let age for at least 2 months.
- Serve chilled in a tulip glass, and Enjoy with friends!
I just brewed this recipe and it smells and looks great! One thing I noticed is you don’t identify the addition of yeast nutrient. Also, if you use a grain muslin bag instead of hop bags, only one bag is needed.
Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for reaching out David – Keep me posted on how the finished product comes out!
I’ve been looking for a hopped mead recipe – that is what got me into mead, and have a question, since I am not a beer brewer and the addition of hops to mead is new to me. When do I take the bags of pellets out of the must/primary? Before I seal it up and let it sit or before I add the yeast?
Glad you’re interested in meadmaking!
I take the bags out after the boil – the hops in the boil are meant to impart the bitterness of the hops into the must. Then, the leaf hops in the secondary provide the aroma.
I just started my first batch of brew ever-making dandelion wine-but I am interested in making this hop mead! Is it possible or wise to adapt this to make 1 gallon?
Thanks for your interest! You can definitely adapt this for a one gallon batch. I tend to make most of my mead in one gal batches. It gives me the chance to experiment with lots of different flavors and not have an overflowing cellar (which it sort of is anyway)
What can I substitute instead of corn sugar in the recipe?
You could actually use pretty much any sugar. I often use some honey as priming sugar. The leftover yeast will break down the sugars and create the natural carbonation. just be careful not to use too much, or else your bottles may turn into bombs.
I made a 3 gallon batch of this mead about 7 or 8 months ago and I have to tell you that this is just about my favorite of all my wines and meads to date. I used pellet hops for all stages of hopping (I am not a beer maker ). Just want to say that to aerate my meads I tend to pour the honey onto some of the water which I have poured into a sanitized blender and whip the bejesus out of the mixture and pour that batch into my fermenter and repeat this process until all the honey has been diluted with water then I add any remaining water into the fermenter
Glad you gave it a shot and enjoy the results!
Thanks for the blender tip. I’ll have to give that a shot.
I just brewed a session hopped mead which tasted good at bottling. This page was my inspiration. I only did a gallon, and used about 1.5lb of honey which I caramelized for 90 minutes. Hop schedule was for a Czech pilsner. Hop utilization was a bit higher than anticipated (probably from passive dry hopping as there were a lot of hops left over in the lees and I went away for a month before racking to secondary) so it’s more like a saaz ipa. But yeah, tasted good, and I’m looking forward to cracking a bottle open when it’s carbed.
Thanks for sharing Dave – sounds delicious!
Can you comment on the target for original and final gravity, and/or the % ABV with this honey to water ratio you specify?
Hey Dustin, OG was 1.040 and it ran to 1.005. So about 4.5%. I used a coopers ale yeast for this and it worked out pretty well. I’m not sure on the exact amount of honey that I put in. (I used one whole 500g honey container but had about a third left in another container which I dumped in without weighing). I put the projected 5gallon recipe as well as status updates here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/burnt-honey-hopped-hydromel-braggot-464007/ didn’t use any grains. I cracked open a bottle yesterday (early, I know) and it turned out great!
When do you put the sugar in? After second racking or after letting it sit 4 months? I’m new to making “brews” and I’m a little unsure on the directions.
Hi Kyle. The sugar is meant to go in right before bottling – that way the residual yeast breaks it down to carbonate the bottle.
Hi, does this mean I should use champagne bottles or will normal beer bottle be ok?
normal beer bottles work fine!
What is the point of adding the 3.5 lb of honey to the boil? I see no need of doing that. Why not just add all 7 lb of honey when the pot has cooled to 90?
The purpose of adding the honey to the boil is to get better bittering from the hops. Boiling hops in only water can have adverse effects and create some off flavors.
I followed your recipe exactly and after 1 years of aging it, it’s way too bitter. As a beermaker I should have checked the IBUs before making this.
My personal advice is that you should have dry hopped in the carboy instead. Dry hopping gives the flavors of the hops without the bittering.
Since my mead tastes good, but is cloyingly bitter, I’m planning to blend it into a braggot at some point.
Curious. What off flavors would be produced simply by boiling hops without any sugars (honey)? Do hops need to be boiled in the presence of sugar in order to isomerize the alpha acids? My question is not meant to be ironic. I really do not know. I am a novice brewer but I thought that isomerization was inhibited in water with greater density. In other words, a mixture with a specific gravity of say 1.060 would inhibit the full utilization of alpha acids (the bittering quality) from the hops more than boiling the hops in water with a denisty of say, 1.040 .Which is why brewers tend to boil their hops in a full volume of liquid rather than say a gallon or two of wort when they are planning to make say, 5 or 6 gallon (the 2 gallon volume would have a very concentrated wort (very high specific gravity) and so really reduce the full utilization of any bittering or flavoring hops).. so wouldn’t water with a gravity of 1.000 be a better medium for the fullest utilization of the hops. If hops required sugar for isomerization that is one thing , but if all they need is the water to be boiling then is there really a need to boil any of the honey
To be perfectly honest, I’m not really an expert on the true science of brewing. I have done some testing around this however, and find that boiling hops in water makes for more astringent flavors. I’ve heard this comes from the polyphenols that are extracted from the hops – and that the proteins in the wort react with the polyphenols to minimize the effects. Hope that helps.
