Select Page

Mead Lover's Digest #0572 Sat 14 June 1997

 

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

 

Contents:

Re: Rocket Fuel (Jeff Duckworth)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #571, 11 June 1997 (Darragh Nagle)
Juicers (Jeff Duckworth)
Re: Old Mead and Sherry Flavor (Peter Miller)
re: Old Mead and Sherry Flavor (Dick Dunn)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #571, 11 June 1997 (John Richardson)
new wine thief (Chuck Wettergreen)
Chile mead ("Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, NM dkey@medusa.unm.edu")
Re: old mead and sherry flavor (Francois Espourteille)
Re: pectic enzyme (MicahM1269@aol.com)

 

NOTE: Digest only appears when there is enough material to send one.
Send ONLY articles for the digest to mead@talisman.com.
Use mead-request@talisman.com for [un]subscribe/admin requests. When

subscribing, please include name and email address in body of message.

Digest archives and FAQ are available for anonymous ftp at ftp.stanford.edu

in pub/clubs/homebrew/mead.

 


Subject: Re: Rocket Fuel
From: Jeff Duckworth <duck@oasys.dt.navy.mil>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 97 14:02:10 -0500


>In MLD #568, Dione says:
>
><snip> I used the Duncan & Acton technique of feeding the must with
>1/4 pound per gallon of honey every time the S.G. dropped to 5 until
>fermentation stopped.
>
>My questions are:
>
>5 what?
>
>and
>
>How do you get a test sample out of the carboy without getting the must
>"dirty?"

Duncan & Acton tend to use gravity instead of specific gravity. So the 5
is actually the gravity which is the specific gravity -1 multiplied by
1000. In this case 1.005.

A wine "theif" to sample wine must can easily by made from a 1/2" ID
piece of plexiglass tubing. Glue a piece of flat plexiglass to one end
(krazy glue works well) and drill a 1/8" hole in the end. (otherwise it
all runs out before you get the tube out!) Dip this into your must, hold
your thumb over the end and pull it out–sample obtained. I rinse mine
as soon as I'm done with it and haven't had any contamination problems.

Jeff Duckworth


Subject: Re:  Mead Lover's Digest #571, 11 June 1997
From: Darragh Nagle <djn@nts.gssc.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 11:42:10 -0600


Subject: re:Rocket Fuel

Darin wrote:
>How do you get a test sample out of the carboy without getting the must
>"dirty?"
>
>Visions of dropping my hydrometer through the little hole in the carboy
>sprang to mind…
>

What you need is a "wine theif". It was probably invented by some of
those european monks who contributed significantly to the art of
winemaking. You can buy one of these at your local brewshop. It is
a cousin to the turkey-baster. The narrower the better, since you
need about a foot of pretty narrow tubing to get down into the
typical carboy.

I have substituted a hard plastic racking tube. I lower it down
into the must, and close it off with my thumb, then raise it up
keeping it vertical and put it into my hydrometer collection tube.
Then I release my thumb and a couple of teaspoons of the must come
out. It takes me four or five trips with this technique to get a
good sample.

Darragh


Subject: Juicers
From: Jeff Duckworth <duck@oasys.dt.navy.mil>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 97 16:12:35 -0500

Howdy,

I've been considering a buying a juicer for my mead making adventures and
was wondering if anyone had any experience with them for this purpose?

I've seen a variety of models, one which was so agresive that it could
even be used to make peanut butter. I was concerned with grinding up the
seeds and what not. If you do apples, do you generally have to core them
first? or are there juicers where this isn't a problem?

As a side benefit I will be able to enjoy a fresh glass of juice while
I'm awaiting my mead!

Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated!

Jeff Duckworth


Subject: Re: Old Mead and Sherry Flavor
From: Peter Miller <ocean@mpx.com.au>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 97 09:40:42 -0000


>From: jdecarlo@mail04.mitre.org (John A. DeCarlo)
>Date: Mon, 9 Jun 97 15:41:22 -0400
>
>I thought I would consult others out there as to whether you think that a
>sherry flavor is good or bad in older meads. Presumably it is related to
>some
>sort of oxidation, which could be considered a flaw. OTOH, it is a very
>interesting addition to a flavor profile, and could be considered an asset.

Last year I bottled a some wines/meads that had been maturing in bulk for
about 10 years or so. These jars had been carried around from house to
house and during the intervening time had lost all means of
identification. I didn't hold high hopes for them being at all drinkable,
but to my immense surprise found that they had acquired a very rich
"sherry" type flavour. Now I can't for the life of me remember what was
in them – most likely (as far as I can make out from old records) one was
a prune and pear mead and the other a straight prune wine made on brown
sugar.

The upshot is that I consider them not only "drinkable" but even
excellent, with a character and colour similar to an Oloroso. They are
good as an aperitif and also make for a great companion to sharp cheese.

