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Mead Lover's Digest #0509 Thu 14 November 1996


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



Recipies (Drummond, William)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #508, 10 November 1996 (
Skunking (Glenn & Kristina Matthies)
Re: Corks or caps? (Peter Miller)
Re: Peppers & Clarifiers (Sean Cox)
stuck fermentation (George Smith)
Yeast Deposit in Bottles (Joe Schmidt)
Re: Corks or caps? (Jane Beckman)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #508 " Corks or Caps?" (
Corks & Clarifiers (
Can anyone provide a summary of available yeasts? (David McDonald)
fg (George Smith)


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Subject: Recipies
From: (Drummond, William)
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 10:19:27 -0600

Here a couple of recipes that I use from time to time. I am a member of the
Society for Creative Anachronism and a member of Knaves of the Grain. Here
are my two recipes.

Ronan's Meads and Wines

Earl Grey Mead 3/21/95
Exceptional – Fool's War VII

10 Earl Grey tea bags.
2 lbs. raw honey
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 pinches savory
2 pinches rosemary
1 pinch thyme
1 pinch of bread yeast
1 leaf grey desert sage
water to fill
2 pinches citric acid
a bit of dregs for a starter

Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven to boil. Add two egg whites to
collect scum. Boil for an hour, pulling scum off often. Let cool. Place
in bottles for fermentation. Over the course of the fermentation process,
add sugar occasionally to speed up fermentation. Once fermentation stops,
cap tightly and age.

Earl Grey Mead 9/17/94
1st – The Feast of the Mad Jailor

24 oz pear juice, unstrained
2 lb honey
2 lb sugar
100 oz water (about)
10 bags of Earl Gray Tea
1/4 teaspoon of bread yeast
1 egg white

Boil honey, water and tea for 1 hour. Near the end add a little cinnamon,
ginger, clove, rosemary and the egg white.
Remove from heat and let stand till warm as removing the scum. Now add the
yeast, dissolved in warm water.
This brew can be drank in as little as 48 hours, but will be extremely raw.

After a weeks time, add 1 lb of sugar and let ferment. After about 2 weeks
more, add the rest of the sugar. This will strengthen it and
give a better flavor and keep the mead from "drying out".

For fining the wine, take the shell from an egg that has been dried and
powder it with a pinch of salt. Take this and add it to the white of one
egg and some wine from your vat
and gently stir all back into the brew. Let set for about 2 to 4 days and
then filter and bottle the wine. This is a nice natural way with out the
use of chemicals.

Hope that you can use these in the next mailing. Also, where are back
issues kept?

William Drummond —
Clan Drummond Page <>
Home Page <>
Celtic Readings <>

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #508, 10 November 1996
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 17:41:23 -0600


Do any of you know of any brewing groups or honey producers in southwest
Kansas? Tks,

Mike (

Subject: Skunking
From: Glenn & Kristina Matthies <>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 21:51:33 -0500

Greetings All!
Recently I was at a beer/mead tasting and the topic of using clear glass and
skunking came up. A friend of mine was worried that her mead could get
skunked if she used clear glass. I told her it wouldn't skunk if there were
no hops in it. She read on-line somewhere (Compuserve, I think) that mead
(sans hops) can still be skunked. My position is that mead cannot be
skunked but may suffer some other degradation due to sunlight. Any
thoughts? Am I correct? Partially correct? What type of degradation would
light induce in a mead? All public or private replies are welcome! TIA Glenn
Glenn & Kristina Matthies
Lockport, NY

Glenn's Buffalo Beer Page

Subject: Re: Corks or caps?
From: (Peter Miller)
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 10:17:31 +1000

>Date: 4 Nov 96 09:52:00 -0500
>Hi folks, I'm relatively new to the mead list, so don't know if
>this has been brought up before. How many of you use corks to
>bottle vs using bottle caps? I have plenty of caps & cappers from
>my homebrewing and wonder if I can get satisfactory results with
>caps on my mead.

I would advise corking if you intend to age your mead for any length of
time. I have fifteen year old mels and wines and all have lasted and aged
well with corks. It's also relatively inexpensive – a simple plunger-type
corker will only set you back a few bucks. The only rider I think is that
you should use the best quality corks you can find. If you're intending to
keep your meads for only a few months or a year you'd probably be OK with
caps. IMHO though, longer aging is of incalculable benefit to meads…


Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design

Subject: Re: Peppers & Clarifiers
From: (Sean Cox)
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 12:07:19 -0500 (EST)

>From: Tidmarsh Major <>
>Did you remove the seeds when you diced
>the peppers? Perhaps more habaneros without seeds would allow for more
>aroma without the unbalanced heat that has scared me away from mixing
>peppers and fermented beverages.

I used the whole peppers including seeds in the batch. In retrospect,

you've probably got a really good idea about removing the seeds & going with
more peppers ot get the flavor out more than the heat. I've been thinking
about trying a habanero extraction (soak a few peppers in vodka for a long time
& add to a batch), similar to a habanero vinegar that my wife & I use now
and again (5-6 peppers in a mason jar, fill with distilled vinegar and forget
about for about 2-3 months. Mmmm).

>Also, do any of you have a preferred clarifier. I'd like to get
>this bottled in the next week or two so it will have a chance to
>age at least a little while before the holidays. (although it
>tasted great when I racked to secondary last month. OG 1.085 SG

My preferred clarifier is time, you probably have some around your

house already! Seriously, not only will time help things fall clear, it seems
to do so just about the time that the mead has finished up & has matured a bit.
I've found that most of my meads are ready to drink when they fall clear of
their own (although it has been known to take 1yr+), and then are ready for
bottling & aging to make them even tastier.

