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Mead Lover's Digest #0505 Sat 26 October 1996

 

Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor

 

Contents:

Stuck fermentation. Please help! ("Michael B. Roberts, MD FACS")
Alcohol and Aging Mead… (morded@ix.netcom.com)
Palmetto Honey.. (DaRKRoSE66@aol.com)
Beer Supply Stores & Mead (shane@cais.cais.com)
Palmetto Honey.. (DaRKRoSE66@aol.com)
Bottling Question ("Stephen A. Weston")
Quickie Mead options ("Bruce P.Stevens")
Natural Pomegranate Mead (FGriff6722@aol.com)
Yeast vs. alcohol ("Darren L. Ward" (FSAC))
pH Materials (Ken Schramm)
Help for a beginner? (Lisa Feld)
Dixie Cup Mead Results (Bill Shirley)
Drambuie (DavidO1697@aol.com)
Crystalized honey (Ray Gaffield)
uncompressed archives (mattm@ipacrx.com)
Mistake ("Howard R. Bromley")
pH Control ("Howard R. Bromley")
a great liqueur recipe (lprescot@sover.net)
Honey sources in Maryland? (Joseph and Kathleen Pollard)
Experience with Molasses (WyndellDyk@aol.com)
Mead in Hawaii (WyndellDyk@aol.com)
Chili pepper metheglin? (Mark Dallara)

 

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Subject: Stuck fermentation.  Please help!
From: "Michael B. Roberts, MD FACS" <mbrobert@accucomm.net>
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 10:49:55 -0400


One week ago I began a cyser with 5 gallons of grocery store cider and
approximately 5 lbs of generic, grade A, honey (O.G. 1.074, pH 3,
acidity=0.70% tartaric acid). I did not boil but added 6 uncrushed Camden
tablets. After 16 hrs I added Wyeast sweet mead starter. The temp has
been a constant 68F.

After 60 hrs of no visible fermentation I added 10 grams of rehydrated ale
yeast in the hopes of rescuing my cyser. After an additional 48 hrs of no
visible activity, I added 4 tsps of yeast nutrient. Now one week later I
have only very rare bubbles in the fermentation lock.

Can this cyser be saved after one week? Can anyone tell me where I went
wrong? This is only my second attempt at making a mead. The first two
came off beautifully and tasted great. This latest attempt was the first
time that I did not boil.

Please help!

Michael B. Roberts, MD FACS


Subject: Alcohol and Aging Mead...
From: morded@ix.netcom.com
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 10:15:08 -0700

Fellow Meadist:

I just sampled my first batch of Spice Mead, its 7 months old. It taste
great but the alcohol had little effect on me (although I did notice I slept
like a baby). My question is, will it get stronger as it ages? Or will it
stay the same?

I am not such an expert that I know how to test alchohol levels yet so cant
say what the percentage is. If someone could take a moment to respond to my
enquiry I would appreciate it.

Thanks

Ardell Foster
(morded@ix.netcom.com)

email: morded@ix.netcom.com
Visit me at my Gothic Castle and Web page…
http://www.netcom.com/~morded/caw.html

****************************************************************************
*******
10/21/96

"All of her days have gone soft and cloudy, all of her dreams have run dry.
All of her nights have gone dark and shady, she's getting ready to fly…fly
away…"

John Denver


Subject: Palmetto Honey..
From: DaRKRoSE66@aol.com
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 13:39:18 -0400


Hi! I'm new to the list, and relatively new to mead making (I've got a 10
gallon cask of elderberry wine in my spare bedroom though, so I'm not too new
to the wine making side of things..)

I was at a flea market this past weekend and discovered a delightful honey
made from a palm-type bush indigneous to my home state of Florida, called a
Palmetto. This honey has a very robust flavor, tasting similar to raw maple
syurp, but much sweeter..When I tasted it, I knew it would make an excellent
mead.

