Out of all the meads I have made this is my favorite so far. It beats out my JOAM, my Bochet, my spiced Pumpkin & Vanilla Chamomile. It never even made it to bottles. I just tapped strait from the secondary and had glasses from there.
Spiced Chai Mead (1 gallon)
3 lb of Honey (Any fruited Varietal honey would work well. I used a local Honey that is mainly from clover, honey suckle and bugle vine)
10 bags of Earl Grey Black Tea
1 ½ tsp ground Cardamom
½ tsp of whole black Peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2 sticks of Cinnamon
1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean (Split in half, seeds scraped, added to the must and the whole pod thrown in)
3tbs of Ground Ginger
1tsp of yeast nutrients
½ tsp of yeast energizer
1tsp of Acid Blend
Water to one gallon
Yeast Lalvin D47 (If your room temps will be above 68*F then I might suggest Lalvin 71B or Lalvin K1V-1116)
Mix the Honey water & nutrients all together leaving enough head space to add your yeast starter as explained below. The energizer will be added when 1/3 of the fermentation is done. Add the entire spices/tea/vanilla bean to a nylon bag and place in the must. The powered ingredients can be added directly to the must. Then create a yeast starter:
1 cup water
¼ cup of honey
½ tsp of yeast nutrients
5 chopped up fine raisins
Sprinkle the Yeast on top and cover with a paper towel for 8 hours. Then pitch the yeast starter into the must. There should be a lot of activity in the starter after 1 2 hours. For larger batches of this recipe 3 or more gallons, Increase the water to 2 cups, Honey to ½ cup & 10 raisins.
Leave this in the primary until the day before you leave out. Then rack to secondary and can remove the bag of spices. Let that bulk age and 6 months later should have very nice spiced mead served well hot or cold.