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Mead Lover's Digest #0532 Tue 28 January 1997


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



re: acid blend ("Curt Speaker")
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #531, 24 January 1997 (John R. Murray)
Sanitation, heresy and dangerous solutions (Bill Shirley)
recycling mead (margaret kelly)
Re: Heresey, Off Flavors, Sweetening, and Acidity (Marc Shapiro)
Questions (Micheal and Linda Fox)
Honey prices in Davis, CA (Belinda Messenger Routh)
honey prices (Russell Mast)
Honey Prices (David Brattstrom)


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Subject: re: acid blend
From: "Curt Speaker" <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 14:20:34 EST

Brett Donahue asked about the use of acid blend…

As I understand it, acid bland is typically added to mead musts
because honey dissolved in water does not create the optimum pH for
yeast to ferment at. Something must be added to bring the pH down
into the acidic range that yeast prefer.

When grains are added to water (in beermaking), they create their own
acid environment and no further adjustment is necessary.

Acid blend is what is typically used for mead musts. Lactic acid can
also be used. I have started using real lemon juice instead of
either acid blend or lactic acid…It is a more natural product, and
I am also trying to shorten the time that my finished mead needs to
age before it is drinkable.
The use of acid blend has everything to do with yeast health and
fermentation, and less to do with the finished flavor of the mead.

Hope this helps…
Curt Speaker
Biosafety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety

Subject: Re:  Mead Lover's Digest #531, 24 January 1997
From: (John R. Murray)
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 15:43:46 -0500

Someone wrote:
>while we''ve all discussed the process of making mead with all its intricacies
>and practical tips, we've never talked about prices. how much are you spending

>per lb and what about prices for crystallized honey. how much does a typical 5
>gallon batch cost for a true mead?

I've heard of bulk, straight-from-the-beekeper prices as low as 60-70c/lb, but
so far I personally have been stuck with the local health food store. Prices
have ranged from just over a dollar a pound at gallon (abt 12#) quantities to
maybe $1.75/lb for gallons, depending on honey variety and apiary conditions
(there's some sort of crud killing off hives, so honey prices are up right now)

I haven't found cheaper prices for crystallized honey, but maybe that's because
I haven't looked hard enough..

John R. Murray
FSU Aikido Club/North Florida Aikikai home of Miko's Aikido MPEGs and the
Tallahassee, FL WWW Aikido online calendar of events

  • Reality is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of ugly facts –

Subject: Sanitation, heresy and dangerous solutions
From: Bill Shirley <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 97 16:14:42 -0500

> From: "Steven W. Smith" <>
> First, sanitation. I've found that basic (even lax) sanitation (rinse out
> dust and bugs) coupled with good intentions will suffice. That is: no
> chemicals (campden, bleach, iodaphor or whatever), no boiling or heating
> (drives off "volatile aroma chemical thingies" [tech. term]), just mix honey
> with warm water, add yeast.

I would add that as long as a healthy yeast pitch is made, and the mead is not
too weak (<2 lb/ gal), this has been my experience as well.

> BTW, If you attempt to brew _beer_ with similar
> sanitation you'd best be into P-lambics (that is, your wort will be a nasty
> infection waiting to happen).

i would attribute this to the strength, for barley wines this isn't the case,

> 2, I get a much faster fermentation if I add the honey gradually, starting
> with a rather thin must. … It was a rather graphic demonstration of
> honey's antiseptic properties 🙂

actually, the osmotic pressure on the yeast inhibits them,
this is why the success for this method, particularly for 3+lbs/gal

> I certainly didn't originate these techniques, but they've served me
> extraordinarily well.

simple and effective, you gotta like it,

> One question and I'll shut up and go away for a few more years 😉

  • bill
"For a quart of ale is a dish for a king."

  • name that quote

Subject: recycling mead
From: margaret kelly <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 16:13:49 -0600

I've made a mead with a hint of citrus that has been bottled and aged for
some time now and I'm not very pleased with the outcome. I've been
considering re-fermenting the batch with a stronger fruit. Anyone ever
tried this? and had success?

Subject: Re: Heresey, Off Flavors, Sweetening, and Acidity
From: Marc Shapiro <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 21:12:23 -0500

> Subject: Sanitation, heresy and dangerous solutions
> From: "Steven W. Smith" <>
> Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 10:45:14 -0700 (MST)

1) Don't go back to lurking. I like seeing others who avoid the
excessive use of chemicals. I admit that I do not go as far as you do.
I do use sulfites for sanitizing equipment, but I generally avoid using
it in the must, itself. It just isn't necessary.

