In its best form Mead is made as follows : 12 gallons of pure, soft water (clean rain water is, next to distilled water, best) are mixed with 30 gallons of expressed honey in a big caldron, 4 ounces of hops added, and the whole brought to a boil. The boiling is continued with diligent skimming, for at least an hour and a half. The fire is then drawn, and the liquid allowed to cool down slowly. When cold, it is drawn off into a clean barrel, which it should fill to the bung, with a little over. A pint of fresh wine yeast or ferment is added, and the barrel put in a moderately warm place, with the bung left out, to ferment for from 8 to 14 days, according to the weather (the warmer it is the shorter the period occupied in the primary or chief fermentation). Every day the foam escaping from the bung should be carefully skimmed off, and every 2 or 3 days there should be added a little honey and water to keep the barrel quite full, and in the meantime a pan or cup should be inverted over the hole, to keep out dust, insects, etc. When fermentation ceases, the procedure varies. Some merely drive in the bung securely and let the liquor stand for a few weeks, then bottle; but the best German makers proceed as follows, this being a far superior process: The liquor is removed from the barrel in which it fermented to another, clean, barrel, being strained through a haircloth sieve to prevent the admission of the old yeast. A second portion of yeast is added, and the liquid allowed to pass through the secondary fermentation, lasting usually as long as the first. The bung is driven into the barrel, the liquid allowed to stand a few days to settle thoroughly and then drawn off into bottles and stored in the usual way. Some add nutmeg,, cinnamon, etc., prior to the last fermentation.