Has anyone ever gone about making mead with this honey? Did it turn out
well? If not, I will be more than happy to post the recipe I made up (as I
went), provided it tastes good. In the interum, I do have an easy recipe for
a great Orange melomel:

4# Raw Orange Blossom Honey
1 Gallon Water
1 TBSP 5 Star Champaign Yeast
Citrus peels
2 Cups Freshly squeezed Orange or Tangerine juice

Fermentation time: 6 weeks
Aging time: 3-4 weeks

(This mead has a mellow orange taste to it, is a wonderful combination of dry
and sweet (not too sweet, though), and works well as a table mead. )

Dump the honey and water into a large pot, and stir over a medium heat (DO
NOT BOIL THE SOLUTION!!), scraping the white scum off the top as it appears.
This usually takes about 30 mins or so.

Once ready, bring to room temperature in the Carboy, and pitch the yeast.
Let the must sit for 2 weeks, then open it up and throw a good cupful (I
never measured) if the orange peels and the juice in the must (Note: Do
*NOT* use the entire orange peel, or the mead will turn out bitter. Only use
the white part of the peel.). Let the mead ferment in the Carboy for another
4 weeks or so, until the bubbling slows to 1 bubble every 10-15 seconds.

At this time, you are ready to rack. Strain the must through a fine siv into
bottles or mason jars (I found a housewares place in a local mall that sells
4 qt mason jars that are perfect for this)..

Once the must is in the jars/bottles, add a small pinch of champaign yeast
and an even smaller pinch of confectioners' sugar to the mead. (Skip this
step if you prefer dead meads. Rack the bottles for another 3-4 weeks, and
enjoy!

Jimi
darkrose66@aol.com
Robert of Lindsay
Cheiftan, Clan Lindsay, SCA


Subject: Beer Supply Stores & Mead
From: shane@cais.cais.com
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 15:19:05 -0400


While I know there are similarities between the two, can any body
tell me if beer supply stores sell supplies for Mead as well?? And what is to be

used for flavoring in mead, i.e. Apple, cherry. I heard/read that we can make
mead just about any flavor???? Is this true??


Subject: Palmetto Honey..
From: DaRKRoSE66@aol.com
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 17:17:01 -0400


Hi! I'm new to the list, and relatively new to mead making (I've got a 10
gallon cask of elderberry wine in my spare bedroom though, so I'm not too new
to the wine making side of things..)

I was at a flea market this past weekend and discovered a delightful honey
made from a palm-type bush indigneous to my home state of Florida, called a
Palmetto. This honey has a very robust flavor, tasting similar to raw maple
syurp, but much sweeter..When I tasted it, I knew it would make an excellent
mead.

Has anyone ever gone about making mead with this honey? Did it turn out
well? If not, I will be more than happy to post the recipe I made up (as I
went), provided it tastes good. In the interum, I do have an easy recipe for
a great Orange melomel:

4# Raw Orange Blossom Honey
1 Gallon Water
1 TBSP 5 Star Champaign Yeast
Citrus peels
2 Cups Freshly squeezed Orange or Tangerine juice

Fermentation time: 6 weeks
Aging time: 3-4 weeks

(This mead has a mellow orange taste to it, is a wonderful combination of dry
and sweet (not too sweet, though), and works well as a table mead. )

Dump the honey and water into a large pot, and stir over a medium heat (DO
NOT BOIL THE SOLUTION!!), scraping the white scum off the top as it appears.
This usually takes about 30 mins or so.

Once ready, bring to room temperature in the Carboy, and pitch the yeast.
Let the must sit for 2 weeks, then open it up and throw a good cupful (I
never measured) if the orange peels and the juice in the must (Note: Do
*NOT* use the entire orange peel, or the mead will turn out bitter. Only use
the white part of the peel.). Let the mead ferment in the Carboy for another
4 weeks or so, until the bubbling slows to 1 bubble every 10-15 seconds.

At this time, you are ready to rack. Strain the must through a fine siv into
bottles or mason jars (I found a housewares place in a local mall that sells
4 qt mason jars that are perfect for this)..

