Mead Lover's Digest #122 Fri 30 April 1993


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



Re: Dandelion wine (Kelly Jones)
A few questions… (Kelly Jones)
Cloying mead… (aderr)


Send articles for submission to the digest to
Send digest subscribe, unsubscribe, or any other administrative requests to

NOTE: There is now an MLD FTP archive on in pub/mead


Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 08:08:54 -0600
From: Kelly Jones <>
Subject: Re: Dandelion wine

It was written:

> -pick young, unblemished leaves, BEFORE the flower begins to form.

Of course, you don't use the leaves at all but rather the fresh flower
heads. I believe Anderson & Hull have a recipe; I'll check for it when
I get home tonight.

Kelly <>

Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 08:10:47 -0600
From: Kelly Jones <>
Subject: A few questions...

A few questions from a beginner…

In Cat's Meow, I have seen a few recipes which call, for example, for
"1/2 cup jasmine tea". Is it correct to assume that this means 1/2 cup
of dried tea leaves, and not 1/2 cup of prepared (liquid) tea?

My local bulk/natural foods store sells whole vanilla beans. Has anyone
tried this as a flavoring agent in a mead or metheglin? Would this
possibly be overpowering or artificial tasting? How much would be a
reasonable amount to use?

Does anyone have an approximation for the amount of honey to add to one
gallon water to achieve a given specific gravity? How much will this
vary from honey to honey, especially as moisture content of the honey

Thanks for any help,



Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 11:22:10 -0400
From: aderr@BBN.COM
Subject: Cloying mead...

Late last fall I brewed a recipe that I thought would be a good idea.
Here was the starting recipe:

Blueberry-Jasmine Mead (5 gal)


10 lb clover honey (basic, grocery store variety)
2-12oz bags of frozen Maine wild blueberries
1/4 c jasmine tea
pectic enzyme
yeast nutrient
Red Star Champagne yeast


The honey and blueberries were added to about 2 gal. of water
and raised and held at 170F for 25 minutes. I squished the
blueberries and strained them about halfway through the
heating process. This mixture was then poured into a carboy
with water to make a bit less than 5 gal. The yeast nutrient
and pectic enzyme were added to the water before heating.
I then boiled about 2 cups of water, steeped the tea for
several minutes and strained it into the carboy.
When cool, I pitched the dry yeast. (I know, I should know


OK. Time passes. Fermentation happens. It stops. I taste the result.
The jasmine was a bit too heavy, but I figure it will probably mellow
with age. The blueberry smell, flavor, and color was kind of
underwhelming. The main problem was, the resulting mead was thin-bodied
and dry as a bone. Now I want a fairly dry mead, but this WAY too much so.

So next, I heated another 2 lb of honey, some more yeast nutrient, and
another 12oz of wild blueberries in a quart or so of water, squished
and strained, and added this mixture to the carboy.

Fermentation started again (slowly) and has continued for the past
couple of months. It is now crystal clear, has a beautiful purple color,
nice blueberry and jasmine aromas, and a very nice mouth feel (not to
mention a fairly high alcohol content!). However, it's a bit sweeter
than I was aiming for and has a cloying quality I normally associate
with Mogen David wines.

FINALLY, my question: What is the best way for me to add some acidity
to balance the sweetness? I have some powdered citric acid, is there
a good way to add some of that? Will citric acid leave the mead with
that aspirin-in-the-back-of-your-mouth feel that some citric acid
fortified herbal teas have? Is there a better way? Add lemon juice?
Lactic acid? Help!

Thanks (and sorry if this was a bit too long),
Alan Derr

End of Mead Lover's Digest