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From: mead-lovers-request@nsa.hp.com (Mead Digest) 

Mead Lover's Digest #2 Sun 27 September 1992

Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming
John Dilley, Digest Coordinator

Contents:

Kicking things off (Steve Lamont)
Mead making techniques (Ted Manahan)
Beginner's questions (Robert Emery)
Zymurgy article on mead (BELLAGIO_DAVID)
melomels? (Robert Crawford)

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Date: Fri, 25 Sep 92 10:49:24 PDT
From: spl@ivem.UCSD.EDU (Steve Lamont)
Subject: Kicking things off

Once upon a time the late Cher Feinstein posted a recipe for a quick mead
(meaning one that was ready in less than 6 months). I had a copy of it
once upon a time but have managed to lose it. Could some kind soul
who managed to save it please post it?

Thanks and L'chaim!

spl


Date: Fri, 25 Sep 92 13:45:36 pdt
From: Ted Manahan <tedm@hpcvcbp.cv.hp.com>
Subject: Mead making techniques

Full-Name: Ted Manahan

Greetings fellow mead makers! I am looking forward to reading about
other people's experiences making (and tasting) mead. To get the ball
rolling, I'll present my method for mead making.

I have made two meads so far. For both I have used the same basic
technique. I use about a gallon of honey for a five gallon batch of
mead. I also use ale yeast!

Ten pounds of honey will give a fairly dry mead, while one and a quarter
gallons of honey will give a sweet mead. (Anybody know how to convert
pounds <=> gallons??)

I boil the honey and water for about 15 minutes; this produces clear
meads. I hear this is supposed to hurt the aroma, but my meads still
smell pretty good! I use a very small amount of ginger, tea, and cloves
in the boil to provide some balance to the sweetness. The spice flavors
are not discernible in the finished mead. I also use a very small amount
of yeast nutrient – about 1/2 teaspoon. I use a wort chiller, and pitch
liquid ale yeast.

My goal has been to produce sparkling meads, so I try to guess how much
life is left in the yeast. After about three months (one month in the
primary, two in the secondary) I bottle and both batches have carbonated
nicely. Be warned – it is better to bottle too late than too early! I
thought my first mead was going to be a still mead, but I was wrong!

This technique is a bit unorthodox, but the results have been good. I
picked up a blue ribbon for traditional meads in the Maser Cup Mead
Competition this year, so at least some other people like my efforts!

Ted Manahan
tedm@cv.hp.com
503/750-2856


Date: Fri, 25 Sep 92 15:32:32 MDT
From: Robert Emery <bob@baervan.nmt.edu>
Subject: Beginner's questions

Hello fellow mead lovers,

I am a tyro mead brewer, only a single batch brewed to date, and I have a
few questions for more experienced practitioners; along with a few
observations. To begin with, a bit of background:

My first batch was based on the Quick Mead recipe from the Cat's Meow.

5 gallons water
11 pounds honey
3/4 cup jasmine tea (twinnings)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (TOO much for my taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
acid blend
Pris Mousse yeast

I boiled about 3 gals of water in my largest available pot, added the
tea, spices and honey and allowed it to simmer for 20-30mins. I then cooled
to pitching temperature(about 75degF) using a wort chiller and poured the ____

  1. wort
  2. must
  3. concoction
  4. other

into my primary fermentation vessel, a 7 gallon covered pail w/airlock. At
this point I took a specific gravity reading, SG 1.088, added the acid
blend (per instructions on the package), aerated the mixture and pitched the
yeast starter. The primary fermentation was very weak, at least compared to
my beer batches, and the proto mead looked ready to put into the glass
secondary after a few days. After racking to the secondary the yeast really
took off and I switched from an airlock to a blow-off tube, the second
time it pushed foam through the airlock my pantry floor looked like the
floor of a movie theater after a matinee.

The secondary fermentation took about a month to drop below a bubble per
minute and I bottled at around six weeks (SG 1.003). I decided to bottle half
of the batch as sparkling mead, so I added a bit over 1/4 cup of corn sugar
before bottling. I used 12oz beer bottles for most of the batch.

The finished mead is a clear honey color with a nice honey aroma. The taste
is very very dry, tart, and fairly complex. It starts with a strong clove
flavor, tapers to a hint of cinnamon, and finishes with jasmine. At no time
is there any honey flavor or sweetness. It also packs quite an alcohol
punch. I have new respect for anybody who judges mead at competitions, that
stuff is PO-tent.

Now for my questions.

  1. What should mead taste like?

I've never had any before and while I realize that my batch is a metheglin,
I always assumed that the product would be somewhat sweet.

  1. How can I get a sweeter product next time?
  2. Are there commercially bottled versions of mead?
  3. What is the best type of bottle to use?

Beer bottles seem inappropriate and wine bottles are too large. I'd like to be
able to walk after imbibing.

  1. What is a good serving temperature?
  2. How can I improve my brewing technique?

I apologize for the wordy nature of this post.

Bob Emery


Robert Emery (bob@baervan.nmt.edu)


Petroleum Recovery Research Center
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Socorro, NM 87801



Date: 25 Sep 92 14:56:00 -0700
From: BELLAGIO_DAVID@tandem.com
Subject: Zymurgy article on mead

Did everyone see the article in Zymurgy on mead? Does someone have
a recommendation for a Mead Book? I have seen some in the brew store
but was wondering what people's opinion were of the different ones.

Super Dave

Bellagio_David@Tandem.Com


Date: Fri, 25 Sep 92 18:39:51 CDT
From: Robert Crawford <betel@camelot.bradley.edu>
Subject: melomels?

Over the summer I made a nice strawberry melomel with the following recipe:

(for one gallon)
2.5 lbs Clover Honey
1 lb frozen strawberries
acid blend (dosage as per the package's instructions)
grape tannin
1 Campden tablet
pectic enzyme
Montrachet yeast

I boiled and skimmed the honey with nine pints of water, put the strawberries in a must bag, then poured the hot honey water over the strawberries, Campden, tannin, and acid blend. A day later I added the pectic enzyme, and a day later the yeast.

After a week in the primary, I removed the horribly changed strawberries and siphoned into a secondary. Three weeks later the fermentation had stopped, and it had cleared. (Honestly — I've never had the year-long ferments that others have mentioned.) I stabilized
it with potassium sorbate, sweetened it with table sugar, and bottled it.

It's only been two months, but it's already very nice. In fact, it's half gone 🙂

I'm planning another batch, this one with three pounds of honey and two pounds of strawberries. Needless to say, this one will have more strawberry flavor and more alcohol…

I have a few questions: Has anyone used horehound or mint for flavoring? Has anyone had luck making a very lightly alcoholic honey drink?


Robert Crawford betel@camelot.bradley.edu



End of Mead Lover's Digest