From: (Mead Digest) 

Mead Lover's Digest #3 Tue 29 September 1992

Forum for Discussion of Mead Brewing and Consuming
John Dilley, Digest Coordinator


old honey (Mitch Gelly)
Sparkling mead technique (Aaron Birenboim)
Quick Mead Recipe (Robert Emery)
sweet meads (Richard Hargan)

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Date: Mon, 28 Sep 92 8:54:07 CDT
From: (Mitch Gelly)
Subject: old honey


I'm happy that the initiative was taken to institute this forum. I've only
made one batch of mead so far, a sparkling raspberry melomel (in the bottle
only a month now and tasting fine to me!).

So here is my first question to put to the MLD : what is the general opinion
on the use of old honey, > 2 yrs. A friend of mine says there is a reason to
want to use aged honey, breakdown of sugars or something. Does anyone else
regularly use old honey? My honey connection has some in a back shed that he
says was there when he bought the business a few years ago, and it's all
crystallized and dark. There's about 300 pounds of it, and he would be willing
to part with it for almost nothing as he thinks I would be doing him a favor.

So have I found something of great use, or not? Does old honey make a big
difference? And will Jack soon become an "authoritative" source on mead-making
also ;->



Mitch Gelly – | … upon being captured or killed, my employers

software QA specialist | will disavow any knowledge of me or my posts …

and zymurgist | – | this .sig will self destruct in five seconds …..

Date: Mon, 28 Sep 92 08:12:35 MDT
From: (Aaron Birenboim)
Subject: Sparkling mead technique

Ted Manahan wrote:

My goal has been to produce sparkling meads, so I try to guess how much
life is left in the yeast…
This technique is a bit unorthodox, but the results have been good.

I disagree (kind of ;-). I do NOT think this is UNORTHODOX.

The only GOOD sparkling meads i have had were carbonated this way.
I think it is safer than many might think, too. My capper leaves a dimple.
I check this dimple, and if it starts to rise, I loosen the cap gently
a little bit, and bleed off some CO2. Then re-cap. I think this is
safe, infection-wise, because i do not think microbes can swim upstream
against the violent outgassing. NOTE: do NOT remove the cap.
only loosen it enough to bleed off a little CO2 with a hissing sound.

I have done this to overcanbonated beer too. (i sometimes get a bit
impatient with bottling. but i'm getting better.)


Date: Mon, 28 Sep 92 10:06:51 MDT
From: Robert Emery <>
Subject: Quick Mead Recipe

I don't know if this is the recipe you wanted Steve, but it looks so good that
I decided to use it for my next batch. The Cats Meow also has a couple of
other Feinstein recipes, but they are for Framboise (a fruit flavored beer).

I will probably modify the technique a bit and I'm not certain if the 1/4 cup
of vodka would actually knock-out the little yeasty beasties, potassium sorbate
looks like a better choice. Although, given the short fermentation schedule,
a bit of added alchohol might be necessary.

Basic Small Mead

Author: Cher Feinstein (

Digest: September 30, 1989, Issue #267


2-3 cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
2 thin slices ginger
2-4 teaspoons orange peel
2 pounds honey
1/4 cup vodka or grain alcohol


In a 1-gallon pot, simmer cloves (lightly cracked), cinnamon (broken),
and ginger. Add orange peel. The amount of orange peel will vary
depending on type of honey used. Use less orange peel with orange
blossom honey, for example. Simmer.

Add water to bring volume to 3 quarts. Return to simmer. Add honey,
stirring constantly. Do not boil! Skim off any white scum. If scum
is yellow, reduce heat. When no more scum forms, remove from heat,
cover pot, and leave overnight. The next day, strain to remove as
much spice particles as possible. Pitch yeast. Replace pot cover.

Twelve hours later, rack mead to 1-gallon jug, leaving dregs of yeast.
Top off jug, bringing to base of neck. Take a piece of clean paper
towel, fold into quarters, and put over mouth of jug. Seal with rub-
ber band. Ferment for 36 hours, replacing paper towel whenever it
becomes fouled. Refrigerate 8-12 hours. Rack to new jug and put back
in refrigerator for 12 hours. Add 1/4 cup vodka to kill yeast. Rack
to fresh jug. Refrigerate 3-4 days. Bottle.


This is a quickie mead, drinkable in 2 weeks, however, it does improve
with age. Aging at least a couple months is recommended. This mead is
excellent chilled.

Method: N/A

Original Gravity: N/A

Final Gravity: N/A

Primary Ferment: 2 days

Secondary Ferment: 2 weeks


Robert Emery (

Petroleum Recovery Research Center
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Socorro, NM 87801

Date:         Mon, 28 Sep 92 13:32:50 EDT
From: Richard Hargan <HARGAN@UMDD.UMD.EDU>
Subject: sweet meads

All of the meads I have made to date have been on the dry side. I use
about 1 gallon of honey in a 5 gallon batch, and champaign yeast to
boost the alcohol content. Staring specific gravities have been in
the range of 1.085 to 1.095, with final gravities at, or just below,
1.000. This basic receipe has produced some very dry, sparkling
meads, and I am happy with it.

However, in an effort to produce a sweeter mead, I decided to try
increasing the amount of honey in the mixture. Instead of one gallon
of honey, I used 2 gallons in my latest batch (5 gallons total
volume). The initial specific gravity was off the scale – I estimate
it at about 1.135.

My guess is that I am going to have something closer to a cordial than
a true mead. Has anyone out there had any experience making mead with
this much honey? What was the result?

Most of the honey I have seen is sold by volume, while most of the
mead receipes measure the honey by weight. Judging by the container
that my honey came in (I buy in bulk), 5 gallons of honey weighs in at
60lbs, or 12lbs/gallon. This same ratio is given for both Clover and
Orange Blossom honey.

Has anyone noticed much difference in the weight/volume ratio of
different types of honey, or is 12lbs/gallon a good rule of thumb?

Rich Hargan (

End of Mead Lover's Digest