I think you are right about the oxidisation factor – one of the rehos had
a good air gap in the top, certainly enough to have some effect anyway
(we knew a lot less about winemaking in those days, so we weren't nearly
as careful with those kind of things as I am now!)

The sad thing is that I don't think I could reproduce them even if I
tried. If I could I would do so with no hesitation (especially since
there are only a dozen or so bottles now remaining…)

Peter.

Perpetual Ocean Music & Sound Design
http://www.mpx.com.au/~ocean/


Subject: re: Old Mead and Sherry Flavor
From: rcd@raven.talisman.com (Dick Dunn)
Date: 11 Jun 97 19:12:09 MDT (Wed)


jdecarlo@mail04.mitre.org (John A. DeCarlo) asked:
> I thought I would consult others out there as to whether you think that a
> sherry flavor is good or bad in older meads. Presumably it is related to some
> sort of oxidation, which could be considered a flaw. OTOH, it is a very
> interesting addition to a flavor profile, and could be considered an asset.

Tastes vary, of course, but my position would be that a *little* bit of
oxidation in an older mead is OK, but it shouldn't stand out and it's not
something that should be encouraged.

We know that wines, even good, carefully handled wines, oxidize slightly
over years, and that as long as the change doesn't go too far it is (as
John mentions) a useful addition to the flavor. But I'd say that when it
goes beyond adding some complexity and starts to contribute a taste that
stands out, it becomes a flaw in a wine (other than sherry and kin)…and
I'd say the same for mead.

In other words, if you find yourself saying "this mead reminds me of
sherry" then the oxidation has become a flaw.

Some people like it. But, then, I'd point out that some folks also like
"that imported-beer taste" in a beer…when the taste they're thinking
about is a bit of skunkiness caused by the beer being light-struck. I
don't want to push that analogy too far; oxidation in mead isn't that
extreme a case. But it is possible for people to come to like a taste that
would normally be considered a fault. (Another tenuous analogy: lots of
people like imitation maple syrup better than the real thing. That
doesn't make the imitation syrup any less a bad imitation.)

Dick Dunn rcd, domain talisman.com Boulder County, Colorado USA

…Boulder was.


From: lprescot@sover.net
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 05:45:03 -0400 (EDT)

Dakiv asks:

My question is there is a thick foam on top looks similar to
the krusen on a
stout but pink. The hydrometer samples have all tasted fine no
sour or off
tastes, I do not think I have an infection. Could this be
caused by pectin?
Can I add pectic enzime at this point? should I just not worry?

Someone else may be able to correct me, but foam on the top is
not a problem I've heard of with pectin. Pectin haze happens
when you warm up the fruit juice too much and the pectin
contained begins to set, as in making jelly.

I use pectic enzyme in my mels as a preventive measure against
haze prior to pitching. I've never noticed any beneficial
effects once the haze is apparent.

Sounds like a pretty good batch!

David Prescott, Shaftsbury, Vermont


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #571, 11 June 1997
From: John Richardson <shrink1@mindspring.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 04:59:41 -0500


>Subject: re:Rocket Fuel
>From: "Linda or Darin" <mtss@ptw.com>
>Date: Mon, 9 Jun 1997 22:45:43 -0700
>
>In MLD #568, Dione says:
>
><snip> I used the Duncan & Acton technique of feeding the must with
>1/4 pound per gallon of honey every time the S.G. dropped to 5 until
>fermentation stopped.
>
>My questions are:
>
>5 what?
>
>and
>
>How do you get a test sample out of the carboy without getting the must
>"dirty?"
>
>Visions of dropping my hydrometer through the little hole in the carboy
>sprang to mind…
>
>Darin
>
Darin,

The number "5" refers to 1.005 on the hydrometer. Take a sample by
sterilizing a wine thief or turkey baster and transfer this to a hydrometer
jar. Yes, you can put the hydrometer into the carboy, but the jar is
easier, and you won't lose 5 gal. _if_ the hydrometer breaks.

John


Subject: new wine thief           
From: Chuck Wettergreen <chuckmw@Mcs.Net>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 10:35:22 -0500 (CDT)


To: mead@talisman.com

In MLD #571 Darin (mtss@ptw.com) asked:

MM> How do you get a test sample out of the carboy without getting the must
MM> "dirty?"

MM> Visions of dropping my hydrometer through the little hole in the carboy
MM> sprang to mind…

I asked my homebrew shop to order the latest goody that I saw in one
of the brewing mags (Zymurgy or Brewing Techniques). This newest wine
thief has a plastic foot valve attached to the bottom of a (about) 18
inch long plexiglass tube. The tube diameter is large enough to hold
a standard broad range hydrometer, but it's too small to hold a
finishing hydrometer.

You simply lower the sanitized thief into the must until it fills.
Once it's full, lifting it up forces the valve to close. You can then
take a reading. When done, touching the valve to the inside of the
carboy causes the valve to open and the must to drain out of the tube.

