Mead Lover's Digest #0362 Thu 10 November 1994


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



Newbie question ("Charles S. Jackson")
mead history (Ted Major)
Lavender Mead ( (Larry Lynch-Freshner))
Re: Lavender Mead (Jane Beckman)
Wondering about Woodruff (Bill Vaughan)
Juice science (Bill Vaughan)
Re: Lavender Mead? (


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Subject:  Newbie question
From: "Charles S. Jackson" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 94 22:17:59 CST


As a beer brewer of one year I decided to try a mead for my upcoming

10th anniversity. Being in a wasteland of brewing supplies/data/shops I
went to sierra and the faq (actually it is not labeled as faq) and *did*
the Basic Small Mead recipe per Cher Feinstein. I deviated from the
instructions when I, urgently, had to go out of town. I put an airlock
on the jug and left. Returning a week later I found the airlock quite
busily perking away, BUT a white ring has developed at the meniscus. My
sanitation practices (see me knocking on my head) have prevented an infection
in my beerbut I have read about the dreaded ring-around-the-bottle in beer
and only hope that it is a different animal in mead.

Before I invest any additional time on this little batch I would like to

know if all is for naught. Certainly additional fermentation time will only
serve to create a drier mead but what about the ring? Can I safely just
sample a specimen at racking and use the vodka-kill-the yeasties when it
tastes right?

Also, as I seldom have the chance to go to a shop where I can peruse the

books, I rely on mailorder. Any recommendations on the best first book for
a budding mead maker? I don't care if it costs a few extra dollars.



Brewing beer is far more exciting when it is both a hobby AND a felony!

The Alabama Outlaw


Subject: mead history
From: (Ted Major)
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 94 10:59:16 EST

Dear Mead-Lovers:
I am a graduate student in English and am beginning to do some research on
historical mead recipes. Can some kind netter out there suggest references
for 14th Century or earlier English mead recipes? I am working on a
transcription of an unpublished 14th C. manuscript which contains a recipe
for mead, and I would like to have some knowledge of other contemporary or
earlier mead recipes. Please respond via private email as I have not yet
subscribed to this list.

For those of you who are interested, here is a rough translation of the
manuscript I am working on:

1 gallon honey
4 gallons water

Heat the water and dissolve the honey. Set over a fire and let boil and skim
as long as filth riseth thereon. Remove from heat and let stand until it is
as cool as milk. Put in a fair place and cast in berm or drasts from the finest
ale for that is the best, and stir well together. Lay straw or else cloths
about the vessel and abouve if the weather is cold. Let stand 3 days and
3 nights if the weather is cold, or if it is hot weather, 1 day and night is e
is enough. If you will have it sweet take it the sooner from the drasts and
if you will have it sharp let it stand longer therewith. Then draw it as
clear as you may from the drasts into a clean vessel and let it stand one
night or 2 and then draw it into another clean vessel and serve it forth.

Tidmarsh Major

Subject: Lavender Mead
From: <> (Larry Lynch-Freshner)
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 1994 10:23:45 -0800

I don't know about lavender as an herb, but I once made a mead from
lavender blossem honey. Wonderful stuff!


delete LarryLF->OrphanOpinion(*this);

Subject: Re:  Lavender Mead
From: (Jane Beckman)
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 94 16:20:35 PST

When I saw this heading, an exclamation mark (!) of enthusiasm appeared
over my head. Honest!

I know someone whose small company makes lavender jelly, and it's exquisite.
I can only imagine how a lavender mead would turn out. I've put this on my
list as one to try, since I have lavender bushes.

The only reason it's not used in Western civilization as a spice is because
we aren't used to it. I have a wonderful recipe for kefta with home-ground
Ras en Hanoud for spicing which uses large amounts of lavender. Folks love
it, and are always baffled by the "intriguing" unidentifiable flavor.

Let's all get our batches of lavender mead started!

Jilara []

Subject: Wondering about Woodruff
From: (Bill Vaughan)
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 94 09:30:32 -0700

I read the post from Kevin Shultz last friday (Nov. 4) asking about the
use of lavender for mead. I have no information on the lavender
question but I would like to know more about the reference to
the spice- Woodruff. Kevin made mention with respect to a holiday
beer. Does anyone have a further description of this spice with
regard to its taste and usage. Please….I "Must" know!

……………TIA Cyber Meaders

Billy Vaughan


Subject: Juice science
From: (Bill Vaughan)
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 94 10:09:12 -0700

I have seen and used certain types of fruit juice in
mead making. I have also used the zest of citrus
fruits. My question is- What would be the problems
(if any) in using orange juice, grapefruit juice, or
any other citrus fruit juice. I have never seen a
recipe for using these type of juices to any quantity
as perhaps apple juice. Any response of experience
or scientific knowledge would be appreciated.

Billy Vaughan


least favorite hyphenated word of the day: trunk-ripened

Subject: Re: Lavender Mead?
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 1994 15:19:11 -0500

Lavender- What a wonderful scent! Yes, it probably would make a decent mead,
given the right usage/ quantity.

Of all the herbals I consulted, the only health warning was from Penelope
Ody's "The Complete Medicinal Herbal", which said to:
"avoid high doses during pregnancy, as it is a uterine stimulant"; something
we probably wouldn't worry about too much, as the mead amount wouldn't be
very strong. As an herb it falls under the Relaxing Nervine category, good
to relieve headaches, and as an anti-depressent, just in case anyone was
curious. It's one of my favorites. 🙂

I personally think it would mix very well with lemon balm and/or chamomile.
As subtle, gentle tastes and fragrances, the clover honey is probably a
good bet for the base, as well. Now is a little late in the season, perhaps,
for lavender, but you found blossoms, so hey, why not?

Try making an infusion, or tea, then adding during the secondary
fermentation, or just before bottling. Your choice. I wouldn't boil it in
the wort, as you could lose the subtle flavors in boiling, and some of the
volatile oils could disperse in the steam during this time as well. If
fresh, try around 150 grams of the petals to 4 cups of water. If dry, reduce
that to 60 grams. Again, make sure the water is just past boiling to avoid
the steam-loss deal. Leave the hot mix to sit, covered, for 10 miutes or so
and Voila! You've got a groovey mead addition.

I'm thinkin' 3-4 cups will be enough for a five gallon batch, as it's pretty
fragrant stuff. Others may disagree and be totally correct, but my experience
has been such that I'm more conservative now with adding "spices" so they
don't overwhelm. It's that light fragrance, or taste that'll be truly
appreciated down the road when aged, as well as during the young stages. You
be the judge.

Good luck, and happy brewing.

  • Jay O'Leary


End of Mead Lover's Digest #362