Mead Lover's Digest #0350 Thu 22 September 1994


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



hazy mead (BURNELLT)
Clarifying Agents ("Zydenbos, Rick")
Digby: My Lady Gowers white meath used at Salisbury (Steve E. Mercer)
on bottling sparkling meads (or something like that) (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: hazy mead
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 1994 15:59:40 -0500 (EST)

I have 5 gallons of mead that has not cleared after racking three times. It has
been approximately 2 months in carboys. I was considering gelatin to clear it. I
have never used gelatin in mead and was wondering if anyone had an opinion on
it. My previous meads were crystal clear at this point and the only process
change was pasteurizing this batch as opposed to boiling my previous batches.
By the way, this batch has a much better flavor than the boiled batches.

Ted Burnell

Subject: Clarifying Agents
From: "Zydenbos, Rick" <>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 08:14 +1200 (NZST)

Could someone out there create a wee summary on clarifying
agents like Bentonite and Gelatine. People could either write
to me directly and I will compile a summary or write directly
to the digest. I've searched previous issues and haven't really
found anything comparing them.

Looking forward to some interesting discussion….

RZ in NZ

Subject: Digby: My Lady Gowers white meath used at Salisbury
From: (Steve E. Mercer)
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 94 17:53:03 CDT

<intended for digest 350>

Joyce Miller is on vacation, and has asked me
to provide Digbie recipes while she is gone.

Note to Archivists:
This recipe follows "Metheglin composed by
my self out of sundry receipts".

This recipie is from the 1910 reprint of Digby.
I have tried to retain the book's spelling,
punctuation, and line breaks.

Notes: "…to the bigness of a groat…"
The groat that Digby is referring to is the coin
called a groat, not the grain product called groats
(hulled, or hulled and crushed grain of various kinds,
chiefly oats, but also barley, wheat, and maize).
The egg should float so that the part which extends
above the surface of the liquid is as big around as
the coin. For more information about groats, See the
note following this recipe.


  • –BEGIN—

Take to four Gallons of water, one Gallon of
Virgin-honey ; let the water be warm before you
put in the honey ; and then put in the whites of
3 or 4 Eggs well beaten, to make the scum rise.
When the honey is throughly melted and ready
to boil, put in an Egge with the shell softly ; and
when the Egge riseth above the water, to the big-
ness of a groat in sight, it is strong enough of
the honey. The Egge will quickly be hard, and
so will not rise ; Therefore you must put in
another, if the first do not rise to your sight ;
you must put in more water and honey propor-
tionable to the first, because of wasting away in
the boiling. It must boil near an hour. You may,
if you please, boil in it, a little bundle of Rose-
mary, Sweet-marjoram, and Thyme ; and when it
tasteth to your liking, take it forth again. Many
do put Sweet-bryar berries in it, which is held
very good. When your Meath is boiled enough
take it off the fire, and put it into a Kiver ; when
it is blood-warm, put in some Ale-barm, to make
it work, and cover it close with a blancket in the
working. The next morning tun it up, and if you
please put in a bag with a little Ginger and a little
Nutmeg bruised ; and when it hath done working,
stop it up close for a Moneth, and then Bottle it.


  • –END—

Transcribed by Steve Mercer <>

A Note about the Groat:
Several countries have issued coins with the name Groat.
The groat of Sir Digby's time and place was an English
silver coin worth four pence. According to the OED, the
English groat was minted from 1351 to 1662. Other sources
give slightly different dates, but agree about the general
time period. The groat ceased to be issued for circulation
in 1662, and was not afterwards coined under that name.
The fourpence or fourpenny piece minted after 1836 was
occasionally called a groat, but this name was not
officially recognized, and was rarely used.

According to the "Standard Catalogue of British Coins"
printed in 1964, groats came in different sizes depending on
the time and location in which they were minted. The English
silver groat of Charles I (1625-1649) would have been the
most common groat in circulation during Digby's lifetime.
Measurements from the book reveal examples of Charles I
silver groats that were the size of a US nickel, slightly
larger than a US Nickel, Slightly smaller than a US quarter,
and the size of a US quarter. The quarter and near-quarter
sized groats were more common in the book. Professional
coin dealers in 1964 would sell Charles I groats for prices
as high as 150 Pounds for the very rare or high quality coins.

Steve Mercer

Subject: on bottling sparkling meads (or something like that)
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 20 Sep 94 18:26:20 MDT (Tue)

Never bottle sparkling meads in ordinary wine bottles with corks. The
pressure of the carbonation will push the corks out. This is experience

"DUH!" you say? And well you might! Why would I be stupid enough to put a
sparkling mead in normal wine bottles, when obviously there's nothing about
ordinary corks to let them resist more than a tiny bit of pressure?

Well, OK, the REAL lesson is "Be sure that the fermentation is *really*
done before you bottle"…It wasn't *supposed* to be a sparkling mead.

It was a pyment (sauvignon blanc), and it had held at around 0.998 for a
while before I bottled it…in fact, it held there long enough that I
convinced myself I didn't need to bother with the potassium-sorbate stabi-
lizing that I normally do for a still mead. I'll learn, really I will,
honest…someday…I should know that a pyment which starts at 1.100 isn't
done at 0.998!

Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA

…Simpler is better.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #350