Adding Spices to Mead Wine

Adding spices can dramatically enhance the flavor of your Mead wine and there several ways to add those spices.

The first way is to add the spices at the beginning in the boiling phase of the honey/water mixture when you are removing the protiens from the mixture.  After the all of the protiens are skimme off the top the mixture is left to ool to room temperature .  After that the spices are removed

If you choose not to boil your honey/water mixture then you are left with the latter two methods of adding the spices, the first being adding them to your wine right after fermentation stops (at the 3 week mark) and leave them remain until your first racking (2 or 3 weeks later)

The final method is to make a tincture of the herbs in 100 proof alcohol and add it to your wine just before bottling.

Each method will provide a slightly different taste that will be noticable.  Below is a chart pf how much of what herb or spice should be used for making 1 gallon of Mead wine.  Use these amounts as a starting point on your Mead Making Journey.

Amount to add per gallon of mead

Spice/Herb Quantity
Allspice ½ tsp
Anise 1-2 tsp
Basil, sweet ½ cup
Cocoa nib 1-2 ounces
Caraway seeds ⅕ tsp
Carob pods ¼ pod
Cardamon seeds ½ tsp
Chamomile ⅓ ounce
Chile, pepper ½ ounce
Cinnamon ½ – 1 stick
Citrus blossoms 1 cup
Clove 1 bud
Coffee, bean 2.5 shots espresso
Coriander seeds ½  tsp
Cowslip flowers ½ ounce
Dandelion leaf ¼ pound
Dillweed ½ tbsp
Elderberry flower ¼ ounce
Elecampane root ¼ ounce
Fennel  seed ½ tsp
Fig Leaves ⅙ cup
Ginger ½ -1″ of fresh ginger, sliced
Grains of paradise ¼ tsp
Heather 2 cups
Horehound flower ⅓ ounce
Juniper berries ¼ tsp
Juniper leaf ½ ounce
Lavender flower  ⅕ ounce
Lemon leaves ⅙ cup
Licorice root 1/10 ounce
Mace ½  tsp
Mahlab (cherry pit) ¼ tsp
Mint ½ tbsp, bruised
Milk thistle leaf ⅓ ounce
Mugwort leaf ⅓ ounce
Nettle leaf ⅙ pound
Nutmeg 1 nut, crushed or 1 tsp powder
Orange zest of a single orange
Orange Leaves ⅙ cup
Oregano 1-2 tbsp
Peppercorn ¼ tsp
Rose Petals 1 cup
Rosehips, dried 2-8 ounces
Rosemary ⅕ ounce
Sage ⅙ cup
Sarsaparilla root 1/10 ounce
Spruce bud 1 ounce
Star Anise ½ -1 tsp
Sweet gale ⅓ ounce
Sweetgrass ⅙ ounce
Vanilla bean 1 bean, split
Wintergreen leaf ⅓ ounce
Wormwood 0.04 ounce
Yarrow leaf ⅓ ounce

Time Limited Additions

There are some herbs and spices that you cannot leave in your brew until it is ready to bottle. These are so potent that you only want to have their flavor being leached for a limited amount of time. Otherwise the flavor will overwhelm anything else in your brew. You can rack off of these ingredients, or place them in a hop bag that can be removed when you’ve hit the concentration you want.

Spice/Herb Quantity Duration
Szechuan Peppers 2 tbsp 2-4 weeks
Orange peel with pith ½ orange peel 1-2weeks
Lavender ⅙ cup Check Daily*
Rosemary ⅙ cup Check Daily*

*Remove when half desired strength. Tends to intensify

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