Mead Lover's Digest #0324 Thu 7 July 1994


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #323, 4 July 1994 (Erick Singley)
Mead mistakes? (KWH)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #323,… (
Fruit in secondary (Chuck Stringer)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #323,… (


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Subject: Re:  Mead Lover's Digest #323, 4 July 1994
From: (Erick Singley)
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 94 11:16:25 -0400

I had 3 gallons of 'finished' mead, ready for bottling, when I got distracted
by getting married, going on honeymoon and moving all our stuff and unpacking


The problem is -> The fermentation bottle was left untended and the water-
lock dried out. Its been sitting this way for a bout a month or two.
Is it still 'safe' to drink? Can I bottle it and go on our merry way with
a new batch, or *dump* this one as suspect and start over?

Subject: Mead mistakes?
From: (KWH)
Date: Tue, 05 Jul 94 11:56

I am a regular beer brewer and somewhat regular wine maker, but very
inexperienced mead maker. I brewed a mead last Saturday using a hodgepodge
of ingredients and methodology, and I'm afraid I made some mistakes along
the way. What I need is some constructive criticism. I went on the theory
that you should boil the must until no more scum rises, which for me was
about 45 minutes. Since I started with 5 gallons and my recipe called for
1 tsp of acid blend per gallon, I just dumped in 5 teaspoons before
checking the ph. Of courese, since I ended up with 4.25 gallons after the
boil, my ph was well below 5.0 (the lower limit of my ph papers). How much
of a problem is this? I also added 5 campden tablets right after the boil
(while chilling with an immersion chiller). Is this going to be too much?
My directions also said to wait until 24 hours after adding the campden
tablets to add yeast. Well, I forgot and added my rehydrated prise de
mousse just after cooling. Will the sulphites kill or alter the yeast
beyond recognition? Fermentation started about 30 hours after cooling,
which would tend to suggest that everything was OK, but I still wonder….
The airlock is bubbling about every 10 seconds and there is a very thin
white head on the must. This is very mild compared to how my ales and
wines ferment. I added yeast nutrient, and expected more vigorous
fermentation. Is this "normal"? Also, I know this is a common question,
but I couldn't find it in the faq – How do you sweeten and/or give more
body to a mead that you intend to make into a sparkling mead? I added 1.5
pounds of lactose, but it did not seem nearly as sweet as regular sugar.
What is a good rule of thumb for this stuff? Any ideas? I would
appreciate any suggestions, criticism, etc., because I would really like to
be able to make good mead, and I know I have a long way to go. Please
respond by private email if possible.
Kirk Harralson

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #323,...
Date: Tue, 05 Jul 94 23:50:30 EDT

OOOPPPPS sorry, forgot to add something…… concerning…

>>What is the mechanism of action of sulfite?
also bisulfite reacts with acetaldehyde to form hydroxysulfonate…. the
dissociation constant is much less the the formation constant… ( Kf =
2×105, Kd = 5×10-6)…. thus forming a relatively unfermentable product….

However, as a GENERAL principle SO2 can enhance flavonoid phenol

extraction from fruit, and also enhance color extraction ( due to formation
of anthocyanidin -4- bisulfite ).


All in all, it really depends upon YOUR style of mead making, what do you

like… etc…..


Subject: Fruit in secondary
From: Chuck Stringer <>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 17:34:39 -0500 (EST)

I'm going to start an apricot melomel and I've been thinking about

adding the fruit in the secondary to reduce the risk of infection
without pasturizing the fruit. If I ferment a fair amount of honey
(2lbs per gal) before adding it, won't the alcohol level help
sterilize the fruit? Also, shouldn't adding the fruit later give it a
stronger apricot taste? I did this with a blackberry melomel last year
and it turned out well. Was I just lucky?



Chuck Stringer

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #323,...
Date: Mon, 04 Jul 94 22:17:28 EDT

>>What is the mechanism of action of sulfite?
basically bisulfite prevents acetaldehyde from becoming a hydrogen acceptor
for NAD. Under this condition, triose dihydroxyacetone phosphate replaces
acetaldehyde as a hydrogen acceptor, resulting in the formation of
glycerophosphate.. Subsequent hydrolysis of glycerophosphate by phosphate
enzymes lead to glycerol.

ie glucose + SO3-2 ——> glycerol + acetaldehyde*SO3- + CO2


End of Mead Lover's Digest #324