Select Page

Mead Lover's Digest #0587 Tue 19 August 1997

 

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

 

Contents:

Re: corking (Peter Miller)
Cherries and other stuff… (Jeff Duckworth)
Poison in cherry pits (Spencer W Thomas)
first cider on its way, first melomel cooking (Kim Christensen)
MN Ren Fest Competition (Jim Ellingson)
Ferment Faster? (Charles Hudak)
One that worked (Aeoleus)
Mazer Cup (Joyce Miller)
RE: Corking (John Mason)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #586, 16 August 1997 ("Jeff M. Ashley")

 

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: corking
From: Peter Miller <ocean@mpx.com.au>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 97 10:24:19 +1000

>From: Matt Maples <mattm@ipacrx.com>
>Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 16:27:43 -0700

>I have been using wine bottles ( ya got to love those magnums) and
>corking my still meads for about 3 years now and I was wanting to get
>some feedback on sanitizing the corks. I have read about soaking in a
>sulfite solution but really didn't like that idea much.

I use sulphite for all my sterilization and recommend it as very
reliable. Unless you have _real_ problems with the sulphur (such as
allergies) it really isn't very harmful. Sulphur has been used for
sterilization for centuries (and possibly longer) and there is even
argument for small amounts of sulphur improving final wines in taste and
colour. If you rinse all your corks/equipment well, the amount of sulphur
that ends up in your final product is infinitesimal anyway.

There is also little argument that sulphite _works_ which is debateable
with some other methods.

Peter.

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


Subject: Cherries and other stuff...
From: Jeff Duckworth <duck@oasys.dt.navy.mil>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 97 08:56:53 -0500


Just a quick note on the cherry discussion…

Cherries (I believe) contain trace amounts of cyanide. Interestingly, in
small amounts should give your mead a bit of an almond flavor/smell.
Actually, a local homebrew shop recommends that you leave your pits in,
so I imagine that you are rather safe. But I'd have to agree with the
poster that suggested sending samples to the list just to be safe!

And now a question on preservatives…

I recently received a wine kit for my birthday. It contains a small
packet of potassium sorbate (a preservative, ie kills the yeast, doesn't
just slow it like sulfites) to add after the fermentation is done.
Having made a fair amount of preservative free mead I was wondering what
people on the list have done. In particular, I would like to avoid the
tiny bubbles that I seem to always get in my still meads (there is a wine
term for them, probably something like "tiny bubbles" in french).

Anyone have any experience here? One homebrew place that I go to
suggests that this is common practice (although I think the only wine he
has made is from the same kit that I am using!). Anyone bottle still
meads that are still still after a year or so in the bottle? Anyone know
if commercial wine producers use preservatives (other than sulfites)?

Jeff Duckworth


Subject: Poison in cherry pits
From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer@engin.umich.edu>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 11:27:23 -0400


Many fruits (cherries and apples come to mind) contain a small amount
of cyanide in their pits. This subject has been discussed ad nauseum
in the lambic digest. Here is a representative posting from last
year:

Posting 1: Extracted from file: 881
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 20:58:27 -0400
From: Rick Bodishbaugh <dfb@yrkpa.kias.com>
Subject: Drink more cyanide

>From LD#878:
> From the MSDS for Sodium Cyanide, we get these LD-50s:
>
> TOXICITY: LD50 (ORAL-RAT)(MG/KG) – 6.4
> LD50 (IPR-RAT)(MG/KG) – 4.3

> Assuming that Human toxicity is the same as Rat toxicity, the fatal
> dose for a 70kg human (154 lb) would be approximately 1/2 gram.
>
> I haven't been able to find the typical cyanide concentration in a
> cherry pit, but I'd assume it's in the PPM range. Even if it's in the
> PPT range, you'd have to consume close to 500g of cherry pits to get
> a fatal dose.

The news gets even better. The tox data above are for the sodium salt,
which yields 100% free cyanide ion (CN-) in solution. CN- is very toxic.
The cyanide in fruits and most other natural sources is virtually all bound
up into organic compounds, such as nitriles and cyanates, which are not so
toxic. The acid in your stomach and enzymatic digestion of the
organocyanide compounds will yield some CN-, but it will be far less than
100% of the quantity indicated by standard analytical methods which measure
total CN (all forms). So relax, don't worry, have another cherry pit. I
doubt you could eat enough to do any harm to yourself (at least from
cyanide), and you would certainly die from alcohol poisoning before cyanosis
from kriek consumption. Might be an interesting experiment though. Any
volunteers?


Subject: first cider on its way, first melomel cooking
From: Kim Christensen <gyrefalcon@mindspring.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 12:43:12 -0400 (EDT)

Greetings,
I would first like to thank all the people who helped me out with my
questions. You were all a great help. I started my first cider on
8/10/97 SG was 1.085, on 8/17/97 it bottomed out at .99.
Put the little bit that I took out for the reading in the fridge and it
tasted wonderful!! Before I put it in the fridge it still had a slight
yeasty smell, after chilling it was gone though. I have primed it
and it is going to be nice and fuzzy to drink.
Started an apricot-banana melomel on the 17th also. It smelled
wonderful cooking!!! the SG was 11.11 if I remember correctly.
I know it was something goofy like that.. When I woke up on the
18th it was starting to produce nice little bubbles on the top.
A quick question for all of you. I have 3 books that cover
mead/wine making and all 3 of them say to do the primary
fermentation differently. Some say to do it on the fruit and others
say not to. One said to do it in a plastic fermentation bucket and
another said in a glass carboy, and the third said the first 7 days in
the pan you cooked it in. Are any of these methods dangerous?
What is the preferred method by most people here?
Thanks for all the help.
Kim


Subject: MN Ren Fest Competition
From: Jim Ellingson <jellings@me.umn.edu>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 12:00:12 -0500 (CDT)


Renaissance Festival Beer, Mead and Cider Competition.

Call for Entries, Judges.

The 3rd annual AHA Sanctioned Beer, Mead, and Cider
competition will be held in conjunction with this year's
Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Final judging will be
on Labor Day, Monday September 1. Entries will be accepted
from 11:00 – 6:00, 19 August (Tue.) through 24 August (Sun.)
at L. L. Kraemer Co., 9925 Lyndale Ave. S., Bloomington, MN 55420.

Entrant must specify the AHA category for the entry (1-28,
A-G). Entries will be grouped into 6 prize categories
after 24 August. 2 12-oz. standard (AHA) bottles are
required and the fee is $6 per entry. A S.S.A. Legal
Size Envelope is also required.

This contest is sponsored by L. L. Kraemer Co. Homebrew Shop, the
Minnesota HomeBrewer's Assoc. and Mid-America Festivals. Contact
the Shop FFI on the contest.

1-800-200-3647 LLKRAEMER@aol.com

Please contact me if you're interested in judging.

Cheers,
Jim
* James Lee (Jim) Ellingson jellings@me.umn.edu *
* University of Minnesota, 125 Mech. Engr. tel 612/645-0753 *
* 111 Church St.SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 fax 612/624-1398 *


Subject: Ferment Faster?
From: Charles Hudak <cwhudak@mail.adnc.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 11:34:59 -0700


In a previous MLD Thaddeus wrote:

> Yes, but I knew it would ferment out faster than a regular batch,
>because it
>was only one gallon instead of five. The trouble was that I didn't know
>how
>much faster it would finish, and 1.010 is a pretty low SG, so it might be
>done.

This is a common misconception among brewers/meaders. In fact, batch size
has absolutely nothing to do with rate of fermentation. Things that do
include pitching rate, temperature, yeast strain, fermenter geometry and
level of oxygenation. A one gallon batch should ferment no faster (or
slower) than a five gallon batch, all other things being equal. What you
might see, commonly, is a faster *onset* of fermentation. This is because
you are probably pitching a whole packet of dried yeast (shame on you for
using dry yeast!) in that one gallon whereas you probably pitch that same
one, or maybe two, into your five gallon batches as well. You will see a
significantly higher lag time for the five gallon batch since the yeast
need to multiply until the optimum population (cells/mL) is achieved. Once
that happens, the mead/beer should ferment at similar rates.

A fellow brewer ferments his 30 BBL batches in ~36 hours whereas my 7 BBL
batches take 3-4 days. This has to do with fermenter geometry, not batch
size (note his is bigger 😉 ). The geometry of the fermenter provides for
a better mixing of the fermenting wort in his brewhouse than in mine, so it
allows the fermentation to complete faster. I could draw some diagrams,
but it would just bore you; you'll have to trust me on this.

