Mead Lover's Digest #0332 Wed 27 July 1994


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



White spots in melomel bottles (
administrivia: things about how the Mead-Lover's list works (Dick Dunn)
Fining with gelatine/Cork flavor (BUKOFSKY)
braggot mead recipe (Gordon L. Olson)
First mead questions (Sean C. Cox)
Looks like snot in the primary (Diane Heckman)


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Subject: White spots in melomel bottles
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 94 14:08:50 MDT

Hi all:

I have a batch of kiwi__fruit__ (is Aidan, the Mad Kiwi, still out
there somewhere? 🙂 melomel that I made about three months ago. It
has now been in the bottles for about 3 weeks and I have noticed white
"spots" appearing on the bottoms of most (but not all) of the bottles.
I can't really see too well what the stuff is — most bottles have one
spot, a few have two or three.

I find it hard to believe that I have contamination — the stuff tasted
great at bottling time and at 14.5% alcohol I can't imagine anything
being introduced at bottling time, although you never know. Has
anybody ever had this happen? Since the yeast has (presumably) used up
all of the oxygen, is it possible for anything to grow on the _bottom_
of the bottle? I always thought all molds/fungi/etc. needed oxygen in
order to grow. Bacteria may not, but I wouldn't think bacterial
contamination would present itself this way.

Now, given that oxygen is needed for it to grow, I would expect growth
up in the neck of the bottle at the waterline where there is more
likely to be oxygen present due to the headspace. However, I have
inspected every bottle and can find no growth at all anywhere in the
bottles except on the very bottom. I used Red Star Pasteur Champagne
yeast in this batch; could this be some bizarre characteristic of that
yeast? I've never seen this before, but then, I usually only use that
yeast for sodas.

Any ideas? Whatever it is, I expect to ride it out for another month
or so, keep an eye on the spots (to see if they're growing or anything)
and then try a sample — no need to rush and pour it out if there's
nothing wrong with it. But I'd like to know if anybody has an idea
what it might be. All replies (fact & speculation) are welcome, e-mail
is fine if you prefer.

See ya,

Jon (

Subject: administrivia: things about how the Mead-Lover's list works
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 23 Jul 94 00:42:44 MDT (Sat)

Gentle Readers –
Indulge me if you will…once again a few requests for the Digest which,
if understood by most of us, will allow me bucolic evenings spent making
and sipping mead, instead of slugging back cheap whiskey while gnashing my
teeth over the potholes in the information highway.

1. When you tell someone about the digest, PLEASE mention that it appears
every two or three days, NOT daily. Otherwise, new folk send multiple
subscription attempts, send to every conceivable address, send me worried
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2. If you want to change your email address, the easiest way for you and
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check it!! If you give me a wrong address, I'm helpless.

3. When changing addresses or unsubscribing, please be sure I have (or can
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your mail gets forwarded via different machines, domains, aliases, and
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the reasons I ask for a "human name" at signup time.

4. If you use a "vacation mailer"–a program that automatically answers
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reply to a "-request" address. (That's normal operation for most of them.)
It is nearly impossible to make the digest filters catch these replies and
discard them.

Thanks for the help, and sorry for the non-mead-related noise.

  • Dick


Subject: Fining with gelatine/Cork flavor
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 1994 10:19:38 -0400 (EDT)

I have a batch of dry mead (15 lb honey, Prisse de Mousse yeast) that has
been sitting for about two months and is quite cloudy. I decided to try
to fine with gelatine, but the mead is still cloudy three weeks after the
gelatine addition.

What I did:

Boiled about a pint of water for a few minutes to kill any nasties.
Let cool a bit, then added a packet of gelatine; dissolved well
Cooled solution off (maybe to about 100 degrees F)
Added to mead in carboy, agitated very slightly


BTW, the temperature in my house is typically 80 deg F nowadays
Have I done something wrong? Why isn't it clear?

Also, I am going to bottle this mead in wine bottles and cork. Since I
will store the bottles on their sides to keep the cork moist, I was
wondering if the mead flavor will be at all affected by the cork in
contact with it.



Subject: braggot mead recipe
From: (Gordon L. Olson)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 94 10:40:11 -0600

In MLD#330, Kirk Williams asked for a braggot recipe. Over the
weekend I looked over my notes and put this together. If you
have any questions about it, please ask.

Basic Braggot (for 5 gallons)


6 lbs. Pale Ale Malt (2 row barley)
1 lb. Munton and Fison CaraPils malt
1 oz. Saaz hop pellets (alpha = 5.4%)
1/2 tsp. Irish moss
12 lbs. Clover honey, local, raw, unfiltered
1 tsp. acid blend
5 gm. Lalvin K1V-1116 yeast in a starter
1tsp. yeast hulls
1 tbl. sparkaloid
1/2 cup corn sugar at bottling


I mashed the grains at 120 F for 15 minutes, then at 150-155 F for
90 minutes. The water collected from sparging the grains was boiled
for 60 min. with the hops. The Irish moss was added for the last
20 min. After turning off the heat, I stirred in 9 pounds of the
honey and the acid blend and let them pasteurize for 20 min. Then
I cooled the mixture with a immersion chiller, racked it into a
5 gallon carboy, topped it up with preboiled water, and pitched
Lalvin K1V-1116 yeast that I had started the previous day. Using
an aquarium pump and air stone, I bubbled air through the liquid
for 30 min. The yeast was slow to start up (at 62 F), but after
2 days there was a vigorous fermentation.

One week later fermentation had slowed, so I racked the mead into
a clean carboy. I was disappointed that the specific gravity had
only dropped to 1.032. So, with the 3 additional pounds of past-
eurized honey that I had already planned to add, I dumped in a
teaspoon of yeast hulls.

Four weeks after starting I added the sparkaloid to clarify the
mead. One week after that I bottled it with the corn sugar. The
specific gravity at bottling was 1.022.


I had assumed that with all the malt in this recipe it would
ferment fast, and it did, but I was perhaps too impatient and
bottled it early. So far (3 months later) it is still only
slightly carbonated and tastes much more like a mead than a
beer. In fact, the beer character is very understated. For this
sweet of a braggot, I should have used another ounce of hops.
But it was my first attempt at a braggot and I didn't know how
it would turn out.

If you are not into mashing grain, substitute two 3.3 pound cans
of hopped extract, one light and one amber, for the grains. If
you use hopped extract, then you don't have to added the Saaz
hops. Boil the extracts briefly in 2 or 3 gallons of water
before adding the honey.

This mead is aging and mellowing out faster than a traditional
mead, but not as fast as a fruit mead.

Next time, if I want to emphasize the beer character more, I may
use an ale yeast for the first week and then add a wine yeast.

I have served this mead to friends and they rave about it.
After I enter it into a couple competitions, I'll update
you as to how well it does.

(Joyce, feel free to add this recipe to your collection.) (Gordon L. Olson)

Subject: First mead questions
From: (Sean C. Cox)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 94 14:49:01 EDT

Greetings all,

I just bottled my first mead and have a couple questions…

First & foremost, when I tried a little (ok, not so little) of it when I
was bottling, I was overwhelmed by the "champagne" flavor. I used Red Star
champagne yeast, so I'm assuming that it's mostly yeast by-products, can I
also assume that they'll age out?

The recipe I used was 2lbs raw, unfiltered clover honey, 1/4tsp yeast

nutrient, water to 1gal. It was pitched in the middle of May, and has gone
through a nasty heat-wave (here in CT) without the benefit of A/C. When my
finacee & I sampled the mead, it tasted like cheap, flat champagne with no
perceptible honey flavor/aroma, but a good bit of alcohol. Is this unusual?
I'm hoping that I just need to let it age out the flavors and the honey will
shine through….



  • – Sean


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Subject: Looks like snot in the primary
From: Diane_Heckman@Novell.COM (Diane Heckman)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 94 12:07:14 PDT

This is my second batch. I fermented the first in
plastic, but am now fermenting in glass. Looks gross,
and I'm hoping someone will let me know if this is OK.

5 gallons water
15 lbs honey
3 tsp yeast hulls
3 tsp yeast nutrient
spices (about 5 tsp total of powdered spices)

Boiled for 20 minutes and skimmed foam. Cooled with
the wort chiller to 82 degrees F, and figured that was

For yeast, I had bottled the dregs from the secondary
on my last batch in a champagne bottle, and stored it in
the fridge for 2 weeks. It was sweet mead yeast from
Wyeast labs. Released the pressure gradually, tasted
some (seemed OK), and poured it throught a sanitized
funnel into the must that I'd already racked in.
I've used this procedure for ales before, and figured that
it would work OK.

A couple of hours later, the airlock was bubbling, so
I decided to take a look. As I said above, my first batch
was fermented in plastic, so I have no idea how this
ought to look. Looked like it was snowing snot. Yech.
A finger deep layer on the bottom. This morning, it had
all settled out to the bottom.

Is this normal? What is it? I'd say coagulated protien
if it were an ale…

Please reassure this newbie mead maker.

Thanks for the earlier help on my "will the fermentation ever
end" post. I've stopped fidgeting, racked it, and will WAIT.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #332