Mead Lover's Digest #0371 Mon 12 December 1994


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



RE: Temperature control in Houston (John T Faulks)
re: Most Important Advice? (think about a slogan) (Dick Dunn)
Re: Meadery in Greenwich, New York (Steve E. Mercer)
Tannins, Enzymes, Water Crystals, and more (Geoffrey J. Schaller)
Re: Temperature control in Houston (
Pros and cons of racking (James Robert Goeman)
Is my mead safe to drink? (laura ford)
Mead from Digby (Zach)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #370,… (
fermentation temperatuer (
The Meadery at Greenwich (


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Subject: RE: Temperature control in Houston
From: (John T Faulks)
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 13:38:54 -0500

"Julie Cody" <> writes

>So, here's the question: How important is it to avoid major (~20-30 F)
>fluctuations in temperature?

My suggestions, first don't worry too much, but if you think you must do
someting then consider minimising the rate change of temperature:

1) Wrap your carboys in insulation (like the hot water heater) to
minimise the short term temperature fluctuations.

2) Increasae the thermal mass by sitting the carboys in a water bath.
Use a new trash can for 5 gallon carboys, or a cooler for one gallon jugs.
Again this will minimise temperature fluctuations.

Obviously keep everything out of drafts, heater vents etc. A quiet basement
corner or seldom used closet would be ideal.

Neither method will eliminate long term temperature changes, controlling
that requires much more effort for little gain. If you can minimise the
daily variations, your yeast should be happy.



John Faulks, Martin Marietta Control Systems
Email: Phone: 607 770 3959 8*255 3959 FAX 607 770 2007

Subject: re: Most Important Advice?  (think about a slogan)
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 8 Dec 94 20:56:05 MST (Thu)

just to summarize:
| (dat me) wrote:
|> If I were to give one piece of advice to a meadmaker, it would be
|> "Patience!"


| (Sean Rooney) wrote:
|> The most important advice I wish I had received is to be patient…


| wrote:
|> Well, I think the most important thing I've told people who are
|> starting out is Charlie's quote: "Don't Worry. Relax & Have a
|> Homebrew." The other is "Be patient."…


|Ralph Snel <> wrote:
|> "Let it age at least 6 months"


|> Maybe the advice should be more general: "Have patience"…


| wrote:
|> Best advice? Be patient, but make up some small bottles…

I detect a trend here. 😉

Actually, I've often thought that meadmakers could use a slogan analogous
to the homebrewer's "Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew"–which, though it
may seem trite after all these years, is particularly good advice for the
newbie homebrewer who's been overwhelmed with advice, details, cautions
about infections, etc. By comparison, meadmaking is simpler than home-
brewing but takes longer. You get a lot more chances to taste mead that's
just not ready yet, so the one thing that will fix a lot of problems is
simply sitting back and letting them fix themselves.

I've tried to tie this into a slogan and I've never been quite happy with
the result. The best I've been able to come up with is "Patience is the
first ingredient in mead."


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

…Simpler is better.


Subject: Re: Meadery in Greenwich, New York
From: (Steve E. Mercer)
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 17:05:06 CST

>>There's a meadery in Greenwich, New York, which makes excellent meads.
>>Talk to them.


>I believe the brand they sell is labeled as "Odin's Mead." I got a bottle
>as a gift, but I haven't had a chance to look for more info (My parents got
>it for me when they heard I was making my own. They wanted me to have a
>standard to compare it with). It was a traditional mead, with a sticker
>saying such on the bottle. Maybe they make other types? THe bottle I had
>was 12% alcohol by volume, had sulfites, and was not bad (I finished it in
>a night with some friends). When I can get a ride to the wine store, I'll

I have before me a magazine from a medieval re-enactment
society (the SCA) that has this ad for mead in it:

"No feast is complete without MEAD!
We have six varieties of MEAD available in
a sampler pack. One bottle each of:
Traditional, Dry, Spiced, Apple, Raspberry,
and Blueberry Mead.
<some text deleted>
The Meadery at Greenwich, INC.
RR4 Box 4070
Greenwich, NY 12834
phone 518-692-9669"

I have not tried their mead, so I will not comment on it.


Steve Mercer

Subject: Tannins, Enzymes, Water Crystals, and more
From: (Geoffrey J. Schaller)
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 16:04:59 -0500

I was recently looking through the Bee's Lees when I noticed some
ingredients in a few recipies. They were not discussed inthe inrto, or in
the FAQ, so I'll ask about them here. What do you need Pectic Enzymes,
Tannin, Water Crystals, and Irish Moss for? What do they do? Pros and
cons? being a beginner, I haven't had a chance to experiment yet. (I"m
still waiting for my first batch to finish fermenting…)

Also, I'm leaving college soon, and heading back to my home town. I don't
know if they have any brewing supply stores near me (Abington / Jenkintown,
PA). Does anyone know where I can order powers and things like yeasts,
nutrients, acids, etc?

I found some more information on the mead making company from Greenwich, NY.
A label says:

For mail order shipment, write or call:
The Meadery
Meader Rd.
Greenwich, NY
(518) 692-9669

Hope that helps some people interested in the commercial side!
Phi Kappa Tau "I must be my
106 the Knoll brother's keeper"
Ithaca, NY 14850-2428
(607) 257-2158

Subject: Re: Temperature control in Houston
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 94 20:00:16 PST

"Julie Cody" <> writes:

> So, here's the question: How important is it to avoid major (~20-30 F)
> fluctuations in temperature? Do I need to seal off a room and fire up the
> space heater (taking fire hazards into account, of course)?

