Mead Lover's Digest #0372 Mon 12 December 1994


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



Re: Mead Lover's Digest #371, 12 December 1994 (Fliper)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #371, 12 December 1994 (Razmus)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #371,… (
Is my first mead fermenting ("Rick Spada")
RE: Temperature control in Houston (Mark Ingalls)
Boiling again (Ralph Snel)
Bottled too soon. Help! ()
Meadery at Greenwich -800 Number (


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Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #371, 12 December 1994
From: Fliper <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 1994 08:20:55 -0500

>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
trick i've heard (but not put into practice yet) is to get a good
salted ice bath and place the bottle on/in it for a couple mins. this
should freeze the cake on the bottom of the glass and then you can
pour the clear mead off.

Any suggestions?

From: Zach <>

>Has anyone made any of the recipies from Digbie? If so which ones and

it also seems as tho there should be more digby on the beer page. How
many have you typed in Joyce?

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #371, 12 December 1994
From: Razmus <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 1994 08:59:46 -0500 (EST)

> 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…)

I'll see if I can answer this from memory from my reading. (I don't

know the "Pectic Enzymes", but suspect they break the starches and
complex sugars into something the yeasties can digest.)
Tannin adds "astringent" and bitterness to beer. Its generally

considered undesireable (in beer). (It is leeched out of barley husks if
they are boiled.) I'm not sure how or why they would be needed for mead.

Water Crystals are a water treatment. I think they are primarily

gypsum. If they water you are using is unusually (and I can't
remember if its is hard or soft water treatment), you might look
into it.

Irish Moss is a clarrifier. I've never used it yet…


I'm still learning myself, but have a couple batches of mead which

are getting along just fine, and I didn't add any of these items to
the must. I _think_ all these items should be optional.



> 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?

Semplex of U.S.A. in Minneapolis, Minnesota
toll-free: 1-800-488-5444
in Minneapolis/St.Paul area: (612)-522-0500
Fax: (612)-522-0579
Call for free catalog of wine&beer-making supplies

I have used Semplex in the past for items I haven't been able to

find locally, and have always been satisfied. They have even started
offering free advice, but I haven't asked for any yet. Even with
shipping, supplies have always been within 5-10% of the cost of local
shops, and mail ordered supplies don't have sales tax.

[Disclaimer: I have no association with Semplex other than being a

satisfied customer.]


Razmus the [Innocent | Chaste | Pure] of Norwode
AKA: Rich Weissler []
"Victim of a Random Shooting on the Infobahn."

It's always a good idea to be able to laugh at yourself….other
people are probably laughing at you anyway. -Anonymous


Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #371,...
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 1994 09:40:48 -0500

In a private email question someone wrote asking…
>>Speaking of sorbates, you mentioned the process for the >>"geranium" odor,
but you didn't say anything directly about how to >>avoid it. I've never
noticed it in a mead I've made, but I've heard >>people talking about it. Is
there some particular circumstance that >>triggers (or prevents) the reaction
that gives the off-odor?

The geranium odor is usually caused reaction of sorbic acid with an

acetate ( such as ethyl acetate— caused by overly oxidized wine/mead ) and
/ or action of lactic acid bacteria. Sorbic acid / potassium sorbate have
little inhibitory effects on acetic and lactic acid bacteria. Sensory
thresholds for sorbic acid is about 300mg/L, however, some people may discern
it in amounts as little as 150mg/L.

Another common cause is over use of potassium sorbate. One must

determine alcohol content, viable yeast count, and pH.
pH % useful sorbic acid
2.8 99
3.0 98.4
3.2 97.5
3.4 96.2
3.6 94.1
3.8 90
4.0 86.3
4.2 79.9
4.8 50
Alcohol content Sorbic acid ( mg/L )
10-11 % 150
12 % 100
14 % 50
If you are using potassium sorbate, you must correct for the difference in
molecular weight by the formula


Wt. of sorbate to be used = 150.22/112.13 x amount of sorbic acid


ex. if you want to add 75mg sorbic acid you need 100.47 mg potassium sorbat



For sorbates to be effective in stopping refermentation, the viable yeast

cell count must be less than 100units/mL.


The best way to not get geranium tone is to make sure you don't aerate

your mead alot during bottling, and make sure it is under antiseptic
conditions to ensure there are no lactic acid bacteria present.


mjodalfr (


Subject: Is my first mead fermenting
From: "Rick Spada" <>
Date: 12 Dec 1994 10:16:23 -0500

Subject: Time:10:10 AM
OFFICE MEMO Is my first mead fermenting? Date:12/12/94

I started my first mead just one week ago (12/5). It is a traditional mead,
13 lbs honey, yeast nutrient, acid blend, and Wyeast sweat mead yeast. To
date, I don't see much (if any) activity in the carboy. The only indication
that something might be going on is that there is a small bit of foam around
the edge of the carboy where the surface of the must touches the glass.

Is this to be expected?


  • – Rick


Subject: RE: Temperature control in Houston
From: Mark Ingalls <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 94 08:19:51 TZ

"Julie Cody" <> writes

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

and (John T Faulks) replies

>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.

you can increase the control you have of the temperature by adding an
aquarium heater to this setup. i found a dial controlled heater at a
local pet store for $25. i believe the latest issue of zymurgy has
more details on setting this up.

Subject: Boiling again
From: Ralph Snel <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 94 18:02:50 MET

MEADMSTR remarked:

">>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."


There are many things that affect fermentation speed. I use a friendly
slow fermenting yeast (no need in boiling away all the taste with the CO2).
I have my references from various books on beekeeping and my own experience.
The enzymes you mention do not help directly in fermentation, they do so
indirectly by converting sugars. That should have happened in the beehive
with good honey. Some other enzymes wiil actually prevent fermentation
and fungus growth etc. Those are the ones you want to get rid of. If you
have a yeast that can deal with those, cool.
I actually had two batches, same yeast, same honey (different times though)
one boiled, one not. The difference was more than a factor two in
fermentation time, the temperature difference was small.
But you're right about the characteristic flavour, even though I've
never regarded it as invasive, there is a difference. And then there's
nutrients, but that's another story.



Subject:       Bottled too soon.  Help!
From: <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 1994 13:40:28 MST


I have been following a recipe for a "quickey" mead by Feinstein
which I found on the Mead Makers Page. Toward the end of the process
I added the vodka to kill the yeast and allowed the batch to sit as
the recipe instructed. I then bottled the stuff in Grolsch bottles.
Being as I am completely new to this I did not know that the mead
should fall clear before bottling. I soon found out that I should
have waited as long as it took to clear, instead of going by the exact
number of days the recipe said. The Mead did clear after being
bottled about 2 days but there is now a 1/8 inch layer of sediment in
the bottles. It has been bottled now about 5 days. I am concerned that the sed
iment will spoil the taste
and wondered if I should rebottle the stuff leaving the sediment

If anyone has any suggestions, they would be appreciated.
I can be e-mailed at and I will watch for



Subject: Meadery at Greenwich -800 Number
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 1994 18:52:47 -0500 (EST)

The Meadery at Greenwich has an 800 number – 1-800-MEADERY- for orders only
If anyone would like information on our 6 years of experience as a commercial
meadery, they could e-mail directly to Please
be patient with us on response time as we are involved in a major building
project and trying to beat the coming hard feeze. Bob Stevens

End of Mead Lover's Digest #372