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Mead Lover's Digest #19 Sat 17 October 1992

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


Gravity of honey, Chaucer's Mead (Brew Free Or Die 16-Oct-1992 0913)
Weight of Honey by volume. (Mark Schuldenfrei)
Maple Wine and Traditional Mead (John Gorman)

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Date: Fri, 16 Oct 92 06:18:22 PDT
From: Brew Free Or Die 16-Oct-1992 0913 <>
Subject: Gravity of honey, Chaucer's Mead

Good discussion re the volume to mass of honey. Now I have another question
about honey. Anyone know approximately how much gravity a pound of honey
adds to a gallon of water? I thought Miller or Papazian's book had that info,
but, alas, not so.

I made a no-boil cyser last weekend with 12# of wildflower honey and 4 gallons
of cider. The honey is just sitting on the bottom of the carboy, so obtaining
a gravity reading is impossible. So, I'll guesstimate once I know the answer
to my question.

There's a commercial mead available at the New Hampshire state liquor stores
called Chaucer's Mead, made by a winery in California. It's very sweet, and
quite enjoyable [I favor sweet meads, wines, cider, etc over dry]. It costs
$7.35 for 750ml – not bad, I think. It comes with two "teabags" of mixed
aromatic spices, allowing one to make a hot spiced mead. I haven't tried that
yet – I've been happy enjoying the mead as it comes.

Dan Hall Digital Equipment Corporation MKO1-2/H10 Merrimack, NH 03054 ….!decwrl!!hall

"Adhere to Schweinheitsgebot
Don't put anything in your beer that a pig wouldn't eat" –David Geary

Date: Fri, 16 Oct 92 10:43:03 EDT
From: (Mark Schuldenfrei)
Subject: Weight of Honey by volume.

Lew Jansen asked for information about converting volume
to weight for Honey. I'm afraid I can't provide precise
answers, but perhaps I can provide some insight.

I buy my honey from the local health food cooperative. They
have 1 quart containers for use. I have found that 1 VERY
full quart jar weighs from between 2.9 and 3.1 pounds of
honey alone, depending upon the freshness and how much water
it has. Honey that was so thick it wouldn't flow, and had
to be spooned, was 3.1 pounds, and very thin, fast-flowing
honey that was poor quality was 2.9 pounds.

Regular honeys of decent thickness, color, and sweetness,
seem to be running at about 2.95 pounds per gallon. All
this measurement does not include the weight of the container,
of course. So, your 12 pound per gallon measure was
right enough for your purposes.


Mark Schuldenfrei (
[I'm just showin' you my opinions: this ain't a gift]

Date: Fri, 16 Oct 92 18:03:25 EDT
From: (John Gorman)
Subject: Maple Wine and Traditional Mead

The question was asked: what would a mead made with pure maple
syrup taste like? Now on my sixth batch, I can say "like ambrosia."

The maple syrup grading system was invented when maple syrup was
competing with cane sugar, so bland lite was considered Grade A.
For brewing, Grade B Dark is better, and much cheaper. It can be
bought in health food stores and food coops for $3-4 per pound in
bulk, on a par with the price of malt extract. Quite economical
considering the amazing result!

Most of my maple wines and meads have an alcohol content of 12-15%.
At that level, the alcohol kills the yeast before it runs out of
sugar, so there is no need to sulfite during racking or bottling.

I always use yeast nutrient and plenty of yeast for starter, so
the fermentation takes off with a bang and the rapidly rising
alcohol content quickly kills anything else. For this reason I
have never heated the maple syrup or honey, and have had no
problems with contamination.

Maple wine becomes crystal clear with a beautiful sherry color
within 60 days. I find that mead will usually clarify in 90-120
days. If you choose to bottle the mead before it is clear, it will
clarify in the bottles, leaving an unsightly but delicious sediment.

I once did a side-by-side experiment using acid blend and gypsum as
recommended in the New Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Papazian.
Two identical 5 gallon clover honey batches turned out quite
differently. The acidified batch turned out … acidic! The plain
clover honey batch turned out … magnificent! Smooth and subtle,
with a nice buttery finish. I never use acid blend.

With those points in mind, we have a very simple recipe. The
procedure for mead is exactly the same as for maple wine. Honey
is thicker than maple syrup, so you don't need as much.


8-9 qts maple syrup or 6-7 qts honey
5 tsp yeast nutrient
15 gm champagne or any white wine yeast.
O.G. 1.120 – 1.130
F.G. 1.015 – 1.030

Relax, don't worry, have some maple wine.

Hydrate the yeast in warm water and dissolve the yeast nutrient in
hot water. Mix the maple syrup or honey with cold water in a large
open container to almost 5 gallons at your target specific gravity.
Splash or spray the water to oxygenate the must so that the yeast
can multiply rapidly.

Pitch the dissolved yeast and yeast nutrient, dregs included, into a
glass carboy. Then splash in the must and slosh around until well
mixed, oxygenated, and full.

Use a blow off tube for the first few days and then switch to a
water trap. After about 60 days, when the maple wine is crystal
clear and you can shine a flashlight beam right thru the carboy
onto the wall, bottle your maple wine. It is ready to drink
immediately. Make some for Christmas!

John Gorman
Relational Semantics, Inc. 617-926-0979
17 Mount Auburn Street Watertown MA 02172 USA

Nothing happens.

End of Mead Lover's Digest

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