Mead Lover's Digest #0261 Mon 31 January 1994


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



Slow fermentation? (Dan Andrews)
Answers and recommendations (Aaron Morris)
Yet Another Thermometer Repair Suggestion (Douglas DeMers)


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Subject: Slow fermentation?
From: (Dan Andrews)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 94 00:57 PST

I started a batch of mead on December 1st. It is my first batch. I expected
fermentation to take about 3-5 weeks. As of today it is still bubbling
slowly away at much the same rate as last month.

I used 3 Kg. of honey to make 4.5 litres. Using Lavlin Champange yeast with
Andovin yeast nutrient.

How much longer can I expect fermentation to continue?


Dan Andrews: <>
GAT d– -p+() c+++++ l+ u- e@ m* s+/+ n* h-/++ f+ g+++ w+++() t++ r– y+
16 D9 1C E5 E4 15 1E 9D 32 41 D4 D5 B8 9C 43 9C

Subject:      Answers and recommendations
From: Aaron Morris <>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 94 13:00:56 EST posted:
> … I've
> read Morse's _Making_Mead_ but still have some questions. I realize
> that the BIG CONTROVERSY is whether to boil or not but I'm not sure
> what the pros and cons are of each. Also if you boil how long should
> you (boil)
I use Dr. Morse's book as my mead making reference. I always boil. As
I understand it, the boiling will cause impurities to settle out and
produce a very clear end product. There has been discussion on this
list about using Irish Moss or issenglass to give the same results, but
I can't speak from experience here. Heating honey above 125 degrees F
causes volatile enzymes to evaporate from the honey. Boiling obviously
exceeds 125 degrees. Duration of the boil is covered in Dr. Morse's
book (20-40 min? I don't have the reference in my office to check).

> if you don't (boil) do you just heat it enough to mix the honey in or
> what?
Again, I can't speak from experience about the end product from a
non-boil methodology.

> Morse talks of sulfur dioxide. Is that what campden is? Also
> when do you add it (and also the acid blend, yeast nutrient)? Should
> must be aerated like wort? When should you rack and bottle? Any
> general help on mead making methods would be appreciated.
Campden tablets are a source of sulfur (again, covered in his book).
Acid blends and yeast nutrients are added after your must has cooled
(dissolve them in a small amount of must and add that solution to
the primary solution). Add the campden tablets (if you use them – I
always do). Wait for 24 hrs after adding the campden before pitching a
yeast starter solution. Morse's method for the started solution is to
use a 10 oz bottle of apple juice as a starting medium. The juice must
be sterilized prior to bottling (dictated by good canning practices and
the Dept. of Health) and the volume of juice is not enough to
significantly effect your end product. Pour the juice into a beaker
(available from chemistry/hobby supply shops), pitch your yeast (Morse
recommends a dry white wine or champagne yeast), stop the top with
medical cotton, and in a day or two you will have a good starter
solution going to pitch into your primary fermenter. If you get your
starter solution going the day before you set up your must, waiting
24 hrs after adding the campden tablets works out just about right!
Pitch the starter solution and leave the primary fermenter alone for
about 6 weeks, when you should decant to a secondary. Decant again
after about two month, bottle after another two months. If you have
the patience to wait three months between decanting, all the better!
I have found Dr. Morse's book to be an excellent reference and recommend
it highly! The hints above are taken from his book which should be
referred to for the complete details.

Subject: Yet Another Thermometer Repair Suggestion
From: (Douglas DeMers)
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 94 11:19:02 PST

A bunch of people have made suggestions to Jim Sims'
( problem with "split" mercury in a thermometer.
Unfortunately, all have required access to super-low temperatures
(liquid N2, etc.). Many of us don't have easy access to such things.

I had the same problem with one of my thermometers, and here's how I
solved it. I got a pot of boiling water and very carefully immersed
the working end of the thermometer in it. I watched carefully as the
mercury from the bulb climbed to meet the "detached" segment of mercury
and quickly removed the thermometer from the boiling water as the two
segments approached each other. It took a couple of trys, but the two
segments eventually joined and I've not had any problem since.

As always, Your Mileage May Vary. 🙂 Thermometer design may be
critical to whether or not the method I used is successful in all
cases. It worked for me.

I guess that you either have to get the temperature low enough that all
the mercury goes into the bulb, or (in my case) get the temperature
high enough that nearly all the mercury comes out of the bulb.


  • dougd



Douglas DeMers, | (408-746-8546) |
Amdahl Corporation | | {sun,uunet}!amdahl!dougd

[It should be obvious that the opinions above are mine, not Amdahl's.]
[ Amdahl makes computers, not beer. ]


End of Mead Lover's Digest #261