My homebrew shop sells them for about U$7.00. Great for taking interim
"samples" too…

Cheers,
Chuck
chuckmw@mcs.net
Geneva, IL
* RM 1.3 00946 *


Subject: Chile mead
From: "Dione Wolfe, Dragonweyr, NM dkey@medusa.unm.edu" <DKEY@MEDUSA.UNM.EDU>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 17:18:33 -0700 (MST)


One of our group of subscribers asked me for a chile mead recipe a few weeks
ago. I finally go my log and computer together at the same time and place.

Green Chile Mead

2 lb. New Mexico green chile roasted, frozen, thawed and peeled.
Zest of two lemons
1 gallon (12 lb) honey (I generally use a local generic raw variety)
Pasteurize at 150 degrees for 20 min then leave covered overnight.
Add 1 Tbs. yeast nutrients.
Strain into 3 gal carboy and pitch yeast starter (I used Red Star Cuvee)
Racked 2-3 times to clarify, then used Spark Loid with excellent results.
Bottled after 2 months. O.G. 1.055, potential alcohol 7%

It had a very strong green chile flavor and a nice heat when raw. Now, after
six months in the bottle, it's beginning to mellow and the chile heat is a nice
back-of-the-throat warmth. After at least another year, this should be great
with appetizers amd chile dishes.

We have a wide range of chile heat in New Mexico green chile–from Gringo
mild to 4 Alarm Invent a New Dance from Hatch or Chimayo. I will be glad to
forward address of vendors who ship fresh green chile anywhere. You will be
able to discuss by phone with the vendor concerning heat, etc.

Use your search engines to find Victor's Grape Arbor in Albuquerque, NM. He
has both a website and e-mail. He is my major sourse of supplies. I have the
information in another file I can't access while in online, but should be
extremely easy to find. He has extensive experience making both red and green
chile meads.

Never Thirst,

Dione


Subject: Re: old mead and sherry flavor
From: Francois Espourteille <francois@ici.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 22:31:52 -0400 (EDT)


John A. DeCarlo asked:
>
>I thought I would consult others out there as to whether you think that a
>sherry flavor is good or bad in older meads. Presumably it is related to some
>sort of oxidation, which could be considered a flaw. OTOH, it is a very
>interesting addition to a flavor profile, and could be considered an asset.

Well, I suppose that it depends if you like those flavors or not. I tasted
a 15 (give or take a year) old mead last year. It was given to me by a
beekeeper in France. He used wildflower honey and wine must. The mead had
a strong sherry note, which I thought blended quite well with with the honey
components. I had no problem drinking and enjoying it. That same area of
France (French Catalogne, on the Spanish border and Mediterannean coast)
produces a couple of wines in which a carefully controled oxydation is an
integral part of the finished product flavor/aroma profile. One, called
"Rancio" or rancid wine, is an exceptionally fine product, but not for
everyone. The best example I have had is bone dry, 17% alcohol and at least
6-8 years old. The oxydation or maderization (the prefered term locally)
occurs because the cask in which the wine is aging is not replentished over
time. Losses due to evaporation (through the wood) result in air entering
the cask. This result in a slow but pronounced oxidation yielding
sherry/madeira type aromas and flavors, and a somewhat expensive wine since
losses in the cask can reach 25-30% of total volume. You will not find this
product in the U.S., even in its region of production this is quite rare and
I only know of three houses that produce it. The second wine is a bit more
available in Europe and in some stores in NYC and Washington D.C. It's
called Banyuls (fortified wine) and the vinification is quite unusual in
that it subjects the wine to an aging period in casks (no bung, just a cloth
to keep bugs out) placed on a open field in the summer (average temp. about
90-95F). A strong maderization occurs, resulting in flavors such as
leather, dried fruits, strong woodsiness, and others. If you try to find
such a bottle here are a few tips: Banyuls is an Appelation Controllee, so
if it has that name it's the real thing (California hasn't copied it yet);
there are many producers, most good to very good; if the bottle says
"Rimage" don't buy it; it's the non-maderized version of that wine and won't
have the flavors you are looking for. Expect to pay $20-50 for that
bottle… It's an excellent apperitive/desert wine, but it's not cheap.

Sorry for the long post, but it's a subject close my heart.

Francois.


Subject: Re: pectic enzyme
From: MicahM1269@aol.com
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 08:23:37 -0400 (EDT)


>In a message dated 97-06-11 14:02:48 EDT, you write:

<< Hi there I have a pectic enzime question. I have a Strawberry Melomel in
the
primary right now. >>

The item is anti – pectic enzyme. Do not get it confused with pectin ( an
enzyme )
it would not be good.

Heres the deal, if you did not heat the strawberries to begin with, then
pectins forming hazes should not be a factor.The the addition of anti- pectic
enzyme will not likely help.

micah millspaw – brewer at large



End of Mead Lover's Digest #572


%d bloggers like this: