2013 AHA Learn to Homebrew Day

2013 AHA Learn to Homebrew Day

If you’ve been thinking about getting into the hobby now’s your chance. Learn to Homebrew Day is one of the best ways to teach or learn, depending on your experience level. This year’s event takes place Saturday, November 2. If you, your club, local homebrew shop or favorite brewery is hosting an event, you can register online to let everyone know. And, if you are just trying to find the right place to celebrate, check out the event list.

Brewer Brian’s Orange Blossom Mead

360px-Swedish_MeadMead is considered to be one of the oldest fermented beverages on the planet. The history of mead dates back 20,000 to 40,000 years and has its origins on the African continent. The earliest archaeological evidence for the production of mead dates to around 2000 BC. Pottery vessels containing a mixture of mead, rice and other fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation were found in Northern China. In Europe, it is first attested in residual samples found in the characteristic ceramics of the Bell Beaker Culture (ca. 2800 – 1800 BC).

The ancient Greeks called mead, Ambrosia, or Nectar. It was believed to be the drink of the gods, and was thought to descend from the Heavens as dew, before being gathered in by the bees. Because of the believed ties to the gods, it is easy to see why the ancient Greeks believed mead to have magical and sacred properties. The Greeks believed that mead would prolong life, and bestow health, strength, virility, re-creative powers, wit and poetry.

I have sampled several different types of mead ranging from home made ancient mead to commercially produced honey wine and I have to admit that I’ve always wanted to make one myself. However, most meads (at least the ones that tend to be better) take about a year to age until they are very drinkable. I’ve very impatient. I’m reluctant to put all that work into it and then wait a year to see if it turned out okay.

My attitude might be changing…here is a recipe from the AHA that takes about 46 days of fermentation…though I would probably still let it age a bit before sharing it seams a reasonable amount of time to wait for something considered to be The Nectar of The Gods.

Ingredients for 7 U.S. gallons (26.5 liters)
15.0 lb (6.8 kg) orange blossom honey
0.25 oz (7 g) Wyeast yeast nutrient
1.0 package Wyeast No 2206 Bavarian lager yeast
1.0 tsp Irish Moss (4.9 mL)

Original Specific Gravity: 1.077
Final Specific Gravity: 1.021
Primary Fermentation: 46 days at 72°F (22°C) in glass
Secondary Fermentation: 36 days at 72°F (22°C) in glass

Bring water to boil, turn off heat, add honey and mix well. Skim foam that forms, add Irish moss and heat gently until second foam forms, then remove from heat. Chill, transfer and proceed with fermentation.

Mississippi Legalizes Homebrewing

Mmm...Enzymes WorkingAccording to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has signed a bill that will effectively legalize homebrewing throughout the state. Mississippi is now the 49th state to permit homebrewing!

Well that didn’t take too long did it? I mean The Twenty-first amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933 repealing Prohibition in the United States, leaving regulation of alcohol to individual states. On October 14, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed H.R. 1337, which contained an amendment sponsored by Senator Alan Cranston creating an exemption from taxation for beer brewed at home for personal or family use. This exemption went into effect February 1, 1979 giving rise to homebrewing as we know it today.

Just weeks after President Carter signed the bill that legalized homebrewing, Charlie Papazian and Charlie Matzen launched the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) in Boulder, CO on December 7, 1978, with the publication of the first issue of Zymurgy magazine.

It’s Official!

AHA StickerSo I’m an official card carrying member of the American Homebrew Association now!

I became an official member when I paid for the membership and they issued my member number, but now I have a card to carry and this cool sticker! Should I put it on my Jeep or slap it on my kegerator?