Mead Lover's Digest #0268 Sun 20 February 1994


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



Re: maple/mead (Mead-gest 267) (Ron Schieffer)
Maple beverage. ("MICHAEL KLETT")
catclaw and star thistle (Dave Suda)
beekeeping group (Jane Beckman)
Re: maple/mead (John Gorman)
UNYHA annual competition (
maple mead (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: Re:  maple/mead (Mead-gest 267)
From: (Ron Schieffer)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 1994 00:59:23 -0700 (MST)

In Mead-gest 267 Tom Redmond asks for info on maple syrup and mead.
I recently started a small test of my own to find out what
fermented maple syrup really tastes like. I started with a 1:1
concentration of water and maple syrup and
heated until well combined (no boil). I added a small amount
(real scientific : ) measurement) of yeast nutrient and
let cool. Added some yeast later, and it is happily bubbling
away right now (has been for about 3 weeks now).

Someone mentions in the 'Cat's Meow' that fermented maple
syrup alone is simply ambrosia. I guess I'll find out for

Sometimes the results are…let's say…interesting?


Ron Schieffer @ AG Communication Systems . ._______|_______.

If you do good every day, you will go to the spirit \(*)/
world and see other good people on the other side. o/ \o
If not, you will not see them. -Joe Flying Bye


Subject: Maple beverage.
From: "MICHAEL KLETT, 508-841-2790 (DTN: 237-2790), MS: SHR2-2/B12 17-Feb-1994

0832" <>

Date: Thu, 17 Feb 94 05:39:49 PST


Thomas Redmond <> says:

> but I'd really like to know the characteristics
> of a pure maple drink. If anyone has a good recipe, I'd love to have it.

A few months back, a member of a homebrew club that I belong to brought in
a maple beverage. He boiled 7 gallons of sap down to 1 gallon of liquid (I
think – dang brain fade – I guess I sampled too many homebrews that eve) and
then artificially carbonated using a keg setup and then pressure bottled.
This wasn't fermented – actually, I guess it was technically maple soda pop,
but it was great! I could easily quaff this beverage all night. Not too
sweat, great maple flavor – outstanding!


Subject: catclaw and star thistle
From: (Dave Suda)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 94 09:41:15 -0500

Susanne Price of the American Mead Association is looking for mead recipes
which use either catclaw cactus or star thistle honey. If anyone has
*proven* recipes using either of these honeys that they would be willing to
share with the AMA, please contact me.


Subject: beekeeping group
From: (Jane Beckman)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 94 15:40:01 PST

For those of you who get Usenet news, the group rec.agriculture.beekeeping
has been proposed. This group will be intended for folks who are interested
in bees, beekeeping, and bee products (like honey and things made with honey,
like mead). If you'd like to see a beekeeping group on Usenet, please feel
free to express your opinion over in news.groups, where the topic is currently
being discussed. We need your support!



Subject: Re: maple/mead
From: (John Gorman)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 1994 13:19:39 EST

> Thomas Redmond <>


> I'm looking for anyone who has brewed a mead-like beverage using mapel syrup
> for the fermentables. It sounds interesting but I am afraid that the mapel
> would be overpowering. I know I could substitute part of the honey in a mead
> recipe to get a maple taste but I'd really like to know the characteristics
> of a pure maple drink. If anyone has a good recipe, I'd love to have it.
> Tom R.

Yes, Maple Wine and Maple Mead can be a bit overpowering for
drinking, but good for sipping after dinner. I have tried 100% and
50% maple. Next I would try 10% or 20%. Here is a reliable and
very good recipe. Let me know how you do!


  • john


John Gorman
Relational Semantics, Inc. 617-926-0979
17 Mount Auburn Street Watertown MA 02172 USA

Traditional Mead and Maple Wine

Source: John Gorman (


5-6 qts honey or 7-8 qts maple syrup (bulk grade B dark)
15 gm white wine yeast
5 tsp yeast nutrient



O.G. 1.110 – 1.130
F.G. 1.010 – 1.030


Procedure: Relax, don't worry, have some mead.

Hydrate the yeast and dissolve the yeast nutrient _separately_ in
warm water for 30 minutes. Mix the honey, maple syrup, or both
with first hot and then cold tap water in a large open container to
almost 5 gallons at your target specific gravity. Splash or spray
the water to oxygenate the must so that the yeast will multiply.
Pour the must into a glass carboy, then pitch in the hydrated
yeast and dissolved yeast nutrient, dregs included.

