Mead Lover's Digest #0391 Mon 20 March 1995


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



digest format changes (Mead Lover's Digest)
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #390, 15 March 1995 (MjodalfR)
Re: Looking for Honey: A possible solution (Michael P Lindner)
misc Q's & A's (Gordon L. Olson)
National Honey Board Update ("JOHN A. JR. CARLSON ")
Braggot (Leigh Ann Hussey)
Sediment in Bottles- Help! (MR GEOFFREY J SCHALLER)
Introduction (Robert Gregory)
Honey pricing info (
Calamondin Oranges (Glenn E Matthies)
yeast question (Sharon Labchuk)


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Subject: digest format changes
From: (Mead Lover's Digest)
Date: 19 Mar 95 21:01:06 MST (Sun)

I finally got around to making some long-needed changes in the formatting
of the digest–stuff that has to do with the table of contents, initial
separator, trailer, etc. I hope that:

a) this will fix the digest for those of you using auto un-digestifiers
b) this won't break it for any un-digestifiers that now work

Let me know (at if the new format causes new


Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder, Colorado USA
Mead-Lover's Digest

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #390, 15 March 1995
From: (MjodalfR)
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 95 07:13 MST

>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?

No, all fermenting yeasts are usually either S. Cerevisae or S. Bayanus..

They are different strains ( acclimation mostly ) than beer yeast, but yet, they
are typically S. Cerevisae also.





>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.

Your haze might not be protein based, and Bentonite and Sparkaloid

only act upon net negative charge protein fractions. You may have a
chemical haze problem, i.e. high polyphenols, in which case you need to use
a protein
fining agent like gelatin or albumin.




Subject: Re: Looking for Honey: A possible solution
From: Michael P Lindner <>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 10:44:20 -0500 (EST)

> From: "JOHN A. JR. CARLSON " <>


> I called the National Honey Board located in Longmont Co and requested
> a free listing of suppliers.

Not that we want you to think we're lazy or something, but howz 'bout
posting the number, please?

Mike Lindner

Subject: misc Q's & A's
From: (Gordon L. Olson)
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 95 09:01:13 MST

John Carlson – please give us the phone number for the national
honey board. It sounds like they are a good starting point for
sources of honey.

Joyce Miller – thank you for posting a non-compressed form of the
Bees Lees. Although I managed to successfully de-compress it, on
my machine (non-Unix) it was a chore.

Stephen Tinsley writes:
>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

Don't worry about it. The "sticky" or "soapy" appearance is due to the
mead having a much higher initial gravity than most beers. This is
evident to anyone who accidentally spilled the honey mixture on the
floor while preparing it.

Wolfram v.Kiparski asks about a Lalvin yeast that is labeled as
"saccharomycetes cerevisiae." In my mind the classical names for
a yeast are less important than their brewing characteristics.
Lalvin EC-1118 is a champagne-style yeast that is very tolerant
of alcohol, easily going to 15%. Lalvin K1V-1116 is much less
alcohol tolerant, most of mine are 11-12%, and is my favorite
mead yeast because it is clean and relatively fast. If your
yeast packet has a different number, let us know and perhaps
someone can relate their experiences.

Robb Harris asks about adding bentonite and sparkaloid several
times. I see no problem. These additives are clay based and very
little disolves into your mead. Most of it settles nicely to the
bottom of your secondary and stays behind when you rack. So if
several additions are necessary, just do it. Being very careful
about sanitation, of course.

Steven Rezsutek asks about high acidity wine. In my meads that
have gotten too acidic, I have successfully used calcium carbonate,
purchased from a homebrew store. A cherry mead in particular was
far too acidic. I added one or two teaspons of calcium carbonate
on two different ocassions. Each time I measured the acidity and
tasted it. A big improvement each time. Blending wines and meads
is another way to reduce acidity, but then you have to balance other
characteristics, too. In my meads I aim for 0.45 to 0.55% acidity.
The cherry started out around 0.75% with a pH of 3.4 (from memory).
I am happier with a pH near 3.7 to 4.0. Remember that pH is a
different measure than total acidity (analogous to voltage and
amperage in electricity).

Sorry about this long post of miscellaneous items


Subject: National Honey Board Update
From: "JOHN A. JR. CARLSON " <>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 13:21:25 -0700 (MST)

I got several responses to my 3/14/95 post concerning the National Honey
Board. When I wrote that post I did not have the directory in front of
me as I was responding to a note on the digest. I went home and got the
directory and here is some more information.

The Honey Suppliers directory is a 134 page document which lists some of
the honey suppliers in the United States. It is broken down into four
regions. The document lists the name and address, regions served, floral
sources, color classes, consumer and food service information, and bulk
sizes. It is fairly comprehensive (probably as good as it gets) but has
a few duplicate listings. The price is free so it is a great deal no
matter what. Last fall I sent out several form letters based on the
information I found. I got some good results and have mail ordered from
one supplier.

The Directory is available from the:

National Honey Board
421 21st Ave, Suite 203
Longmont, CO 80501-1421

(303) 776-2337


This is from the directory:
The U.S. National Honey Board is a group of honey industry
representatives appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to
develop research, advertising, and consumer information programs. The
honey board is funded by an assessment of one cent on each pound of honey
(domestic, imported and exported) that enters the channels of commerce.
If you need technical information, call the Honey Hotline to speak to a
food scientist: 800 356-5941

I have not called the honey hotline. Maybe I should? In any case the
directory is a great book to get a hold of. Good luck in your search for
quality honey at a fair price. Its out there you just have to look for
it. Please let me know via email if you find a good supplier.

P.S. Has anyone ordered honey from the person who advertises the two
gallons of Mesquite honey from Arizona in Zymurgy. If so, please post the
results (i.e. the guys phone number and if the honey was any good).

Subject: Braggot
From: (Leigh Ann Hussey)
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 95 15:11:50 PST

The Mazer Cup rules say braggot must be at least 50% honey. What does this
mean, exactly? Last year's winning Raspberry Braggot was 4.3 lb honey
and 5 lb combined malt, not to mention the 4.5 lb raspberries. Is the 50%
measured by extracted sugars and contribution to the OG?

Here's a related question: there're charts at the back of the Bees' Lees
for how much honey makes a volume of water what OG. Is there a similar
chart anywhere online that lists what weights of various malts (given some
arbitrary extraction rate) make some volume of water some OG? I'd love
to see such a thing — it'd make my recipe construction a little less
hit-or-miss (OTOH, I could just relax, etc etc etc).


  • Leigh Ann


Leigh Ann Hussey
"Turkeys, heresy, hops and beer / All came to England in the one year."
What year? 1523.

Subject: Sediment in Bottles- Help!
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 20:20:47 EST

I recently bottled a batch of Cinnamon Mead I made in 750 mL Champagne

bottles. I had cleared it with Sparkaloid, and then carbonated it by
adding corn sugar at bottling time.


Unfortunately, it seems I didn't let the Sparkoloid finish – more of it

fell out in the bottles. (I knew there was the possibility, but I rushed
it. I've learned my lesson now.) While I know it's harmless, it looks
nasty. What I want to know is this – is there an easy way to remove the
sediment? I know you can freeze the tops of inverted bottles, but that
sounds tricky, and takes equipment (I don't have a convient board I can cut
with holes for bottles, or the tools to make one). Can anyone help?


Also, a general question – if one does do the freeze trick, or otherwise

opens the bottles to remove the sediment, how does that affect the
carbonation? Will it totally remove it, or just lessen it somewhat leaving
a light sparkle? (I used Champagne yeast and the standard 3/4 cup primer
per gallon, so it's dry and will still ferment if I add a bit more sugar.)



