Mead Lover's Digest #0390 Wed 15 March 1995


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



First mead, strange behavior (Stephen Tinsley)
Mango Warning (Adam Brockman)
Prickly Pear Mead… (James Powell)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #389, 5 March 1995 (Jerry Pelikan)
Looking for Honey: A possible solution ("JOHN A. JR. CARLSON ")
yeast question (Wolfram v.Kiparski)
kiwi (Matt Maples)
New site for Bees Lees (Joyce Miller)
Clearing Mead (Robb Harris)
Pyment suggestions, please? (Steven Rezsutek)


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Subject: First mead, strange behavior
From: (Stephen Tinsley)
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 95 07:48:30 CST


I've been brewing beer for about a year. I just brewed my first mead

last week, and I don't know if it's doing well or not. First a few
specifics: It's a 3.5 gallon batch, 6 lbs honey, 1 oz ginger, some
lime rind, a squeeze of lime juice, a couple of teaspoons of acid
blend, a few teaspoons of yeast nutrient, and Red Star Champagne yeast.
I boiled the honey, water, ginger, lime, nutrient and acid blend for
15 minutes, cooled to about 80 degrees, and pitched the rehydrated yeast.
The next day the airlock started bubbling, although there was no sign
of the characteristic "head" (krausen) that you see in an active batch
of beer. The surface was fairly undisturbed. The guy at the homebrew
shop told me that the head would be less for mead, so this didn't worry
me. The next day, though, a big soapy looking head had formed, and part
of it had blown way up the sides of my 5 gallon primary. The head was
a brownish grey, and looked "sticky" or "soapy". It has since started
to fall a little bit, but still looks weird. When I remove the airlock
and smell it, the stuff smells yeasty, that's the only way I can describe
it. Like uncooked bread or something. Kind of like the smell of the
yeast when it's rehydrated. So, is this normal? I had a beer give me
a funky soapy head like that once, and it turned out terrible! I'm worried
that I'm going to tie up a fermenter for several months, only to find out
that my mead is totally ruined. Somebody help!


Steve Tinsley

Subject: Mango Warning
From: Adam Brockman <>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 10:34:46 -0500 (EST)

I once got a case of something like poison Ivey from Mango peels. I don't
know if everyone is susceptable to it or not, but I nurse I know said it
was a fairly common reaction. Apparently, there is a toxin in mango peels
that is very similar to that found in poison ivey.

I've heard that the toxin in poison ivey is a light oil. Perhaps such a toxin
would be destroyed upon boiling. Since one poster has already reported that
he made a mango mead without any trouble, I'd imagine it is safe. But I would
still be carefull not to touch your face after peeling a lot of mangos
with out first washing your hands carefully. 🙂

Adam Bockman

Subject: Prickly Pear Mead...
From: (James Powell)
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 09:44:55 -0600


I would like to make a Prickly Pear Mead but, living in the midwest, I do
not have availability to this fruit. I've been to Florida and know of many
orange growers that ship UPS to any place in the U.S. Does anyone know of a
company that sells prickly pear fruit? Or maybe someone that would be
willing to sell/ship the fruit to me. Personal email is fine.


Jim Powell

Network Administrator/Database Manager
Department of Surgery, MC5026
Section of Transplantation
University of Chicago
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637-1470

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #389, 5 March 1995
From: Jerry Pelikan <>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 10:06:57 -0600 (CST)

In MDL#389, On 2 Mar 95 Kevin Schutz wrote:


> Based on the limited response that I recieved when I first requested info,
> I decided to make a basic mead and then "dry flower" it after fermentation.
> This differs from Leigh Ann's recipe, but oh well… I started the mead
> going last November (? Going from memory, my notes are at home) and it's
> still fermenting. I've got my lavender flowers and they seem to still be
> fairly fragrant, but I am getting worried about overall freshness. Time
> will tell. I'll try to remember to post another update once I add the
> Lavender.

Over the weekend, I caught a bit of a travelogue program on PBS. They
were visiting a perfumery in France. The host was taking a guided tour
of the place and they stopped at a steam kettle to examine a batch of
lavender. He said that it had almost no scent. The tour guide said that
all the sent was there, it was just waiting for the processing to
re-release it. I suspect that when you rehydrate your lavender its
fragrance will bloom again.

Jerry Pelikan

Subject: Looking for Honey: A possible solution 
From: "JOHN A. JR. CARLSON " <>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 11:08:18 -0700 (MST)

I saw a note asking about the availability of mail order Honey. I wanted
to share my experience with this topic. I called the National Honey
Board located in Longmont Co and requested a free listing of suppliers.
The book came in a week or so and provided a fairly comprehensive listing
of suppliers nationwide. I then sent out a form letter requesting
catalogs, and pricelists. I got mixed responses but have a few outfits
that look promising. Many suppliers offer many floral varieties
(starthistle, orangeblossum, fireweed, cranberry, mint, etc.) and bulk
quantities. The directory offered by the National Honey Board is a nice
place to start your search and the price is right.