Once the must is in the jars/bottles, add a small pinch of champaign yeast
and an even smaller pinch of confectioners' sugar to the mead. (Skip this
step if you prefer dead meads. Rack the bottles for another 3-4 weeks, and
enjoy!

Jimi
darkrose66@aol.com
Robert of Lindsay
Cheiftan, Clan Lindsay, SCA


Subject: Bottling Question
From: "Stephen A. Weston" <saweston@northnet.org>
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 20:30:44 -0700


I started a batch of mead back in march and I just got it bottled, I
followed the recipe to the letter since it was my first try and all. The
recipe said to rack at 2 weeks, 3 months, and bottle 3 months later.
After the second racking the mead was crystal clear and vary vary little
fermentation took place. If I like this and I'm sure I will; took a
small taste before I bottled; would it be safe to bottle this after the
second racking if its clear or should I still wait the extra 3 months?

Thanks in advance for any advice on this matter.


Subject: Quickie Mead options
From: "Bruce P.Stevens" <meadmanb@sprynet.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 96 06:52:11 -0500


While I would initially agree that waiting is part of the deal, I can
open mindedly say that there is a way to make successful mead (in bottle)
in less than 2 , count em , 2… weeks.

I had the opportunity to taste Chris Stamp's UF mead this past summer in
the Finger Lakes and it was very nice. It makes me wonder why I want to
waste months of time waiting for my mead to age in oak barrels when he
can sell his in 1/2 of a moon. So be it !

The only downside is the investment in a rig to do the
ultrafiltration(UF) @ a cost of some $150,000 or more depending on your
size and flow requirements

ex Chem E, ex RC, ex ecute the IRS ! Lugar must be the Secretary of the
Treasury to dismantle the monster! Vote Dole – Kemp and play football !


Subject: Natural Pomegranate Mead
From: FGriff6722@aol.com
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 09:06:28 -0400


We are newbies to the Mead Lover's Digest. Knowing that we had made a
Pomegranate Mead last year, a friend passed on the Digest containing info
about Pomegranate Mead. We thought we might pass on our experiences,
especially as we work without any chemicals but strictly from natural
ingredients.

BASIC INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Gallons Honey
11 1/2 Quarts Water
8 Lemons
5 Black Tea Bags

FLAVORINGS:

12 Pomegranate's (Juice from)
3 1/2 cups Beet liquor (Filtered water from cooked beets) – m

ostly just

for color
2 Tblspn Cardamom

1 pkg Champagne Yeast

Final size of batch was about 4 1/2 gallons

Potential Alcohol Reading at start was 16.2% – Final Potential Alcohol
Reading was 1.5% for a Specific Gravity of 1.011 – with 14.7% Alcohol

This mead settled quickly leaving a beautiful, clear dark golden amber color.

COMMENTS:

We heated the honey with a little water, and then added the Pomegranate Juice
(4 hours work to get!), lemons, tea bags, beet liquor (for coloring – filter
it through a coffee filter!) and the cardamom. After it was off the burner,
we added cold water until we got the right reading on the hydrometer. When
it had cooled to below 90 degrees Fahrenheit we added the yeast, mixed it and
poured it through a funnel into the carboy.

The batch took less than a month to go to 14.7% alcohol, at which point the
mixture quit working. We find that we like sweeter meads rather than dry
meads because we felt this was so bitter we were even cooking with it while
it was green. About nine months after we made the mead, however, we
submitted a bottle to a wine competition, along with others we had made more
recently which we thought were better. To our surprise, out of almost 100
wines, this mixture took fourth place in the overall DRY category. When we
tasted a little of it at this point, we found that it really had mellowed out
well and understood why it scored so well. We still prefer sweeter meads,
but now we're sorry we wasted so many green bottles by cooking with it!