Use a blow off tube for the first few days and then switch to a
water trap. In a month or so, the alcohol will kill the yeast
before it runs out of sugar. If not, and the mead turns out too
dry, add some more honey. It is ready to drink as soon as
fermentation stops.

Maple wine becomes crystal clear with a beautiful sherry color
within 60 days. Mead will sometimes clarify in 90 days. If you
choose to bottle the mead before it is clear, it will clarify in
the bottles, leaving an unsightly but delicious sediment.

Use Bentonite (clay) to quickly clarify a mead anytime after
fermentation stops. Boil 12 ounces of water in a saucepan.
While simmering, slowly sprinkle and stir in 5 tsp of bentonite.
Cover and let stand for 24 hours. Add during racking. It may be
necessary to rack and bentonite twice. The result is crystal clear.

Traditional Meads and Maple Wines have an alcohol content of 12-15%.
Always use yeast nutrient and plenty of yeast for a strong start.
The fermentation will take off with a bang and the rapidly rising
alcohol content will quickly kill off any wild yeast. There is no
need to sulphite, heat, or boil the must. Why ruin good honey?
I have never had a bad batch of mead, except when I added acid.

Subject: UNYHA annual competition
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 94 21:38:27 EST

It's time to searching your cellars for a few bottles of your best meads!
The UNYHA annual competition has expanded and now features a MEAD category.
We're looking for any experienced mead judges to help out too. Contact me
via email if you are interested in entering or judging. Thanks!

BTW, prizes for the mead category are mead-related. For example, I believe
first prize is 1 gal (12 lbs) of some of our finest local honey. High-
quality certificates are also awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
Send in those entries!


Upstate New York Homebrewers Association
16th Annual Competition and 5th Empire State Open


Saturday, April 16, 1994
McGinnity's Restaurant and Party House
534 West Ridge Road
Rochester, New York


Doors open at 6 PM — Judging begins at 7 PM
Admission: $5.00


Come & join the fun! Enjoy complimentary samples of homebrew!




British Ale Light Lager Porter
North American Ale Amber Lager Stout
Brown Ale Dark Lager Specialty
Belgian Looks Like "Saranac Black & Tan" Mead


No entries will be accepted after April 6.


Contest entries may be entered at homebrew shops in Rochester, Buffalo,
Syracuse, Utica, Ithaca, Binghamton, and the Hudson Valley -or- they may
be shipped. Send email request to address below for more information.


* Prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in all categories
* For all categories (except Looks Like): Malt extract or other brewing
* For Looks Like "Saranac Black & Tan": Prizes awarded by F.X. Matt's


Prizes For Best of Show:

1st Prize — Complete home kegging system from ADM Amalgamation
2nd Prize — $50 gift certificate for homebrew supplies from The Wine
Press & Hops
3rd Prize — $25 gift certificate for homebrew supplies from Cottage


(All categories except Mead and Looks Like "Saranac Black & Tan" compete
for best of show.)

Drawing for a gift certificate from Rohrbach Brewing Company included in
admission; there will be chances to win other beer-related prizes.
We'll provide free snacks & samples of homebrew.

*** Contest Sanctioned by the American Homebrewers Association ***

For more info about our competition, or about the BJCP exam being held
on Friday, April 15, contact me at the address below:

Tom Kaltenbach
Member, Upstate New York Homebrewers Association
Rochester, New York, USA

Subject: maple mead
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 19 Feb 94 00:21:28 MST (Sat)

I've had a wonderful maple mead, by which I mean a combination of maple
syrup and honey fermented. (Darn it, Zhahai, why don't you post something
about it?:) The first time I had it, it was presented rather apologeti-
cally, in a sort of "this is interesting but I'm not sure what you'll
think of it" tone. I loved it. It captured the essence of maple syrup.
It was fairly dry, but the character held true. It said "maple" without
shouting, and there were no off-tastes, bitterness, etc. I was surprised
at how it came out.

As soon as I can get a carboy empty, I'm going to try something like it.

The thing to realize is that maple is a rather idiosyncratic taste. It is
unfortunate that so many "imitation maple syrups" do such a bad job, that
many people do not like real maple syrup taste any more. Maple has a
very odd "tang" that I find intriguing, but people are often put off by it.
Plus, as you've almost certainly found from making mead already, anything
sweet tastes quite different with all the sugar gone. (Try to describe the
taste of honey-that's-not-sweet!)

Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA

…Mr Natural says, "Get the right tool for the job!"


End of Mead Lover's Digest #268