Subject: yeast question
From: (Wolfram v.Kiparski)
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 1995 18:51:01 -0500

My first posting to this list – hello everyone!

I have been brewing beer for about 9 years, and have made mead before. I
have about 12 lbs. of honey sitting around and am wondering what I could
possibly do with this much honey 😉

I have a few packets of a wine yeast packaged by Lalvin. I thought it was
wine yeast, but on closer inspection, the packet says "saccharomycetes

That's top fermenting beer yeast, is it not?

I don't have anything against making mead with beer yeast, but I wanted

to use a wine yeast. Darn! I should've read the packet more closely!


Wolfram v.Kiparski

Subject: kiwi
From: (Matt Maples)
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 1995 07:29:31 -0800

Yet another glowing testimonial for kiwi mead! The following
was one of the first meads I ever made. After it aged for a
year it turned out great. I only found one person who didn't
like it and she didn't care for the smell the yeast imparted.
I guess the apple juice would make this a cyser and
not a melomel but no need to pick at nits. I did manage to
strain out 70% of the seeds but in retrospect it wansn't really

********************* Kiwi Mead ***************************

1 gallon kiwi puree (strained)
2 gallon apple juice
3 gallon water
3 cups cain sugar
6 lb clover honey
6 tsp acid blend
1.5 tsp yeast nutrient
6 campden tabs

mix all ingrediants well makes three gallons.
24 hr. after adding campden tabs add one pkg chapagine yeast.
as mead falls to 1.05 add another 3 lbs. Do this untill desired sweetness
is reached.

Matt Maples


Subject: New site for Bees Lees
From: (Joyce Miller)
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 1995 11:33:56 -0500

Since *I've* never been able to extract a readable copy of the Bee's Lees
from the Stanford machine (and since that machine is frequently busy), I
can only assume that less well connected people may also be experiencing
similar problems.

Therefore, I have put a copy of it here:

ftp to:
and look in directory: /pub/jmiller
the file name is: BeesLees.txt

This is a plain-text, not-compressed version, and should be accessable to
nearly everyone. If you are interested in changing your ftp and WWW links
to point to it, feel free. If you know of any other WWW links that you
think ought to be informed, please let me know.

Thank you,


  • – Joyce


Joyce Miller
Whitehead Institute / M.I.T. Center for Genome Research
617-252-1914 (phone) 617-252-1902 (FAX)

Subject: Clearing Mead
From: (Robb Harris)
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 1995 23:26:20 -0600

I have also been having a problem clearing an 8 month old
sack mead. I pasturized initially, racked three times, used bentonite
and finally filtered with a motorized high quality filter (don't know the name)
and still no luck. 2 weeks ago I added Sparkaloid and only about
1/3 of the top has dropped crystal clear.

Should I wait longer, siphon it off of the sediment or give it

another dose of Sparkaloid?
I'm not sure how much more stuff I want to add. I've also thought of
siphoning off the cleared section and bottling, and adding more Sparkaloid
to the remainder.


Robb Harris

Subject: Pyment suggestions, please?
From: Steven Rezsutek <>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 1995 11:02:40 -0500

I'm embarking on a little pyment project, and I'd like to get
some outside input. Let me give a brief description of my motivation,
and what I'm working with, first:

I have [had] roughly 9 gal(US) of white wine (Villard Blanc) that
has a far too high acidity. I had split off maybe 3 gallons of the wine,
blended with ~40% Vidal, and chemically deacidified it, but at this point
I'm not too enthused by the results, so I'm looking for alternatives for at
least some of the remaining 6 gal. To that end, I currently have about 4.5
gallons of light clover mead, soon to be pyment, bubbling away in the cellar.

I don't plan to spice this at all, as I think the flavors will meld
quite nicely as is. There is the remote possibility of my trying to make
a case of "sparkling pyment", however, and I expect that would probably
shift the balance of things a bit. Perhaps two seperate batches would even
be in order?

That being said, most of what I'm hoping to get from the list are suggestions
on a starting point for the blending trials. Of course, warnings such as
"You can't mix Villard and Clover — it will turn green and smell like
spaghetti sauce" would be nice. (Provided they're true, of course. 🙂

So, now that it's obvious I have no prior experience with pyments…

What proportions of grape/honey have you found most satisfactory?

[It depends, I know; the Villard has a light, somewhat floral, but
definately "grapey" character, if that helps. ]

If you've ever bothered with such things, what level of acidity do you
find "works well" in a beverage like this? I'm hoping to keep things a
bit on the "soft" side (sparklers aside); something that would be good
on a cool summers eveining.

Granted, this is a salvage job to begin with, but how much dissapointment
can I expect by doing things this way vs. fermenting the grape and
honey together?

Thanks for any input,



Steven Rezsutek
Nyma / GSFC Code 735.2 Vox: +1 301 286 0897
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt MD 20771


End of Mead Lover's Digest #390