Mead Lover's Digest #0341 Tue 23 August 1994


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



Winning Recipes (Gordon L. Olson)
re: heating honey (SPEAKER.CURTIS)
Excellent Meathe (Joyce Miller)
Fermentation Termination? (Colin McConnell)
Distilled Mead? (
Re: botulism and honey ("No one in particular.")
First melomel, yum! (Sean C. Cox)
? PET bottles for mead ? (
skunked… way ("Daniel F McConnell")
Mazer Cup Recipes ("Daniel F McConnell")
vinegar (


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Subject: Winning Recipes
From: (Gordon L. Olson)
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 94 08:58:45 -0600

In MLD#332 I published a braggot recipe. Since it just got second place
in the Mazer Cup competition, it must be an OK recipe.

Joyce Miller recieved a couple first place awards. If you haven't
shown us those recipes yet, Joyce, please give us the details.

I hope that other winners in this forum will publish their recipes.

Subject: re: heating honey
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 11:38 EDT

I am not usually a stickler for nomenclature, but this one bugs me…

Enzymes in honey are not volatile: ie., they cannot be driven off by heating.
Enzymes are proteins, and can be denatured by heating (like the white of an
egg, which IS [mostly] protein, solidifying and turning white). Their are
other components of honey (esters, which give it taste) which ARE volatile and
can be driven off by accessive heating (which is why mead musts are usually
boiled for only 15 min. instead of the hour that you boil beer wort).
Just couldn't let the improper use of the term "volatile" go in this case…
the science guy

Subject: Excellent Meathe
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 13:14:41 -0400

>From Kenelme Digbie, 1669:

To make excellent Meathe.

To every quart of Honey, take four quarts of water. Put your water in

a clean Kettel over the fire, and with a stick take the just measure, how
high the water cometh, making a notch, where the superficies toucheth the
stick. As soon as the water is warm, put in your Honey, and let it boil,
skimming it always, till it be very clean; Then put to every Gallon of
water, one pound of the best Blew-raisins of the Sun, first clean picked
from the stalks, and clean washed. Let them remain in the boiling Liquor,
till they be thoroughly swollen and soft; Then take them out, and put them
into a Hair-bag, and strain all the juice and pulp and substance from them
in an Apothecaries Press; which put back into your liquor, and let it boil,
till it be consumed just to the notch you took at first, for the measure of
your water alone. Then let your Liquor run through a Hair-strainer into an
empty Woodden-fat, which must stand endwise, with the head of the upper end
out; and there let it remain till the next day, that the liquor be quite
cold. Then Tun it up into a good Barrel, not filled quite full, but within
three or four fingers breadth; (where Sack hath been, is the best) and let
the bung remain open for six weeks with a double bolter-cloth lying on it,
to keep out any foulness from falling in. Then stop it up close, and drink
not of it till after nine months.

This Meathe is singularly good for a Consumption, Stone, Gravel,

Weak-fight, and many more things. A Chief Burgomaster of Antwerp, used for
many uears to drink no other drink but this; at Meals and all times, even
for pledging of healths. And though He were an old man, he was of
extraordinary vigor every way, and had every year a Child, had always a
great appetite, and good digestion; and yet was not fat.



Subject: Fermentation Termination?
From: Colin McConnell <>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 16:54:38 -0300 (ADT)

Hello all,

As a nervous newbie, I'm wondering how to tell when a batch is

completely finished fermenting. Way back on April 27th, I started 15lbs
of honey in 5 gal. of water. I did not boil the must, and added only 2
tsps of yeast nutrient. Now I see no activity at the airlock, and the
must is still opaque. I've racked it off of the yeast cake twice. I
failed to take an opening gravity (shame on me), so I doubt that taking a
gravity now will be helpful.

Is there something I should add to help suspended "STUFF" (that's

a technical term, isn't it?) settle out? I've read that gelatin meets
with mixed reviews on this score.

My wife is eyeing me more and more skeptically each day the

carboy takes up floor space. Could someone metaphorically pat me on
the had and say, "There, there, it's all right," please?


Subject: Distilled Mead?
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 94 17:49:48 EDT (Zhahai Stewart) wrote:
> A friend asked me to check if there exists a distilled version of mead,
> as with sherry and wine – or if anybody had experimented with this. Any
> takers?

Yes, distillation is illegal, but how about freezing? To my knowledge, it is
not illegal to freeze beverages in your own freezer (anyone please correct me
if I'm wrong). With that in mind, I submit this paragraph from "The Lore of
Still Building" by Kathleen Howard and Norman Gibat:

Freeze Distillation

The Common home freezer can be used to effect a fair distillation. The wash
is kept in the freezer until it turns mushy. It can then be poured or ladled
into a large strainer cloth and squeezed dry. The liquid squeezing out will
be higher in alcoholic content than the frozen residue left in the strainer
cloth. This method works well enough to make "fortified" wines (20 to 30
percent alcohol) out of ordinary wines. The temperature of the freezer,
length of time frozen, and techniques used to reclaim the Ethanol all enter
into determining how efficient the process will be.

It wou7ld be easy to try this on a small amount of mead to test the results;
as I say, I don't believe this would be breaking the law (any Lawyers in the
audience care to research this and post findings?). I have not tried this,
but am curious as to the result. If anyone does try this method, I would
like to know how it turned out. Happy Brewing!

  • Ray- Ninc est Bibendum (Latin; "Now is the time to drink")


Subject: Re: botulism and honey
From: "No one in particular." <>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 18:29:36 CDT writes:
> An infant came down with botulism (sp?) from being
> breast-fed by her mother.

Jim Fownes T027420@UHCCMVS.BITNET replies:
> It's well-known that honey is not safe for infants.
> Apparently, honey contains spores of Clostridium botulinum…

> I'm no physician, but I would be surprised if the
> bacteria were transmitted through the mothers blood-
> stream to the breasts to contaminate the milk.

True, true. Infants don't receive the spores by way of
their mother's breast milk itself. The problem arrises
when mom and dad try to sweeten the bottle (or nipple,
I suppose) with a little honey. ==> botulism.
I am a physician and this is what they taught me a couple
years ago, as a lowly medical student.

Good Brewin'!

  • -James Carroll



Subject: First melomel, yum!
From: (Sean C. Cox)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 94 10:24:34 EDT

Greetings all,

I just bottled my first melomel (my second mead) and it's restored

my faith in yeast. 🙂 My first mead turned out pretty plain, (2lbs in 1gal)
but this is delicious!

The recipe: For 1 gallon (not nearly enough!)


2.5 lbs Golden Blossom Honey
0.5 gal Apple an' Eve Nuttin' but Juice
Water to 1 Gal.
Champagne Yeast


Pour the honey into the fermentor (1 gal juice jug). Fill the now

mostly empty honey jar 1/3 full with warm water and shake vigorously to
dissolve the honey remaining in the jar. Add juice to fill 2/3 full. Pitch
yeast into jar and cover loosely with cap (just place cap on, don't turn).

Add juice to fermentor and shake to dissolve. Top up most of the

way with water and shake to mix/aerate. Once yeast is started, add to
fermentor and put on airlock.

Primary ferment: 1 month
Secondary ferment: 1.5 months


It was a little harsh at bottling (as was my last mead, but it mellowed

in a couple weeks) and has great armoa & flavor. The color is a rich amber
with red/purple tones, it looks really good! I should've made a lot more. :-9



  • – Sean



=*=*= Sean Cox *=*=*=* (defun question () *=*=*=*=*=
=*=*= FactSet Data Systems *=*=*=* (or (* 2 b) (not (* 2 b)))) *=*=*=*=*=
=*=*= *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*EOT

Subject: ? PET bottles for mead ?
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 13:51:12 EDT

Is there any reason 2 liter plastic beverage bottles shouldn't be used for
mead? Obviously they can be used, but are there any valid reasons to avoid
this? Between my beer, mead & cider I'm running out of bottles. I would
think as long as they are protected from light it should be OK to use.
Suggestions? Comments? Thanks in advance,

  • Ray- Ninc est Bibendum (Latin; "Now is the time to drink")


Subject: way
From: "Daniel F McConnell" <>
Date: 21 Aug 1994 10:29:08 -0400

Subject: way

In response to Rich:
This year the Mazer Cup entries were, in general, of EXTREMELY high
caliber. You should ask some of the judges (who may or may not speak
up here). Better yet come on over and judge next year. The only exceptions
were in the braggot (no third pace awarded…oh no, not this thread!) and
remarkably, Traditional meads.

You will notice that, if you read the fine print (or lack of it) we do not
exclude commercial entries from this competition. Never in the three
years that we have run this competition, has a commercial entry won,
although they have entered. Simple explanation….amateur meadmakers
make outstanding meads! Rick, you are in with a very fast crowd here and
are to be commended for your remarkable entries.


