How to create a recipe?

I think of it less as a recipe and more as a process.

Sure, there's a recipe, but the exact same ingredients bill can yield wildly different results in the hands of different mead makers.

Using Heartbound as an example:


15-18 lbs honey

1 lb organic dried hibiscus petals

3.5 oz peeled, chopped ginger

.5 oz cassia cinnamon sticks

Target Volume: 5 gallons

F-O: 8.5 g, F-K: 8.5 g, DAP: 5.5 g

Process Questions

  • How to extract the hibiscus flavor and color? Cold steep or hot steep? At what temperature? For how long?

  • Primary or Secondary for hibiscus, ginger, cinnamon?

  • When to add nutrients

  • How much honey into primary and how much to reserve for back-sweetening?

  • I already included a process "gimme" about how to prepare the ginger. It's 3.5 ounces AFTER being peeled. How much ginger does that equate to at the grocery store?

I will try to answer your question, though.

Most of us have experienced a very wide range of flavors and flavor combinations. If you don't feel that you have, get out there and taste stuff! (Just as importantly, smell stuff.) Based on what you already know you like, keep your eyes open for recipes that use ingredients or flavor profiles you already know you enjoy.

When you taste things you make, or commercial meads, or other folks' homebrew, think critically about them. Use the BJCP Mead Scoresheet as a tool. Think about how you'd make them better, or differently.

The first Heartbound (before it had its name!) didn't have cinnamon. A friend, /u/dr_moondog_MD, drank a good amount of the first version. He liked it and requested a batch for his wedding, but thought it needed a little something else for bite, and suggested cinnamon. That sounded interesting to me so I put a cinnamon stick in a glass of the ginger-hibiscus for a little bit and tasted it. It turned out to be a good call, so cinnamon was added to the recipe. (It became "Heartbound" because of /u/dr_moondog_MD's wedding.)

/r/mead Thread