Wild temperature swings like that aren't going to help. Insulating the
fermenter, so the swings will be averaged out will help. Also remember
that a 5 gallon jug of water has quite a bit of thermal mass, so it won't
change temp TOO fast. I've seen carboy-cozies that are actually made to
fit standard carboys, but Ijust use an old sleeping bag that's gotten ratty.
Wrap it around the carboy a few times, and it's pretty well insulated.

Note that my experience is usually with MN weather, which in summer,
probably swings about as much as Houston in the winter. On a few
particularly hot days, I've soaked down the sleeping bag and aimed a
fan at it. Don't know how much of an effect it had, but it didn't seem
to hurt.


  • DaveP


Subject: Pros and cons of racking
From: James Robert Goeman <>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 00:53:36 -0600 (CST)

Greetings. I'd love to get some general info and opinions on prolonged
aging in the carboy (with or without periodic racking) vs. aging in the
bottle. Do's and don'ts? Advantages / disadvantages? I've only two
carboys, and so I'd like to do most of the aging in the bottle if
possible. I've got my first batch of blueberry mead going in the
secondary fermenter. It was brewed on the 6th of November and racked on
the 13th. It is still a little active, but pretty sluggish. I've got a
huge batch of raspberry cider that's going to need racking soon, so I'll
have to make room somehow. Thanks in advance.


H.P. of the R.C.C.L.B.

"Absurdity is the best response to an insane world."

Subject: Is my mead safe to drink?
From: laura ford <>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 11:41:26 -0800 (PST)

I have a question or two, having made nearly three batches of melomels.
My first one-gallon batch was bottled before it cleared (I now have " a
clue " on what clearing is). There is quite a lot of sediment on the
bottom. Will this still be drinkable, or should we even try? I have left the
bottles undisturbed and would decant into a pitcher if I were to serve
it. If it is drinkable, should it be consumed as soon as possible, or
can it wait until the New Year (I have a feeling it will not age well due
to the sediment).

My two first batches were made as dry melomels using champagne

yeast. I am planning on sweetening the third batch of cherry melomel.
It was originally made according to the Wine Art instructions so it is
now entirely dry & being fined. I understand I can sweeten it by adding
corn sugar, but I am interested in knowing if I can sweeten with honey
for honey flavor instead. Anyone have any opinions on this? I am
sweetening it since most people who have tasted the dry melomels think
they're fine but "they're not sweet like the other meads I've tasted".
So now I am curious to see what the "sweet meads" are like. I want to
try some using excess honey in the must (which won't be fermented) for
sweetness (as in the Acton/Duncan recipes), if I like this one.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Laura Ford
Vancouver, B.C.
if not Guelph, Ontario


Subject: Mead from Digby
From: Zach <>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 18:41:33 -0500 (EST)

Has anyone made any of the recipies from Digbie? If so which ones and
how did they come out. At some point I would like to try and make a
batch of one of his meads. How hard are they to scale down to say a
5 or 6 gallon batch (or event a 1 gallon batch). How hard are the
spices to find and what yeast should I use? Also how do they taste?

I figure it would be a good project from a SCA perspective to try
his methods. Its not quite sca period but its close.

Zach Kessin (Guiliam Wodehouse in the SCA)

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #370,...
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 20:33:26 -0500

>>Subject: Re: Most Important Advice?
>>From: Ralph Snel <>
>>Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 9:46:26 MET

>My advice would be:

>"Let it age at least 6 months"
>>I normally boil, but you can get a fine mead without boiling.
>>Maybe the advice should be more general: "Have patience", as
>>fermentation may take a _long_ time if you don't boil, have a
>>straight mead and a friendly kind of yeast.

Sorry Ralph….. Boiling kills the natural enzymes and nutrients in

normal unprocessed honey that aids in fermentation. Additionally, these
proteins decompose, and tend to taint mead with a characteristic flavor.

All my meads start with 24deg Brix and yield 13.2% alcohol ( S.G. .985 )

and total fermentation time has never been longer than 13 days, with total
clarity in 1 month.


Subject: fermentation temperatuer
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 20:33:22 -0500

>>Subject: Temperature control in Hous
>>From: "Julie Cody" <>
>>Date: 6 Dec 1994 13:03:36 U

>>So, here's the question: How important is it to avoid major >>(~20-30
F)fluctuations in temperature? Do I need to seal off a >>room and fire up
thespace heater (taking fire hazards into account, >>of course)?
>>I have 3 batches of mead in the secondary; Red Star Champagne >>yeast was
used in
>>all of them.


>>Julie Cody

It really depends upon your yeast. Some yeasts are very cold sensitive,

but MOST generally are sensitive to cold shock, i.e. dramatic temperature
changes over time say 20 or 40 degrees in a couple of hours or so ).

The major influence if fermenting cold will be fermentation time. The

reaction kinetics get real slow at cold temperatures.

Red Star Champagne has neglible cold sensitivity.


See older issues of mead lovers for a yeast list….. I posted a while

back…. the cold sensitive strains I had noted as such…




Subject: The Meadery at Greenwich
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 94 14:35:00 UTC

For the record, it's:


The Meadery at Greenwich
RR# 4, Box 4070
Greenwich NY 12834


(518) 692-9669 (phone and fax)




End of Mead Lover's Digest #371