In my opinion, making mead is pretty easy and really doesnt take that long compared to wine, gin, and cider.
Ive made 10 gallons of mead since I started doing bees(this last spring) and was successful both times. I made 2 five gallon carboys.
I have a bottle of mead I got from England from 1975 and its still ok to drink. Last time I drank it was when I was comparing it to the outcome of what I had brewed.
What I did was look up "Making mead" on the net. There were tons of recipes so I kind of compared them all and ended up sort of combining a couple of recipes to make my concoction.(I picked the recipes by how many ingredients and looked for fewer steps) Also, theres a homebrew place close to my house that gave me the right yeasts and acids and yeast food.On my second batch of mead I didnt use the acid mix as my first batch was kind of tart. My first batch was pretty simple...in a nutshell,....16 lbs of honey, 5 gallons of water, and a little pack of champagne yeast. In my second batch i used the same amounts of honey, water and yeast but included raisins, blackberries, cinnamon and ginger and cloves.
Mead does get better with age but doesnt seem to change much after 4 to 6 months. You also need to rack it a few times before bottling. (Thats when you siphon it from the one carboy and into another leaving about a half to one inch of silt in the first carboy....dump that out and clean the bottle for the next racking....And dont forget to taste it when racking, thats FUN!!) I Suppose you could get a lousy, stinky batch for some reason but I
havent had that happen yet.
People have put recipes on the net that sometimes make you think you need to be a scientist to make mead. What I do know is that mead was made along time ago without all kinds of stuff they say you need now to make good mead.
As far as being sanitary and sterile...I do wash my hands before I start mixing stuff..I clean my stuff with bleach.Thats all.
When the stuff(must) (juice) is setting to age I cover it with a shirt or towel to keep it dark.
When I cook the mead, spices, and water I TRY not to let it boil. But I've found that if it doesnt boil some the foam wont rise up.(You're supposed to skim the foam to get rid of proteins. I dont know why you need to do this but most all the recipes say to get the foam out. The foam tastes good too).
You'll need to get an airlock(I call it a percolator) and a hose for siphoning. A homebrew place will have these. Get 2 carboys too. These are the most expensive part. A 5 gal. carboy will cost between 15 and 20 $ last I looked.
I had a small winemaking kit when I was a kid. the stuff tasted like prestone until it was about 25 years old...I guess it got better as my dad was drinking it till it was gone!....Making mead is a whole lot easier and faster than making this wine.
Oh, yeh,....Mead will really SEND you! I never measured my alcohol content but my sister says it burns her throat!!LOL!!..Shes not the seasoned veteran drinker as I am(or was) but you know how it is...if its grown by you, caught by you or made by you, its ALWAYS better!
I'm sorry I didnt go exactly in the order of how I did things but I guess that how my mind works..Kinda like starting a magazine from the back to the front. It still works.
Holler at me if you need any more info. Oh yeh, I can tell you how to make it bubbly if you want.
Sooo,..Just get your honey and do it, its real cool!