Mead Lover's Digest #0293 Tue 19 April 1994


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



Slooow starting ("Steven W. Smith")
Unusual aftertaste (Jim Beck)
mead styles/MCMC ("Daniel F McConnell")
Rose Mead (Jane Beckman)
Wyeast mead yeast (BUKOFSKY)
Strawberries (John Gorman)
Lalvin K1, yeast in general (Brian Smithey)
Moniak Mead ("John R. Calen (4.4113 (External 1)")
Maple Mead (
Too much of a good thing? (Chuck Stringer)
final gravity (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: Slooow starting
From: "Steven W. Smith" <>
Date: 18 Apr 1994 00:01:27 -0700 (MST)

Just wanted to drop in with a status report. To recap briefly: I mixed 20

pounds of raw honey with 48 ounces of smashed frozen blueberries, yeast
nutrient, and enough cool water to make about 4 1/2 gallons volume. I pitched
a 1 quart active starter of Vierka mead yeast.

It just sat there doing nothing, not a bubble, for 8 days… The berries

and must weren't getting moldy or anything, I was starting to think I'd
created The Must of Death; the berries eventually sank. It finally started
active fermentation and had floated all of the berries after 2 weeks. I
racked off the fruit and it's been bubbling steadily since.

Next update… not for quite awhile, I think. It will eventually get 2 cans

of sour cherries added after it's slowed down a bit (and maybe another gallon
of water).

Anyone have an opinion on the biggest, baddest most alcohol-tolerant yeast

available? "Just in case" the Vierka doesn't make the grade. TIA,



\o.O; Steven W. Smith, Programmer/Analyst

=(___)= Glendale Community College, Glendale Az. USA

Mah'-ee huv'-erk-raft iz fuhl ov ee'-ulz


Subject: Unusual aftertaste
From: Jim Beck <>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 1994 07:36:10 -0700 (PDT)

I am relatively new to the digest, but I have searched the archive
indices for any discussion of a disagreeable aftertaste and found none.
So am I looking for the wrong keywords or has noone ever discussed (or,
possibly, had) this problem?
Both a friend of mine and myself have run into a rather "plastic" or
"chemical" aftertaste on some of our batches. It has occurred across a
variety of styles and methods and we are at a loss to figure out what the
cause might be… ? This is definitely an aftertaste, the initial flavor
is usually quite agreeable.
Any advice (including pointing me to prior discussions of this) is much


Subject: mead styles/MCMC
From: "Daniel F McConnell" <>
Date: 18 Apr 1994 12:34:18 -0400

Subject:  mead styles/MCMC

Hi All:

>I'd like to compile a list of the basic types of meads and mead varients.
>This list seems like the obvious place to get accurate information and
>hopefully not start a flame war 🙂

Forrest, your list looks good, but I would add:

Hippocras (spiced pyment)
Show Mead (honey ALONE)

this is simply to distinguish it from a traditional mead which
allows small additions of spices (ginger, orange etc) at sub or
threshold levels to add complexity.

These are the guidelines that we have used for the Mazer Cup Mead
Competiton. They were also refered to in other Mead-only competitions
as well as Legislation in New Zealand. Not ment to be binding or exclusive,
we consider them to be works in progress.


Sorry, there just aren't flames here. I wonder why….Mellow meadmakers?

BTW, the Mazer Cup is planned for August 12 and 13th. Notices to all
of the past entrants will go out in July, with entries due buy August 6th.
More information will be posted to this forum when it is available.

I have been doing some research on increasing the rate of mead
fermentations and would be interested in information from this group:
1-Does anyone OXYGENATE rather than simply areate?
2-Has anyone monitored pH and adjusted to increase fermentation rate?

We have found some remarkable information on rapid ferments. Some
commercial meaderies run complete fermentations in a week or two!!!

Dan (who hasn't posted in months and months) McC

Subject: Rose Mead
From: (Jane Beckman)
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 94 09:47:00 PDT

A looooong time ago, a friend of mine (who gave me my first mead recipe)
used to make Rose Petal Mead. He used rosewater in his, and it was the
most exquisite thing I've ever sampled.

I've used rosewater and rose petals and rose syrup over the years, in various
concoctions, though I haven't done a rose mead in about ten years. The
best finish comes from fragrant red roses (Oklahoma was one of my favorites),
though I hear damask roses are very nice. I would recommend rosewater next.
Rose syrup is a pretty variable quality. I've had some good rose syrups
(Crabtree and Evelyn does a fairly good one) and some that were just awful!
The awful ones have a strange undertone that reminds me of perfumed soap.
I'd be careful and not do a large batch until you know what you're getting
into, in terms of quality of the syrup. (Another good test is to use it
to flavor some vanilla pudding, first. If the pudding tastes like soap,
don't use the rose syrup!) I wouldn't use more than a teaspoon per gallon,
BTW. Unlike rosewater, where you can dump in half a cup and it's still
delicate, rose syrup is pretty strong stuff.



Subject: Wyeast mead yeast
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 1994 12:55:00 -0400 (EST)


I am about to attempt my first batch of mead, and I am wondering which

yeast I should use. I have heard bad things about various types
(Montrachet, etc.). Being a homebrewer, I am inclined to use the Wyeast
strains since I have used their beer yeasts with great success. Is this a
good yeast to use? I am thinking of trying the "sweet mead" strain in a
recipe with 15 lbs honey for 5 gallons. Will this come out VERY sweet?
Any info on yeasts for a mead-newbie would be helpful.



Subject: Strawberries
From: (John Gorman)
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 1994 14:25:18 EDT

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


> Speaking of berries like this, I've seen some books that say you can't make
> a good melomel with (take your pick) raspberries, blackberries, boysen-
> berries. I'd have to say "all wrong"! I've had good luck with all of
> these, both as sweet/still meads and as dry/sparkling. In some cases it
> has taken a while for things to mellow out, but not too long. So far,
> berries and honey constitute one of the best combinations I've found.
> (Don't even get me started on strawberries!)

OK. I'll bite. Do strawberries make a good mead?


  • john


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

Subject: Lalvin K1, yeast in general
From: (Brian Smithey)
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 1994 14:58:54 -0600

> In Mead Lover's Digest #292, Ken ( writes:

> Lavlin K-1 and Lavlin EC-1118 Prisse De Mousse yeasts are excellent for mead
> production. K-1 is a killer strain, ferments vigorously under low nutrient
> conditions, and is resistant to mutation at the higher fermentation
> temperatures that mead likes. EC-1118 is a champagne yeast, again, an
> isolated killer strain, ferments rapidly and alcohol tolerant.

> Ken aka

I was recently re-reading the Zymurgy article (by Susanne Price, I believe)
that has a mead yeast comparison, and the article mentioned something about
killer yeasts being strongly phenolic. Has anybody noticed this with K1?
Ken's comments about K1 being vigorous under low nutrient conditions
make it sound very promising for mead, but I'd like to hear more about
the character of meads fermented with K1. I believe that the article
text just mentioned "killer yeasts", but the comparison table did
specifically mention a Canadian K1 yeast, which I presumed to be Lalvin.
Sensory components for quite a few yeasts were compared and presented
in bar graphs; one of the graphs was for perceived higher or fusel
alcohols, which was the graph where I figured I'd see a "spike" for
K1's phenolics. I remember thinking that it didn't seem as high as
I expected, I don't think it was even the highest.

Also, Ken mentions that EC-1118 is a champagne yeast — I've been wondering
what makes a yeast a "champagne" yeast? Attenuation? Alcohol tolerance?
Use in the commercial Champagne or sparkling wine industry?

I'm really interested in getting as much info about commonly available
wine yeasts as I can. For beer yeast, there is a "data sheet" availble
from the manufacture of the Wyeast line of liquid yeasts that reports
attenuation, flocculation, and effects on finished beer — whether the
yeast tends to accentuate malt or hop flavors, whether or not the yeast
has a strong flavor contribution of its own, stuff like that. I'd love to
see information like this for Lalvin, Red Star, Vierka, etc. Has anybody
seen anything like this?


Brian Smithey / Sun Microsystems / Colorado Springs, CO

Subject: Moniak Mead
From: "John R. Calen (4.4113 (External 1)" <calen@VNET.IBM.COM>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 94 16:37:34 EDT

Last November I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
I toured the Edinburgh Castle and for sale in the gift shop was a product
called Moniak Mead. (5 pounds/750 ml, about $7.50 for 25 oz.)

There was nothing on the bottle to indicate that it was anything other than
a plain mead.

Well, I got the stuff back into the States and brought it to a tasting.
It was my first taste of that mead as well as everyone elses. The reactions
it got was less than flattering as noses turned and groans were loud.

The thinking that night was that it had been stored poorly and it had picked
up a plastic, or phenolic note of some sort. The bottle is glass. The cap
is cork in plastic.

I've since tasted it again and I think that maybe we were a bit hard on it.
I now regard the aroma as strongly floral, almost perfumy. I still don't
fancy it much, but I'll hold on to that bottle for awhile. After all, it
doesn't take up much room.

I guess in all of this there's a question and it's whether anyone has tried
this brand of mead and if it's in reality a heather metheglin or something of
the sort? (I can't see the honey as coming with that aroma, but, who knows?!)

John R. Calen

Subject: Maple Mead
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 94 23:34:00 UTC

Does anyone have a recipe for maple mead? I have nort ever heard of it,

although I have heard of maple beer. It seems that a maple mead would
actually taste pretty good. It is now maple sap season and any recipes
would be greatly appreciated. Thx.


Subject: Too much of a good thing?
From: Chuck Stringer <>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 1994 14:06:18 -0500 (EST)

Ok, most people agree that yeast nutrient is a good thing ™. It

helps fermentation by supplying all sorts of vitamins and minerals the
little beasties need for strong, uh, protoplasm, etc. Would it hurt
the mead in any way to increase the amount of yeast nutrient, or
double it? It seems like there would be less danger of infection if
the yeast is happy and healthy.


Chuck Stringer

Subject: final gravity
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 19 Apr 94 21:11:58 MDT (Tue) wrote:
> A totally dry mead will have a S.G. of .985, so depending upon the amount of
> residual sugar that you like…

If everything ferments out (totally dry), the final gravity still depends
on the starting gravity. That is, if you ferment out all of the sugar, you
end up with a proportionate amount of alcohol. Alcohol is less dense than
water, so the more alcohol the lower the final gravity.

(You can easily calculate the specific gravity of a given alcohol/water
mixture. However, this turns out not to be useful for mead [or wine or
beer] because there's so much other stuff present that affects the SG.)


  • Dick


End of Mead Lover's Digest #293