Mead Lover’s Digest #155 Mon 21 June 1993

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

Re: Mead Lover’s Digest #154 (June 19, 1993) (Wynn Martin)

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: Sun, 20 Jun 93 15:19:24 CDT
From: (Wynn Martin)
Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #154 (June 19, 1993)

Pardon me if this isn’t the right way to post to the mail group; I’m a

I have also started my first mead recently. Unfortunately, the initial
instructions I got were really lousy, and I didn’t understand that I needed
to boil the honey, let alone sanitize the fermenter. I also used far, far
too little honey (which I added cold to the fermenter).

That was a week and a half ago. This weekend (Friday night), I decided to
add a lot more honey and move it to a glass carboy. Fortunately, I’ve
gotten all kinds of helpful tips, feedback, mail, and some reading material
to straighten me out now, and I knew to boil my honey, sanitize the carboy,
etc. this time. And I added nutrients, which I hadn’t heard of two weeks
ago (the homebrew place near me was staggeringly unhelpful in getting the
batch started initially; they’re being more helpful now). I tasted some of
the batch in progress before adding the additional honey and nutrients, and
it wasn’t soured (it was pretty damned raunchy at that point, but not
soured; just grossly imballanced and immature).

My question is, how big a sin was it not to properly clean everything from
the start, and to skip the boiling stage? (I did cook some ginger, lemon,
and orange, by the way; just not the honey). I know what the danger is:
infection of unwanted bacteria, etc. But how likely is that? Might I have
gotten lucky and avoided them? Or is it almost certain that I’ve screwed
up really badly?

I’ve spent some $25 on ingredients for this batch, not to mention a week
and a half of waiting, so I’d rather not toss it. But, if it’s very likely
that it’s going to be ruined and foul six months from now anyway, I’d
rather start over now than waste any more time. Maybe someone can give me
a good idea of what my chances are at this point. I am certain that I can
do a good job on the next batch.

By the way, I was getting constant, slow fermentation last week, and it is
fermenting perhaps three of four times faster now in the carboy, probably
because of the nutrients and the increased quantity of honey. It hasn’t
shown any signs of slowing since I moved it to the new container 36 hours
ago, so I’m encouraged by that.

End of Mead Lover’s Digest