My mead game is getting a little stronger year after year thanks to Griffin Meadery. I just put on my new year‘s batch this past Sunday. Mr. Bruce Leslie, head meadmaker at Griffin, said my organic blueberry mead I made with him last spring was outstanding. I was honored to have the compliment!
What is mead you may ask? From the interwebs:
“Mead represents the fastest growing segment of the alcohol industry, according to Michael Fairbrother, president of the American Mead Makers Association and owner of Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, N.H.Jul 1, 2016”
I won’t go into how mead is the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man, and the drink of royals, warriors, poets, lovers and whole pantheons of pagan gods since anyone can find that info pretty easily. Mr Fairbrother isn’t the only one saying it. The whole alcohol industry is saying it. One thing I am most hopeful for is that mead “brewing” helps bring back stronger bee colonies. Private bee keeping is one of my next ventures….I’m just not there yet.
My current batch is my second in the hopped mead series, and uses Bramling Cross hops and juniper berries. I’m using American “clover” and Texas honeys in this batch along with some super raw with propolis. My last hopped mead was very nice and was drunk fairly quickly, so I wanted to tweak it a bit and give it another go.
Initial gravity on this batch was 1.10 (3.2lbs honey/ gal. water; Lalvin 71-B yeast) with a sweet mead target of 1.002 SG (terminal 13% ABV). If everything goes well I might have a nice session mead at 12% in 5 weeks. Wednesday night I’ll add just a touch of yeast nutrient, then rack a few times to keep the ambrosia off the lees. Pics and vid below are yeast pitching cycle and the airlock popping after about 24 hours.
Where most of the meads I have made have needed to age out over 9 months or so to mature, these hopped styles have been really vibrant at 5+ weeks….. so my experimentation continues. Patience is an ever important virtue.
Mine wanes on mead.