So is this a Beer-Version of Mead as opposed to a wine-version? GIMME MOARR!
I don’t think that the hopped mead has any malted sugars in it so it is not really “beer” like in that sense. It has hops so only in that regard it is “like” an IPA. If you are looking for a beer -version of a mead you may want to check out recipes for braggots. Those are meads made with malted grains (and of course, honey).
When did you add your yeast nutrient? Did you stagger the additions?
I didn’t know about this recipe, but I did something similar 8 month ago (totally from my head). I used Cascade, Amarillo and Centenial… It gave me a second place at California State Fair in Meads. One exception, I used WLP001 yeast.
Thanks for sharing Pavel – congrats on the silver medal!
I did not realize the boiling only water and hops created off flavors… I followed this recipe for the most part only adding all the honey at the end of the boil… I strained it going into the carboy as I also added some ginger and lemon to my boil… Hops it tastes good! First mead! Honey from my bees!
What type off bottles and lids/corks did you use. Could I bottle in regular corked wine bottles?
I used beer bottle crown caps – I use these for carbonated mead.
I am a huge hop-head, and I’ve been making mead at home for about a year now. This sounds like what has been missing in my life! Do you think pellet hops or pellets? I’m gonna add them in during my secondary fermentation period. Thanks
I ment whole leaf hops or pellets!!!!
I always like using whole leaf for dry hopping. I feel like you can impart better aroma that way
Hey was thinking about doing this with a champge yeast wanted to know your thoughts?
Unfortunately I do not have a brew pot. Would there be any way to adapt this recipe so that I could make it in a smaller pot?
E.g. can I do the honey and hop boil in a smaller quantity and then add that to the bucket with more water?
Or could I do the hop boil one gallon at a time with the hops divided into thirds?
This looks awesome.
I will make this with a 30 litre this weekend 🙂
read my meadblog:
I’ve had a hopped mead before, but I don’t think it was carbonated at all. Would switching to a EC1118 change the recipe too drastically?
I brewed this. It’s been about 3 weeks in the carboy. After fermentation became very slow and the yeast mostly settled, I tasted it. While it smelled AMAZING, it tastes very, very bitter and I’m a huge hop-head. Will this mellow out? Is this normal for a hopped mead?
Question on the hops addition. Do you boil the cascade pellets for 60 minutes then add the remainder every 15 minutes or boil cascade for 15 minutes and add remainder at 15 minute intervals with a total boil time of 60 minutes??
total boil time of 60 min
Do you stagger your yeast nutrient at the different racking, or add it all when you pitch the yeast?
Can I get a SG and FG estimate? And what ABV is this going to be the result
After the initial two week primary fermentation, do I have to re-rack the Must into a glass carboy when I add the leaf hops?
I ask because I’m worried about actually getting the Muslin bag full of leaf hops into the entrance of my Glass Carboy and then also taking them out once the leaf material is “Super Saturated” and expanded.
Could I A.) Just add the leaf hops without the muslin bag?
And B.) Just add the Leaf hops to my fermenter without re-racking?
And if I need to use the Glass Carboy, is there any suggestions for putting in/taking out the muslin bag of hops?
I just finished an experimental batch with a similar recipe, but added grapefruit juice. It may be the best mead I have ever brewed (but then, I am a huge PNW IPA fan).
nice idea, that sounds great!
Is the finished flavor fairly dry? I’m not a fan of sweet meads in the least and I’d prefer it to taste like a balanced IPA
IT does finish pretty dry, not overly sweet.
I made this a few months back and it’s now ready to drink. I used only Cascade hops because that is what I already had. It turned out great and I will absolutely make this again Thanks for sharing.
I just finished brewing a batch of this tonight. I started with 3 gallons to boil like instructed but by the time I added it to the fermenter there was only 2 gallons of liquid left. Is the yield meant to be 2 gallons or should I have started with 4 gallons?
Reviving this old post. Started this a few months ago. Took my gravity reading last weekend and it’s bone dry. Very hoppy but all the honey taste is gone. It’s sitting at about 10% and we will likely back sweeten with a non fermentable sugar and bottle carbonate.
The taste right now is kind of hollow. It’s just alcohol and hops. Not sure what to do for additional honey flavor but also allowing for bottle conditioning.
Country. wines and meads unlike grape wines tend to need a little back sweetening to bring out the flavors. Beer is always “sweet” as about 15 points of the sugars cannot be fermented by yeast. And grape wines seem be perceptually sweet even when they finish brut dry (.994)
Thanks for the advice.
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