Mead Lover's Digest #137 Sat 22 May 1993

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

Digest Coordinator Special Message:

The digest is going on autopilot again next week. Please be patient
if you see any failures; they'll be fixed when I return.


Jasmine tea in meads, almond mead, correction (David Hinz)
Shaking, Polyclar, spices (Dennis B. Lewis)
Sparkaloid (Bob Mcdonald)

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: Fri, 21 May 93 09:33:03 CDT
From: (David Hinz)
Subject: Jasmine tea in meads, almond mead, correction

Mike McCabe writes:
Subject: mead w/red star…
> I'm about to give it a go – the recipe'll be something like:
> apple concentrate appropriate for 5 gallons
> 1 gallon wildflower honey (~11 lbs?)
> 1/2 cup whatever tea I find – (jasmine…)
> cinnamon, cardamom, cloves. (amounts?)
> 2 tsp citric acid
> Red Star champagne yeast
> 5 grams yeast nutrient (claims to contain vitamins and yeast cells)


The only suggestion I can make here is to save the Jasmine tea for the end.
On the Homebrew Digest (today, in fact), there's a discussion going on about
spicing beer, and the suggestion was to make a tea from (cinnamon in this
case), and add it to the beer just before bottling, only adding enough until
it tastes right. Otherwise, it's a hit-or-miss proposition, and you could
end up with deodorant-soap flavored mead if you get too much jasmine in it.

Another advantage of doing it just before bottling, I suppose, is that you
won't lose the aromatics which give jasmine it's distinctive flavor/scent.

Anyone ever do an almond flavored beer or mead? I think an almond mead would
be absolutely yummy….any recipes, or hints on how much to add? Extract,
or slivers, or slices? How do I deal with all the oils in almond, would it
have to be a still mead?

Oh…about my post of yesterday. When I say my first mead is still "honey
colored", I also should have said "and opaque", so it's still cloudy. I'm
not expecting it to be clear like glass, just clear so you can see through
it, but it's not getting there.

Of course, it's only been 3 months…..

Dave Hinz

Date: Fri, 21 May 93 07:19 PDT
From: /O=vmspfhou/S=dblewis/DD.SITE=JSCPROFS/
Subject: Shaking, Polyclar, spices

***************************** PROFS Note *****************************

Date and time 05/21/93 09:19:58 To: POSTMAN --NASAMAIL

   FROM: Dennis B. Lewis <>
SUBJECT: Shaking, Polyclar, spices

Dave Hinz writes:

"it frothed a bit, but the polyclar settled to the TOP of the mead,
rather than carrying the haze to the bottom as I thought it was
supposed to. So, if I agitate the carboy (slightly!), the top inch or
two gets polyclar into it, it turns white, then the stuff floats back
up to the top."

There is nothing wrong with agitating your fermenting beer/mead in the
carboy. The ferment should produce enough CO2 (heavier than air) to
push all the air out of the airlock. Since there is a blanket of CO2
on your stuff, you don't have to worry ab out oxidation. I think a lot
of us are very afraid (and rightly so) of any splashing or shaking
around, but under the right conditions, you can do it w/o worrying.

A note about Polyclar: The stuff is supposed to drag the tannins out
of the mead/beer/wine. Since you have a nohey-only mead, there aren't
many tannins to begin with (many none!). If you want to settle out the
yeast, use gelatin. It's got the right e lectric charge to attract
yeast (and maybe polyclar).

If you can have a friend with a kegging set up with a filter, borrow
his stuff and filter the polyclar/yeast crud out.

Mike McCabe asks about his recipe for cyser. The recipe looks great,
but let me comment about the spices. Go easy on the stronger spices,
like cloves. I tasted a Christmas beer with nutmeg once that tasted
like latex rubber. Use whole spices (cinnamon stick, whole cloves,
etc.) if you have them. They are much easier to remove from the must.
If you are trying for a really dry finish, then there won't be much
sweetness to balance any strong flavored spices. Remember, the key to
ingredient additions is to balance them together. Where 2 tbs of a
spice might be too much for a dry finish, it will get lost in a sweet

Suggestions for how much spice: maybe six of sticks of cinnamon, two
Tbs of cardamom, a dozen whole cloves, if you must. A little orange
zest might complement the apples. Use two or three packs of Red Star
(make a starter if possible) it sounds like you'll have a bunch of
fermentables to go through. Don't skimp on the yeast nutrient–it's
all they have to grow on.

Dennis B. Lewis (713) 244-7809 NASA/JSC/DH6 Payload Ops
Homebrew, The Final Frontier.

Date: Fri, 21 May 1993 11:12:00 +22306512 (CDT)
From: (Bob Mcdonald)
Subject: Sparkaloid

I have also had nothing but fantastic results using sparkaloid to clear meads.
The instructions that I have say to use .5 – 1 teaspoon per gallon and to boil
it in a cup or so of H2O for 10 t0 15 minutes. Add it to the mead while still
hot. (if you are then later going to carbonate your mead, you will need to
re-yeast when you bottle.) In two weeks your mead will be brilliantly clear.
There is another compound called bentonite which is a natural clay which works
well alone or in combination with sparkaloid. I forget the circumstances under
which you use the bentonite but it has to do with what kind of haize you have
(i.e. starch or protein). I have also used sparkoloid for beer with similar
results. I have noticed no problems with taste being altered in any way. I'd
like to try the egg whites sometime if someone has directions.


End of Mead Lover's Digest