Mead Lover's Digest #0360 Thu 3 November 1994


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



Re: Fast mead (Ralph Snel)
Re: Fast Mead (Chuck Stringer)
Champagne yeast? (In a hot sand I ran on my feet)
New batch of mead (
re: Morse sources? (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: Re: Fast mead
From: Ralph Snel <>
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 94 9:59:50 MET

Paddy wondered about "fast mead".

> That's it. From what I have read, adding yeast nutrient and using
> champagne yeast is the alleged cause for the "long" aging delay. I'm
> hoping to bottle mid-November and drink by Thanksgiving.
This is not the _cause_, just a side effect. If you look at old recipes,
like Digbie, you will see that it should age at least half a year, or
in some cases a year. They used no nutrients. For those who never
experienced it: the mead _does_ get a lot better with age. I strongly
recommend to make twice the amount you plan to make, and save half for
consumption after aging (with a minimum of six months, but preferably a
few years). The other half you can drink right away, or after a month
or two (but you'll be sorry about that when you drink your last bottle
after a year or two).
Realy, it works!


> Two outstanding questions:


> 1) Just how important is boiling the honey (my apologies to Mr.
> Digbie)?
Not vital, but it helps clarification and speeds up fermentation (in
my experience). You do lose some of the delicate flavours though.


> 2) When should the spices be added? Will I lose flavor to CO2
> scrubbing?
During boiling 🙂
It depends on the spices. Don't bother boiling cinnamon, but large chunks
of ginger gain a lot by boiling. Herbs and delicate spices or flowers
probably don't need to be boiled.


> p.s. Any ideas as to the og?

> 8 lb. honey (local stuff from the Tennessee Valley)
> 5 gallons water
Let me see, I'll do this in metric… 8 lb honey equals about 3 kg sugar
(after correction for the water), 5 gallons of water is about 20 l. With
conplete anaerobic fermentation of the sugar you will get about 1.5 kg
alcohol, say 1.8 l, so you'll have 1.8/20 = 9% alcohol by volume if you
let it ferment to dryness. Not bad for a quick mead. If you want to age
it for more than a few months I'd suggest to add more honey so you'll get
at least 10% alcohol. The S.G. was probably around 1.070.



Subject: Re: Fast Mead
From: Chuck Stringer <>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 12:57:12 -0500 (EST) writes:
(recipe deleted)
> That's it. From what I have read, adding yeast nutrient and using
> champagne yeast is the alleged cause for the "long" aging delay. I'm
> hoping to bottle mid-November and drink by Thanksgiving.

It will probably be drinkable by then, but not that enjoyable. Just
leaving out yeast nutrient won't speed the aging process. Without it
the mead may still be fermenting by then. Melomels and Cysers age
fairly quickly, but you're losing a lot by not allowing at least six
months for mellowing. The first six months usaully bring about drastic
and wonderful changes in the wine. Try setting aside one bottle.
You won't believe the difference. If you do want to make a quick mead,
try a cyser (cider and honey). I've found that they are palatable much
sooner than any other wine-type beverage and there are plenty of
nutrients in the the juice.

> 1) Just how important is boiling the honey (my apologies to Mr.
> Digbie)?

I've never boiled mine and never had an infection, but I usually use
honey from the store.

> 2) When should the spices be added? Will I lose flavor to CO2
> scrubbing?

If you aren't boiling, then you might as well add them at the start.
It will take a long time for them to diffuse at room temperature.

Just my .02,

Chuck Stringer

Subject: Champagne yeast?
From: In a hot sand I ran on my feet <STU_GJCARRIE@VAX1.ACS.JMU.EDU>
Date: Wed, 02 Nov 1994 13:54:27 -0500 (EST)

For my first batch of mead I used Champagne yeast and quite a bit of nutrient.
Well, it NEVER seemed to want to clear and when the SG was at 1.004 (down from
1.100) I dumped in Sparkalloid and it is clearing. Is Sparkalloid good to use
in Mead? What about Champagne yeast and nutrient? Is that why it took forever
to clear? It seems I have alternatives (ie Wyeast Ale strains)…won't they
get killed by the high alchohol content? If anyone could help me, it would be
appreciated. I will be brewing a plum mead soon and would like it to clear up
a bit faster. BTW…the first batch was 15 lbs. honey…not much else…well
water too 😉 Thanks in advance…

*********************** We gotta get on the road *****************************
* Gregg Carrier (aka Uncle Zany, the guy in the floppy green hat) *
* 332 Old S. High St. *
* Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (703) 434-8214 *
*************************** Destiny Unbound **********************************

Subject: New batch of mead
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 15:37:46 -0500

Howdy all!

Thought I'd let you all know about my latest batch (which I'm quite excited

15 lbs Wildflower honey
14 lbs Sour cherries
Water to 5 gallons
Acid blend
Yeast Nutrient

I mixed honey in with about 3 gallons of water and boiled (sorry, I'll
explain in a minute). All the time it was coming to a boil I was skimming
the top (forget what the scum is called… dross?). The stuff stopped rising
after about a 5 minute boil so I snapped the lid on and dunked it it ice
water in the tub. Cooled off in about 20 minutes. I transferred it over to
my primary where I added the fruit which had been frozen (with the pits) and
sitting with Campden overnight. Gave it a frothy stir stir stir and pitched
with an all-purpose wine yeast.

Today I racked it off the fruit and it tastes wonderful! I can't wait.

The acid blend was used to bring the acidity up to .75 and I used 4 teaspoons
of nutrient as it is my experience that I get a more vigorous and quicker
ferment. I boiled because this is a fruit mead and it will be hard to pick
up on any loss of delicate flavor with all the other tastes going on and it
seems to help it to clear much more quickly.

I don't have a clue on the OG but I'm sure it will finish up as a
medium-sweet mead. Maybe next years nationals?……. 🙂

Thomas Fotovich asked about the length of the boil. I usually boil until I
get no more scum to skim and that is usually under 5-10 minutes.



  • Lee C. Bussy


November 3, 1994
3:36 pm

Subject: re: Morse sources?
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 3 Nov 94 22:55:01 MST (Thu)

Kelvin Kapteyn <> asks:
> I would like to get the book "Making Mead" by Roger Morse. Being the
> cheapskate that I am, I thought I'd ask for suggestions as to the cheapest
> place to get this. Any ideas? TIA,

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, or maybe I'm just being my usual curmudgeonly
self, but it seems like a poor economy to ask about six hundred people to
help one person save a buck or two on a book. Just buy the damned book and
be done with it! It's a one-time thing.

OK, let's try a more constructive approach: Apart from local homebrew/wine
shops selling books–which it won't help to discuss in a world-wide forum–
are there any mail-order suppliers worth noting, who might sell the usual
collection of mead books at a price that's still reasonable after mail-
order handling costs?

For that matter, what *is* "the usual collection of mead books"? I assume
Morse, Gayre/Papazian, Acton/Duncan, Andrews for history, Brother Adam for
the apiarists, maybe 27 CFR 1-199 if you're in the US and a bit twisted.
Dave Polaschek owes us a brief intro to his new little book. I don't know
what else there is. Dave Suda was supposed to have a book coming out,
according to the AMA newsletter this past spring; don't know what happened
there and I haven't heard about it. Digby takes a trip to the local

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

…Simpler is better.


End of Mead Lover's Digest #360