Mead Lover's Digest #0325 Sat 9 July 1994


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



Pointer to Mead Judging Discussion ("John R. Calen")
Need advice on my mead (Diane Heckman)


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Subject: Pointer to Mead Judging Discussion
From: "John R. Calen" <calen@VNET.IBM.COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 94 11:55:01 EDT

I wanted to pass along to readers here that I just sent a note to the
JudgeNet Digest (to subscribe, send a note to
discussing the judging of meads. By all means, feel free to join the fun.

The note should appear in the next issue (#801).

John Calen

Subject: Need advice on my mead
From: Diane_Heckman@Novell.COM (Diane Heckman)
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 94 13:29:20 PDT

I've made 30 batches of beer, but this is my first batch of
mead. I'm looking for advice….

On April 3, I started a mead with :

5 gallons of water
2 lemons, zest and juice
11 pounds of honey (bulk from health fud store)


I boiled it for 20 minutes, and cooled with a
wort chiller. Used Wyeast mead yeast (don't
remember if it was sweet or dry).

Two weeks later, I decided I wanted a raspberry taste,
so I added 4 lbs. of frozen raspberries. I understand
now that the amount was too small, but I don't think
I'll add more. Can I at this late point? Made it a nice
red color.

I racked it on 5/4, 4 weeks after the initial boil.

On 6/5, it had cleared, so I tasted it and took a
gravity reading. 0.995. I wanted some residual
sweetness, so I added :

4 lbs. of honey, boiled in 2 cups water


I figured the yeast would die off after a while,
and leave some sweetness.

Now it's 7/8, 4 weeks after the addition of honey,
and it's still fermenting! Gravity is 1.010.
There is a big cake of yeast at the bottom, and a layer of
tiny bubbles on the top. I can see little bubbles rising
off the bottom. The airlock is still bubbling once every
10 seconds or so. The glass fermenter has been in the bedroom,
with temps between 60 and 80.

I'm getting impatient. 3.5 months so far! I'm aiming
for something with a sweetness of a medium chardonnay,
not as sweet as a white zinfandel, and not as dry as
a chenin blanc.

The main questions are : Is the yeast going to die soon?
Should I rack it off the yeast cake?
Should I add more honey now to guarantee some residual
sweetness? It's nice and clear, so I hesitate to add
honey and get the yeast all excited again…

Should/Can I adjust the acidity now?

How long does it have to sit in the bottle? Can I drink this
by Christmas and enjoy it????

Maybe I should go back to those quick ales…

Thanks for any help, I'm new at this.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #325