We made mead often in college. We had a big hut fire pit camping area up in the woods behind the school. We named it Herot, after the mead hall in Beowulf. Many nights shit got a lot too crazy cuz some mead got everyone wrecked.
But we'd go out, get a gallon or so of honey, which was around 40 bucks. Throw it in a 5 gallon bucket with some champagne yeast and fill it with water or iced tea sometimes, like lemon zinger tea worked out well. you gotta shake it the first few days and then let it chill for like 2-4 weeks up in the woods with a lid and bubble lock.
Then we'd just crack it open and dunk a mug in, all the yeasty shit settles to the bottom. It was actually pretty damn tasty, and cost half as much as a keg or several boxes of franzia. Get like 20-30 folks and a fire and tell tales of bravery and reknown around the great hall. Then start fighting and kicking down trees and singing shanty songs and fantasy metal and shit got weird. pretty fucking weird.
We'd have one or 2 backup ones going at a time so it was like every other week you could get obliterated for 2 bucks apiece and it was good and also felt good making your own grog. (edited)