A simple great mead recipe:
8 Pounds of burnt (thats right burnt) dark honey.
5 gallons of good clean water
1/4 cup of graded lemon peel
1 package of champagne yeast
Why the burnt honey? This is a discovery I made some years ago while trying to liquify some crystalized clover honey in the oven and I forgot it. The honey became dark and carmelized. I couldn't think of anything to do with it so I made a batch a mead. At that point it was the best mead I had ever made.
My theory is that the over heating does 2 things:
First, it kills natural yeasts in the honey, which does away with the "chemical" after taste or finish that so many meads tend to have.
Second, the carmelizing makes for a nice body similar the way malt does in beer.
Night before you start place 2.5 gallons of clean or distilled water in fridge.
Place 8 lbs of burnt honey in the steralized fermenter, boil 2.5 gallons of water. Pour boiling water onto honey and stir to disolve with sterile spoon. Add lemon peel. Pour cold water to fill vessel. check temp pitch yeast when temp allows. Follow standard racking procedure after initial fermentation. Best bottled and aged for at least 12 months (but mine rarely makes it to the bottle:)
We also sell 5 lb containers of "brew" honey for this purpose.-see "for sale" page