The following links bring you to subsections of the site:
The Process
Virtual Tour
The Meadery
The Hives

The Process

Good mead requires pure, clean water, premium honey and yeast. The water is required to reduce the BRIX or sugar content of the honey to a range at which the yeast can effectively ferment it. Homebrewers know that in order to replicate the great beers of the world one must adjust the water to match the mineral content, which occurs naturally where that great beer is produced. Medovina is fortunate. Its water comes from the Indian Peaks Wilderness area high in the Rocky Mountains, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. It is low in mineral content and has a neutral flavor. The Left Hand Water Co-op adds chlorine to meet Federal Water Safety Standards. This assures that it arrives bacteria free. We use carbon filtration to strip out the chlorine before using it for mead.

When people first hear about mead, they are sometimes very surprised that one can make “wine” from honey. They should not be because once the honey has been adjusted to the proper dilution the resulting “must” or juice is very similar to the natural juice obtained from wine grapes. In both cases the sugars present are primarily glucose and fructose. It is of course the complex mix of constituents present in minute quantities that create the nuances that makes mead different from grape wine. One key difference is the acidity, which is much lower in the honey must. Honey Wine has 1/10th the acidity of a white grape wine! People with sensitive tummies appreciate the low acidity of mead.

The most important ingredient in mead is the honey and the meadmaking process really begins with the bees. The nectar that they collect is primarily sucrose or common table sugar. The nectar also contains aromatics, essential oils and other compounds that contribute to the honey’s unique flavor. When the nectar enters the bee’s honey stomach, it is combined with the enzyme, invertase. This breaks down the complex 12-carbon sucrose molecule into the simple sugars of glucose and fructose, which are 6 carbon sugars. Incidentally, these two sugars have exactly the same chemical formula; they differ only in structure- technically they are isotopes. The yeast readily metabolizes these simple sugars. The best honey for mead is fresh, raw, unheated, and unfiltered. Meodvina produces its own honey and our mead making process has been tailored around the fact that fresh honey in Colorado is only available in August and September. While economics would encourage otherwise, we take lots of time producing our meads. Fermentations range from 6 to 18 months depending on the style of mead we are making. Our only time constraint is that we must finish bottling prior to honey harvest so that we can take the honey directly from hive to fermenter, with little or no storage. While honey is very stable, it does not improve over time, but mead does. So it makes sense to get the mead started as soon as possible.