2) Yes, honey is antiseptic. Even just too much sugar will cause the
yeast to be unhappy and possibly leave you withy a stuck fermentation.
Progressive feeding, as you suggest, is a good way to induce happy yeast
and force the alcohol tolerance upward (if that is your desire).

3) A fortified blueberry melomel sounds good to me. I would suggest
using a moderate quality vodka, however, instead of everclear. The use
of everclear is likely to induce a harshness that does not want to go
away. Don't use the cheapest vodka that you can find, but you also
don't need to get the most expensive, either. As long as the vodka has
no taste of its own to impart then you don't need to worry.

> Subject: Off flavors and other questions
> From: Nathan Moore <moorent@bechtel.Colorado.EDU>
> Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 10:47:13 -0700 (MST)

> I am new to this mead thing and have a few questions, mainly
> concerning what might give me off flavors.
> Will any of the following give me off flavors. If they do how severe
> would they be and will the disappear with age.
> 1) Yeast Nutrients
> 2) Yeast Extract
> 3) Pectin(sp?) enzyme
> 4) Sparcaloid or other clarifiers
None of these will impart any off flavors if used properly. O)bviously,
overuse, or misuse of anything is a bad idea.

> Subject: How to sweeten a melomel?
> From: Terry Estrin <>
> Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 11:46:15 -0800 (PST)

Yes. Sulfites and sorbate will prevent refermentation so long as the
yeast count is not overly high. Make sure that your fermentation is
complete and that you have allowed sufficient time and rackings to get
all sediment out and you should be OK.

> Subject: adding Acid Blend in mead
> From: Brett Donahue <>
> Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 14:30:50 -0700

> I am not an experience wine drinker. I know that one can add acid
> blend, lemon juice, tartic acid, etc. to make the mead more acidic.
> What I do not understand is: what is the purpose? What desirable
> mouthfeel/flavor/effect does this give the mead? What are some desired
> PH values in the final product? Should a sweeter mead be more or less
> acidic?

Honey actually is fairly acidic, itself, so the yeast rarely feel any
need for additional acid to be added. If you make a traditional mead,
you _may_ find that it lacks character once it is finished. If so, a
little added acidity at this time can sometimes be beneficial.

Marc Shapiro

THL Alexander Mareschal Canton of Kappellenberg Kingdom of Atlantia

Visit 'The Meadery' at:

"If you drink melomel every day, you will live to be 150 years old,
unless your wife shoots you."

  • –Dr. Ferenc Androczi, Winemaker of the Little Hungary Winery

Subject: Questions
From: (Micheal and Linda Fox)
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 97 17:39:45 -0800 (PST)

I have a question regarding sparkling mead vs. still mead.

Do all melomels have to be sparkling, or do they just taste better that

way? I haven't seen a recipe for a melomel that doesn't call for priming
before bottling. I have two melomels and one basic mead batches running
right now, and I was wondering which would be the best route to go with all
of them. Any input would be appreciated!

Micheal F. Fox

Micheal and Linda Fox – A Subscriber at Internet On-Ramp, Inc.

Subject: Honey prices in Davis, CA
From: Belinda Messenger Routh <>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 09:21:12 -0800

I buy my honey at the Farmers' Market in Davis from a beekeeper. He
charges between $10 and $15 for a 12 lb jar of honey (depends on the type
of honey).

Subject: honey prices
From: Russell Mast <>
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 18:48:03 -0600


The cheapest I've ever seen was 94 cents a pound, for light
wildflower on bulk at a granola shop in Nashville. I'm used to
paying about $2 a pound, and I tend to gravitate towards
varietals and bulk, if I can get it. The last stuff I bought
was clover at a little over $1.50 (I forget the exact price).

  • -R

Subject: Honey Prices
From: David Brattstrom <>
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 10:19:07 -0800

Thyme From Oregon asked about price of Honey.
The January Issue of The American Bee Journal reports that
1 lb jars are selling from $1.35-$2.00.
1 Gallon jugs are selling from $10.00 – $12.00. (1 gal is about 12 lbs).
For the hard core 60 lb pails sell for $38-$45.
This is usually a generic Amber or white Honey. For a varietal honey
expect to pay a little more.

David Brattstrom
Plymouth CA
Happy Beekeeper,Mead maker, Beer maker, and all around nice guy
Gold Country Brewer Asso

End of Mead Lover's Digest #532

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