  • -Geoffrey


Subject: Introduction
From: Robert Gregory <>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 20:33:29 -0800 (PST)

I just subscribed to this list and would like to introduce myself. I am
a relative newcomer to homebrewing, having only made one batch of mead
about a year ago. I currently have my second batch in the closet
My first batch initially turned out very good considering it was my first
time and I really had no idea what I was doing. The only problem was
that the recipe I used, which I downloaded off a BBS, said to cut the
finished product with an equal part of water before bottling. BIG
mistake. It turned out tasting like heavily watered-down white wine,
with an alcohol content not much higher than lager beer.
Anyway, I thought I would give it another shot. I do intend to keep up
the homebrewing as I have enjoyed it so far. Right now the two batches I
have made have been pure mead, with no fruits, tannin, or chemical
additives. Once I get the hang of this, however, I would like to
experiment around with adding different fruits. For my second batch I am
following the same recipe as my first batch, using the same kind of yeast
(champagne), but the honey this time around is clover honey from the
supermarket. For my first batch I used fireweed honey from the
health-food store which was locally produced. I have noticed a big
difference in the way this batch is fermenting. The first batch
fermented violently and foamed
over about 1-2 days into fermentation, making a mess in my kitchen,
before settling down and fermenting more slowly. The batch I am brewing
now did not foam over, in fact it has been slowly and steadily bubbling
since I pitched the yeast but nothing more. I am wondering if the
different types of honey have something to do with this?
I have heard that supermarket honey makes inferior mead but have yet to
taste any finished product. Is rapid fermentation and foaming over
a sign that the mead will turn out better or have a higher
alcohol content?

Subject: Honey pricing info
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 11:43:18 -0500

Thought my fellow mead-makers might be interested; The other day I talked to
a guy at the local honey place (Silverbow Honey). I was thinking if I and
several of my friends were to buy in bulk that we might save a few bucks on
our honey expenditures. I was informed that Costco got the best price
because they buy such large quantities and then they only mark it up 7%.
After that, Safeway gets the best price. So, his suggestion was buy from
Costco. Unless we were to purchase some major poundage he couldn't beat
their price for me. This was just for the run-of-the-mill clover honey; I
didn't check any offbeat or specialty honeys. This may not apply if you
don't live in the Pacific NW–I'm not sure how far away Costco's influence
reaches. This is not a plug for them, no affliliation, yada yada yada. Just
thought some people would appreciate the information.

On another note, I'm in the process of moving to a new home in the country.
Any suggestions on fruit to grow? I've already got several apple varieties
for cider, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, plums, peaches, and
blueberries. Any other fruit that makes a good mead that I'm missing? All
suggestions appreciated, TIA. Nunc est Bibendum (Latin; "Now is the time to drink")


  • -Ray Ownby- "In Wine there is Truth" -Dostoyevsky

Moses Lake, WA ("In vino veritas")


Subject: Calamondin Oranges
From: (Glenn E Matthies)
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 15:43:09 -0500

My wife has small orange tree she received as a gift. It is
known as calamondin or bitter orange. (I don't have its Latin name)
It has a very bitter taste, as confirmed by one of my wife's
friends who tasted one. My question is has anyone used this fruit
in a mead making and if so, how many of these oranges should be
used? TIA Glenn Matthies

Lockport, NY

Subject: yeast question
From: Sharon Labchuk <>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 1995 15:13:34 -0400 (AST)

I've been following this list for a little while and I'm now prepared to
make my first batch of mead. I've actually never made any kind of
alcohol before but I have read everything our library has to offer and I
have all kinds of honey. The recipe I plan to use is the 'Barkshack
Ginger Mead' in Papazian's book. This is my question: the recipe calls
for a champagne yeast but the only yeast I can find here is one packaged
by Lalvin called Saccharomyces Bayanus, a wine yeast – is this a
champagne yeast as the fellow in the store says or what? Apparently our
local store can order different yeasts, but god only knows how long that
will take. I'd like to make a decent mead my first time around – will
this yeast give good results or should I order in something else.
Suggestios appreciated – thanks.

Sharon Labchuk


End of Mead Lover's Digest #391