Mead Lover's Digest #0311 Tue 24 May 1994


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #310,… (
citric acid revisited (Jay Hersh)
Sweet mead FG (Tim Harper)
Re: Conditioning (John Gorman)


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #310,...
Date: Sun, 22 May 94 14:16:29 EDT

You know, its pretty hard to respond simply without coming up with a

technical dissertation on it !! Tis a problem, since isunderstandings can
occur…… LOL…. 🙂


Typical problems I have seem with fermentation in mead is either nutrient,

boiling the honey ( with is basically nutrient/enzyme related) or pH. pH is
probably the singly most important chemical parameter in making mead. pH has
effects on the bioligical stability, color, oxidation rate, protein stability
and overall taste. It has direct impact on the ATPase uptake in yeast.

Wine yeasts are produced ( through acclimation ) to survive in the typical

"GRAPE" wine environment, i.e pH range from 3.0 to 4.0 ( max ). Fermentation
is interactive with its environment…. pH changes fermentation range,
affects free SO2 etc….

Citric acid has its uses in fermentation. It can be used in the finishing

process as an antioxidant. Or, during intial stages as a chelate agent to
bind iron compounds…. Ferric phosphate casse….. Iron inhibits
fermentation when it exceeds 20mg/L.

pH can change dramatically depending upon the water…. ( hard or

soft…..) due to perhaps ( but not limited to ) calcium contentm, or perhaps
iron ?

Tis not a light question.


As to references…. one can order the Amerine books through your local

book dealer.


Wassail and happy brewing


Subject: citric acid  revisited
From: Jay Hersh <>
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 14:05:40 EDT

it occurred to me over the weekend that I had seen an argument regarding
yeast fermentation cycles and the proper starting media somewhere else
(in one of the home brewers journals) regarding which fermentation pathway
yeast utilize and differences in the chemical makeup of various starter media.

The argument claimed that beer wort was significantly different from a simple
sugar solution made from dextrose that starting beer yeast in dextrose was
not a good idea, as it favored a different fermentation pathway from that
actually used in beer wort fermentation. Specifically I believe they mentioned
the Krebs cycle.

While I know my bringing this up without sufficient detail (I am not a
biologist by profession) doesn't answer any questions my intent is to raise
the possibility that a similar situation is being discussed here.

If I understood the original poster correctly they indicate citric acid blocks
fermentation through certain pathways. However I am speculating that perhaps
the pathway they discuss is not one employed in practical mead making
fermentation, but perhaps is one found in laboratory settings, under controlled
conditions and with a constituent makeup that does not in fact closely resemble
what is found in real practical fermentation settings. Under this circumstance
the person could clearly be correct in their assertion based on the literature
cited, however be simply applying those results to a broader situation in which
they may not truly be applicable.

As I indicated there was some comparable discussion regarding this and the
applicability to what media to use for starting beer yeast. Perhaps another
participant in this digest who also participates in beer making discussion
groups might recall that discussion more fully.



Subject: Sweet mead FG
From: (Tim Harper)
Date: Mon, 23 May 94 13:52:37 CDT

Hi everybody. Although I've been brewing beer for a number of years, i"m
reatively new to mead making. My question is how low a final gravity is
acceptable for sweet mead? I started a batch about 2 months ago using 10
pounds clover honey, acid blend, yeast nutrients, and wyeast sweet mead
yeast. When I racked it to the secondary the gravity was about 1.013. It
doesn't look like it's done much since. Is this acceptable for a F.G.?
Thanks in advance!!!
Tim (who still doesn't have a delete key!)

Subject: Re: Conditioning
From: (John Gorman)
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 14:08:41 ADT

> From:


> I want to carbonate a very high alcohol mead. I plan on adding water to get
> the fermentation to start again. How much should I add for a five gallon
> batch? I plan to use champagne bottles.

I would like to hear from anybody who has actually tried this.

I suspect that high alcohol meads KILL their yeasts rather then
just put them to sleep. Once, I tried to use the leftover yeast
dregs from one batch as a starter for the next batch. For a whole
week after pitching, there was zero activity. I added some new
fresh yeast, and fermentation started immediately.

Any comments on the viability of yeast in high alcohol meads?


  • john


John Gorman <> Relational Semantics, Inc.
85 Spinnaker Drive #107 17 Mount Auburn Street
Halifax NS B3N 3E3 Watertown MA 02172
Canada 902-479-0113 USA 617-926-0979

End of Mead Lover's Digest #311