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Mead Lover's Digest #0566 Sat 24 May 1997


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



Carbonated sweet mead? ("Jonathan C. Jenkins")
Millenial Mead (Kate Collins)
Re: Chocolate and other Experimental Meads (John A. DeCarlo)
Milk sugars (PeriMage)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #565, 22 May 1997 (Ray Shea)
Strawberry Melomel ("John B. Hinkle")
An apology… ("Joe Kaufman")
"Cold" Mead (Kate Collins)
Age before Beauty, Mazer Cup Info (Ken Schramm)
Kumiss (Jane Beckman)
Cold Medicine Mead ("Linda or Darin")
Mead, Both Young and Old ("Linda or Darin")


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Subject: Carbonated sweet mead?
From: "Jonathan C. Jenkins" <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 07:01:55 -0400

Does anyone out there know of a way to naturally carbonate a sweet mead.
I'm currently force carbonating, but am interested in seeing if I can do
a natural carbonation of one. I generally use a liquid sweet mead yeast
& don't know if I throw some priming sugar in if that low tolerance
yeast will revitalize enough to carbonate for me. Any suggestions?

Jon Jenkins

Subject: Millenial Mead
From: Kate Collins <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 13:33:36 +0200

> … suggestion for something so spectacular that it is deserving of
> the spotlight of center stage on such a rare occassion.

Well if you want to get expensive, how about sticking some sandal-
wood in it? I've never made wood-mead before, but sandalwood smells
divine and would undoubtedly impart something unforgettable into
your mead.

You might even try using the better quality essential oils – some
can really put a dent in your pocket! Just make sure that the
particular oil is genuine (plant extracted, not lab synthesized)
and EDIBLE, and choose something exotic and inspiring.

Or, with regard to honey, use something really unusual – for example
honey from Australian bees. They're a strange species and the wax
they produce is almost black and (apparently) very different from
other beeswax, so I assume the same would apply to the honey.

Finally, you could be symbolic. As we enter the age of technology,
where information is power, celebrate it by throwing a microchip in
your brew 🙂

/Kate Collins

Subject: Re: Chocolate and other Experimental Meads
From: (John A. DeCarlo)
Date: Fri, 23 May 97 07:39:17 -0400

I am interested in experimenting with some of the good ideas presented in the
Digest, but am leery of making even 1 gallon at a time.

Can anyone give pointers on experimenting at bottling time, by adding things
just before bottling (either into the bottle, another fermenter which gets some
small amount, into the main fermenter after bottling a large part, or some
other idea)?

Also, I bristle at the idea that milk and chocolate work well together. Not in
my book. I know that the abomination called "milk chocolate" is popular in
many places, but please don't think that it is anything near real chocolate.
The "creaminess" in real chocolate comes from the fat in chocolate, not from
milk. <Whew! Rant finished>


John DeCarlo,

Subject: Milk sugars
From: PeriMage <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 07:45:16 -0500 (CDT)

In MLD #565, Dave Polaschek <> wrote:

>"cow's milk doesn't have as many sugars (as mare's milk – BE) that the
>yeast like, from what I've heard…."

My antique Handbook of Chemistry has a table of the composition of milk
from various mammals (anyone ever hear of a true milk coming from a

This table give the following hierarchy of lactose (milk sugar)
concentrations (in percent by weight):

elephant 8.59
human 6.37
ass 6.19
mare 5.87
llama 5.60
camel 5.59
cow 4.94
goat 4.64
buffalo 4.44
sheep 4.17

commercial products:

whole milk 4.88
whey 4.77
skimmed milk 4.74

I would guess that the solids referred to in another post re: boiling the
milk for a lactomel (? 🙂 ), were the proteins (casein and albumin) in the
milk coagulating and floating to the surface – might not be a bad idea to
remove them this way before fermentation – they could be difficult to
remove later.


Motto of the _Order of the Garter_: "Honi soit qui mal y pense."
Motto of Minsky's _Star and Garter_: "Yoni sois quay valide penes."

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #565, 22 May 1997
From: Ray Shea <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 08:00:32 -0500 (Jane Beckman) writes:
> And of course, there are meads such as taj, which are *meant* to be drunk
> right after primary fermentation. And I love taj!

What is taj?


Ray Shea — MCC — Austin, TX —

"I think 49 Guinnesses is piggish." –dylan thomas


Subject: Strawberry Melomel
From: "John B. Hinkle" <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 10:40:37 -0400


I am seeking advice, and suggestions for my Strawberry Melomel.
I started with 2 1/2 lbs of Strawberrys (this was only a one gallon batch).
Approx 3 lbs of honey, and used Red Star Champange Yeast. After simmering,
I let the must stand over night before adding the yeast. I fermented it
in an open container for a couple of days, airating each day. Then I moved
it to a closed fermenter. It's been almost 4 months now, and it tastes

Now for the questions, Did I use to much fruit? I am going for a sweet
mead, did I use the wrong Yeast? Is open fermenting a good idea?
Can I save this mead or is it dead?


John B. Hinkle

Subject: An apology...
From: "Joe Kaufman" <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 10:18:25 -0500

Hey all,

I have received some e-mails and there have been some posts concerning m

post on drinking mead quickly and forgetting about the finer points of
aging, testing, etc…

I would like to apologoze first and foremost, cause the whole post was a

bit over the top…I did exactly what I didn't want to do, which was sound
like my means was better than anyone elses, which is simply rubbish.

I would also like to thank those who responded to me (and posted to the

digest) for being so considerate and respectful of my stance. I am used to
some other newsgroups where once any kind of "flaming" starts, there is
generally not much left of me in the end except a pile of ashes…I love
this digest!


"Excess ain't rebellion…You're drinkin' what they're sellin'." –Cake

Subject: "Cold" Mead
From: Kate Collins <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 17:55:15 +0200

> Now I want to brew a "cold medicine" mead. Somebody's comment about
> orris root got me to thinking about it. I'd put lots of lemon in it,
> because I know honey & lemon is great when you've got a cold. But
> what else???
> Can we add vitamins and/or minerals? Wheat grass? Spirulina?

The combination of honey, lemon, and alcohol is called a hot toddy,
on which I was weaned as a tot. It's fabulous for colds, so you're
off to a headstart. Using ascorbic acid when fermenting (can you?)
would stuff in even more vitamin C – just don't heat it or expose
it to sunlight. As long as the vitamin is water-soluble, I would
think you could add whatever you wanted. The yeast might use it or
it might decay or it might precipitate out, you never know.

On the herb front (my specialty), any number of herbs would be
usable in mead, although the beneficial components might decay
over time, and the brew might taste a bit foul.

Stick the herb in your pot, but don't boil it and don't cook it
for more than 10 mins or it might get bitter.

The first group refers to yummier tasting herbs, the second to
plants that MIGHT make your mead taste strange (I haven't listed
any that are too nasty). In general, younger plants are better.
Usage is, obviously, internal.

F = flowers R = root B = fruit
L = leaves S = stem

Common Name Latin Name Parts Usage
Bergamot (minty) Monarda spp. L colds, fevers
Catnip (minty) Nepeta cataria FL colds, coughs,

gastrointestinal, general

tonic (makes you

Chicory (coffeeish) Cichorium intybus R general tonic
(roast it first)
Clover, Red Trifolium pratense F fevers, blood &
kidney tonic
Elder (elderish) Sambucus canadensis FB colds
(sweat-inducer), tonic,


infections (tastes yummy!)
Sassafras (strong & Sassafras variifolium L colds, fevers,
blood pressure,
minty, almost mediciny) dietary aid,
excellent tonic

Colt's Foot Tussilago farfara FL coughs, throat
Dandelion Taraxacum spp. FL orthopedic,
contains vitamin A
Heal-all Prunella vulgaris FL colds, runny
Mugwort Artemisia spp. L fevers,



sleeping aid

Mullein Verbascum thapsus L colds, coughs,
fevers, lungs,

kidneys, teeth,



All of the plants listed here are grow abundantly throughout the US.
Colt's Foot bloomed back in March, but the rest should be blooming
now or in 1 month. For more info, email me and I'll point you in
the right direction –

/Kate Collins

Subject: Age before Beauty, Mazer Cup Info
From: Ken Schramm <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 12:48:08 -0400

One more reply to Joe Kaufman, if the gallery has the patience. If
not, page down.

Joe mentions that he hasn't ever waited until his mead got over a
year, because he had consumed it all by then. Joe, I may not be as
wise as the prophets, but I would advise you not to speak of what
that in which you have no experience. That has gotten some otherwise
very intelligent people in over their heads. I have tasted many, many
meads, and those that have the foresight to make enough mead (so that
they can have the new batches aging while they drink the old ones)
are rewarded with something WAY better than "a buzz that doesn't make
me gag." Everclear and Kool-Aid fits THAT bill, and it's a ton
cheaper that mead, especially if you factor in the value of your
time. And if you have the time to spare, why don't you use some of
it to age your mead. Five Mazer Cups have shown me that two years
can turn something that "doesn't make me gag" into something that I
would serve to a three star chef.

The recent threads on this digest seem to indicate that cleanliness
may be more important that true sanitation. Perhaps you would be
willing to conduct a brief experiment, Joe, and skip all the heating
tap dance, give your mead some really good nutrition, oxygenation,
and yeast count, and then let us all know if it come out OK. That
seems to be the formula for both quick and tasty, as far as I can
tell. Then perhaps you could wait a year and let us know how much
better it got.

I will say that I can't wait either, and generally try a bottle after
4-6 months. But I have yet toi have a batch wherein the last bottle
wasn't a bittersweet proposition, because it had never ceased to
improve. I will also say that aging seems far more critical in
boiled meads, which seem to have a particularly strong "young"

You advise us to have fun. Make mead, HaveFun. Make better mead,
have better fun. Make Excellent mead, Regret it the next morning.

Entries for this years Mazer Cup will be due Approximately Sept 1-14,
with Judging the following Weekend. Entry fee will be $6, $55 for 10,
and there will be an "Evaluation Only" entry option for $4, which is
not eligible for prizes (Extended judge comments and feedback,
especially for beginning meadmakers). McConnell is Competition
Director, I am Registrar. Interested Judges should PLEASE e-Mail me
privately, and we will arrange a bed. No One will have to suffer
financially to help us out (and taste a fantastic array of meads!).

New Honey, Fly Fishing and fresh fruit from my back yard. Man, I
love summer.

Subject: Kumiss 
From: (Jane Beckman)
Date: Fri, 23 May 97 10:23:31 PDT

>Reports I've heard of kumiss (none firsthand) mentioned it as "somewhat
>vile," but that could've been due to a lack of care on the part of the

A friend of mine once tried the experiment, and it was a bit nutty-flavored,
with a very odd sparkle. Think of sparkling bulgarian yogurt drink. She
confessed that she added sugar to the milk to get the fermentation started,
and vodka to the brew to stop it after about a week. (It's not supposed
to be fermented for a long time, and she was starting to get a little
worried that it was bubbling great-guns.)

I bet you could do it with honey, and get something rather like a sparkling
lassie (sudden shrugging off of very *weird* image of glitter-dogs) –lassie
being the Indian honey-yogurt drink. Hmm, mead lassie…


Subject: Cold Medicine Mead
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 10:37:17 -0700

Grymmas MacDonald, <mka Matt Crapo>, says:

>Now I want to brew a "cold medicine" mead.

Out here in the desert, the natives make a tea for colds, fever, etc,out
of sagebrush, (Artemisia Tridentata,) the leaves of which contain
sylicilate<sp?>, a major constituent in asprin.

We here at Castilo del Lago (doesn't everyone have a name for their house?)
are also fond of a small glass of sweet mead when feeling cruddy with
throat/sinus stuff.


Subject: Mead, Both Young and Old
From: "Linda or Darin" <>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 10:56:01 -0700

One of the traditions around here is to pitch a batch of mead of some sort
at each major Holy Day, (Yule, Superbowl, etc.) The following year, right
before the holiday, I bottle the last years batch. Most is consumed that
year, but a bottle or two are put away. As long as I keep making more than
we drink, we will always have some stuff to drink that is at least a year
old, along with a variety of stuff two or more years old for special
treats, at each family celebration.

On the way back from some friends' wedding a couple of years ago I stopped
and got some local honey near the wedding site. I took it home and made a
mango-mel out of it. I gave them a bottle of it for their first
anniversary, and will probably give them another bottle of it on their

Throughout the rest of the year, we brew when the mood strikes us. Much of
our mead we drink whenever it is good, but some of each batch is *always*
bottled for long term ageing.

I like the idea of a special batch for the Millenium. Maybe I'll save that
Christmas '96 batch for it…


End of Mead Lover's Digest #566

Vicky Rowe
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Vicky Rowe

Vicky Rowe has been active as a promoter and supporter of the mead industry since the mid-90's with, and is totally serious about seeing the mead industry take its rightful place as a popular craft beverage on the world recreational drinking stage.

She is also an experienced marketing coach and consultant who has recently decided to focus her marketing expertise exclusively on the craft beverage market to help meaderies, cideries, breweries and distilleries expand their business and get more customers while doing what they love.
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