Mead is growing into one of the most popular beverages today. Nowadays, you can find many types of mead with various flavors. However, be prepared that it is due to the many flavors that the alcohol content of mead will vary greatly from brand to brand and even more so from homebrew to homebrew.
If you occasionally drink mead, you will probably want to know how much alcohol is in mead? After all, most people want to enjoy the flavor without getting drunk. So, let’s see.
A particular brewery can produce several types of mead, and you can choose between the various products with different alcohol percentages. Thus, hydromel meads have an average ABV between 3.5 and 7.5%, while sack meads are stronger with an ABV between 18% – 20%.
Depending on the fermentation, meads alcohol content can range between 3 and 20 percent ABV, while beer and wine typically come in at a much lower ABV of 4% – 12%.
Made by fermenting honey with water, mead has a relatively high alcoholic content, so it is a good idea to sip it slowly rather than chug it at full speed.
Let’s dive into the topic fully by answering all the possible questions about how much alcohol is in mead, a.k.a honey wine.
Is mead stronger than beer?
Mead is considered one of the oldest alcoholic beverages; it is similar to beer in that it can be flavored with fruits and fruit juices like grape juice, spices, grains, or hops but is quite different in terms of alcohol content.
The average alcohol by volume (ABV) for a beer is 4.5% and 11.6% for wine, but the ABV of mead is higher than both, putting it in a different class even though it is equally meant to be enjoyed among friends and loved ones.
ABV of Popular Brands of Beer
|Popular Beer||Alcohol Content|
ABV of Popular Brands of Mead
|Oliver Camelot Mead||11%|
What is the alcohol proof of mead?
The average amount of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) in a mead beverage made by a professional brewery is 8%, but it can reach 20% depending on how much honey is in the recipe. Sack mead uses the most honey. Thus, it has the highest AVB of 20%.
Depending on different factors, the amount of alcohol in mead varies from one homebrew recipe to another and between mead makers, but it usually ranges from 3% to 20%. That is a rather wide range.
If you are a mead lover or a potential drinker, paying attention to the alcoholic content is vital as distilled meads can be much stronger, like whiskey is more potent than beer.
Can you get drunk off of mead?
Absolutely. Given its relatively high content, a few glasses of mead will quickly put you over the limit. While the beverage is tasty and boasts some health benefits due to its raw honey and potential probiotic content, you want to treat it like any other alcoholic beverage, exercise moderation, and limit your intake.
It’s essential to add that while mead is more potent than beer, it won’t deliver the same intoxication as scotch, whisky, or bourbon whiskey as these spirits have higher ABV.
The sweet honey taste is what makes it a little deceiving. Someone trying mead for the first time might assume it is low in alcohol because it does not have a strong “alcohol” flavor.
Does mead have a strong alcohol taste?
Many people assume that since mead has a higher ABV than beer, it should have a strong alcohol taste, but this isn’t the case. Meads can have different tastes, depending on the additional ingredients used in flavoring and the fermentation.
Although the options are endless, the one constant should be the taste of fermented honey. When you factor in the type of yeast and technique used in the production and the aging, it’s easy to see how this drink can boast different tastes.
How does honey affect the alcohol content in mead?
The amount of honey in a mead directly affects how high the alcohol level will be. More honey translates to the higher alcohol content in a mead.
More honey (a sugar source) will produce more alcohol if the yeast can process it all. You can use less honey or sugar if you want a weaker mead (less alcohol).
There is more to it than just the amount of honey used to make mead. The type of ingredients such as fruits, berries, hops, grains, the timing and process of fermentation, and the brewing vessel all contribute to the final ABV factor.
All of these factors make it hard to give you a straightforward and reliable answer to how much alcohol is in mead?
For example, Melomel mead has a very wide ABV range between 3-18% depending on the amount of fruit and honey used in the recipe. If you make homemade honey mead, it is smart to use a hydrometer to determine how much alcohol is in the mead you are about to drink.
How is alcohol content measured in mead?
Homebrewers use a hydrometer to determine the level of alcohol in the mead. The device measures the sugar concentration (from the honey) to indicate the potential alcohol content of a mead.
Place the hydrometer into a container with the must. The hydrometer will float at the point that its weight is displaced. Alcohol is less dense than water. So, the greater the alcohol concentration, the deeper the hydrometer will sink.
More honey translates to a higher alcohol level. Categorizing mead into three groups is particularly helpful as it means both new and old drinkers can decide the type of mead they prefer.
What is the AVB in the different types of homebrew mead?
Short meads have a low AVB of about 5% because they are purposely fermented for a short time to produce a low alcohol content. Making this a mead drink, you can enjoy larger quantities with less concern about imminent intoxication.
Braggot has an alcohol content that ranges between 6.5-14%.
Braggot is a mead/beer hybrid made with honey, malted barley, or other grains. The term also sometimes refers to blends of finished mead and beer.
Hydromel mead has an alcohol content that ranges between 3.5%-7.5% ABV.
Hydromel, also called Session, has the lowest ABV of meads. Hydromel is named for the higher rate of dilution in the recipe.
Melomel ABV typically ranges between 3-18% depending on the amount of fruit and honey used in the recipe.
Melomel is a type of mead made by fermenting honey with fruit. The fruit is distinctive and well infused into the sweet and tannic balance of the mead.
Metheglin mead is made with herbs or spices, including capsicumel (mead made with chili peppers) and tej (an Ethiopian and Eritrean specialty spiced with a plant called gesho), among others.
Sack mead, a.k.a session mead, is sweet because it is made with the most honey. Sack mead has the highest alcohol content, ranging from 18% to 20% ABV.
ABV of Homebrewed Mead Chart
When beginning your nectar-filled journey, you may wonder what options you have with mead alcohol content. Knowing how much alcohol is in mead is vital so you can have a great first-time experience and continue to enjoy the drink without being put over the limit.
The average alcohol content of mead at 8% ABV is twice as potent as your typical commercial drink. Additionally, the alcohol content doesn’t reflect in the taste, as you can tweak the flavor to suit your preference using fruits and spices.
However, all types of meads have a common denominator regarding taste: fermented honey.
You can make homemade mead and explore the different flavors of mead by trying various recipes. You may discover new ways of enjoying this fermented honey drink.
In this article, we took an in-depth look into the alcohol content of mead. We explored how it differs from each type of mead, beer, wine, and hard liquor and compared the ABV of mead and popular beers sold in America.
All to answer the question, how much alcohol is in mead?