Just my 0.02

Charles Hudak
cwhudak@adnc.com

Brewer, Chemist and Know-it-all at large


Subject: One that worked
From: Aeoleus <osiris@net-link.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 18:19:22 -0400


Here's a recipe that worked for me:

1 (I think it was 2 quarts) bottle of Welch's White Grape/Peach
2 lbs honey
Red Star Cote de Baum yeast

Dump juice and honey in the 1 gallon carbuoy, add water to the top,
pitch 1/8th of the package of yeast, and shake well to aerate. Lock it
up and watch it bubble. When it's done, throw in what you believe is a
decent amount of corn sugar (about 1/4 cup) and bottle. The resulting
product is very sweet, almost syrupy sweet, with a pleasant aftertaste.
I popped the first cap at 4 weeks to see what happened and it seemed to
have settled out nicely. This Thursday will be its sixth week.

I'll post details of "Old Jank's 15 Pound Melomel" as soon as I try a
little. Sparkaloid is a gift from God!

If anyone has any 1 gallon mead/wine recipes, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
e-mail them to me! I want to try them. Thanks!

  • — Brian Ream Kalamazoo Michigan

  • — "Nobody supports arson but notice how almost no one complains when

  • — someone burns down a crack-house." – Charles Trew

Subject: Mazer Cup
From: Joyce Miller <msmead@doctorbeer.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 20:53:02 -0400 (EDT)


Does anyone have any info on the Mazer Cup, such as when we have to get our
entries in? There was something about it a while ago, saying it would be 9/1

  • – 9/14 or thereabouts, but there's been nothing since. Or is it on hold due

to the UPS strike?

  • — Joyce

msmead@doctorbeer.com
msmead@doctorbeer.com


Subject: RE: Corking
From: John Mason <John@dashe.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 15:26:54 -0500


I began to spray a 10% sulfite solution on the corks before inserting
them, after a few "cork juice" posts hit this journal. It's quick and
easy…BUT I have been using this method less than a year so I can't
attest to the long term stability of the mead, and your objection to
soaking in sulfite may emphasize the "sulfite" portion of the equation
rather than the "soaking".

Does anyone foresee disaster for my cellar full (it's a small cellar) of
mead?
>
>John Mason
>Philosopher, songsmith, drunkard
>
>From: Matt Maples <mattm@ipacrx.com>
>Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 16:27:43 -0700
>
>I have been using wine bottles ( ya got to love those magnums) and
>corking my still meads for about 3 years now and I was wanting to get
>some feedback on sanitizing the corks. I have read about soaking in a
>sulfite solution but really didn't like that idea much. I have also read
>that you can steam them for 20 min which I like much better and have
>been doing that. I have also found that if you steam them they are not
>quite wet enough to make for easy corking. to remedy that I dip them in
>a weak iodophor solution. That way they are still sanitary and they are
>wet and slick enough to insert well. I would like to know how others are
>doing it please let me know.
>
>Matt Maples
>mattm@ipacrx.com
>
>


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #586, 16 August 1997
From: "Jeff M. Ashley" <jashley@emeraldis.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 20:28:45 -0400


Matt,

Wine makers soak corks in a solution of water and crushed campden tablets
overnight.
I don't know if that's the same as iodphor, but it works.
Jeff Ashley
> ——————————
>
> Subject: corking
> From: Matt Maples <mattm@ipacrx.com>
> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 16:27:43 -0700
>
> I have been using wine bottles ( ya got to love those magnums) and
> corking my still meads for about 3 years now and I was wanting to get
> some feedback on sanitizing the corks. I have read about soaking in a
> sulfite solution but really didn't like that idea much. I have also read
> that you can steam them for 20 min which I like much better and have
> been doing that. I have also found that if you steam them they are not
> quite wet enough to make for easy corking. to remedy that I dip them in
> a weak iodophor solution. That way they are still sanitary and they are
> wet and slick enough to insert well. I would like to know how others are
> doing it please let me know.
>
> Matt Maples
> mattm@ipacrx.com
>



End of Mead Lover's Digest #587


%d bloggers like this: