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From: mead-request@talisman.com
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Subject: Mead Lover's Digest #1002, 19 March 2003


Mead Lover's Digest #1002 Wed 19 March 2003

 

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

 

Contents:

Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1001, 17 March 2003 (Scott Morgan – Sun On-Line T…)
Category ("David Craft")
Re: MLDigest #1001, 17/3/2003 – Pectic Enzyme; Closures – Barstop; Ship ("…)
Re: Pectic Enzyme ("Ken Taborek")
Re: chilling to clarify ("Ken Taborek")
Re: Muntons yeast and Almond Honey ("Thad Starr")
RE: dandelion mead (keithwwyse@ukonline.co.uk)
Dandelions (Intres Richard)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1001, 17 March 2003 (Marc Shapiro)
lack of yeast re-ferment, harmful bacteria (Alan Meeker)
rhodomel recipe? (Eric Drake)
Re: Shipping mead (Eric Drake)
RE: dandelion mead ("Randy Goldberg MD")
Using Calcium Carbonate to Adjust Acidity ("Doug Mort")

 

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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1001, 17 March 2003
From: Scott Morgan - Sun On-Line Telesales Representative <Scott.Morgan@Sun.COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 11:35:11 +1100 (EST)

> Subject: plastic ferments
> From: "Micah Millspaw" <MMillspa@silganmfg.com>
> Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 11:07:18 -0600

> A while back, one of my neighbors, who makes mead, wanted to borrow
> a carboy from me. Unforntunatley I was out of town and my wife lent
> her a plastic carboy, instead of glass.

I have to ask;

* How was the mead handled on transfer
* Was oxegen introduced in racking off to the fermenter
* How much head space was in the fermenter. Glass has a narrow neck and filled
quiet full I assume.

There is more chance of oxidation from the headsapce than the permiability of
the vessel. At 5 odd gallons theres at least 4-5 inchese of headsapce. Think
about it.

Seems that every year this comes up and the claims are always as poor.

Scotty


Subject: Category
From: "David Craft" <chsyhkr@bellsouth.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 20:00:40 -0500

Greetings,

I have a nice Cherry Mead spiced with a little cinnamon and vanilla.

What would be the appropriate category for competitions? It is more of a
fruit mead with some minor spices……..Would the fruit mead category work
or use the catch all category?

Regards,

David B. Craft
Battleground Brewers Guild
Crow Hill Brewery and Meadery
Greensboro, NC


Subject: Re: MLDigest #1001, 17/3/2003 - Pectic Enzyme; Closures - Barstop; Ship
From: "Arthur Torrey (no spam please!)" <atorrey@cybercom.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 20:51:54 -0500


On 2003.03.17 18:28 mead-request@talisman.com wrote:

> Subject: Pectic Enzyme
> From: "Tom Ostrow" <tomos1@ptd.net>
> Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 17:10:22 -0500

 

> >

> Hi,
> I have a question about the use and necessity of pectic enzymes. I
> am unclear as to whether this should be a regular addition to any must I
> make or if it's just a remedy for pectins taking over a batch of mead in
> my primary or secondary fermenter. Also, WHEN should this be added,
> I've heard that it needs to be added before the yeast if it is to be
> effective. Is that true or can it be added after cloudiness starts to
> develop? Any ideas?

> >

> Tom Ostrow
> No idea what I'm doing, but it sure is fun!

Other's opinions may vary, however I've always put pectic enzymes (PE) into

any of my brews that have fruit in them, but not simple or spiced meads.
(I've seen notes from others who say they put them in every batch.) I put the
PE in the primary, along with whatever else I'm putting in that doesn't get
heated (cooking, aka pasteurizing, destroys the PE, so don't put it in a brew
pot!) If the mead is still cloudy when I rack it to tertiary, I may use a
settling agent (bentonite, Keilsol (sp?), etc.) on it, or just let it set some
more.

 

I don't add PE after the primary, though I might try it in the future.

 

Note that in general, you shouldn't heat or cook fruits as this will cause

the pectin to set and be very hard to get rid of. PE mostly works on unset
pectin to break it down before it causes problems. I use sulfites in my fruit
meads, or if I'm using 'sterile' fruit, such as pasteurized cider when making
a cyser, will heat ONLY the honey and water, pouring it into the fermenter
after it's cooled.

 

> Subject: Closures - Barstop
> From: "Mark Ellis - Artisansrus.com" <mark@artisansrus.com>
> Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 15:10:57 +1100

>

> G'day All,

>

> I am mucking about going through various closure options for my "still"
> ciders and perrys and meads which I want to bottle in wine bottles and the
> like. I am looking for ease of extraction as well as pleasing appearance
> and was curious whether anyone uses the barstop corks (commonly seen in
> ports and muscats)?

>

> They are the ones which are sort of half length cork with a poly top.

>

> Mainly, my main concern is if they provide a good 100% seal under a heat
> shrink capsule. I don't want to invite oxidation.

>

> I have a pic here of them if they are known by other names in different
> countries http://www.cospak.com.au/productdetails.asp?ProductID=10500

>

> Interested in all opinions…strewth now I am in trouble… 😉

>

> Catcha
> Mark E. in OZ
> <<<<<<<< http://www.Artisansrus.com >>>>>>
> Ancient Fermentable Arts Discussion Groups
> inc. cheese, wine, beer, cider, mead and more….

Hmm… If we are talking about the same thing, in the states I see them in

some fancy whiskeys, Baileys Irish Cream, and other such 'high octane'
commercial brews. These are basically corks with a plastic knob of some sort
so they can be pulled in and out of the bottle without needing a cork screw.

 

I have not tried using them in mead bottles myself, but I asked one of my

brewing supply sources about them once. The response I got was that they
weren't reccomended for anything less than Liqueur strength (ie distilled)
beverages. The reason given was that they are slightly smaller in diameter
than a standard wine cork, and don't give a good enough seal to prevent
oxidation and / or turning to vinegar. The stronger brews kill off the
vinegar bacteria and aren't as subject to oxidation (or you can't taste it…)
so it doesn't matter for them

 

I've also been told (although I haven't gotten out the verniers and measured

to be sure of it) that the bottles which use these corks have neck I.D.'s
slightly larger than a regular wine bottle as well.

 

One or both of these stories makes some sense to me since those corks are so

much easier to get in and out of the bottles…

 

> Subject: Shipping mead
> From: "Kemp, Alson" <alson.kemp@cirrus.com>
> Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 13:02:07 -0800

>

> Vince wrote:
> Question about shipping mead: the upcoming mazer's cup made me
> wonder how you guys are shipping your mead for competitions that
> are away from home.

>

> I have shipped wine as a "yeast culture" and gotten funny
> looks. I have also shipped it as "wine", but, per the shipping
> Co's advice, wrote the word illegibly (easy for me).
> Don't really have any good suggestions.

>

> -Alson

I said 'Christmas presents' the one time I shipped some (it was true) and

didn't have any trouble with the folks at UPS over what it was. However they
DID insist on checking the packaging to make sure that I had paddded it
sufficiently to withstand the not so tender mercies of their package smashers
er, handlers….

 

I got the distinct impression that they didn't really care what was in the

package, as long as they were sure that it wasn't going to break and / or leak
all over whatever else was being shipped next to it. Seemed reasonable to me
since a leaky bottle could cause them all sorts of claims for damaged packages
from other customers.

FWIW I had a cardboard box with each bottle wrapped with about 3 layers of

small pitch bubble wrap, and then filled with foam peanuts.

 

If I was pushed for another euphemism, I would probably try 'processed honey

products'

 

ART

 


Subject: Re: Pectic Enzyme
From: "Ken Taborek" <Ken.Taborek@verizon.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 22:50:15 -0500


> From: "Tom Ostrow" <tomos1@ptd.net>
> Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 17:10:22 -0500

>
>

> Hi,
> I have a question about the use and necessity of pectic enzymes. I
> am unclear as to whether this should be a regular addition to any must I
> make or if it's just a remedy for pectins taking over a batch of mead in
> my primary or secondary fermenter. Also, WHEN should this be added,
> I've heard that it needs to be added before the yeast if it is to be
> effective. Is that true or can it be added after cloudiness starts to
> develop? Any ideas?

> >

> Tom Ostrow
> No idea what I'm doing, but it sure is fun!

Tom,

Pectic enzyme should be added to any melomel or mead with a fruit addition.
I use it in all of my meads, but that is because I make 99%+ melomels and
it's easier to add pectic enzyme to all my batches than it is to remember
that in a straight mead or a metheglyn it's not necessary. It's even
possible that a straight mead or metheglyn will have some pectin in it,
depending on the honey source and whatever additions may be made.

It's best added early, at a point where the must is below the denaturing
point for the enzyme. If you add your pectic enzyme when you add your
yeast, the enzyme will do the job it was intended to do. It can be added in
the secondary (or later) as well, but it denatures above ~135f, so it's best
to add it to a cool must. It does wonders for a cloudy melomel, often
clearing it up within weeks.

Cheers,

Ken


Subject: Re: chilling to clarify
From: "Ken Taborek" <Ken.Taborek@verizon.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 22:56:08 -0500


> From: "Aaron Ardle" <aardle@columbus.rr.com>
> Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 00:38:26 -0500

>
>

> has anyone tried chilling mead to help it clear? what kind of results =
> did you have? i don't like to use finings and i'm looking for ways to =
> make it clear faster.

>

> thanks!

>

> aaron

Aaron,

Chilling is a great way to help a mead along in clarifying. I age my meads
in my garage, and they go through a winter before they are bottled, and they
always drop clear no matter how cloudy they were at the end of primary
fermentation.

I've also had a mead that I bottled a bit early due to seasonal constraints
drop clear in the bottles after it was refrigerated. I've yet to
refrigerate a batch to duplicate this, since I make 5-6 gallon batches and I
have only the single refrigerator, but single gallon batches would be
excellent candidates for clearing in the refrigerator.

Cheers,

Ken


Subject: Re: Muntons yeast and Almond Honey
From: "Thad Starr" <Starr@epud.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 22:54:22 -0800

Hi Tom.

As far as I know, there is only one Muntons Yeast. On the yellow foil

package with green lettering, it only says "Muntons Active Brewing Yeast".
Sorry, but I don't even know if it is a wine or beer yeast. I received it
from an internet site as a substitution for another yeast that I had
ordered.

 

This reply is for Chris and his question about almond honey. I would be
very skeptical if this is truly almond honey. I am a commercial beekeeper,
and have pollinated almonds for several years. Almond trees do produce
nectar, but very little. The colony strength is very low at this time of
year, so any and all incoming nectar is used for brood production. Usually
the requirements of the rapidly expanding brood far surpasses the nectar
being gathered, so the hive needs to be fed or placed in a nectar rich area
after pollination to keep it from starving out. Most beekeepers are busy
moving their bees to other pollination contracts or feeding areas, and have
no time to extract. In fact, all of the years that I have been pollinating
almonds, I have never seen or spoken to a beekeeper that gets honey from
almonds, or even tries to.
Any other beekeepers out there? What are your thoughts on this? I have
seen some strange things in beekeeping, so someone may have actually gotten
some almond honey. But more than likely it is wild mustard or some other
prolific wild plant growing in the vacinity of the orchards.

Thad


Subject: RE: dandelion mead
From: keithwwyse@ukonline.co.uk
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 10:10:03 +0000

Hi there.
I've not been around much recently as I've been very busy. But it is great to
be back!

Yes Dandelion is a herb. I have several good books regarding herbs. I think
dandelion is listed in the DK Pocket Encyclopedia Of Herbs, by Lesley Bremness
(DK) and also Food For Free by Richard Maybe (I don't have these handy for the
ISBN) which were purchased in the UK.
It is either these books, or Ray Mear's book on Bushcraft (again not handy,
sorry) that says that all parts of the Dandelion are edible. I'm told it is
possible to roast the roots to produce a coffee substitute. I think all of the
plant is quite bitter, and therefore exhibits a diuretic effect (makes you go
to the toilet for a whizz) but also that the flowers and leaves are often used
in salads. Supposedly it is a cut-and-come-again vegetable (you cut some off
for eating, and it just grows back)

If you plan to use Dandelion in your brew, instead of picking those in your
garden, which could have been exposed to anything, I would suggest cultivating
some in a protected environment. It doesn't take much to grow these, which is
why they are considered a weed. Lift the ground under a good size rosette to
about the depth of a garden trowel. You'll find the root, which is a similar
shape to a carrot but whiter. This can be chopped into about 1" or 25.4mm
sections and planted as is into some soil (peat free seeding compost would be
good). Keep this well watered, and the little guys should just rocket up. I
think I will do this myself soon.
If nature provides such a prolific growing vegetable, why not use it?

Cheers
Keith Wyse
Also known as Sapphire Dragon.


Subject: Dandelions
From: Intres Richard <RIntres@bhs1.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 09:11:47 -0500

Dave Houseman asked about Dandelion use…here goes.

3 gallons dandelion flowers
10 pounds honey (open for discussion) I like spring honey ie.
apple,cherry.pear blossom.
3 lemons
Water to 5 gallons

Pick dandelions when the honey bees are active on them (bees know when they
are ready). Dandelion flowers must be fresh. Only the yellow petals and
pollen stamens are to be used, the green bud leaves on the bottom of the
blossom must be removed (bitter). My wife finds the easiest way is to grasp
the blossom with the fingertips, score the bud leaves parallel to their
veins with a sharp paring knife and peal off the bud. At our house the 3
gallons of petals requires several days of labor (and 1 liter of mead!).

Pour 2 gallons of boiling water over the blossoms and steep for a day or
two. Strain the must (it really stinks by now).

Mix the honey with some water (boilers enter here).

Stir it all together, add the butchered lemons and pitch to the primary.
I won't touch the yeast discussion here…use your favorite. (Mine is Lalvin
d47). Don't forget the yeast nutrient.

Be a mead maker and wring your hands while checking the progress of
fermentation every 3 days.
Hold a sample up to the light every month.
Rack as needed.
Sniff and taste after 3 months.
Begin to drink small doses until the condition is cleared up.

Wassail,
Rick, still in western Mass.


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #1001, 17 March 2003
From: Marc Shapiro <m_shapiro@bigfoot.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 09:43:05 -0500


> Subject: Pectic Enzyme
> From: "Tom Ostrow" <tomos1@ptd.net>
> Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 17:10:22 -0500

>

> Hi,
> I have a question about the use and necessity of pectic enzymes. I
> am unclear as to whether this should be a regular addition to any must I
> make or if it's just a remedy for pectins taking over a batch of mead in
> my primary or secondary fermenter. Also, WHEN should this be added,
> I've heard that it needs to be added before the yeast if it is to be
> effective. Is that true or can it be added after cloudiness starts to
> develop? Any ideas?

Tom,

If there is no pectin at all in your mead, then there is no need to use
pectic enzyme. If you are making a melomel, however, then there is
almost certainly some pectin present. As to when to use it, pectic
enzyme is more effective before fermentation. Alcohol will decrease its
effectiveness, but does not entirely denature it (at least at the
quantities present in normal wine and mead. If you use it after
fermentation to remove a pectic haze, then it will likely take more
enzyme, and may take longer than it would take to remove the pectin
prior to fermentation.

Marc Shapiro "If you drink melomel every day,
m_shapiro@bigfoot.com you will live to be 150 years old,
Please visit "The Meadery" at: unless your wife shoots you."
http://www.bigfoot.com/~m_shapiro/ — Dr. Ferenc Androczi, winemaker,

Little Hungary Farm Winery

 


Subject: lack of yeast re-ferment, harmful bacteria
From: Alan Meeker <ameeker@mail.jhmi.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 12:09:09 -0500

There was a question recently on why no activity was seen upon pitching new
yeast into a filtered/aerated mead going into tertiary. Three possibilities
spring to mind. a) the newly pitched yeast experienced a severe physiologic
shock when introduced to the mead. This could be due, for example, to a high
alcohol concentration (not unlikely for a mead!). While yeast are some of
the most alcohol-tolerant organisms known, they do not, as a rule, react
well to sudden shifts in growth conditions. b) the yeast in the initial
fermentation used up a limiting nutrient such as nitrogen. Thus, there is
none left available for the new yeast to utilize, despite the presence of
oxygen. This would serve to limit its metabolism c) You may have introduced
less oxygen than you think, perhaps an amount insufficient to allow for any
noticeable activity.

Another question involved the possibility of harmful bacteria growing in
mead. The party line that no known human pathogen can grow in beer or wine
should, presumably, carry over to mead as well (although I think this is
more of an empirical observation, and doubt that all human pathogens have
been systematically tested in any sort of rigorous fashion). However, I
believe that this statement applies to the /finished/ (or significantly so)
product rather than the earlier stages of production. Thus, once our yeasty
friends have used up most of the oxygen and foodstuffs, dropped the pH, and
pumped out a bunch of ethanol, there's precious little with a capacity to
grow in this environment that can cause serious harm to we humans. However,
if the yeast don't do their job in a timely manner, then there may be a
window of opportunity in which pathogens could grow, getting a jump on the
yeast, so to speak. Certainly the so-called enteric bacteria are prime
wort-spoiling enemies in the brewery. On the whole though, I imagine that if
any pathogenic bacteria did get a significant foothold the end result would
be a product too foul to drink. On the other hand, there are reports in the
medical literature of people making ER visits due to drinking homebrewed
beer that was contaminated and highly acidified as a result. How these folks
managed to drink enough of what must've been a truly foul-tasting brew to
land them in the hospital is beyond me!

 

  • -Alan Meeker

 


Subject: rhodomel recipe?
From: Eric Drake <drake.49@osu.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 12:31:12 -0500

I am planning to make my first rhodomel here soon (need to wait for the
rose to bloom), and I would appreciate any advice or recipes you folks
use. I have an idea of how I want to do it, but could use specific
examples to learn from.

Thanks,
Eric


Subject: Re: Shipping mead
From: Eric Drake <drake.49@osu.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 12:48:18 -0500


At 04:28 PM 3/17/2003 -0700, you wrote:

>Subject: Shipping mead
>From: "Kemp, Alson" <alson.kemp@cirrus.com>
>Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 13:02:07 -0800

 

>

>Vince wrote:
>Question about shipping mead: the upcoming mazer's cup made me
>wonder how you guys are shipping your mead for competitions that
>are away from home.

>

> I have shipped wine as a "yeast culture" and gotten funny
>looks. I have also shipped it as "wine", but, per the shipping
>Co's advice, wrote the word illegibly (easy for me).
> Don't really have any good suggestions.

>

> -Alson

After the hassle the first time I shipped mead, I started to write
"Competition Entry" on the form, and haven't been questioned
since. Sometimes the folks behind the counter know what it is, and
sometimes they don't, but they never give me hassles.

Eric



Subject: RE: dandelion mead
From: "Randy Goldberg MD" <goldbergr1@cox.net>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 21:33:26 -0500

> >what would a dandelion mead be called?
> >aaron

>

> I would call it yummy. Or a metheglin. I would think that
> dandelions are a herb.

> >

> I don't know whether dandelion is in fact an herb but the point of having

a

> dandelion mead classified as a metheglin would seem to be correct. I was
> recently asked about where to enter a rhodamel in competition. Same
thing,
> as a metheglin, even if rose petals aren't technically an herb or spice.

Speaking as a cook, "herbs" are plant products used for flavoring which are
flowers, leaves or stems. "Spices" are plant products used for flavoring
which are bark, roots, berries or seeds. Therefore, dandelions are herbs.

******************************

Randy Goldberg MD
Be a rapturist – the opposite of a terrorist – commit random acts of
senseless kindness


Subject: Using Calcium Carbonate to Adjust Acidity
From: "Doug Mort" <demort@attglobal.net>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 20:26:19 -0500


Hi,

I have an extremely tart, but flavorful, and beautifully clear red cranberry
melomel.
I gather that it is best to combat the tartness with Calcium Carbonate
before attempting to adjust sweetness.
I am figuring that I oversteeped the melomel in the secondary.
I would also like to avoid another round of clarification if possible…

Please advise if the following approach is what is recommended:
I am going to experiment with a measured quantity, say 2 tbs, of Calcium
Carbonate mixed into boiling water, .75 liters.
Cool the mix to get a separation of the undissolved gunk from that which did
dissolve.
Then add measured amounts to a cup of the melomel until the tartness is
where I want it.
Then I will do some math to extrapolate how much to add to the main batch.

Thanks in advance.
And thanks for all the helpful information that I've soaked up over the
issues.

Doug Mort


End of Mead Lover's Digest #1002


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