Mead Lover's Digest #0313 Mon 30 May 1994


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



Books on Mead (Joyce Miller)
Yeast Starter (Joyce Miller)
flower petal metheglyn (Jane Beckman)


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Subject: Books on Mead
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 13:17:08 -0400

This is a call for books to include in the bibliography section of the Mead
Recipe Book. If you know of any books on mead, or general brewing or
cooking books that have good sections on mead, please e-mail me. Please

Complete author, title, publisher, date, and price information.
Page numbers (for books with sections on mead)
ISBN, if possible
Ordering information (if it's published by the author or professional
associations or clubs, or an extremely small publisher (brochures &
pamphlets, especially)).
Your critique of the book and how useful it is, strengths & weaknesses, etc.

Be especially sure to send info on bad books! We want to be able to steer
beginners away from bad information, and towards the good.

The recipe book's almost done!


  • – Joyce


Subject: Yeast Starter
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 13:19:47 -0400

Since there's been some talk lately about getting yeast going/keeping yeast
alive, I'll include this recipe that I've been using quite successfully:

Mead Yeast Starter

Ingredients (makes 1/2 gallon):

1 cup honey
1 cup cane sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp yeast nutrient (or however much your directions call for)
6-2/3 cups water


Bring all of the ingredients to a boil, then shut off & let sit (covered)
20-30 minutes to pasteurize. Force cool in a cold water bath, if you wish.
Pour dry yeast into a sanitized 1/2-gallon container. When the starter
solution has cooled to below 80F (27C), pour it on top of the dry yeast.
Shake & swirl to dissolve the yeast. Attach an airlock. When the airlock
shows regular activity, it's time to brew. Anywhere from 2-4 cups of
active starter can be added to 5 gallons of mead must. Swirl the starter
before "inoculating" your mead must so as to get the yeast into suspension.


I have used this recipe for starting beer, wine, and champagne yeasts, and
it seems to be very good for acclimating the yeast to the "mead

A half gallon is quite a bit of starter, so it might be a good idea to cut
the recipe in half. I only make the full amount when I plan to brew
several batches of mead. Since yeast ferments honey relatively slowly,
you can easily use up a batch of the starter on several batches made across
2-3 weeks. The starter will just keep on bubbling in between your brewing
sessions! If you want to keep it going even longer, you can pour off half
the starter, and add a few cups of fresh must for the yeast to chew on.

Happy yeast!


  • – Joyce


From: Richard B. Webb <>
Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 12:39:33 -0700

Subject: Recipe for Honey Bucket Bracket

Michael Hall, who was one of the judges at the
Duke's of Ale Spring Thing competition held receintly
in Albuquerque, New Mexico, wanted the recipe of the mead
that I had entered. It took honors for the best
mead of the competition. This is my attempt at
supplying the recipe.

It's not actually a mead, but something called a
bracket or braggot. The American Mead Association
is of very little use in supplying a definition of the style,
only saying that the mix has to have at least half of it's
fermentables comming from the added honey.

The idea was to make a batch of beer and a batch of
mead and slam the two together. Thus a beer was made
(at a very low hopping rate), and a lot of honey was added to it.

It was a dark and stormy New Year's Eve.
25 lbs of Honey Malt (17 degrees L) were mashed at 156
degrees until starch test showed complete saccrification.
The mash was sparged at 164 degrees. This wort was brought
to a boil. The color contribution of this malt was
estimated at approximately 60 degrees SRM.

39 grams of Saaz hop flowers (at 6.0% acid)
was added for a proposed 60 minute boil.

130 grams of shredded ginger root was added for a
proposed 15 minute boil.

1 TBL of Irish Moss was added for a proposed 10
minute boil.

At the end of the 60 minutes, I added 12 lbs
of Schneider's blackberry honey. Heat continued,
even though the wort wasn't boiling. After 25 minutes,
the boil resumed, and I added 1 TBL of acid blend.
After another 10 minutes of boil, the heat was
turned off, the imersion cooler was inserted, and
cooling was begun.

I used Red Star Montrachet dry yeast in this batch.
The first package was added when the wort was still
too hot (oops!), so another package was added later,
before obvious signs of fermentation had begun.

All of the above yeilded about 8 gallons of wort,
whose specific gravity was 1.112. The actual
hopping rate was estimated at 22 IBU, not
including the acid added. The final gravity
reading was 1.052, with the resulting alcohol
at approximately 6.4%.

Racking occured on 13 Jan 94.

Bottling took place on 25 Jan 94, giving just
under one month of fermenting. Priming sugar
consisted of 1/2 cup corn sugar, 2 cups of
water, and 1 tsp ascorbic acid. In truth, the
batch always tasted a little funny, and I can't
really say that I care for Bracket/Braggot.
Because I used Honey malt, I called this brew
Honey Bucket Bracket. Dark as the night, and
thicker than sin!

Judges comments:
Michael Hall gave it 42 points.
Good honey expression! Roasted malt comes throught too!
Fairly clear, good head retention. Good honey task. Good
roasted malt taste. Nice complex task. This is the most
interesting mead we've tasted! Nice balance of mead
and beer. Very good idea! I could drink a lot of this
(slowly…) on a winter night.

Bill Terborg gave it 45 points.
Complex nose. Very nice. Great color and very clear.
Ver nice – complex, malt strong, yet honey in
background. Good balance – sweet & acid.
Great mead! Publish the recipe so we can all enjoy!

William deVries gave it 37 points.
Good solid honey/malt aroma. Nicely balanced,
almost smoky. Honey exudes throughout, bitter
component masks the modifying sweetness, but
not too badly. Malt flavor aids the complexity.
Nice even flavors cause a pleasant and lasting


Rich Webb


Subject: flower petal metheglyn
From: (Jane Beckman)
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 16:26:18 PDT

Well, this one could be interesting. On Sunday, I picked three quarts of
mixed flower petals—jasmine, rose, and spicy carnations—and infused
them in hot water for 36 hours. Strained off the liquid, added honey, lemon
juice, and a bit of pear juice (twenty years ago, a friend made some exquisite
rose/pear mead!). Well, a gallon of this elixer is now bubbling happily.
I'll have to give the list a report on the finished product. It smells
heavenly, in pre-fermented form. I hope it holds!

Jilara []


End of Mead Lover's Digest #313