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National Mead Day

The American Home Brewers Association (AHA) holds one day every years as National Mead day. It is designed to promote cameraderie amongst home brewers and mead makers.

It is held on the first saturday in August and this year it falls on August 6th, 2016

It is kind of a grass roots setup where they suggest that mead makers register with them and then plan out an event where they can invite friends, community members and anyone interested in mead making to a mead making and mead appreciation event. It is kind of a nice thing. On their website they have some nice ideas for hosting your event including this years official mead day recipe (below) ideas for hosting your mead event and what kinds of foods to have. Here is the event page where you can learn more and register your mead event Mead Day .

Last year they had 51 separate events registered with over 500 people attending. And it was world wide including mead makers from Russia, Canada and 23 different states in the US.

So, if you are a mead maker it might be a great way to spread your mead making knowledge and raise awareness of this great drink.

 

Here is the official Mead Day Recipe

Ben and Becky Starr - Mead Day 2007 Recipe

Ben and Becky Starr from Durham, North Carolina, have three and a half years and over 175 gallons experience making mead. In February 2006, they took Best in Show out of over 210 entries in the International Mead Festival Home Mead Makers Competition at the International Mead Festival. "Starrlight Mulled Apple Cyser" was awarded not only a gold medal, but was also selected as the best overall representation of mead from the gold medal winners in all nine categories. Their meads have also won ribbons at the North Carolina State Fair. They share their enthusiasm and love of brewing by conducting demonstrations and workshops on mead making in the local community and organize a Durham, NC Mead Day celebration each August. Ben and Becky plan to take their love of mead making commercial by opening Starrlight Mead in fall 2008.

Starrlight Mulled Apple Cyser (Mead)
Makes 6 gallons
O.G. = ~1.120
F.G. = 1.014

Ingredients:
16 lbs Wildflower Honey
5 gal Apple Cider* - no preservatives, sulfites
4 Tbsp Cinnamon, ground
1 Tbsp Clove, ground
2 Tbsp Allspice, ground
2 Tbsp Nutmeg, ground
2 Tbsp Orange peel, dried
6 seeds Anise (optional)
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (DAP - diammonium phosphate)
Potassium Sorbate (optional)
10 g (2 packages) Lalvin Narbonne Yeast (71B-1122)

*Spiced Apple Cider can be used in place of the cider and spices - choose one based on personal preference.

Sanitation
It is important to sanitize everything that comes in contact with the mead must and the other ingredients.

Equipment needed:
. A large pot to hold 1 gallon.
. A large fermentation bucket or pail (7 to 7.9 gallon) with a lid.
. A long spoon or wine degasser.
. Fermentation lock.
. Measuring spoons.
. Glass fermenter for secondary fermentation.
. Glass fermenter for tertiary fermentation/clarification.
. Racking cane.

Procedure:
Prior to starting the batch, set the honey containers in a sink with hot water to warm and loosen the honey; doing this makes it easier to pour the honey.

1. Add one gallon of apple cider to a large pot and heat slowly to a simmer. As the cider is heating, add loose spices to the pot. Simmer spices and cider for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Pour spiced cider into the fermentation bucket. Add all of the honey to the bucket. Heat an additional quart of cider in a glass container in the microwave. Pour the warm cider into each of the honey containers and shake to dissolve the remaining honey, adding this to the bucket.

3. Using the large spoon or wine degasser, mix the must until the honey is completely dissolved. Add the remainder of the cider (~4¾ gallons) to the bucket while stirring.

4. Stir vigorously to aerate the must.

5. Take an original gravity (O.G.) and a temperature reading.

6. Re-hydrate the dry yeast, if you have not already done so, following the instructions on the packages. Once the yeast has been re-hydrated, make sure the must is between 60 and 80 degrees F, pitch the yeast and stir well. Attach the lid and fermentation lock, and add liquid to the fermentation lock. Fermentation should begin within 24 hours.

Next Steps:
Add yeast nutrient about 2 days after pitching yeast. Stir yeast nutrient into the solution. Fermentation is best when kept between 65 and 75 degrees F.
The primary fermentation will last about 4 weeks.

Finishing:
When the activity in the airlock has pretty much stopped, indicating the primary fermentation is complete, rack to a secondary fermenter (preferably glass). Attach a fermentation lock to the carboy and leave at 65 to 75 degrees F for 4 weeks.

After 4 weeks, rack to another carboy for aging and clarification. Check the mead at this time for sweetness. If more sweetness is needed, add honey or Apple Juice Concentrate (frozen or canned - not diluted) until you get the desired sweetness. To do this, add 1 pound of honey to 1 cup of hot water or Apple Juice Concentrate at time of racking. You may want to add some potassium sorbate to inhibit any further fermentation.

This mead is drinkable after 3-6 months and continues to get better with age - excellent after 1 to 1.5 years. Enjoy chilled anytime or warmed in a crock-pot during the winter - spices are more pronounced when warmed.