Thanks to all who are passing on Mead Info! We look forward to seeing more
copies of Mead Lover's Digest! – Fred & Leigh Griffith – fgriff6722@aol.com


Subject:  Yeast vs. alcohol 
From: "Darren L. Ward" (FSAC) <dward@PICA.ARMY.MIL>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 96 9:07:58 EDT

What is the highest alcohol level that champagne yeast can attain,

(ie. live in before it's too toxic for them)?

Thanks for your time.

Darren Ward <dward@pica.army.mil>


Subject:  pH Materials
From: Ken Schramm <SchramK@wcresa.k12.mi.us>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 09:32:19 -0400


This is an apology to all who have requested information about pH for
mead fermentations. I have gone through a change of both computers
and software, and am having a dificult time retrieving the paper on
mead that Dan and I presented at NHC a few years ago. If I can't get
this thing off of the disc it's on, I'll try to get a copy from
McConnell and pass it along.

This concept was first propounded by Morse and Steinkraus several
years ago. The idea is that low pH inhibits or slows yeast activity.
Honey, and therefore mead must, averages around 3.6 – 3.9. The yeast
will consume most of the buffering compounds in the must during the
reproductive phase, and the pH will drop to a level that slows the
yeast fermentation activity dramatically. By keeping the pH above
the yeast's favored range, fermentation speeds up, and the result is
a more stable substance, and (IMO) less risk of higher alcohol
production and other undesirable fermentation by-products.

I would concur with Dan that a pH meter is the only way to go. I
have used test strips in the past, but their accuracy is highly
questionable compared to even the most rudimentary electronic models.
The basic drill is to measure pH before pitching and add small
amounts (one teaspoon or so) of CaCO3 until the pH is 4.0 or so.
ALWAYS USE A LARGE YEAST STARTER (2 liters). Then measure
intemittently during primary fermentation, especially if fermentation
slows, and adjust as neccessary, if the gravity is still above your
projected FG by 15 or more points (an arbitrary number that I just
grabbed, but the point is not to add more CaCO3 if you aren't going
to have enough sugar to continue fermentation). Remember that CaCO3
is not very soluble, and will not drop the pH like a rock, so give it
some time to work before adding large amounts. Avoid the acid before
fermentation (citric, tartaric and malic, you guys, but you might
want to avoid the other stuff, too). Do your additions of acid for
balance AFTER your fermentation. You'll be able to nail your balance
with far greater accuracy and repeatability that way.

Bill Pfeiffer has mentioned to me that Potassium carbonate is the pH
buffer of choice of many winemakers, but I haven't tried it myself,
so I'll leave it at that. If anyone has any info on that, I would
guess that a bunch of folks would like to read about it here.

Fall honey is being pulled from supers right now. This would be a
great time to get some fresh honey and start a batch.

Yours Brewly,
Ken Schramm

Systems that are out of balance… fail.


Subject: Help for a beginner?
From: Lisa Feld <lf242@bard.edu>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 14:58:14 -0400 (EDT)


I just subscribed to the list, and am probably going to start making mead
during the six weeks of my winter break from school. From what everyone
on the list and off it seems to be saying, it sounds pretty darn easy to
make mead, but my cousin, scadian through and through, failed miserably
on his attempt and ended up with a bitter and thouroughly undrinkable
product.

What am I missing here? Is it just my cousin, or are their things I need
to know and watch out for which my cousin wasn't aware of?

  • –Lisa

Subject: Dixie Cup Mead Results
From: Bill Shirley <gaucws@mighty.fnma.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 96 11:30:16 -0400


I excluded the beer results, if you're interested I'll email personally
or you can find the Foam Ranger's web site. I wasn't around during the
mead judging, but this contest consistently has capable judges. There
were nearly 1000 entries (mostly beer, of course) in this year's judging.

They only, however, categorize only on sparkling and still.
Unfortunately, the list below does not include the style or name of the
winners.

This was the 13th annual Dixi Cup, held in Houston, TX.
Part of the Gulf Coast Homebrewer of the year Competition.