Subject: Mazer Cup Recipes
From: "Daniel F McConnell" <>
Date: 23 Aug 1994 07:04:28 -0400

Subject:  Mazer Cup Recipes

Here are the recipes for the first place winners for the Mazer Cup
as good as I can decipher them. Some are sketchy, but there is some
good information here.

BTW there were 101 entries this year…..That's a load of mead! We are
still playing with the data and will post some sort of results ASAP. A
taste…there were 30 Melomels, 22 Show meads and 2 Hippocras. There
is about a 60/40 split in favor of dry yeast.



1994 Mazer Cup Mead Competition
Winners Circle

Show Mead

Beekeepers Test
Micah Millspaw
5 gal:
15 lbs (raw) Orange Blossom Honey
2 tsp gypsum
yeast nutrient
Irish moss

OG=30 Bx
Treatment= Heated

Yeast= Pasteur White-Liquid
Primary fermentation=41 days @ 60F
Secondary fermentation=9 mos
filtered and counter pressure bottled


Traditional Mead

Bob's Honeydew
Robert Pollard

5 lbs unfiltered clover honey
5.5 lbs Blue Ridge Mountain honey
4 lbs Enon pure honey
3 lbs raw wild honey
2 lbs Golding farms pure honey
1 t. Irish moss
3 t. yeast nutrient
4 t. acid blend

OG= 1.125
Treatment= boiled

Montrachet and Champagne yeast, Red Star-dry
Primary= 14 days @ 72F
Secondry = 102 day @ 70F



Robert Kime

25 gal:
7 gal Orange Blossom honey
3 gal Meteor cherry juice
300 gr citric acid
300 gr tartaric acid

OG= 26 Bx
Tretment= Ultrafiltered

Prisse de Mousse, Scott Labs-dry
Primary= 3 weeks @ 65F



Lightly Mulled Cyser
Dennis Davison

5 gal:
20 lbs clover honey
5 gallons apple cider
0.5 t corriander
2 bay leaves
0.5 t allspice
0.25 t nutmeg
0.25 t cinnamon

OG= 1.130 TG= 1.018
Treatment= heated

yeast= Lalvin EC1118-dry
Primary=2 wks @ 68F
Secondary=12 mo @ 65F



Wild Pyment
Joyce Miller

4.5 gal:
1 gal+ 2 cups honey
12 lbs wild grapes
2 t. yeast nutrient

OG= 1.088 TG= 1.019
Treatment= heated

Yeast = Vierka Mead-liquid
Primary=27 days @70's
Secondary=30 days @ 70's



Wild Hippocras
Joyce Miller
4.5 gal:
1 gal+ 2 cups honey
12 lbs wild grapes
2 t. yeast nutrient
For 1.5 gal of Hippocras added:
1.5 t cinnamon
0.25 t ginger
0.375 t of nutmeg, marjoram, cardamom and black pepper

OG= 1.088 TG= 1.019
Treatment= heated

Yeast = Vierka Mead-liquid
Primary=27 days @70's
Secondary=30 days @ 70's



Blue Mountain Mead
Robert Pollard

5 gal:
5.5 lbs Blue Ridge Mountain honey
0.5 oz Irish Moss
1 oz mint extract
1 t. water salts

OG= 1.041 TG= 1.019
Treatment= heated

Yeast = Unspecified-liquid
Primary=7 days @72
Secondary=20 days @ 72
primed with 1 cup corn sugar



Braggart's Raspberry Braggot
Joseph Menkevich

4.3 lbs clover honey
4.5 lbs raspberries
4 lbs dry malt
1 lb crystal malt
1 t Irish moss
1 t ascorbic acid
1 oz Hallertau-60 min
0.5 oz Saaz -30 min
0.5 oz Saaz -15 min
0.5 oz Saaz -5 min

OG= 1.068

Treatment= heated

Yeast = Whitbread Ale
Primary=14 days @65-70F
Secondary=14 days @65-70F
Tertiary= 10 mo @ 40-70F

Subject: vinegar
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 94 09:57:45 EDT

what insects have the vinegar bacteria in them? I know that fruit flies
have it but do common house flies or any other things that may get into
a batch of mead? What is the alcohol tolerance, if any, of the bacteria?

I made a batch of banana wine a while back and it smelled wonderful

while it was brewing, but once it was done it had almost no aroma nor
flavor. How can I prevent the flavor from bubbling out? It was a real
let down.

  • glen


End of Mead Lover's Digest #341