Mead Lover's Digest #0327 Wed 13 July 1994


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



Re: Need advice (Joyce Miller)
Dead yeast as a nutrient ("Fugate, Richard")


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Subject: Re: Need advice
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 10:10:51 -0400

Diane Heckman —

What was the starting gravity of your wort, and what yeast did you use?
Beer yeasts tend to poop out at a lower percentage alcohol, Champagne
yeasts can go to 18% (almost 140 points!). Pris de Mousse is also pretty

You can probably adjust the acidity when you bottle. You can also taste
it. 🙂 When I bottle anything made with a wine (or stronger) yeast, I
always bottle about 6-12 grolsch bottles'-worth. That way, I can sample it
over the course of a year or more, and can tell when a batch is ready for

When you get a large yeast cake, you should probably rack it. As for the
3.5 months, stop fidgeting! Jay Hersh made a mead that took a *year* to
ferment out completely (and he had to rack it and re-start it several
times), but it was heavenly when bottled (didn't need to age at all).

Alex Tewes —

I wish I had some good advice for you, but 3kg/20l (about 6 lbs/5 gal)
seems *very* low. My (limited) experience with these meads is that they
are best drunk while still bubbling, and there's some residual sweetness
left. Otherwise, *all* the sugar is fermented away, but there still isn't
enough alcohol to taste (= the watery taste).

Add more honey and re-start with more yeast?


  • – Joyce


Subject: Dead yeast as a nutrient
From: "Fugate, Richard" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 09:06:12 -0600

I have made about 10 meads using the ammonium phosphate salt type nutrients.
What I'm beginning to suspect is that this is imparting a strong bitter taste
that takes months to mellow. Most of the meads I have made have not used any
acid or tannins. On to the experiment, I am currently fermenting two one
gallon meads using dead bread yeast as a nutrient. This involved making a
starter using the following.

1/4 cup Red Star dry bread yeast in 400 ml of water
100 ml clover honey
1 tsp. lime juice

After boiling and cooled in ice water bath, I pitched the dry wine yeast.
Active fermentation (CO2) in 45 minutes. After 24 hours this was pitched
into 2 gallons of 1.100 gravity clove honey must. Active fermentation
resumed in 30 minutes. This has been fermenting strong for 7 days. I will
test gravity and flavor this weekend. What I am hoping is that much of the
"bad" flavors are gone and the mead will take less time to age. I have
tasted all my meads when the were young and will have a good comparison
between the chemical -vs- dead yeast nutrient. The results will be posted in
the next 10 days.

Richard Fugate
Mayo Foundation

End of Mead Lover's Digest #327