Mead Lover's Digest #0297 Thu 28 April 1994


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



17yr old mead & Vierka Mead Yeast (Joyce Miller)
progress report On monster mead (Jay Hersh)


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Subject: 17yr old mead & Vierka Mead Yeast
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 09:42:14 -0400

> an old crate I found an unlabelled, corked, glass wine bottle.
> After a bit of thinking my Dad told me that it was a bottle
> of Mead bought from a farm shop in Cornwall, England. Then,

Well, that depends. Was the cork up or down? If it was stored cork up,
just go ahead & try it with your family (the cork may have dried & shrunk,
allowing air in). If it was stored cork down, it might be quite special.


>Red Stars. Have others found Vierka to be less than satisfactory? I would
>like to hear opinions, because I still have not ruled out the possibility of
>using this yeast in the future if it produces somewhat predictable mead
>characteristics; plus, it's cheap.

I've used the Vierka yeast, and I like it very much for certain types of
mead. Mega-caveats, though:

1: It is *very* slow. Make a starter first, and don't even brew until it's
really bubbling.

2: Another caveat: even under good conditions, it's still slow. The mead
will take quite a while to ferment.

3: Bullets won't stop it. Once started, it won't stop. Oh, it may *look*
like it's done, but it's just switched to "stealth fermentation" mode. It
will even continue fermenting very slowly in the bottle. I've never had
explosions, but it means that you will need to clarify before bottling, or
the strong carbonation will bring sediment up from the bottom when you open
the bottle.

So why do I use it at all? Well, it was the first yeast I ever used (go
ahead, call me sentimental), and some of my best meads have been made with
it. Also some of my worst. My *impression* is that it doesn't contribute
any distinctive off flavors to the mead, but I'm about to conduct a couple
of test batches to confirm this. If it's true, then it would be great if
clarified and kegged/force-carbonated. I'll let you know in a few
months….. (that's the bad part about making mead).


  • – Joyce


Joyce Miller Whitehead Institute / M.I.T. Center for Genome Research
617-252-1914 (phone) 1 Kendall Square, Bldg. 300
617-252-1902 (FAX) Cambridge, MA 02139

Subject: progress report On monster mead
From: Jay Hersh <>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 11:51:03 EDT

well after its third racking and second yeast addition I got my mead going
again. For those who don't recall this started at 1.157 and stopped fermenting
at 1.O75, the racking and yeast addition now have brought it down to 1.027
which is a hefty 18% alcohol content. It also has gone completely clear now.
It is approaching its 14th month of fermentation but it appears to be about
done fermenting and I will be bottling it soon. I'll report back on how it
tastes but I probably won't drink any for a year or so other than a taste at
bottling time.



End of Mead Lover's Digest #297