Contratulations to the winners, especially if they're in earshot.

  • bill

Bill Shirley <gaucws@fnma.com>

____________________________
STILL MEADS
Hon. Men. Leroy Gibbins Pasadena TX FOAM RANGERS
3rd Doris Palivoda/Carl Saxer Orlando FL CENTRAL
FLORIDA HOMEBREWERS
2nd Gail Kindstrom Altamonte Springs FL CENTRAL
FLORIDA HOMEBREWERS
2nd Bill Holub Mesquite TX NORTH TEXAS
HOMBREWERS ASSOC.
1st Kevin Kelly Friendswood TX BAY AREA
MASHTRONAUTS

SPARKLING MEADS
3rd Gary Michel Orlando FL CENTRAL
FLORIDA HOMEBREWERS
2nd Tim Sphar Ft. Worth TX COWTOWN CAPPERS
1st Gail Kindstrom Altamonte Springs FL CENTRAL
FLORIDA HOMEBREWERS

BEST OF SHOW, MEAD
"Tiny Bubbles" Sparking Mead, Gail Kindstrom, Altamonte, FL, Central
Florida Homebrewers
____________________________


Subject: Drambuie
From: DavidO1697@aol.com
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 00:30:54 -0400


The question was asked about a recipe approximating Drambuie:

I don't know about Drambuie, never having drank it. I have drank
Baerenjaeger and i know it's honey, vodka, and "spices and flavors." A
friend makes some for Renesaince (sp) Fairs, and its half honey, half vodka,
and "some spices." He was real vague, I gather it's more a matter of what he
has on hand or happens to grab. I plan to try to make some using the above
recipe and using a spiced tea such as jasmine or orange-cinnamon, steeping
the tea in the vodka for 24 hours. Let you know what I get. If anyone else
trys, let me know how it works, please.

Ozzie

DavidO1697@aol.com


Subject: Crystalized honey
From: Ray Gaffield <ray_gaffield@il.us.swissbank.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 96 09:32:46 -0500


Just a quick question :

What causes honey to crystalize ? Does it have anything to

do with the freshness or type of honey ?

Thanx,

Ray Gaffield


Subject: uncompressed archives
From: mattm@ipacrx.com
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 10:38:25 +0000


A few issues back someone mentioned an uncompressed archive.
The only ones I could find (Digest archives and FAQ are available for
anonymous ftp at ftp.stanford.edu in pub/clubs/homebrew/mead.)
are z compressed, not that that is a problem for me but if there is
an uncompressed one it would save me a lot of time. What I am
planning on doing is to put the archives into one big text file so I
can search the whole archive of key terms or ingrediants I am interested
in. If anyone can help or is interested in the file when im done let
me know.

Matt Maples
IS Department
IPAC Pharmacy
mattm@ipacrx.com


Subject: Mistake
From: "Howard R. Bromley" <bromlehr@musc.edu>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 12:48:39 -0400 (EDT)


Seems I made a mistake with my last message. I was referring to Calcium
Carbonate (CaCO3), not calcium chloride! It's been a few years since
chemistry!


Subject: pH Control
From: "Howard R. Bromley" <bromlehr@musc.edu>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 12:34:13 -0400 (EDT)


I read with interest a recent posting regarding pH control by using
calcium chloride. I have a pH soil meter that seems to work (I tested it
with vinegar [acetic acid] and bleach [a strong alkali]).

I understand that the pH of the mead should be greater than 4.0 for active
fermentation, and that the addition of CaCO3 would alkalinize the liquid.
QuestionS:

1. Where do I obtain calcium chloride? Is there a catalog that anyone can
suggest? I tried my local brew store, but they only carry gypsum (calcium
sulfate).

2. Can I use Baking Soda? It has sodium bicarbonate in it. Would that add
unwanted sodium? A salty taste would be from sodium chloride and free
chloride ion should not be a problem with mead.

And, for all those interested, I have started a small (3 gallon) batch of
molasses mead! It smells delicious with a deep chocolate brown color. I
would like to use the pH method on this batch. Thanks ahead of time for
everyone's input.

Howard R. Bromley
bromlehr@musc.edu

Parting thought: At twenty the will reigns, at thirty the wit, and at
forty the judgment – Anonymous


Subject: a great liqueur recipe
From: lprescot@sover.net
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 06:29:27 -0400 (EDT)


With Christmas not too far off in the wings, I thought I'd post
a recipe for an outrageous liqueur that I'll be using for
presents this year. The original recipe was published in a
British book called "Honey Wines and Beers" by Clara Furness. I
have tried it and was really happy with the results:

1 750 ml bottle traditional style mead
same amount vodka
1 pound honey
1 orange
16 coffee beans

take the orange and score it with a knife sixteen times,
placing a coffee bean in each score. Place all the ingredients
in a container wide enough to get the orange into. Allow to
sit, turning every day to keep it mixed up. I let mine sit
eight weeks. The results are great. I have not had Grand
Marnier in six years, but I remember it being like this.

Cheers!

David Prescott Shaftsbury, Vermont


Subject: Honey sources in Maryland?
From: jmp@usa.net (Joseph and Kathleen Pollard)
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 05:10:29 GMT


I have just recently begun making mead. I think it will be a present
diversion from beer. I am retiring from the Marines and will be
relocating from SoCal to the Baltimore/DC area, and was hoping I could
get an idea as to what to expect as far as available honeys.

It is plentiful here in the San Diego area, but how about Maryland?

TIA

Joe Pollard
San Diego, CA


Subject: Experience with Molasses
From: WyndellDyk@aol.com
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 11:26:57 -0400


When I first started brewing, I had two batches of beer under my belt (better
than hanging over my belt) and I thought I could brew anything. So I got
creative. for a one gallon batch, I boiled 2 jars of grocery store molasses
with water and added mint (rather than hops). I rehydrated fleshmen's bread
yeast and it fermented quickly just like beer. I then added priming sugar
and bottled. I was tickled. I called it Meer (Molasses/Mint-Beer). I just
knew I would be famous. The result was so bad that I did not even make my
wife taste it. A good friend suggested that I let it age and not pour it
out. I heeded his advice and waited a year before bringing a bottle to a
brew club meeting.

I was right. I am now famous for bringing that stuff that everyone disliked
so much that they poured it out. So the moral of this story is don't do what
I did.


Subject: Mead in Hawaii
From: WyndellDyk@aol.com
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 11:26:46 -0400


Well there is Mead in Hawaii. I thank those of you who sent me your incites
on Hawaii. As for the Mead, it is from the Volcano Winery, Volcano, Hawaii,
Big Island. The Volcano Winery makes two meads, a fruit and plain. They do
not refer to these as Mead, but as "Honey Wine." I tasted the fruit and then
bought a bottle of the plain (officially called Lehua Blossom). Both have to
me an unusual character… they taste like a slightly acidic dry white wine.
Maybe this taste comes from their wine production? Anyway Mead does exist
in Hawaii.

Aloha


Subject: Chili pepper metheglin?
From: mdallara@kcii.com (Mark Dallara)
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 1996 11:23:43 -0500


Does anyone have a good recipe or suggestions for, or personal experience
(good or bad) with, making a metheglin from hot peppers? It sounds
intriguing, but it also sounds like something that could turn out
absolutely horrible if not done correctly.

What kind of chili is best? Jalapeno? Habanero? Cayenne?

How and when should they be added to the must? Raw? Roasted? Dried?
Primary? Secondary?

What kind of mead are chilis best in? Sweet? Medium? Dry?

Are there any other spices, fruits, or vegetables that complement
chili flavor and heat in mead?

Most importantly: How much? (I don't want to have to gulp down ice
water while I sip my glass of Habanero Honeyfire.)

Thanks,


Mark Dallara
mdallara@kcii.com



End of Mead Lover's Digest #505


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