I can surely understand the urge to "get it ready" for the holidays

(I think we've all been there), but I would seriously suggest letting the mead
alone for a while & having it next year (when it will be much happier, and
you'll also get the added bonus of not having to say "it only tastes that way
because it's young" 🙂

  • -Sean

Sean Cox, Systems Engineer FactSet Research Systems Greenwich, CT

Subject: stuck fermentation
From: George Smith <>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 07:48:07 -0800

How do you know when the mead has stuck fermentation. I also the meads I
have brew have a over powering alchol taste (feel) will this mellow out
with age.

Thank You


Subject: Yeast Deposit in Bottles
From: Joe Schmidt <>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 16:20:08 -0500 (EST)

Hello —

I bottled my first mead a few months ago, and I'm becoming
concerned about the yeast deposit in the bottom of the bottles.
Is it OK to allow the mead to age for *years* with that yeast in
there, or is there a risk of autolysis? If it's not OK, are there
any suggestions as to how to get the mead off of the yeast without
excessive oxidation?

The mead is bottled in beer bottles with crown caps, in case it
makes a difference.


Joe Schmidt

Subject: Re:  Corks or caps?
From: (Jane Beckman)
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 96 15:41:07 PST

If you've ever had a change of temperature in your mead storage area
(usually a nice, cold winter night when the furnace kicks in), you'll
know why corks are desirable. With corks, the cork blows and mead
showers all over. With caps…well, does the word "bomb" mean anything
to you? It's always that really heavy, super-sweet mead that does it.
I'm not the only person this has happened to. I have two mead-brewer
friends who have also lost bottles this way. One had corks. One, fortunately,
had the mead in the garage where no one was hurt by the exploding bottles,
but the glass was a pain to clean up. (In this case, the garage got hot in
the summer, rather than the furnace problems of myself and the other friend.)

If you're planning to cap your bottles, make sure your yeast is dead, dead.
dead. Or your bottles are thick, thick, thick.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #508  " Corks or Caps?"
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 02:06:55 -0500

In MLD #508 Steve Busey asks which is better for bottling meads, corks

or caps?
I have found with the long aging time inherent to mead making, caps will
start to deteriorate and add off flavors to the mead. However, if you cork
your meads the bottles will need to be stored on their sides or up-side down
to prevent the corks from drying out. Dry corks allow air into the bottle,
and oxidation then adds off flavors to the mead. I have found the solution
for me is to cork and cap the bottle. The cap keeps the cork from drying out.
The cork keeps the cap from adding nasty flavors to the mead. The bottles
can be stored upright. If it is a sparkling mead, the cap keeps the CO2
pressure from pushing the cork out so you don't need champagne corks and
wires. And I think it make for a nice presentation when you open the bottle
to share with friends. It's a little extra work, but for me each bottle of
mead is a labor of love and well worth the extra effort.

Steve also asks about fining agents to clarify meads. I have had

excellent results with Sparkloid (TM). It's easy to use, and generally
clears a mead to brilliance within a week.

I am more like I am now than I was before.

Carl L. Saxer

Subject: Corks & Clarifiers
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 09:57:01 +0000

I myself like to cork my mead. Although I have not tasted any

appreciable flavor difference some wine makers will tell you that
aging in a corked container is important (though I don't know why). I
do like to use wine bottles for presentation. I think it looks much
more impressive when you bring it to your guest at the dinner table
than a beer bottle does. I know this is rather shallow and maybe
snobbish but I like to get the most out of my mead and presentation is
part of it. I usually do half and half. Half wine bottles (for showing
off) and half 12oz beer bottles (for the handy single serving size and

As far as clarifiers goes most everyone on this list has heard me

RANT about Sparkaloid. It is more difficult to work with but I
have NEVER had it fail to clear my mead to a crystal clear state.
If you want me to go into some tips and tricks on Sparkaloid let
me know.

>mead approaching bottling, and can borrow a corking setup if it's
>really an advantage. What do you think?

>Also, do any of you have a preferred clarifier. I'd like to get
>this bottled in the next week or two so it will have a chance to

Matt Maples
IS Department
IPAC Pharmacy

Subject: Can anyone provide a summary of available yeasts?
From: (David McDonald)
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 96 16:31:18 MST

I was wondering if anyone could provide a fairly comprehensive
account of available yeasts for mead-making. The information I've
come across on the Web is pretty sketchy. What I'm after is a
list of commercially available yeasts, with information on
alcohol tolerance, effects on flavor, fermenting speed, and so
on. My own understanding at this point is this: something like
Redstar Pasteur Champagne for maximum attenuation, Lalvin K1-V1116
for medium sweetness and medium alcohol, Redstar Flor Sherry for
sweet, strong meads (sack style) and (perhaps) an ale yeast for
lower-alcohol brews with some sweetness. Any comments? Can
anyone provide the more comprehensive and more objective overview
that I'm looking for?

David McDonald

Subject: fg
From: George Smith <>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 18:09:41 -0800

How do you know what final gravitiy the mead is suppose to be? How do
you know if it has stop fermenting. I have brewed beer and I know mead
take alot longer time then beer. How do you increase the alcohol
percentage without changing yeast.

End of Mead Lover's Digest #509

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