After nearly two years of efforts and lots of patience, I have a pretty damn good recipe that is worth a shot!
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16% @ 5 gallons
16 lbs Clover Honey (or Wildflower Honey)
12 lbs Sugar Pumpkin
1 lb Clover Honey (to be added to secondary)
Lallemand Lalvin D-47 Yeast
Fresh Ground Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves & Nutmeg
3 Cinnamon Sticks
Three days ahead of time you will need to make a proper starter. The methods are similar to those I outlined here however we will use honey instead of DME and will refrain from boiling. Mix 4 parts warm water with 1 part honey. Add some yeast nutrient along with the yeast and place it on your stir plate. If you have not built one yet, make sure to shake that sucker every hour you can manage.
Sprinkle quartered sugar pumpkins with spices and roast at 400F for at least 90 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Scoop out the meat and add it to your sanitized bucket, discard rinds.
Mix honey and water in a container you can shake, I use a sanitized one gallon glass jug, with a ratio of about 2 pounds of honey and half a gallon of warm water. I use this method to ensure extreme oxygenation and proper mixture of the water and honey. Use this method until you have added all 16 pounds of honey; top off to 6 gallons with cool water. The reason we want six gallons is so that when we transfer to secondary, inevitably with less volume, it will leave litte to no head space in the carboy. Once the mixture is below 80F (it most likely already is) pitch your entire starter and place the bucket in a dark place at around 62F for a month.
* I prefer to not boil my honey (or debate about the benefits) because it sounds like a better idea and is less work.
This mead was treated right, make sure to treat yours right too! After just about 30 days of primary fermentation (do not believe the 14 day limit!), rack your golden nectar into a 5 gallon carboy on top of 1 pound of honey and 3 cinnamon sticks. At this point my gravity reading was 1.000, too dry for me, hence the addition of one more pound of honey. Fortunately it did not ferment too much and left me with just the right amount of sweetness.
After two more months I transferred the mead to tertiary (never do this with beer, waste of time) and allowed it to clear. The mead was bottled on October 13th 2012 and I enjoyed the first bottle of it the night of Halloween 2012, while I watched Nightmare Before Christmas!