Mead Lover's Digest #0322 Fri 1 July 1994


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



rhubarb wine too (Roger Grow)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #321,… (
The recipe book is done! (Joyce Miller)
more about spices (Gordon L. Olson)


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Subject: rhubarb wine too
From: (Roger Grow)
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 10:56:44 -0600

I'm also interested in a rhubarb wine or melomel recipe.
So if anybody has one, post it here (vs private) so we
can all enjoy.

just for giggles, another recipe book title;

Gettin a Buzz On



Bee Buzzin


good day

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #321,...
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 19:50:28 EDT

Subject: Old Honey
From: <>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 94 08:38:21 CST

>> thought it was very sherry-like. The melomels have this same >>type of
flavor also, I think due to oxidation of the honey over the >>long period of

The sherry character is indicative of a high acetaldehyde content.

acetaldehyde is the metabolic precursor to ethanol. High acetaldehyde is
sometimes associated with yeast strain, however, if you added sulfites to the
must, this is the cause. Additional slow and or hot fermentation can increase
acetaldehyde. Old honey would not necessarily cause this.


Post fermentation of oxygen to the finished mead can also oxidize ethanol

to acetaldehyde


>> Recently the temp got up to the mid 80's for about two weeks
>>where I keep my carboys. Will this do anything other than speed >>up the

Alot of yeast strains are temperature sensitive. High temperature

fermentation increases fermentation rate, but at the cost of higher volatile
acid. Depending upon your own style of making mead, this may or may not
produce desireable results.

If a melomel is used high temperature increase color extraction and phenol

content. ( if appl )




Subject: The recipe book is done!
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 94 10:54:18 -0400

One and all —

Yes, the first version of "The Bee's Lees", the mead recipe book, is
finished and installed in the sierra archives. You can get it by either
FTPing into the pub/mead subdirectory on, or by sending
the following e-mail message to

get pub/mead beeslees.txt

The file is in plain text — I don't think anyone wanted to wait any longer
while I poked around trying to get it into a postscript version! Enjoy!


  • -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: more about spices
From: (Gordon L. Olson)
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 94 09:27:36 -0600

Let me add my own two cents about spices.

I much prefer the whole spice to ground and processed spice. For example,
fresh ginger root has a much fuller aroma and taste than dried ground
ginger. Also, powdered ginger gives a harsher flavor that get bitter as
it ages. The same goes for cinnamon, use whole sticks.

Here is a recent recipe (for 5 gallons) that I am happy with:

12 pounds Desert Honey
0.5 oz., fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 whole nutmeg, grated
0.5 tsp whole cloves
5 cinnamon sticks, each 2" long, broken up
5 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient
2 tsp. acid blend
1 T yeast hulls

above ingredients pasteurized at 165 F for 45 min. Then I cooled
the must and strained out the spices. I pitched 10 gm of Lalvin
K1V-1116 yeast. After one month the specific gravity was down
to 0.997, so I racked it into a clean carboy and added 5 sodium bensoate
stabilizing tablets to kill off the yeast. It was drier than I wanted
and the nutmeg dominated the spices too much, so I added 2 pounds of
honey and another 0.5 oz. of fresh ginger root after pasteurizing them
for 10 min. The ginger root stayed in the bottom of the carboy right
up until I bottled the mead. No problems. After another month, the
balance still wasn't quite right so I added another 0.75 pounds of the
desert honey. Two months after that, I bottled with a SG = 1.024.
Because of the spices, it doesn't taste as sweet as it sounds.

Here are my recommended ranges on these spices:
fresh ginger root: less than 4 oz., unless it is a very sweet mead
cinnamon sticks: up to 12 sticks, each 2 inches
cloves: up to 2 tsp of whole cloves (I personally want gentle cloves)
nutmeg: not more than one whole nut

This is enough to get you started without disasters. I friend followed
a recipe for ginger beer and didn't realize the difference between fresh
and dried ginger. Two ounces of dried ginger is a whole jar, and is much
stronger than two ounces of fresh ginger root. We will see if her beer
is drinkable.

Experiment and have fun.


| Gordon L. Olson | Los Alamos National Laboratory |
| e-mail: | Group X-6, Mail Stop B226 |
| phone: 505-667-8105 | fax: 505-665-5538 |


End of Mead Lover's Digest #322