Mead Lover's Digest #46 Mon 30 November 1992
Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming
John Dilley, Digest Coordinator
Date: 30 Nov 1992 00:51:41 -0600 (MDT)
From: COYOTE <SLK6P@CC.USU.EDU>
Subject: Subject? What Subject? What are you talking about?
REQUEST: Please use useful subject lines. Hence- the whole point
in having a subject listing at the beginning of the digest!
I understand it is easier to simply "REPLY" to a previous digest, but
makes for a very useless listing at the beginning (n to mention uninformative)
This request has been passed on other forums, and I think would be well to
be followed here.
Now as for mead….
The cranberry mead is chuggin' along nicely. I have one gallon jug
in the basement (~55 deg F) and one upstairs (~ 65-70 deg), and haven't
noticed a difference. The activity seems equivalent.
The recipe was posetd a while back- summarized= honey + ocean spray cranberry
I have recently aquired some ceramic jugs (Mountain man type jugs) and plan
to use them for fermenting. I was told they hold 3 gal each ( I haven't
confirmed that yet). A friend recently inquired as to whether they were
glazed with food grade glazes (i.e.- no lead) Hmmm I said, I dunno!
I'd rather not worry, but then I also figure the alcohol will kill enuf
brain cells, and I don't need to add insult to injury. SO…. anyone
know anything about ceramic glazes? I like the 3 gallon size, it saves
my big carboys for other things (beer) and the 1 gallon jugs eat up lots of
As for acid in mead…. I originally did not use any acid with my first 3
meads. Mostly just plain honey- treated like a beer brew (i.e. hops, ale
yeast, then champagne… no acid testing, no tannin, no nuthin like wine).
Justed fermented, and sparkled. They were yummy. Some even lasted a year!
Having tried a couple of batches of wine (acid testing and all) I've started
doing it with my mead too. I have a plain spiced mead (still) which stikes
me as rather bland. Rather dry. Not very exciting. I think that meads will
benefit from proper acid adjustment, giving them that tangy tongue bite
which we associate with most good wines. Sparkling meads can gain that
tongue feel from the CO2, but without carbonation a proper balance of
acid and sweetness/dryness become more important. Besides- a little acid
and a $5 test kit are not much of a setback nor is the process very time
consuming. A local brew supplier stongly encouraged the treating of Mead
as a wine- rather than a beer. I've found the attitude to be quite
I'm planning a pear/apple mead next (hopefully using the 3 gallon jug!)
using apple cider and some form of pears. For the pears- I haven't decided
yet whether to go with more juice, canned fruit, or (as the season's over-
less available) fresh fruit. Any suggestions or shared experience would
be welcome. I'm going to use a wine recipe- and substitute the sugar with
honey. As for quantities- well, I'll guesstimate! But I will acid test!
A question of sweetening the final product (post fermentation).
I have yet to find a good value of ranges for how much lactose to add
to sweeten a wine/mead after stabilizing with ascorbic acid (isn't that the
one…?) Any experience out there to share? All I've read seems to point
to "taste" and "preference". Well, personally- if I've got a 1 gallon
batch I'd rather do it, bottle and store, rather than adding- tasting-adding
woops- then bottling. I'd be pretty silly by then, and I wouldn't have a
whole gallon anymore. Even ballpark numbers would be welcome….I know
I know, mileage will vary and all that- differenent fruits for dif. folks,
but are we talking tablespoons or tons!
Well, brew on meadies. and PLEASE keep the subjects as an objective!
John (Coyote) Wyllie SLK6P@cc.usu.edu
"Hell- even a broken clock is right twice a day!"
End of Mead Lover's Digest